[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Heartbeats Straw Poll

   From: Bill Sommerfeld <sommerfeld@East.Sun.COM>
   Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 19:09:50 -0400

   Heh.  Actually, one of the ideas I'm kicking around:

   If we have the system sign a "birth certificate" when it reboots
   (including a reboot time or boot sequence number), we could include
   that with a "bad spi" ICMP error and in the negotiation of the IKE SA.

   This pushes the burden of reestablishing state to the end which
   already thinks it has shared state and has traffic it wants to send.

   The system which is receiving packets to unknown spi's merely has to
   respond with a simple message which involves no real-time cryptography
   (it should, of course, be rate limited).

   The system receiving the error message can discard it if it doesn't
   correspond to existing state or if it's "old news" (i.e., you get
   replay protection); if it's not old news, you can rate-limit how often
   you attempt to verify the signature.

(with my wg-chair hat off)

I like this idea lot.  It solves the problem quite nicely, without
having to deal with the complexities of negotiating whether or not to do
heartbeats, and it avoids the possibility that a temporary less of
connectivity (perhaps caused by a lame LAN emulation over an ATM
backbone :-) causes a SA to get unnecessarily flushed.

The key here is that it distinguishes between temporary loss of network
connectivity from a peer reboot (and loss of IPSEC state).   There are
other ways of getting the same result:  You could double check the loss
of a hearbeat by attempting an unsecured ping to the IPSEC endpoint.  If
the ping works, but the heartbeat doesn't, then it's likely the that
communications peer has lost its state, and you need to flush all of the
SA's and renegotiate them.  On the other hand, if you can't ping your
peer, it's probably just a random network outage, and it's better to
*not* flush the SA state in that case.

Still,  Bill's approach is much cleaner, and much simpler.  

						- Ted

Follow-Ups: References: