DOTS                                                        A. Mortensen
Internet-Draft                                            Arbor Networks
Intended status: Informational                              R. Moskowitz
Expires: March 2, 2019                                            Huawei
                                                                T. Reddy
                                                         August 29, 2018

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Open Threat Signaling Requirements


   This document defines the requirements for the Distributed Denial of
   Service (DDoS) Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) protocols enabling
   coordinated response to DDoS attacks.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 2, 2019.

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   Copyright (c) 2018 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Context and Motivation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.1.  General Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     2.2.  Signal Channel Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.3.  Data Channel Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     2.4.  Security Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     2.5.  Data Model Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   3.  Congestion Control Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     3.1.  Signal Channel  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     3.2.  Data Channel  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   6.  Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   7.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20

1.  Introduction

1.1.  Context and Motivation

   Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks afflict networks of all
   kinds, plaguing network operators at service providers and
   enterprises around the world.  High-volume attacks saturating inbound
   links are now common, as attack scale and frequency continue to

   The prevalence and impact of these DDoS attacks has led to an
   increased focus on coordinated attack response.  However, many
   enterprises lack the resources or expertise to operate on-premises
   attack mitigation solutions themselves, or are constrained by local
   bandwidth limitations.  To address such gaps, service providers have
   begun to offer on-demand traffic scrubbing services, which are
   designed to separate the DDoS attack traffic from legitimate traffic
   and forward only the latter.

   Today, these services offer proprietary interfaces for subscribers to
   request attack mitigation.  Such proprietary interfaces tie a
   subscriber to a service while also limiting the network elements

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   capable of participating in the attack mitigation.  As a result of
   signaling interface incompatibility, attack responses may be
   fragmented or otherwise incomplete, leaving operators in the attack
   path unable to assist in the defense.

   A standardized method to coordinate a real-time response among
   involved operators will increase the speed and effectiveness of DDoS
   attack mitigation, and reduce the impact of these attacks.  This
   document describes the required characteristics of protocols that
   enable attack coordination and mitigation of DDoS attacks.

   DDoS Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) communicates the need for defensive
   action in anticipation of or in response to an attack, but does not
   dictate the implementation of these actions.  The requirements in
   this document are derived from [I-D.ietf-dots-use-cases] and

1.2.  Terminology

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

   This document adopts the following terms:

   DDoS:  A distributed denial-of-service attack, in which traffic
      originating from multiple sources is directed at a target on a
      network.  DDoS attacks are intended to cause a negative impact on
      the availability and/or other functionality of an attack target.
      Denial-of-service considerations are discussed in detail in

   DDoS attack target:  A network connected entity with a finite set of
      resources, such as network bandwidth, memory or CPU, that is the
      target of a DDoS attack.  Potential targets include (but are not
      limited to) network elements, network links, servers, and

   DDoS attack telemetry:  Collected measurements and behavioral
      characteristics defining the nature of a DDoS attack.

   Countermeasure:  An action or set of actions focused on recognizing
      and filtering out specific types of DDoS attack traffic while
      passing legitimate traffic to the attack target.  Distinct
      countermeasures can be layered to defend against attacks combining
      multiple DDoS attack types.

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   Mitigation:  A set of countermeasures enforced against traffic
      destined for the target or targets of a detected or reported DDoS
      attack, where countermeasure enforcement is managed by an entity
      in the network path between attack sources and the attack target.
      Mitigation methodology is out of scope for this document.

   Mitigator:  An entity, typically a network element, capable of
      performing mitigation of a detected or reported DDoS attack.  The
      means by which this entity performs these mitigations and how they
      are requested of it are out of scope.  The mitigator and DOTS
      server receiving a mitigation request are assumed to belong to the
      same administrative entity.

   DOTS client:  A DOTS-aware software module responsible for requesting
      attack response coordination with other DOTS-aware elements.

   DOTS server:  A DOTS-aware software module handling and responding to
      messages from DOTS clients.  The DOTS server enables mitigation on
      behalf of the DOTS client, if requested, by communicating the DOTS
      client's request to the mitigator and returning selected mitigator
      feedback to the requesting DOTS client.

   DOTS agent:  Any DOTS-aware software module capable of participating
      in a DOTS signal or data channel.  It can be a DOTS client, DOTS
      server, or, as a logical agent, a DOTS gateway.

   DOTS gateway:  A DOTS-aware software module resulting from the
      logical concatenation of the functionality of a DOTS server and a
      DOTS client into a single DOTS agent.  This functionality is
      analogous to a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) [RFC3261] Back-
      to-Back User Agent (B2BUA) [RFC7092].  A DOTS gateway has a
      client-facing side, which behaves as a DOTS server for downstream
      clients, and a server-facing side, which performs the role of DOTS
      client for upstream DOTS servers.  Client-domain DOTS gateways are
      DOTS gateways that are in the DOTS client's domain, while server-
      domain DOTS gateways denote DOTS gateways that are in the DOTS
      server's domain.  DOTS gateways are described further in

   Signal channel:  A bidirectional, mutually authenticated
      communication channel between DOTS agents that is resilient even
      in conditions leading to severe packet loss, such as a volumetric
      DDoS attack causing network congestion.

   DOTS signal:  A concise authenticated status/control message
      transmitted over the signal channel between DOTS agents, used to
      indicate the client's need for mitigation, as well as to convey
      the status of any requested mitigation.

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   Heartbeat:  A message transmitted between DOTS agents over the signal
      channel, used as a keep-alive and to measure peer health.

   Data channel:  A bidirectional, mutually authentication communication
      channel between two DOTS agents used for infrequent but reliable
      bulk exchange of data not easily or appropriately communicated
      through the signal channel under attack conditions.

   Filter:  A specification of a matching network traffic flow or set of
      flows.  The filter will typically have a policy associated with
      it, e.g., rate-limiting or discarding matching traffic [RFC4949].

   Blacklist:  A list of filters indicating sources from which traffic
      should be blocked, regardless of traffic content.

   Whitelist:  A list of filters indicating sources from which traffic
      should always be allowed, regardless of contradictory data gleaned
      in a detected attack.

   Multi-homed DOTS client:  A DOTS client exchanging messages with
      multiple DOTS servers, each in a separate administrative domain.

2.  Requirements

   This section describes the required features and characteristics of
   the DOTS protocols.

   The DOTS protocols enable and manage mitigation on behalf of a
   network domain or resource which is or may become the focus of a DDoS
   attack.  An active DDoS attack against the entity controlling the
   DOTS client need not be present before establishing a communication
   channel between DOTS agents.  Indeed, establishing a relationship
   with peer DOTS agents during normal network conditions provides the
   foundation for more rapid attack response against future attacks, as
   all interactions setting up DOTS, including any business or service
   level agreements, are already complete.  Reachability information of
   peer DOTS agents is provisioned to a DOTS client using a variety of
   manual or dynamic methods.  Once a relationship between DOTS agents
   is established, regular communication between DOTS clients and
   servers enables a common understanding of the DOTS agents' health and

   The DOTS protocol must at a minimum make it possible for a DOTS
   client to request aid mounting a defense, coordinated by a DOTS
   server, against a suspected attack, signaling within or between
   domains as requested by local operators.  DOTS clients should
   similarly be able to withdraw aid requests.  DOTS requires no
   justification from DOTS clients for requests for help, nor do DOTS

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   clients need to justify withdrawing help requests: the decision is
   local to the DOTS clients' domain.  Multi-homed DOTS clients must be
   able to select the appropriate DOTS server(s) to which a mitigation
   request is to be sent.  The method for selecting the appropriate DOTS
   server in a multi-homed environment is out of scope.

   DOTS protocol implementations face competing operational goals when
   maintaining this bidirectional communication stream.  On the one
   hand, DOTS must include protections ensuring message confidentiality,
   integrity and authenticity to keep the protocols from becoming
   additional vectors for the very attacks it is meant to help fight
   off.  On the other hand, the protocol must be resilient under
   extremely hostile network conditions, providing continued contact
   between DOTS agents even as attack traffic saturates the link.  Such
   resiliency may be developed several ways, but characteristics such as
   small message size, asynchronous, redundant message delivery and
   minimal connection overhead (when possible given local network
   policy) will tend to contribute to the robustness demanded by a
   viable DOTS protocol.  Operators of peer DOTS-enabled domains may
   enable quality- or class-of-service traffic tagging to increase the
   probability of successful DOTS signal delivery, but DOTS does not
   require such policies be in place, and should be viable in their

   The DOTS server and client must also have some standardized method of
   defining the scope of any mitigation, as well as managing other
   mitigation-related configuration.

