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FreeBSD: 'syncache/syncookies' Denial of Service Print E-mail
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Posted by LinuxSecurity.com Team   
FreeBSD Two related problems with syncache were triggered when syncookies wereimplemented. Legitimate TCP/IP traffic may cause the machine to crash.

=============================================================================
FreeBSD-SA-02:20                                            Security Advisory
                                                                FreeBSD, Inc.

Topic:          syncache/syncookies denial of service

Category:       core
Module:         net
Announced:      2002-04-16
Credits:        Alan Judge <Alan.Judge@eircom.net>
Dima Ruban <dima@FreeBSD.org>
Affects:        FreeBSD 4.5-RELEASE
                FreeBSD 4.4-STABLE after 2001-12-14 19:53:01 UTC
                FreeBSD 4.5-STABLE prior to the correction date
Corrected:      2002-02-20 16:48:49 UTC (RELENG_4)
                2002-02-21 16:38:39 UTC (RELENG_4_5, 4.5-RELEASE-p1)
FreeBSD only:   YES

I.   Background

The SYN cache ("syncache") and SYN cookie mechanism ("syncookie") are
features of the TCP/IP stack intended to improve resistance to a class
of denial of service attacks known as SYN floods.

II.  Problem Description

Two related problems with syncache were triggered when syncookies were
implemented.

1) When a SYN was accepted via a syncookie, it used an uninitialized
pointer to find the TCP options for the new socket.  This pointer may
be a null pointer, which will cause the machine to crash.

2) A syncache entry is created when a SYN arrives on a listen socket.
If the application which created the listen socket was killed and
restarted --- and therefore recreated the listen socket with a
different inpcb --- an ACK (or duplicate SYN) which later arrived and
matched the existing syncache entry would cause a reference to the old
inpcb pointer.  Depending on the pointer's contents, this might result
in a system crash.

Because syncache/syncookies support was added prior to the release of
FreeBSD 4.5-RELEASE, no other releases are affected.

III. Impact

Legitimate TCP/IP traffic may cause the machine to crash.

IV.  Workaround

The first issue described may be worked around by disabling syncookies
using sysctl.  Issue the following command as root:

  # sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.syncookies=0

However, there is no workaround for the second issue.

V.   Solution

1) Upgrade your vulnerable system to 4.5-STABLE or the RELENG_4_5
security branch dated after the respective correction dates.

2) To patch your present system: download the relevant patch from the
below location, and execute the following commands as root:

# fetch  ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/CERT/patches/SA-02:20/syncache.patch
# fetch  ftp://ftp.FreeBSD.org/pub/FreeBSD/CERT/patches/SA-02:20/syncache.patch.asc

This patch has been verified to apply to 4.5-RELEASE only.

Verify the detached PGP signature using your PGP utility.

Execute the following commands as root:

# cd /usr/src
# patch -p < /path/to/patch

Recompile your kernel as described in 
http://www.freebsd.org/handbook/kernelconfig.html and reboot the
system.

VI.  Correction details

The following list contains the revision numbers of each file that was
corrected in the FreeBSD ports collection.

Path                                                             Revision
  Branch
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
src/sys/conf/newvers.sh
  RELENG_4_5                                                1.44.2.20.2.2
src/sys/netinet/tcp_syncache.c
  RELENG_4                                                        1.5.2.5
  RELENG_4_5                                                  1.5.2.4.2.1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

VII. References

http://www.FreeBSD.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=34658>



 
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