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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 rfc4135                                        
DNA WG                                                    JinHyeock Choi
Internet-Draft                                               Samsung AIT
Expires: March 11, 2005                                       Greg Daley
                                                  CTIE Monash University
                                                      September 10, 2004

               Detecting Network Attachment in IPv6 Goals

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, I certify that any applicable
   patent or other IPR claims of which I am aware have been disclosed,
   and any of which I become aware will be disclosed, in accordance with
   RFC 3668.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.


   At the time a host establishes a new link-layer connection, it may or
   may not have a valid IP configuration for Internet connectivity.  The
   host may check for link change, i.e.  determine whether a link change
   has occurred, and then, based on the result, it can automatically
   decide whether its IP configuration is still valid or not.  During
   link identity detection, the host may also collect necessary
   information to initiate a new IP configuration for the case that the
   IP subnet has changed.  In this memo, this procedure is called

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   Detecting Network Attachment (DNA).  DNA schemes should be precise,
   sufficiently fast, secure and of limited signaling.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Problems in Detecting Network Attachment . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.1   Wireless link properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2   Link identity detection with a single RA . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.3   Delays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Goals for Detecting Network Attachment . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.1   Goals list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   4.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.  Acknowledgment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   7.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.1   Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   7.2   Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
       Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 14

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1.  Introduction

   When a host has established a new link-layer connection, it can send
   and receive some IP packets at the link, particularly those used for
   configuration.  On the other hand, the host has full Internet
   connectivity only when it is able to exchange packets with arbitrary

   When a link-layer connection is established or re-established, the
   host may not know whether its existing IP configuration is still
   valid for Internet connectivity.  A subnet change might have occurred
   when the host changed its attachment point.

   In practice, the host doesn't know which of its addresses are valid
   on the newly attached link.  The host knows neither if its existing
   default router is on this link, nor whether its neighbor cache
   entries are valid.  Correct configuration of each of these components
   are necessary in order to send packets on and off the link.

   To examine the status of the existing configuration, a host may check
   whether a 'link change' has occurred.  The term 'link' used in this
   document is as defined in RFC 2461 [4].

   Today a link change necessitates an IP configuration change.
   Whenever a host detects that it has remained at the same link, it can
   usually assume its IP configuration is still valid.  Otherwise, the
   existing one is no longer valid and a new configuration must be
   acquired.  Hence a host only needs to check for link change to
   examine the validity of its IP configuration.

   In the process of checking for link change, a host may collect some
   of the necessary information for a new IP configuration, such as
   on-link prefixes.  So, when an IP subnet change has occurred, the
   host can immediately initiate the process of getting a new IP
   configuration.  This may reduce handoff delay and minimize signaling.

   Rapid attachment detection is required for a device that changes
   subnet while having on-going sessions.  This may be the case if a
   host is connected intermittently, is a mobile node, or has urgent
   data to transmit upon attachment to a link.

   The process by which a host collects the appropriate information and
   detects the identity of its currently attached link to ascertains the
   validity of its IP configuration, is called Detecting Network
   Attachment (DNA).

   It is important to note that DNA process does not include the actual
   IP configuration procedure.  For example, with respect to DHCP, the

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   DNA process may determine that the host needs to get some
   configuration information from a DHCP server.  However, the process
   of actually retrieving the information from a DHCP server falls
   beyond the scope of DNA.

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2.  Problems in Detecting Network Attachment

   There are a number of issues that make DNA complicated.  First,
   wireless connectivity is not as clear-cut as wired one.  Second it's
   difficult for a single RA message to indicate a link change.  Third,
   Router Discovery may take too long and result in service disruption.

2.1  Wireless link properties

   Unlike wired environments, what constitutes wireless link is variable
   in both time and space.  It doesn't have clear boundaries.  This may
   be illustrated by the fact that a host may contact multiple (802.11)
   access points at the same time.  Moreover connectivity on a wireless
   link can be very volatile, which may make link identity detection
   hard.  For example, it takes time for a host to check for link
   change.  If the host ping-pongs between two links and doesn't stay
   enough time at a link, it can't complete DNA procedure.

2.2  Link identity detection with a single RA

   Usually a host gets the information necessary for IP configuration
   from RA messages.  Based on the current definition [4], it's
   difficult for a host to check for link change upon a single RA

   To detect link identity, a host may compare the information in an RA,
   such as router address or prefixes, with the existing one.

