[e2e] TCP improved closing strategies?

William Allen Simpson william.allen.simpson at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 16:08:24 PDT 2009

David P. Reed wrote:
> On 08/18/2009 12:56 PM, William Allen Simpson wrote:
>> Thank you to everybody that provided substantive information and 
>> pointers.
>> I look forward to David's information theoretic cryptology that crams 
>> SOA,
>> several NS, and a half dozen digital signatures into 512 bytes over UDP,
>> for the simplest secure case of NXDOMAIN.
> I'd suggest that identity based encryption would provide a good starting 
> point the level of quote-security-endquote that is needed for DNS in the 
> grand practical scheme of things.  But I'd probably be accused of being 
> unconnected with the simple reality of people who thing that 
> SOA/certificates/etc. being mumbled makes one an expert on "security".
> What is the risk and what is the threat model, in one simple statement 
> that doesn't involve claims that DNS is somehow a "super secure" system 
> to start with?

At the risk of alienating the others on the list by replying to this
drivel, I'm also looking forward to the magic wand that instantaneously
replaces DNS with another protocol and infrastructure.

Moreover, folks that don't top post in multipart/alternative text/html,
expecting others to do the work of fixing their formatting for readability.

The thing that makes some of us more expert in security than others is the
day to day experience of securing the "grand practical scheme of things."

And the willingness to openly ask questions instead of hurling insults....

>> With several hundred thousand clients per minute using 65,000 ports.
>> Through NAT boxen that pass *only* TCP and UDP, and don't randomize the
>> Source port, and don't properly handle returning IP fragments.  Etc.
>> Back in the real world, that means TCP semantics, such as retransmission
>> of lost segments.
>> Or reinventing the wheel (segmentation and retransmission over UDP).
> In a world where I check into a hotel that forcibly rapes my packets 
> starting with the ARP packets and going up through DHCP, so that when I 
> send a TCP/IP packet to www.google.com on port 80 it gets redirected to 
> a server that opendns.com (the world's "safest" DNS service) has been 
> told is to handle all google traffic (no NXDOMAIN here) which scrapes my 
> requests in order to sell my personal interests to a marketing company?
We've all had that experience.  Some of us even *predicted* it long ago
(late NSFnet/early commercial Internet days).  One of us even designed a
secure ARP replacement, and proposed a shared-secret requirement for DHCP,
with a requirement that every Internet end-to-end session be secured for
authentication, confidentiality, and integrity.

Other folks argued against it.  The very idea that every system required
at least 1 configured secret before installation was considered anathema.
What about a thousand systems on the loading dock?  One fine fellow had
the unmitigated gall to state (paraphrased) the ethernet model works fine
today, why change it....

I kept the recording for many years, as that person was forcibly made my
"co-author" on Neighbor Discovery, who then removed all the security and
hidden terminal (for wireless) discovery.  Only now are they adding that
back again (badly and inelegantly).  Better late than never?

N.B.: now ATT 2-wire cable boxes actually come pre-configured with a
secret, printed right on the label.  Finally!  If only it was a UPC, so
those could easily be scanned into a database for a thousand boxes on the
loading dock....

> Get real.  Security used to mean something other than employing security 
> consultants to work on subproblems as if they were the fundamental 
> issue, and crap up fundamentally weak systems with bells-and-whistles 
> like TCP magic close protocols that only add DDOS attack risks, while 
> fixing nothing important.
Employing?  You're being paid for this diatribe?

Where were you during the crypto-wars?  Where was *your* running code?

Who was it that specified only 65K UDP ports?  Who didn't randomize the
Source port to prevent prediction, resulting in DNS cache poisoning?
Who didn't even think about security for the Internet as a whole?

(Compartment options are not security, they're bureaucracy.)

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