Last Call Review of draft-ietf-rtgwg-ipfrr-framework-

Request Review of draft-ietf-rtgwg-ipfrr-framework
Requested rev. no specific revision (document currently at 13)
Type Last Call Review
Team Security Area Directorate (secdir)
Deadline 2009-10-06
Requested 2009-08-22
Authors Mike Shand, Stewart Bryant
Draft last updated 2009-10-08
Completed reviews Secdir Last Call review of -?? by Sandra Murphy
Assignment Reviewer Sandra Murphy
State Completed
Review review-ietf-rtgwg-ipfrr-framework-secdir-lc-murphy-2009-10-08
Review completed: 2009-10-08


I am reviewing this document draft-ietf-rtgwg-ipfrr-framework-12 

as part of the security directorate's ongoing effort to review 

all IETF documents being processed by the IESG.  These comments 

were written primarily for the benefit of the security area 

directors.  Document editors and WG chairs should treat

these comments just like any other last call comments (that you

received well after last call). Feel free to forward to any 

appropriate forum.

This draft describes a framework for mechanisms to  compute backup 

"repair" paths that allow traffic to continue to forward to the 

destination around failed links or nodes.  This is similar to a

mechanism in MPLS to provide backup LSPs by using RSVP-TE.

For background, I also looked at
RFC4090 Fast Reroute Extensions to RSVP-TE for LSP Tunnels
RFC 5296 Basic Specification for IP Fast Reroute: Loop-Free Alternates
draft-ietf-rtgwg-lf-conv-frmwk-06 A Framework for Loop-free Convergence
draft-bryant-ipfrr-tunnels-03 IP Fast Reroute using tunnels
draft-ietf-rtgwg-ipfrr-notvia-addresses-03 IP Fast Reroute Using
                Not-via Addresses

The security considerations covers some concerns introduced by using 

fast-reroute mechanisms where providing repair paths may introduce

vulnerabilities, particularly where the repair paths could interfere
with existing robustness mechanisms (reverse path forwarding and
TTL limits).

I wonder if the knowledge of computed repair paths could
be useful to an attacker in doing traffic-shaping, i.e., an attacker who
was doing link-cutting to affect traffic flow.  Similarly, the ability
to influence the computation of the repair path could be valuable.
Perhaps the framework document could mention that the proposed solutions
should consider the need to protect the computation from exposure (to the
same extent infrastructure information is protected from exposure) and
corruption/contamination if such an attack were a concern.

RFC5286 dismisses this concern, without noting the benefit of an
attacker to be able to producing a desired forwarding change if a
failure (and therefore repair activity) could be induced:

   Traffic to certain
   destinations can be temporarily routed via next-hop routers that
   would not be used with the same topology change if this mechanism
   wasn't employed.  However, these next-hop routers can be used anyway
   when a different topological change occurs, and hence this can't be
   viewed as a new security threat.

The notvia-addresses draft does seem to recognize this risk from repair

   The repair endpoints present vulnerability in that they might be used
   as a method of disguising the delivery of a packet to a point in the

The loop-free convergence framework draft in the last-called version

   All micro-loop control mechanisms raise significant security issues
   which must be addressed in their detailed technical description.

which I thought should be reflected in this framework,
but that has changed in the post-last-call version to:

   This document analyzes the problem of micro-loops and summarizes a
   number of potential solutions that have been proposed.  These
   solutions require only minor modifications to existing routing
   protocols and therefore do not add additional security risks.
   However a full security analysis would need to be provided within the
   specification of a particular solution proposed for deployment.

I'm curious as to how "significant security issues" changed to
"do not add additional security risks", but I don't have the time
to track down the last call comments that created that change.

(I'd say that adding any additional information to a routing protocol
may not change the underlying vulnerabilities of the routing protocol
but certainly provides new means to cause damage when exploiting the
known vulenrabilities.)

Non-security related comments:

The following comment would have been useful to see before section 6:

6.  Scope and applicability

   The initial scope of this work is in the context of link state IGPs.
   Link state protocols provide ubiquitous topology information, which
   facilitates the computation of repairs paths.

The following comment would have been useful to see before section

   Complete protection against multiple unrelated failures is out of
   scope of this work.

Some terms in this document are never defined and/or used ambiguously.

The following terms are not in the terminology list:
repair path

Shared Risk Link Groups (SRLG) - perhaps so common in the teleco world
    and in optical networks that definition was judged unnecessary.

"link(node) protecting" "being protected" "fully protected (link/node)" 

"unprotectable" - it would seem to refer to a link or node

  failure for which a repair path is being computed, but may also mean
  mechanisms to avoid micro-loops.

a path being "affected" by a reconvergence - which I think means that
  reconvergence to a new forwarding tree does not change any link
  in the repair path

a repair path being "valid for a node" or "valid for destinations"

Some text I found confusing:

Page 7:

   2.  In topologies that are susceptible to micro-loops, a mechanism to
       prevent the effects of any micro-loops during subsequent re-

Because the loop free convergence draft distinguishes micro-loop prevention
from micro-loop suppression, which attempts to avoid the impact on other
traffic from micro-loops, I thought "the effects of any micro-loops"
referred to this collateral damage.  But later in that page it talks
about micro-loop avoidance, which sounds like the loop free convergence
draft's term "micro-loop prevention".  So I'm not sure what is meant here.

Page 10:

  1.  The percentage of links (or nodes) which can be fully protected
       for all destinations.  This is appropriate where the requirement
       is to protect all traffic, but some percentage of the possible
       failures may be identified as being un-protectable.

What does it mean to be "fully protected for all destinations"?  Is that
redundant?  And what about "unprotectable"?  Is it possible to have
  fully protected for all destinations
  fully protected for some destinations
  partially protected for all destinations
  partially protected for some destinations
  unprotectable for all destination
  unprotectable for some destinations

The outline in section 4 has me a bit confused:
   4.  Mechanisms for IP Fast-reroute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.1.  Mechanisms for fast failure detection  . . . . . . . . . .  7
     4.2.  Mechanisms for repair paths  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       4.2.1.  Scope of repair paths  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       4.2.2.  Analysis of repair coverage  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       4.2.3.  Link or node repair  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       4.2.4.  Maintenance of Repair paths  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       4.2.5.  Multiple failures and Shared Risk Link Groups  . . . . 11
     4.3.  Local Area Networks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.4.  Mechanisms for micro-loop prevention . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Section 4.2.5 covers SRLG's as an example of multiple related failures,
which it says are out of scope.  Then section 4.3 covers LANs - which
would seem to me to satisfy the definition of a SRLG.  Is 4.3 supposed
to be a subtopic under 4.2.5?  It seems out of keeping with the
mechanism focus of sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.4.

Also, 4.3 says:

   Protection against partial or complete failure of LANs is more
   complex than the point to point case.  In general there is a trade-
   off between the simplicity of the repair and the ability to provide
   complete and optimal repair coverage.

(That's a complete quote of that section, which is another reason for
asking if it is really supposed to be a separate section)

Does this imply that all previous discussion was about point to point
links only?

RFC 5286 has an extended discussion of computing backup paths for
broadcast and NBMA links, so I was surprised to see this draft seem
to indicate that LANs were out of scope.

--Sandy Murphy