   The host may use router address to try to check for link change.  The
   router address in the source address field of an RA is of link-local
   scope, however, so its uniqueness is not guaranteed outside of a
   link.  If it happens that two different router interfaces on
   different links have the same link-local address, the host can't
   detect that it has moved from one link to another by checking the
   router address in RA messages.

   The set of all the global prefixes assigned to a link can represent
   link identity.  The host may compare the prefixes in an incoming RA
   with the currently stored ones.  An unsolicited RA message, however,
   can omit some prefixes for convenience [4] and it's not easy for a
   host to attain and retain all the prefixes on a link with certainty.
   Hence, neither the absence of a previously known prefix nor the
   presence of a previously unknown prefix in the RA guarantees that a
   link change has occurred.

2.3  Delays

   The following issues cause DNA delay that may result in communication

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   1) Delay for receiving a hint

   Hint is an indication that a link change might have occurred.  This
   hint itself doesn't confirm a link change, but initiates appropriate
   DNA procedures to detect the identity of the currently attached link.

   Hints come in various forms, and differ in how they indicate a
   possible link change.  They can be link-layer event notifications,
   the lack of RA from the default router or the receipt of a new RA.
   The time taken to receive a hint also varies.

   As soon as a new link-layer connection has been made, the link-layer
   may send a link up notification to the IP layer.  A host may
   interpret the new link-layer connection as a hint for a possible link
   change.  With link-layer support, a host can receive a hint almost

   Mobile IPv6 [8] defines the use of RA Interval Timer expiry for a
   hint.  A host keeps monitoring periodic RAs and interprets the lack
   of them as a hint.  It may implement its own policy to determine the
   number of missing RAs for a hint.  Hence the delay depends on the
   Router Advertisement interval.

   Without the schemes such as above, a host must receive a new RA from
   a new router to detect a possible link change.  The detection time
   then also depends on the Router advertisement frequency.

   Periodic RA beaconing transmits packets within an interval varying
   randomly between MinRtrAdvInterval to MaxRtrAdvInterval seconds.
   Because a network attachment is unrelated to the advertisement time
   on the new link, the host is expected to arrive on average half way
   through the interval.  This is approximately 1.75 seconds with
   Neighbor Discovery [4] advertisement rates.

   2) Random delay execution for RS/ RA exchange

   Router Solicitation and Router Advertisement messages are used for
   Router Discovery.  According to [4], it is sometimes necessary for a
   host to wait a random amount of time to send an RS and for a router
   to wait to reply an RA.

   Before a host sends an initial solicitation, it SHOULD delay the
   transmission for a random amount of time between 0 and
   MAX_RTR_SOLICITATION_DELAY (1 second).  Also Router Advertisements
   sent in response to a Router Solicitation MUST be delayed by a random
   time between 0 and MAX_RA_DELAY_TIME (0.5 seconds).

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3.  Goals for Detecting Network Attachment

   DNA solutions should correctly determine whether a link change has
   occurred.  They also should be sufficiently fast lest there should be
   service disruption.  They should neither flood the link with related
   signaling nor introduce new security holes.

   It will be necessary to investigate the usage of available tools, NS/
   NA messages, RS/RA messages, link-layer event notifications and other
   features.  This will allow precise description of procedures for
   efficient DNA Schemes.

3.1  Goals list

   G1 DNA schemes should detect the identity of the currently attached
      link to ascertain the validity of the existing IP configuration.
      They should recognize and determine whether a link change has
      occurred and initiate the process of acquiring a new configuration
      if necessary.

   G2 When upper-layer protocol sessions are being supported, DNA
      schemes should detect the identity of an attached link with
      minimal latency lest there should be service disruption.

   G3 In the case where a host has not changed a link, DNA schemes
      should not falsely assume a link change and an IP configuration
      change should not occur.

   G4 DNA schemes should not cause undue signaling on a link.

   G5 DNA schemes should make use of existing signaling mechanisms where

   G6 DNA schemes should make use of signaling within the link
      (particularly link-local scope messages), since communication
      off-link may not be achievable in the case of a link change.

   G7 DNA schemes should be compatible with security schemes such as
      Secure Neighbour Discovery [7].

   G8 DNA schemes should not introduce new security vulnerabilities.
      The node supporting DNA schemes should not expose itself or others
      on a link to additional man in the middle or identity revealing or
      denial of service attacks.

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   G9 The nodes, such as routers or hosts, supporting DNA schemes should
      work appropriately with unmodified nodes, such as routers or
      hosts, which do not support DNA schemes.

   G10 Hosts with multiple interfaces or in particular wireless
      environments may perceive routers reachable on different links.
      DNA schemes should take into consideration the case where a host
      is attached to more than one link at the same time.