   Finally, DOTS should be sufficiently extensible to meet future needs
   in coordinated attack defense, although this consideration is
   necessarily superseded by the other operational requirements.

2.1.  General Requirements

   GEN-001  Extensibility: Protocols and data models developed as part
      of DOTS MUST be extensible in order to keep DOTS adaptable to
      operational and proprietary DDoS defenses.  Future extensions MUST
      be backward compatible.  DOTS protocols MUST use a version number
      system to distinguish protocol revisions.  Implementations of
      older protocol versions SHOULD ignore information added to DOTS
      messages as part of newer protocol versions.

   GEN-002  Resilience and Robustness: The signaling protocol MUST be
      designed to maximize the probability of signal delivery even under
      the severely constrained network conditions caused by particular
      attack traffic.  The protocol MUST be resilient, that is, continue
      operating despite message loss and out-of-order or redundant
      message delivery.  In support of signaling protocol robustness,

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      DOTS signals SHOULD be conveyed over a transport not susceptible
      to Head of Line Blocking.

   GEN-003  Bulk Data Exchange: Infrequent bulk data exchange between
      DOTS agents can also significantly augment attack response
      coordination, permitting such tasks as population of black- or
      white-listed source addresses; address or prefix group aliasing;
      exchange of incident reports; and other hinting or configuration
      supplementing attack response.

      As the resilience requirements for the DOTS signal channel mandate
      small signal message size, a separate, secure data channel
      utilizing a reliable transport protocol MUST be used for bulk data

   GEN-004  Mitigation Hinting: DOTS clients may have access to attack
      details which can be used to inform mitigation techniques.
      Example attack details might include locally collected
      fingerprints for an on-going attack, or anticipated or active
      attack focal points based on other threat intelligence.  DOTS
      clients MAY send mitigation hints derived from attack details to
      DOTS servers, in the full understanding that the DOTS server MAY
      ignore mitigation hints.  Mitigation hints MAY be transmitted
      across either signal or data channel.  DOTS server handling of
      mitigation hints is implementation-specific.

   GEN-005  Loop Handling: In certain scenarios, typically involving
      misconfiguration of DNS or routing policy, it may be possible for
      communication between DOTS agents to loop.  Signal and data
      channel implementations should be prepared to detect and terminate
      such loops to prevent service disruption.

2.2.  Signal Channel Requirements

   SIG-001  Use of Common Transport Protocols: DOTS MUST operate over
      common widely deployed and standardized transport protocols.
      While connectionless transport such as the User Datagram Protocol
      (UDP) [RFC0768] SHOULD be used for the signal channel, the
      Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) [RFC0793] MAY be used if
      necessary due to network policy or middlebox capabilities or

   SIG-002  Sub-MTU Message Size: To avoid message fragmentation and the
      consequently decreased probability of message delivery over a
      congested link, signaling protocol message size MUST be kept under
      signaling Path Maximum Transmission Unit (PMTU), including the
      byte overhead of any encapsulation, transport headers, and
      transport- or message-level security.

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      DOTS agents SHOULD attempt to learn the PMTU through mechanisms
      such as Path MTU Discovery [RFC1191] or Packetization Layer Path
      MTU Discovery [RFC4821].  If the PMTU cannot be discovered, DOTS
      agents SHOULD assume a PMTU of 1280 bytes.  If IPv4 support on
      legacy or otherwise unusual networks is a consideration and PMTU
      is unknown, DOTS implementations MAY rely on a PMTU of 576 bytes,
      as discussed in [RFC0791] and [RFC1122].

   SIG-003  Bidirectionality: To support peer health detection, to
      maintain an active signal channel, and increase the probability of
      signal delivery during an attack, the signal channel MUST be
      bidirectional, with client and server transmitting signals to each
      other at regular intervals, regardless of any client request for
      mitigation.  Unidirectional messages MUST be supported within the
      bidirectional signal channel to allow for unsolicited message
      delivery, enabling asynchronous notifications between DOTS agents.

