Recommendations for Prefix Binding in the Context of Softwire Dual-Stack Lite

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Document Type RFC Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Suresh Vinapamula  , Mohamed Boucadair 
Last updated 2016-02-16 (latest revision 2015-10-19)
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Network Working Group                                      S. Vinapamula
Internet-Draft                                          Juniper Networks
Intended status: Informational                              M. Boucadair
Expires: April 21, 2016                                   France Telecom
                                                        October 19, 2015

   Recommendations for Prefix Binding in the Softwire DS-Lite Context


   This document discusses issues induced by the change of the Dual-
   Stack Lite (DS-Lite) Basic Bridging BroadBand (B4) IPv6 address and
   sketches a set of recommendations to solve those issues.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 21, 2016.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  The Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Introducing Subscriber-Mask . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Privacy Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.1.  Normative references  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.2.  Informative references  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9

1.  Introduction

   IPv6 deployment models assume IPv6 prefixes are delegated by Service
   Providers to the connected CPEs (Customer Premises Equipments) or
   hosts, which in turn derive IPv6 addresses from that prefix.  In the
   case of Dual-Stack Lite (DS-Lite) [RFC6333], which is an IPv4 service
   continuity mechanism over an IPv6 network, the Basic Bridging
   BroadBand (B4) element derives an IPv6 address for the IPv4-in-IPv6
   softwire setup purposes.

   The B4 element might obtain a new IPv6 address, for a variety of
   reasons that include (but are not limited to) a reboot of the CPE,
   power outage, DHCPv6 lease expiry, or other actions undertaken by the
   Service Provider.  If this occurs, traffic forwarded to a B4's
   previous IPv6 address may never reach its destination or be delivered
   to another B4 that now uses the address formerly assigned to the
   original B4.  This situation affects all mapping types, both implicit
   (e.g., by sending a TCP SYN) and explicit (e.g., using Port Control
   Protocol (PCP) [RFC6887]).  The problem is further elaborated in
   Section 2.

   This document proposes recommendations to soften the impact of such
   renumbering issues (Section 4).

   This document complements [RFC6908].

1.1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

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2.  The Problem

   Since private IPv4 addresses assigned to hosts serviced by a B4
   element overlap across multiple CPEs, the IPv6 address of a B4
   element plays a key role in de-multiplexing connections, enforcing
   policies, and in identifying associated resources assigned for each
   of the connections maintained by the Address Family Transition Router
   (AFTR, [RFC6333]).  For example, these resources maintain state of
   Endpoint-Independent Mapping (EIM, Section 4.1 of [RFC4787]),
   Endpoint-Independent Filtering (EIF, Section 5 of [RFC4787]),
   preserve the external IPv4 address assigned in the AFTR (i.e., "IP
   address pooling" behavior as defined in Section 4.1 of [RFC4787]),
   PCP mappings, etc.

   However, the IPv6 address used by the B4 element may change for some
   reason, e.g., because of a change in the CPE itself or maybe because
   of privacy extensions enabled for generating the IPv6 address (e.g.,
   [RFC7217] or [RFC4941]).  Whenever the B4's IPv6 address changes, the
   associated mappings created in the AFTR are no longer valid.  This
   may result in the creation of a new set of mappings in the AFTR.

   Furthermore, a misbehaving user may be tempted to change the B4's
   IPv6 address in order to "grab" more ports and resources at the AFTR
   side.  This behavior can be seen as a potential Denial of Service
   (DoS) attack from misbehaving users.  Note that this DoS attack can
   be achieved whatever the port assignment policy enforced by the AFTR
   (individual ports, port sets, randomized port bulks, etc.).

   Service Providers may want to enforce policies in order to limit the
   usage of the AFTR resources on a per-subscriber basis for fairness of
   resource usage (see REQ-4 of [RFC6888]).  These policies are used for
   dimensioning purposes and also to ensure that AFTR resources are not
   exhausted.  If the derived B4's IPv6 address can change, resource
   tracking using that address will give incomplete results.  Also,
   whenever the B4's IPv6 address changes, enforcing policies based on
   this address doesn't resolve stale mappings hanging around in the
   system, consuming not only system resources, but also reducing the
   available quota of resources per subscriber.  Clearing those mappings
   can be envisaged, but that will cause a lot of churn in the AFTR and
   could be disruptive to existing connections, which is not desirable.
   More concretely, if stale mappings have not be migrated to the new
   B4's IPv6 address so that packets can be forwarded to the appropriate
   B4, all incoming packets that are associated with those mappings will
   be rejected by the AFTR.  Such behavior is not desirable from a
   service quality of experience.

   When application servers are hosted behind a B4 element, and when
   there is a change of the B4's IPv6 address which results in a change

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   of the external IPv4 address and/or the external port number at the
   AFTR side, these servers have to advertise about their change (see
   Section 1.1 of [RFC7393]).  Means to discover the change of B4's IPv6
   address, the external IPv4 address and/or the external port are
   therefore required.  Latency issues are likely to be experienced when
   an application server has to advertise its newly assigned external
   IPv4 address and port, and the application clients have to discover
   that newly assigned address and/or port and re-initiate connections
   with the application server.

