DOTS K. Nishizuka, Ed.
Internet-Draft NTT Communications
Intended status: Standards Track T. Nagata
Expires: May 24, 2019 Lepidum
T. Reddy, Ed.
M. Boucadair
November 20, 2018

Controlling Filtering Rules Using DOTS Signal Channel


This document specifies an extension to the DOTS signal channel to control the filtering rules during attack mitigation.

This extension allows a DOTS client to activate or de-activate filtering rules during a DDoS attack. The characterization of these filters is supposed to be conveyed by a DOTS client during peace time by means of DOTS data channel.

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Please update these statements within the document with the RFC number to be assigned to this document:

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

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1. The Problem

The DOTS data channel protocol [I-D.ietf-dots-data-channel] is used for bulk data exchange between DOTS agents to improve the coordination of all the parties involved in the response to the DDoS attack. Filter management is one of its tasks which enables a DOTS client to retrieve DOTS server filtering capabilities and to manage filtering rules. Filtering rules are used for dropping or rate-limiting unwanted traffic, and permitting accept-listed traffic.

Unlike the signal channel, the data channel is not expected to deal with attack conditions. As such, an issue that might be encountered in some deployments is when filters installed by means of DOTS data channel protocol may not function as expected during DDoS attacks or exacerbate an ongoing DDoS attack. The DOTS data channel cannot be used then to change these filters, which may complicate DDoS mitigation operations.

A typical case is a DOTS client which configures during peace time filtering rules using data channel to permit traffic from accept-listed sources, but during the volumetric DDoS attack the DDoS mitigator identifies the source addresses/prefixes in the accept-listed filtering rules are attacking the target. For example, an attacker can spoof the IP addresses of accept-listed sources to generate attack traffic or the attacker can compromise the accept-listed sources and program them to launch DDoS attack.

[I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel] is designed so that the DDoS server notifies the conflict to the DOTS client ('conflict-cause' set to 2 (Conflicts with an existing accept list)), but the DOTS client may not be able to withdraw the accept-listed filtering rules during the attack period due to the high-volume attack traffic saturating the inbound link. In other words, the DOTS client cannot use the DOTS data channel to withdraw the accept-listed filters when the DDoS attack is in progress. This assumes that this DOTS client is the owner of the filtering rule.

1.2. The Solution

This specification addresses the problems discussed in Section 1.1 by adding the capability of managing filtering rules using the DOTS signal channel, which enables a DOTS client to request the activation or de-activation of filtering rules during a DDoS attack.

The DOTS signal channel protocol [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel] is designed to enable a DOTS client to contact a DOTS server for help even under severe network congestion conditions. Therefore, extending the DOTS signal channel protocol to manage the filtering rules during a attack will enhance the protection capability offered by DOTS protocols.

Conflicts that are induced by filters installed by other DOTS clients of the same domain are not discussed in this specification.

2. Notational Conventions and Terminology

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

The reader should be familiar with the terms defined in [I-D.ietf-dots-requirements].

3. Controlling Filtering Rules

3.1. Binding of the Data Channel and Signal Channel

The filtering rules eventually managed using the DOTS signal channel must be created a priori by the same DOTS client using the DOTS data channel. Managing conflicts with filters installed by other DOTS clients of the same domain is out of scope.

As discussed in Section 4.4.1 of [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel], a DOTS client must use the same 'cuid' for both the signal and data channels. This requirement is meant to facilitate binding channels used by the same DOTS client.

The DOTS signal and data channels from a DOTS client may or may not use the same DOTS server. Nevertheless, the scope of the mitigation request, alias, and filtering rules are not restricted to the DOTS server but to the DOTS server administrative domain. To that aim, DOTS servers within a domain are assumed to have a mechanism to coordinate the mitigation requests, aliases, and filtering rules to coordinate their decisions for better mitigation operation efficiency. The exact details about such mechanism is out of scope of this document.