   SIG-004  Channel Health Monitoring: DOTS agents MUST support exchange
      of heartbeat messages over the signal channel to monitor channel
      health.  Peer DOTS agents SHOULD regularly send heartbeats to each
      other while a mitigation request is active.  The heartbeat
      interval during active mitigation could be negotiable, but SHOULD
      be frequent enough to maintain any on-path NAT or Firewall
      bindings during mitigation.

      To support scenarios in which loss of heartbeat is used to trigger
      mitigation, and to keep the channel active, DOTS clients MAY
      solicit heartbeat exchanges after successful mutual
      authentication.  When DOTS agents are exchanging heartbeats and no
      mitigation request is active, either agent MAY request changes to
      the heartbeat rate.  For example, a DOTS server might want to
      reduce heartbeat frequency or cease heartbeat exchanges when an
      active DOTS client has not requested mitigation, in order to
      control load.

      Following mutual authentication, a signal channel MUST be
      considered active until a DOTS agent explicitly ends the session,
      or either DOTS agent fails to receive heartbeats from the other
      after a mutually agreed upon retransmission procedure has been
      exhausted.  Because heartbeat loss is much more likely during
      volumetric attack, DOTS agents SHOULD avoid signal channel
      termination when mitigation is active and heartbeats are not
      received by either DOTS agent for an extended period.  In such
      circumstances, DOTS clients MAY attempt to reestablish the signal
      channel, but SHOULD continue to send heartbeats so that the DOTS
      server knows the session is still alive.  DOTS servers are assumed
      to have the ability to monitor the attack, using feedback from the
      mitigator and other available sources, and MAY use the absence of

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      attack traffic and lack of client heartbeats as an indication the
      signal channel is defunct.

   SIG-005  Channel Redirection: In order to increase DOTS operational
      flexibility and scalability, DOTS servers SHOULD be able to
      redirect DOTS clients to another DOTS server at any time.  DOTS
      clients MUST NOT assume the redirection target DOTS server shares
      security state with the redirecting DOTS server.  DOTS clients are
      free to attempt abbreviated security negotiation methods supported
      by the protocol, such as DTLS session resumption, but MUST be
      prepared to negotiate new security state with the redirection
      target DOTS server.

      Due to the increased likelihood of packet loss caused by link
      congestion during an attack, DOTS servers SHOULD NOT redirect
      while mitigation is enabled during an active attack against a
      target in the DOTS client's domain.

   SIG-006  Mitigation Requests and Status: Authorized DOTS clients MUST
      be able to request scoped mitigation from DOTS servers.  DOTS
      servers MUST send status to the DOTS clients about mitigation
      requests.  If a DOTS server rejects an authorized request for
      mitigation, the DOTS server MUST include a reason for the
      rejection in the status message sent to the client.

      Due to the higher likelihood of packet loss during a DDoS attack,
      DOTS servers SHOULD regularly send mitigation status to authorized
      DOTS clients which have requested and been granted mitigation,
      regardless of client requests for mitigation status.

      When DOTS client-requested mitigation is active, DOTS server
      status messages SHOULD include the following mitigation metrics:

      *  Total number of packets blocked by the mitigation

      *  Current number of packets per second blocked

      *  Total number of bytes blocked

      *  Current number of bytes per second blocked

      DOTS clients MAY take these metrics into account when determining
      whether to ask the DOTS server to cease mitigation.

      A DOTS client MAY withdraw a mitigation request at any time,
      regardless of whether mitigation is currently active.  The DOTS
      server MUST immediately acknowledge a DOTS client's request to
      stop mitigation.

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      To protect against route or DNS flapping caused by a client
      rapidly toggling mitigation, and to dampen the effect of
      oscillating attacks, DOTS servers MAY allow mitigation to continue
      for a limited period after acknowledging a DOTS client's
      withdrawal of a mitigation request.  During this period, DOTS
      server status messages SHOULD indicate that mitigation is active
      but terminating.

      The initial active-but-terminating period is implementation- and
      deployment- specific, but SHOULD be sufficiently long to absorb
      latency incurred by route propagation.  If the client requests
      mitigation again before the initial active-but-terminating period
      elapses, the DOTS server MAY exponentially increase the active-
      but-terminating period up to a maximum of 300 seconds (5 minutes).
      After the active-but-terminating period elapses, the DOTS server
      MUST treat the mitigation as terminated, as the DOTS client is no
      longer responsible for the mitigation.

