TCP receive window set to 0; DoS or not?
fernando at frh.utn.edu.ar
Mon Sep 25 20:23:11 UTC 2006
At 21:55 08/09/2006, Jim Shankland wrote:
>Travis Hassloch <travis.hassloch at rackspace.com> writes:
> > The part where it becomes a DoS is when they tie up all the listeners
> > on a socket (e.g. apache), and nothing happens for several minutes until
> > their connections time out. Whether intentional or not, it does have
> > a negative effect.
>Ah, that makes sense. I was assuming a deliberate attack, which is
>not actually implicit in the term "DoS". A deliberate denial of
>service is not made easier by shrinking the window. But an implementation
>that advertises a 0 window in lieu of sending FIN or RST can certainly
>deny service inadvertently by tying up resources that should have been
FYI, this issue was raised at the IETF TCPM WG mailing-list a month
ago or so. The OP argued to reduce the amount of time for which a
peer could advertise a 0 window.
However, the problem is that if the goalis to perform a DoS attack,
the attacker could advertise a 1-byte window (or ay other small
window). Or he could advertise a 0-window for some time (less than
the "threshold" the OP proposed), then increase the window to, say,
one segment, and then go back to advertising a 0 window.
The OP had suggested seeing this behaviour tying up all system
resources, hence leading to the attacked system to not be able to
service legitimate systems.
There seemed to be agreement as at the TCPM WG that yu should handle
these scenarios at the application layer.
e-mail: fernando at gont.com.ar || fgont at acm.org
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