   A solution to these problems is to enforce policies based on the IPv6
   prefix assigned to DS-Lite serviced subscribers instead of the B4's
   IPv6 address.  Section 3 introduces the subscriber-mask that is meant
   to derive the IPv6 prefix assigned to a subscriber's CPE from the
   source IPv6 address of a packet received from a B4 element.

3.  Introducing Subscriber-Mask

   The subscriber-mask is defined as an integer that indicates the
   length of significant bits to be applied on the source IPv6 address
   (internal side) to identify unambiguously a CPE.

   Subscriber-mask is an AFTR system-wide configuration parameter that
   is used to enforce generic per-subscriber policies.  Applying these
   generic policies does not require configuring every subscriber's

   Subscriber-mask must be configurable; the default value is 56.  The
   default value is motivated by current practices to assign IPv6 prefix
   lengths of /56 to end-sites (e.g., [RIPE][LACNIC]).

   Example: suppose the 2001:db8:100:100::/56 prefix is assigned to a
   DS-Lite enabled CPE.  Suppose also that the 2001:db8:100:100::1
   address is the IPv6 address used by the B4 element that resides in
   that CPE.  When the AFTR receives a packet from this B4 element
   (i.e., the source address of the IPv4-in-IPv6 packet is
   2001:db8:100:100::1), the AFTR applies the subscriber-mask (e.g., 56)
   on the source IPv6 address to compute the associated prefix for this
   B4 element (that is 2001:db8:100:100::/56).  Then, the AFTR enforces
   policies based on that prefix (2001:db8:100:100::/56), not on the
   exact source IPv6 address.

4.  Recommendations

   In order to mitigate the issues discussed in Section 2, the following
   recommendations are made:

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   1.  A policy SHOULD be enforced at the AFTR to limit the number of
       active DS-Lite softwires per subscriber.  The default value MUST
       be 1.

          This policy aims to prevent a misbehaving subscriber from
          mounting several DS-Lite softwires that would consume
          additional AFTR resources (e.g., get more external ports if
          the quota were enforced on a per-softwire basis, consume extra
          processing induced by a large number of active softwires).

   2.  Resource contexts created and maintained by the AFTR SHOULD be
       based on the delegated IPv6 prefix instead of the B4's IPv6
       address.  The AFTR derives the delegated prefix from the B4's
       IPv6 address by means of a configured subscriber-mask
       (Section 3).  Administrators SHOULD configure per-prefix limits
       of resource usage, instead of per-tunnel limits.  These resources
       include the maximum number of active flows, the maximum number of
       PCP-created mappings, NAT pool resources, etc.

   3.  In the event a new IPv6 address is assigned to the B4 element,
       the AFTR SHOULD migrate existing state to be bound to the new
       IPv6 address.  This operation ensures that traffic destined to
       the previous B4's IPv6 address will be redirected to the newer
       B4's IPv6 address.  The destination IPv6 address for tunneling
       return traffic from the AFTR SHOULD be the last seen as the B4's
       IPv6 source address from the CPE.

          This recommendation avoids stale mappings at the AFTR and
          minimizes the risk of service disruption for subscribers.

          The AFTR uses the subscriber-mask to determine whether two
          IPv6 addresses belong to the same CPE (e.g., if the
          subscriber-mask is set to 56, the AFTR concludes that
          2001:db8:100:100::1 and 2001:db8:100:100::2 belong to the same
          CPE assigned with 2001:db8:100:100::/56).

          As discussed in Section 5, changing the source B4's IPv6
          address may be used as an attack vector.  Packets with new B's
          IPv6 address from the same prefix SHOULD be rate limited.  It
          is RECOMMENDED to set this rate limit to 30 minutes; other
          values can be set on a per deployment basis.

          One side effect of migrating mapping state is that a server
          deployed behind an AFTR does not need to update its DNS
          records (if any) by means of dynamic DNS, for example.  As far
          as a dedicated mapping is instantiated, migrating the state
          during its validity lifetime will ensure that the same
          external IP address and port are assigned to that server.

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   4.  In the event of change of the CPE WAN's IPv6 prefix, unsolicited
       PCP ANNOUNCE messages SHOULD be sent by the B4 element to
       internal hosts connected to the PCP-capable CPE so that they
       update their mappings accordingly.

          This allows internal PCP clients to update their mappings with
          the new B4's IPv6 address and to trigger updates to rendez-
          vous servers (e.g., dynamic DNS).  A PCP-based dynamic DNS
          solution is specified in [RFC7393].

   5.  When a new prefix is assigned to the CPE, stale mappings may
       exist in the AFTR.  This will consume both implicit and explicit
       resources.  In order to avoid such issues, stable IPv6 prefix
       assignment is RECOMMENDED.

   6.  In case for any reason an IPv6 prefix has to be reassigned, it is
       RECOMMENDED to reassign an IPv6 prefix (that was previously
       assigned to a given CPE) to another CPE only when all the
       resources in use associated with that prefix are cleared from the
       AFTR.  Doing so avoids redirecting traffic, destined to the
       previous prefix owner, to the new one.