   SIG-007  Mitigation Lifetime: DOTS servers MUST support mitigations
      for a negotiated time interval, and MUST terminate a mitigation
      when the lifetime elapses.  DOTS servers also MUST support renewal
      of mitigation lifetimes in mitigation requests from DOTS clients,
      allowing clients to extend mitigation as necessary for the
      duration of an attack.

      DOTS servers MUST treat a mitigation terminated due to lifetime
      expiration exactly as if the DOTS client originating the
      mitigation had asked to end the mitigation, including the active-
      but-terminating period, as described above in SIG-005.

      DOTS clients MUST include a mitigation lifetime in all mitigation

      DOTS servers SHOULD support indefinite mitigation lifetimes,
      enabling architectures in which the mitigator is always in the
      traffic path to the resources for which the DOTS client is
      requesting protection.  DOTS clients MUST be prepared to not be
      granted mitigations with indefinite lifetimes.  DOTS servers MAY
      refuse mitigations with indefinite lifetimes, for policy reasons.
      The reasons themselves are out of scope.  If the DOTS server does
      not grant a mitigation request with an indefinite mitigation
      lifetime, it MUST set the lifetime to a value that is configured
      locally.  That value MUST be returned in a reply to the requesting
      DOTS client.

   SIG-008  Mitigation Scope: DOTS clients MUST indicate desired
      mitigation scope.  The scope type will vary depending on the

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      resources requiring mitigation.  All DOTS agent implementations
      MUST support the following required scope types:

      *  IPv4 prefixes in CIDR notation [RFC4632]

      *  IPv6 prefixes [RFC4291][RFC5952]

      *  Domain names [RFC1035]

      The following mitigation scope types are OPTIONAL:

      *  Uniform Resource Identifiers [RFC3986]

      DOTS servers MUST be able to resolve domain names and (when
      supported) URIs.  How name resolution is managed on the DOTS
      server is implementation-specific.

      DOTS agents MUST support mitigation scope aliases, allowing DOTS
      clients and servers to refer to collections of protected resources
      by an opaque identifier created through the data channel, direct
      configuration, or other means.  Domain name and URI mitigation
      scopes may be thought of as a form of scope alias, in which the
      addresses to which the domain name or URI resolve represent the
      full scope of the mitigation.

      If there is additional information available narrowing the scope
      of any requested attack response, such as targeted port range,
      protocol, or service, DOTS clients SHOULD include that information
      in client mitigation requests.  DOTS clients MAY also include
      additional attack details.  DOTS servers MAY ignore such
      supplemental information when enabling countermeasures on the

      As an active attack evolves, DOTS clients MUST be able to adjust
      as necessary the scope of requested mitigation by refining the
      scope of resources requiring mitigation.

      A DOTS client may obtain the mitigation scope through direct
      provisioning or through implementation-specific methods of
      discovery.  DOTS clients MUST support at least one mechanism to
      obtain mitigation scope.

   SIG-009  Mitigation Efficacy: When a mitigation request is active,
      DOTS clients SHOULD transmit a metric of perceived mitigation
      efficacy to the DOTS server.  DOTS servers MAY use the efficacy
      metric to adjust countermeasures activated on a mitigator on
      behalf of a DOTS client.

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   SIG-010  Conflict Detection and Notification: Multiple DOTS clients
      controlled by a single administrative entity may send conflicting
      mitigation requests as a result of misconfiguration, operator
      error, or compromised DOTS clients.  DOTS servers in the same
      administrative domain attempting to honor conflicting requests may
      flap network route or DNS information, degrading the networks
      attempting to participate in attack response with the DOTS
      clients.  DOTS servers in a single administrative domain SHALL
      detect such conflicting requests, and SHALL notify the DOTS
      clients in conflict.  The notification SHOULD indicate the nature
      and scope of the conflict, for example, the overlapping prefix
      range in a conflicting mitigation request.

   SIG-011  Network Address Translator Traversal: DOTS clients may be
      deployed behind a Network Address Translator (NAT), and need to
      communicate with DOTS servers through the NAT.  DOTS protocols
      MUST therefore be capable of traversing NATs.

      If UDP is used as the transport for the DOTS signal channel, all
      considerations in "Middlebox Traversal Guidelines" in [RFC8085]
      apply to DOTS.  Regardless of transport, DOTS protocols MUST
      follow established best common practices established in BCP 127
      for NAT traversal [RFC4787][RFC6888][RFC7857].

