Privacy Considerations for Protocols Relying on IP Broadcast or Multicast
RFC 8386

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 2018; No errata)
Last updated 2018-05-17
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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         R. Winter
Request for Comments: 8386       University of Applied Sciences Augsburg
Category: Informational                                         M. Faath
ISSN: 2070-1721                                             Conntac GmbH
                                                            F. Weisshaar
                                 University of Applied Sciences Augsburg
                                                                May 2018

                       Privacy Considerations for
             Protocols Relying on IP Broadcast or Multicast

Abstract

   A number of application-layer protocols make use of IP broadcast or
   multicast messages for functions such as local service discovery or
   name resolution.  Some of these functions can only be implemented
   efficiently using such mechanisms.  When using broadcast or multicast
   messages, a passive observer in the same broadcast or multicast
   domain can trivially record these messages and analyze their content.
   Therefore, designers of protocols that make use of broadcast or
   multicast messages need to take special care when designing their
   protocols.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are candidates for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8386.

Winter, et al.                Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 8386       Broadcast/Multicast Privacy Considerations       May 2018

Copyright Notice

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

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
      1.1. Types and Usage of Broadcast and Multicast .................4
      1.2. Requirements Language ......................................5
   2. Privacy Considerations ..........................................5
      2.1. Message Frequency ..........................................5
      2.2. Persistent Identifiers .....................................6
      2.3. Anticipate User Behavior ...................................6
      2.4. Consider Potential Correlation .............................7
      2.5. Configurability ............................................7
   3. Operational Considerations ......................................8
   4. Summary .........................................................8
   5. Other Considerations ............................................9
   6. IANA Considerations ............................................10
   7. Security Considerations ........................................10
   8. References .....................................................10
      8.1. Normative References ......................................10
      8.2. Informative References ....................................10
   Acknowledgments ...................................................13
   Authors' Addresses ................................................13

1.  Introduction

   Broadcast and multicast messages have a large (and, to the sender,
   unknown) receiver group by design.  Because of that, these two
   mechanisms are vital for a number of basic network functions such as
   autoconfiguration and link-layer address lookup.  Also, application
   developers use broadcast/multicast messages to implement things such
   as local service or peer discovery.  It appears that an increasing
   number of applications make use of it as suggested by experimental
   results obtained on campus networks, including the IETF meeting
   network [TRAC2016].  This trend is not entirely surprising.  As

Winter, et al.                Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 8386       Broadcast/Multicast Privacy Considerations       May 2018

   [RFC919] puts it, "The use of broadcasts [...] is a good base for
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