5.  Security Considerations

   Security considerations related to DS-Lite are discussed in

   Enforcing the recommendations documented in Section 4 together with
   rate limiting softwires with new source IPv6 addresses from the same
   prefix defend against DoS attacks that would result in varying the
   B4's IPv6 address to exhaust AFTR resources.  A misbehaving CPE can
   be blacklisted by enforcing appropriate policies based on the prefix
   derived from the subscriber-mask.

6.  Privacy Considerations

   A CPE connected to a DS-Lite network is identified by a set of
   information that is specific to each network domain (e.g., service
   credentials, device identifiers, etc.).  This document does not make
   any assumption nor introduce new requirements on how such
   identification is implemented network-wide.

   This document adheres to Sections 6 and 8 of [RFC6333] for handling
   IPv4-in-IPv6 packets and IPv4 translation operations.  In particular,
   this document does not leak extra information in packets exiting a
   DS-Lite network domain.

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   The recommendations in Section 4 (bullet 6, in particular) ensure the
   traffic is forwarded to a legitimate CPE.  If those recommendations
   are not implemented, privacy concerns may arise (e.g., If an IPv6
   prefix is reassigned while mapping entries associated with that
   prefix are still active in the AFTR, sensitive data that belong to a
   previous prefix owner may be disclosed to the new prefix owner).

   These recommendations do not interfere with privacy extensions for
   generating IPv6 addresses (e.g., [RFC7217] or [RFC4941]).  These
   recommendations allow a CPE to generate new IPv6 addresses with
   privacy extensions without experiencing DS-Lite service degradation.
   Even if activating privacy extensions makes it more difficult to
   track a CPE over time when compared to using a permanent Interface
   Identifier, tracking a CPE is still possible based on the first 64
   bits of the IPv6 address.  This is even exacerbated for deployments
   relying on stable IPv6 prefixes.

   This document does not nullify the privacy effects that may motivate
   the use of non-stable IPv6 prefixes.  Particularly, the subscriber-
   mask does not allow to identify a CPE across renumbering (even within
   a DS-Lite network domain).  This document mitigates some of the
   undesired effects of reassigning an IPv6 prefix to another CPE (e.g.,
   update a rendezvous service, clear stale mappings).

7.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not require any action from IANA.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative references

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC6333]  Durand, A., Droms, R., Woodyatt, J., and Y. Lee, "Dual-
              Stack Lite Broadband Deployments Following IPv4
              Exhaustion", RFC 6333, DOI 10.17487/RFC6333, August 2011,

   [RFC6887]  Wing, D., Ed., Cheshire, S., Boucadair, M., Penno, R., and
              P. Selkirk, "Port Control Protocol (PCP)", RFC 6887,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6887, April 2013,

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8.2.  Informative references

   [LACNIC]   LACNIC, "IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policies",
              July 2015, <>.

   [RFC4787]  Audet, F., Ed. and C. Jennings, "Network Address
              Translation (NAT) Behavioral Requirements for Unicast
              UDP", BCP 127, RFC 4787, DOI 10.17487/RFC4787, January
              2007, <>.

   [RFC4941]  Narten, T., Draves, R., and S. Krishnan, "Privacy
              Extensions for Stateless Address Autoconfiguration in
              IPv6", RFC 4941, DOI 10.17487/RFC4941, September 2007,

   [RFC6888]  Perreault, S., Ed., Yamagata, I., Miyakawa, S., Nakagawa,
              A., and H. Ashida, "Common Requirements for Carrier-Grade
              NATs (CGNs)", BCP 127, RFC 6888, DOI 10.17487/RFC6888,
              April 2013, <>.

   [RFC6908]  Lee, Y., Maglione, R., Williams, C., Jacquenet, C., and M.
              Boucadair, "Deployment Considerations for Dual-Stack
              Lite", RFC 6908, DOI 10.17487/RFC6908, March 2013,

   [RFC7217]  Gont, F., "A Method for Generating Semantically Opaque
              Interface Identifiers with IPv6 Stateless Address
              Autoconfiguration (SLAAC)", RFC 7217,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7217, April 2014,

   [RFC7393]  Deng, X., Boucadair, M., Zhao, Q., Huang, J., and C. Zhou,
              "Using the Port Control Protocol (PCP) to Update Dynamic
              DNS", RFC 7393, DOI 10.17487/RFC7393, November 2014,

   [RIPE]     RIPE, "IPv6 Address Allocation and Assignment Policy",
              August 2015, <

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   G. Krishna, C. Jacquenet, I. Farrer, Y. Lee, Q. Sun, R. Weber,
   T. Taylor, D. Harkins, D. Gillmor, S. Sivakumar, A. Cooper, and
   B. Campbell provided useful comments.  Many thanks to them.

Authors' Addresses

   Suresh Vinapamula
   Juniper Networks
   1194 North Mathilda Avenue
   Sunnyvale, CA  94089

   Phone: +1 408 936 5441

   Mohamed Boucadair
   France Telecom
   Rennes  35000


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