2.3.  Data Channel Requirements

   The data channel is intended to be used for bulk data exchanges
   between DOTS agents.  Unlike the signal channel, the data channel is
   not expected to be constructed to deal with attack conditions.  As
   the primary function of the data channel is data exchange, a reliable
   transport is required in order for DOTS agents to detect data
   delivery success or failure.

   The data channel provides a protocol for DOTS configuration,
   management.  For example, a DOTS client may submit to a DOTS server a
   collection of prefixes it wants to refer to by alias when requesting
   mitigation, to which the server would respond with a success status
   and the new prefix group alias, or an error status and message in the
   event the DOTS client's data channel request failed.

   DATA-001  Reliable transport: Messages sent over the data channel
      MUST be delivered reliably, in order sent.

   DATA-002  Data privacy and integrity: Transmissions over the data
      channel are likely to contain operationally or privacy-sensitive
      information or instructions from the remote DOTS agent.  Theft or
      modification of data channel transmissions could lead to
      information leaks or malicious transactions on behalf of the

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      sending agent (see Section 4 below).  Consequently data sent over
      the data channel MUST be encrypted and authenticated using current
      IETF best practices.  DOTS servers MUST enable means to prevent
      leaking operationally or privacy-sensitive data.  Although
      administrative entities participating in DOTS may detail what data
      may be revealed to third-party DOTS agents, such considerations
      are not in scope for this document.

   DATA-003  Resource Configuration: To help meet the general and signal
      channel requirements in Section 2.1 and Section 2.2, DOTS server
      implementations MUST provide an interface to configure resource
      identifiers, as described in SIG-007.  DOTS server implementations
      MAY expose additional configurability.  Additional configurability
      is implementation-specific.

   DATA-004  Black- and whitelist management: DOTS servers MUST provide
      methods for DOTS clients to manage black- and white-lists of
      traffic destined for resources belonging to a client.

      For example, a DOTS client should be able to create a black- or
      whitelist entry, retrieve a list of current entries from either
      list, update the content of either list, and delete entries as

      How a DOTS server authorizes DOTS client management of black- and
      white-list entries is implementation-specific.

2.4.  Security Requirements

   DOTS must operate within a particularly strict security context, as
   an insufficiently protected signal or data channel may be subject to
   abuse, enabling or supplementing the very attacks DOTS purports to

   SEC-001  Peer Mutual Authentication: DOTS agents MUST authenticate
      each other before a DOTS signal or data channel is considered
      valid.  The method of authentication is not specified, but should
      follow current industry best practices with respect to any
      cryptographic mechanisms to authenticate the remote peer.

   SEC-002  Message Confidentiality, Integrity and Authenticity: DOTS
      protocols MUST take steps to protect the confidentiality,
      integrity and authenticity of messages sent between client and
      server.  While specific transport- and message-level security
      options are not specified, the protocols MUST follow current
      industry best practices for encryption and message authentication.

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      In order for DOTS protocols to remain secure despite advancements
      in cryptanalysis and traffic analysis, DOTS agents MUST be able to
      negotiate the terms and mechanisms of protocol security, subject
      to the interoperability and signal message size requirements in
      Section 2.2.

      While the interfaces between downstream DOTS server and upstream
      DOTS client within a DOTS gateway are implementation-specific,
      those interfaces nevertheless MUST provide security equivalent to
      that of the signal channels bridged by gateways in the signaling
      path.  For example, when a DOTS gateway consisting of a DOTS
      server and DOTS client is running on the same logical device, the
      two DOTS agents could be implemented within the same process
      security boundary.

   SEC-003  Message Replay Protection: To prevent a passive attacker
      from capturing and replaying old messages, and thereby potentially
      disrupting or influencing the network policy of the receiving DOTS
      agent's domain, DOTS protocols MUST provide a method for replay
      detection and prevention.

      Within the signal channel, messages MUST be uniquely identified
      such that replayed or duplicated messages can be detected and
      discarded.  Unique mitigation requests MUST be processed at most

   SEC-004  Authorization: DOTS servers MUST authorize all messages from
      DOTS clients which pertain to mitigation, configuration,
      filtering, or status.

      DOTS servers MUST reject mitigation requests with scopes which the
      DOTS client is not authorized to manage.

      Likewise, DOTS servers MUST refuse to allow creation, modification
      or deletion of scope aliases and black-/white-lists when the DOTS
      client is unauthorized.

      The modes of authorization are implementation-specific.

2.5.  Data Model Requirements

   A well-structured DOTS data model is critical to the development of
   successful DOTS protocols.

   DM-001  Structure: The data model structure for the DOTS protocol MAY
      be described by a single module, or be divided into related
      collections of hierarchical modules and sub-modules.  If the data
      model structure is split across modules, those distinct modules

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      MUST allow references to describe the overall data model's
      structural dependencies.

   DM-002  Versioning: To ensure interoperability between DOTS protocol
      implementations, data models MUST be versioned.  How the protocols
      represent data model versions is not defined in this document.

   DM-003  Mitigation Status Representation: The data model MUST provide
      the ability to represent a request for mitigation and the
      withdrawal of such a request.  The data model MUST also support a
      representation of currently requested mitigation status, including
      failures and their causes.

   DM-004  Mitigation Scope Representation: The data model MUST support
      representation of a requested mitigation's scope.  As mitigation
      scope may be represented in several different ways, per SIG-007
      above, the data model MUST be capable of flexible representation
      of mitigation scope.

   DM-005  Mitigation Lifetime Representation: The data model MUST
      support representation of a mitigation request's lifetime,
      including mitigations with no specified end time.

   DM-006  Mitigation Efficacy Representation: The data model MUST
      support representation of a DOTS client's understanding of the
      efficacy of a mitigation enabled through a mitigation request.

   DM-007  Acceptable Signal Loss Representation: The data model MUST be
      able to represent the DOTS agent's preference for acceptable
      signal loss when establishing a signal channel, as described in

   DM-008  Heartbeat Interval Representation: The data model MUST be
      able to represent the DOTS agent's preferred heartbeat interval,
      which the client may include when establishing the signal channel,
      as described in SIG-003.

   DM-009  Relationship to Transport: The DOTS data model MUST NOT
      depend on the specifics of any transport to represent fields in
      the model.

3.  Congestion Control Considerations

3.1.  Signal Channel

   As part of a protocol expected to operate over links affected by DDoS
   attack traffic, the DOTS signal channel MUST NOT contribute
   significantly to link congestion.  To meet the signal channel

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   requirements above, DOTS signal channel implementations SHOULD
   support connectionless transports.  However, some connectionless
   transports when deployed naively can be a source of network
   congestion, as discussed in [RFC8085].  Signal channel
   implementations using such connectionless transports, such as UDP,
   therefore MUST include a congestion control mechanism.

   Signal channel implementations using TCP may rely on built-in TCP
   congestion control support.

3.2.  Data Channel

   As specified in DATA-001, the data channel requires reliable, in-
   order message delivery.  Data channel implementations using TCP may
   rely on the TCP implementation's built-in congestion control

4.  Security Considerations

   This document informs future protocols under development, and so does
   not have security considerations of its own.  However, operators
   should be aware of potential risks involved in deploying DOTS.  DOTS
   agent impersonation and signal blocking are discussed here.
   Additional DOTS security considerations may be found in
   [I-D.ietf-dots-architecture] and DOTS protocol documents.

   Impersonation of either DOTS server or DOTS client could have
   catastrophic impact on operations in either domain.  If an attacker
   has the ability to impersonate a DOTS client, that attacker can
   affect policy on the network path to the DOTS client's domain, up to
   and including instantiation of blacklists blocking all inbound
   traffic to networks for which the DOTS client is authorized to
   request mitigation.

   Similarly, an impersonated DOTS server may be able to act as a sort
   of malicious DOTS gateway, intercepting requests from the downstream
   DOTS client, and modifying them before transmission to the DOTS
   server to inflict the desired impact on traffic to or from the DOTS
   client's domain.  Among other things, this malicious DOTS gateway
   might receive and discard mitigation requests from the DOTS client,
   ensuring no requested mitigation is ever applied.

   As detailed in Section 2.4, DOTS implementations require mutual
   authentication of DOTS agents in order to make agent impersonation
   more difficult.  However, impersonation may still be possible as a
   result of credential theft, implementation flaws, or compromise of
   DOTS agents.  To detect misuse, DOTS operators should carefully

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   monitor and audit DOTS agents, while employing current secure network
   communications best practices to reduce attack surface.