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4.  IANA Considerations

   No new message formats or services are defined in this document.

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5.  Security Considerations

   Because DNA schemes are based on Neighbor Discovery, its trust models
   and threats are similar to the ones presented in [9].  Nodes
   connected over wireless interfaces may be particularly susceptible to
   jamming, monitoring and packet insertion attacks.

   With unsecured DNA schemes, it is inadvisable for a host to adjust
   its security based on which network it believes it is attached to.
   For example, it would be inappropriate for a host to disable its
   personal firewall based on the belief that it had connected to a home

   Even in the case where authoritative information (routing and prefix
   state) are advertised, wireless network attackers may still prevent
   soliciting nodes from receiving packets.  This may cause unnecessary
   IP configuration change in some devices.  Such attacks may be used to
   make a host preferentially select a particular configuration or
   network access.

   Devices receiving confirmations of reachability (for example from
   upper-layer protocols) should be aware that unless these indications
   are sufficiently authenticated, reachability may falsely be asserted
   by an attacker.  Similarly, such reachability tests, even if known to
   originate from a trusted source should be ignored for reachability
   confirmation if duplicates or stale.  This may reduce the effective
   window for attackers replaying otherwise authentic data.

   It may be dangerous to receive link-change notifications from
   link-layer and network-layer, if they are received from devices which
   are insufficiently authenticated.  In particular, notifications that
   authentication has completed at the link-layer may not imply that a
   security relationship is available at the network-layer.  Additional
   authentication may be required at the network layer to justify
   modification of IP configuration.

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6.  Acknowledgment

   Erik Nordmark has contributed significantly to work predating this
   draft.  Also Ed Remmell's comments on the inconsistency of RA
   information were most illuminating.  The authors wish to express our
   appreciation to Pekka Nikander for valuable feedback.  We gratefully
   acknowledge the generous assistance we received from Shubhranshu
   Singh for clarifying the structure of the arguments.  Thanks to Brett
   Pentland, Nick Moore, Youn-Hee Han, JaeHoon Kim, Alper Yegin, Jim
   Bound and Jari Arkko for their contributions to this draft.

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7.  References

7.1  Normative References

   [1]  Bradner, S., "IETF Rights in Contributions", BCP 78, RFC 3667,
        February 2004.

   [2]  Bradner, S., "Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology",
        BCP 79, RFC 3668, February 2004.

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

   [4]  Narten, T., Nordmark, E. and W. Simpson, "Neighbor Discovery for
        IP Version 6 (IPv6)", RFC 2461, December 1998.

   [5]  Thomson, S. and T. Narten, "IPv6 Stateless Address
        Autoconfiguration", RFC 2462, December 1998.

   [6]  Thayer, R., Doraswamy, N. and R. Glenn, "IP Security Document
        Roadmap", RFC 2411, November 1998.

   [7]  Arkko, J., Kempf, J., Sommerfeld, B., Zill, B. and P. Nikander,
        "SEcure Neighbor Discovery (SEND)", draft-ietf-send-ndopt-06
        (work in progress), July 2004.

7.2  Informative References

   [8]   Johnson, D., Perkins, C. and J. Arkko, "Mobility Support in
         IPv6", RFC 3775, June 2004.

   [9]   Nikander, P., Kempf, J. and E. Nordmark, "IPv6 Neighbor
         Discovery (ND) Trust Models and Threats", RFC 3756, May 2004.

   [10]  Droms, R., Bound, J., Volz, B., Lemon, T., Perkins, C. and M.
         Carney, "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6
         (DHCPv6)", RFC 3315, July 2003.

   [11]  Nordmark, E., "MIPv6: from hindsight to foresight?",
         draft-nordmark-mobileip-mipv6-hindsight-00 (work in progress),
         November 2001.

   [12]  Pentland, B., "Router Advertisement Link Identification for
         Mobile IPv6 Movement  Detection",
         draft-pentland-mobileip-linkid-02 (work in progress), July

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Authors' Addresses

   JinHyeock Choi
   Samsung AIT
   Communication & N/W Lab
   P.O.Box 111 Suwon 440-600

   Phone: +82 31 280 9233
   EMail: jinchoe@samsung.com

   Greg Daley
   CTIE Monash University
   Centre for Telecommunications and Information Engineering
   Monash University
   Clayton 3800 Victoria

   Phone: +61 3 9905 4655
   EMail: greg.daley@eng.monash.edu.au

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