A filtering rule controlled by the DOTS signal channel is identified by its Access Control List (ACL) name. Note that an ACL name unambiguously identifies an ACL bound to a DOTS client, but the same name may be used by distinct DOTS clients.

The activation or de-activation of an ACL by the signal channel overrides the 'activation-type' (defined in Section 7.2 [I-D.ietf-dots-data-channel]) a priori conveyed with the filtering rules using the DOTS data channel.

3.2. DOTS Signal Channel Extension

3.2.1. Filtering Control

This specification extends the mitigation request defined in [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel] to convey the intended control of the configured filtering rules. The DOTS client conveys the following parameters in the CBOR body of the mitigation request:

A name of an access list defined in the data channel.

As a reminder, an ACL is an ordered list of Access Control Entries (ACE). Each Access Control Entry has a list of match criteria and a list of actions. The list of configured ACLs can be retrieved using the DOTS data channel during peace time.

This is an optional attribute.
Indicates the activation type of an ACL overriding the existing 'activation-type' installed by the DOTS data channel. This attribute can be set to 'deactivate', 'immediate', or 'activate-when-mitigating' defined [I-D.ietf-dots-data-channel]. Note that 'immediate' or 'activate-when-mitigating' are equivalent when a mitigation request is being processed by the server.

If this attribute is not provided, the DOTS server MUST use 'activate-when-mitigating' as the default value.

This is an optional attribute.

If the DOTS server does not find the ACL name conveyed in the mitigation request in its configuration data for this DOTS client, it MUST respond with a "4.04 (Not Found)" error response code.

3.2.2. DOTS Signal Filtering Control Module Tree Structure

This document augments the "dots-signal-channel" DOTS signal YANG module defined in [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel] for managing the filtering rules.

module: ietf-dots-signal-control-filter
  augment /ietf-signal:dots-signal/ietf-signal:message-type
    +--rw acl-list* [acl-name] {control-filtering}?
       +--rw acl-name          
       |    -> /ietf-data:dots-data/dots-client/acls/acl/name
       +--rw activation-type?    enumeration 

This document defines the YANG module "ietf-dots-signal-control-filter", which has the following tree structure: YANG Module

<CODE BEGINS> file "ietf-dots-signal-control-filter@2018-11-20.yang"

module ietf-dots-signal-control-filter {
  yang-version 1.1;
  prefix signal-control-filter;

  import ietf-dots-signal-channel {
    prefix ietf-signal;
      "RFC SSSS: Distributed Denial-of-Service Open Threat
                 Signaling (DOTS) Signal Channel Specification";
  import ietf-dots-data-channel {
    prefix ietf-data;
      "RFC DDDD: Distributed Denial-of-Service Open Threat
                 Signaling (DOTS) Data Channel Specification";
    "IETF DDoS Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) Working Group";
    "WG Web:   <>
     WG List:  <>

     Author:  Konda, Tirumaleswar Reddy

     Author:  Kaname Nishizuka

     Author:  Takahiko Nagata

     Author:  Mohamed Boucadair

       "This module contains YANG definition for the signaling
        messages exchanged between a DOTS client and a DOTS server
        for the DOTS signal channel controlling the filtering rules 
        configured using the DOTS data channel.

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

        Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or
        without modification, is permitted pursuant to, and subject
        to the license terms contained in, the Simplified BSD License
        set forth in Section 4.c of the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions
        Relating to IETF Documents