   Blocking communication between DOTS agents has the potential to
   disrupt the core function of DOTS, which is to request mitigation of
   active or expected DDoS attacks.  The DOTS signal channel is expected
   to operate over congested inbound links, and, as described in
   Section 2.2, the signal channel protocol must be designed for minimal
   data transfer to reduce the incidence of signal blocking.

5.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not require any IANA action.

6.  Contributors

   Mohamed Boucadair

   Flemming Andreasen
      Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Dave Dolson

7.  Acknowledgments

   Thanks to Roman Danyliw and Matt Richardson for careful reading and

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC0768]  Postel, J., "User Datagram Protocol", STD 6, RFC 768,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0768, August 1980,

   [RFC0791]  Postel, J., "Internet Protocol", STD 5, RFC 791,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0791, September 1981,

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   [RFC0793]  Postel, J., "Transmission Control Protocol", STD 7,
              RFC 793, DOI 10.17487/RFC0793, September 1981,

   [RFC1035]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - implementation and
              specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, DOI 10.17487/RFC1035,
              November 1987, <>.

   [RFC1122]  Braden, R., Ed., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1122, October 1989,

   [RFC1191]  Mogul, J. and S. Deering, "Path MTU discovery", RFC 1191,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1191, November 1990,

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

   [RFC3986]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
              RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005,

   [RFC4291]  Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing
              Architecture", RFC 4291, DOI 10.17487/RFC4291, February
              2006, <>.

   [RFC4632]  Fuller, V. and T. Li, "Classless Inter-domain Routing
              (CIDR): The Internet Address Assignment and Aggregation
              Plan", BCP 122, RFC 4632, DOI 10.17487/RFC4632, August
              2006, <>.

   [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, <>.

   [RFC4821]  Mathis, M. and J. Heffner, "Packetization Layer Path MTU
              Discovery", RFC 4821, DOI 10.17487/RFC4821, March 2007,

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   [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, <>.

   [RFC7857]  Penno, R., Perreault, S., Boucadair, M., Ed., Sivakumar,
              S., and K. Naito, "Updates to Network Address Translation
              (NAT) Behavioral Requirements", BCP 127, RFC 7857,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7857, April 2016,

   [RFC8085]  Eggert, L., Fairhurst, G., and G. Shepherd, "UDP Usage
              Guidelines", BCP 145, RFC 8085, DOI 10.17487/RFC8085,
              March 2017, <>.

   [RFC5952]  Kawamura, S. and M. Kawashima, "A Recommendation for IPv6
              Address Text Representation", RFC 5952,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5952, August 2010,

8.2.  Informative References

              Mortensen, A., Andreasen, F., Reddy, T.,
    , c., Compton, R., and
              N. Teague, "Distributed-Denial-of-Service Open Threat
              Signaling (DOTS) Architecture", draft-ietf-dots-
              architecture-06 (work in progress), March 2018.

              Dobbins, R., Migault, D., Fouant, S., Moskowitz, R.,
              Teague, N., Xia, L., and K. Nishizuka, "Use cases for DDoS
              Open Threat Signaling", draft-ietf-dots-use-cases-16 (work
              in progress), July 2018.

   [RFC3261]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston,
              A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E.
              Schooler, "SIP: Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3261, June 2002,

   [RFC7092]  Kaplan, H. and V. Pascual, "A Taxonomy of Session
              Initiation Protocol (SIP) Back-to-Back User Agents",
              RFC 7092, DOI 10.17487/RFC7092, December 2013,

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   [RFC4732]  Handley, M., Ed., Rescorla, E., Ed., and IAB, "Internet
              Denial-of-Service Considerations", RFC 4732,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4732, December 2006,

   [RFC4949]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2",
              FYI 36, RFC 4949, DOI 10.17487/RFC4949, August 2007,

Authors' Addresses

   Andrew Mortensen
   Arbor Networks
   2727 S. State St
   Ann Arbor, MI  48104
   United States


   Robert Moskowitz
   Oak Park, MI  42837
   United States


   Tirumaleswar Reddy
   Embassy Golf Link Business Park
   Bangalore, Karnataka  560071


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