        This version of this YANG module is part of RFC XXXX; see
        the RFC itself for full legal notices.";

      revision 2018-11-20 {
          "Initial revision.";
          "RFC XXXX: Controlling Filtering Rules Using DOTS Signal
                     Channel ";

      feature control-filtering {
          "This feature means that DOTS signal channel is able to 
           manage the filtering rules created by the same DOTS 
           client using the DOTS data channel.";

      augment "/ietf-signal:dots-signal/ietf-signal:message-type/" +
              "ietf-signal:mitigation-scope/ietf-signal:scope" {
        if-feature control-filtering;

        description "ACL name and activation type";

        list acl-list {
          key "acl-name";
            "List of ACLs as defined in the DOTS data
             channel.  These ACLs are uniquely defined by
             cuid and name.";
          leaf acl-name {
            type leafref {
              path "/ietf-data:dots-data/ietf-data:dots-client/" +
              "Reference to the ACL name bound to
               a DOTS client.";
          leaf activation-type {
            type enumeration {
              enum "activate-when-mitigating" {
              value 1;
                "The ACL is installed only when a mitigation is active. 
                 The ACL is specific to this DOTS client.";
              enum "immediate" {
                value 2;
                  "The ACL is immediately activated.";
              enum "deactivate" {
                value 3;
                 "The ACL is maintained by the server, but it is
              "Set the activation type of an ACL.";

4. IANA Considerations

4.1. DOTS Signal Channel CBOR Mappings Registry

This specification registers the 'activation-type' parameter in the IANA "DOTS Signal Channel CBOR Mappings" registry established by [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel].

The 'activation-type' is a comprehension-required parameter. The 'acl-list' and 'acl-name' parameters are defined as comprehension-required parameters in Table 6 in [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel]. Following the rules in [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel], if the DOTS server does not understand the 'acl-list' or 'acl-name' or 'activation-type' attributes, it responds with a "4.00 (Bad Request)" error response code.

| Parameter Name    | YANG       | CBOR   | CBOR Major    | JSON   |
|                   | Type       | Key    |    Type &     | Type   |
|                   |            |        | Information   |        |
| activation-type   | enumeration| 0x0031 | 0 unsigned    | String |
|                   |            | (TBD1) |               |        |

4.2. DOTS Signal Control Filtering YANG Module

   URI: urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:yang:ietf-dots-signal-control-filter
   Registrant Contact: The IESG.
   XML: N/A; the requested URI is an XML namespace.

  name: ietf-dots-signal-control-filter
  namespace: urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:yang:ietf-dots-signal-control-filter
  prefix: signal-control-filter
  reference: RFC XXXX

This document requests IANA to register the following URI in the "IETF XML Registry" [RFC3688]: [RFC7950].

5. Security Considerations

The security considerations discussed in [I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel] and [I-D.ietf-dots-data-channel] need to be taken into account.

6. Acknowledgements


7. References

7.1. Normative References

[I-D.ietf-dots-data-channel] Boucadair, M., K, R., Nishizuka, K., Xia, L., Patil, P., Mortensen, A. and N. Teague, "Distributed Denial-of-Service Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) Data Channel Specification", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-dots-data-channel-22, September 2018.
[I-D.ietf-dots-signal-channel] K, R., Boucadair, M., Patil, P., Mortensen, A. and N. Teague, "Distributed Denial-of-Service Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) Signal Channel Specification", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-dots-signal-channel-25, September 2018.
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997.
[RFC3688] Mealling, M., "The IETF XML Registry", BCP 81, RFC 3688, DOI 10.17487/RFC3688, January 2004.
[RFC7950] Bjorklund, M., "The YANG 1.1 Data Modeling Language", RFC 7950, DOI 10.17487/RFC7950, August 2016.
[RFC8174] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017.

7.2. Informative References

[I-D.ietf-dots-requirements] Mortensen, A., Moskowitz, R. and R. K, "Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Open Threat Signaling Requirements", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-dots-requirements-16, October 2018.

Authors' Addresses

Kaname Nishizuka (editor) NTT Communications GranPark 16F 3-4-1 Shibaura, Minato-ku Tokyo, 108-8118 Japan EMail:
Takahiko Nagata Lepidum Japan EMail:
Tirumaleswar Reddy (editor) McAfee, Inc. Embassy Golf Link Business Park Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India EMail:
Mohamed Boucadair Orange Rennes, 35000 France EMail: