Thursday, October 31, 2013

NSA MUSCULAR: What else do we know?


31 October 2013
NSA MUSCULAR: What else do we know?
Washington Post images of NSA's WINDSTOP-MUSCULAR-INCENSER:

Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 19:29:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: xxxxx[at]
To: XXXXX[at]
Subject: More on MUSCULAR
What else do we know about MUSCULAR?
In light of a recent Washington Post article detailing how MUSCULAR (DS-200B) is being used to collect traffic on Yahoo! and Google datacenters, I have compiled a few additional facts from previous articles that reference MUSCULAR. 
* It is a SIGAD, operated jointed with the GCHQ. It is located "overseas," it has a "distributed data distribution system." The documents I have do not describe in any further detail. * The "full take" GCHQ site referenced is TEMPORA.
* SCISSORS, which is aimed at reducing the volume of collection is enabled on MUSCULAR. In particular, SCISSORS is known to block ownerless address books. The ownerless addressbook elimination function in SCISSORS was implemented on MUSCULAR on 29 February 2012
** After the implementation of this function in SCISSORS,  it was collecting addressbooks at a rate that would correspond to about 500,000 per year.  (see attached graph) Before the implementation of SCISSORS, the collection on a single day (10 January 2012) was 311,113 address books. Which, IF this is truly a representative day, and not an abnormal spike would correspond to 113,556,245 in a year. SCISSORS matters a lot. **60 days at  311,113 per day + 306 days at  1388.21 per day (daily average over 40 days) = 19,091,573 in 2012 (it was a leap year), in real terms, this means about 19 million address books from that source in 2012. The 2013 rates should be a lot lower.
*It does NOT contribute to BOUNDLESSINFORMANT,  this has to do with its architecture being different. Or did not at the time the FAQ was written. So as absolutely mind boggling as the numbers in BOUNDLESSINFORMANT are, even this does not fully account for the NSA's collection.
About the Address Book Graph:
        This is a rather messy graph that was published in the Washington Post's story about Address book collection. There are many SIGADs listed. The methodology as usual is to measure the points along the graph and work out the appropriate scaling. Because there are a number of lines that cannot be followed, or in some cases found, the grand total is a bit short of the true total, the lines that can't be found or followed tend do be clustered near the bottom, so they don't throw off the total to a huge degree. Another issue with the chart is that the colors in the chart do not always align perfectly with the key.  A third issue: because lines often intersect, and may be obscured, the accuracy is plus or minus three pixels, rather than one. In a few places, the position of the dots were determined by working out the slope of the line. The graphical chart I have included is of MUSCULAR only.

Monday, October 28, 2013

CIA/NSA Special Collection Service

28 October 2013
CIA/NSA Special Collection Service
The Special Collection Service is a joint CIA-NSA surreptitious entry agency which breaks into targeted facilities to steal secret information.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

NSA Close Access Sigads for European Targets

A sends:
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2013 01:21:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: xxxxx[at]
To: cryptome[at]
Subject: Close Access Sigads; The logic puzzle from hell
"One document lists 38 embassies and missions, describing them as "targets" '. This is the one:
Based on multiple stories, I have pieced together a significant portion of the document. I have enclosed the table, and supporting document showing my logic. I have probably gotten the lines out of order, but everything I have is accounted for in the supporting articles.
Brazil and France I have copied directly, I have previously sent the screen capture from Bom Dia Brazil, but re-enclose it anyhow. There are two documents that can be used to tell the same story in each new country. This is one, the other is BOUNDLESSINFORMANT. It makes them valuable, so only pieces get shown at a time. Greenwald and Co have been milking them for all they're worth.
Supporting document:
[Image] Screen capture:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fresh NSA Leak on Mexico President Spying


20 October 2013
Fresh NSA Leak on Mexico President Spying
Der Spiegel, 20 October 2013
Fresh Leak on US Spying: NSA Accessed Mexican President's Email
By Jens Glüsing, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark
The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican government for years. It hacked into the president's public email account and gained deep insight into policymaking and the political system. The news is likely to hurt ties between the US and Mexico.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has a division for particularly difficult missions. Called "Tailored Access Operations" (TAO), this department devises special methods for special targets.
That category includes surveillance of neighboring Mexico, and in May 2010, the division reported its mission accomplished. A report classified as "top secret" said: "TAO successfully exploited a key mail server in the Mexican Presidencia domain within the Mexican Presidential network to gain first-ever access to President Felipe Calderon's public email account."
According to the NSA, this email domain was also used by cabinet members, and contained "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability." The president's office, the NSA reported, was now "a lucrative source."
This operation, dubbed "Flatliquid," is described in a document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, which SPIEGEL has now had the opportunity to analyze. The case is likely to cause further strain on relations between Mexico and the United States, which have been tense since Brazilian television network TV Globo revealed in September that the NSA monitored then-presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and others around him in the summer of 2012. Peña Nieto, now Mexico's president, summoned the US ambassador in the wake of that news, but confined his reaction to demanding an investigation into the matter.
Now, though, the revelation that the NSA has systematically infiltrated an entire computer network is likely to trigger deeper controversy, especially since the NSA's snooping took place during the term of Peña Nieto's predecessor Felipe Calderón, a leader who worked more closely with Washington than any other Mexican president before him.
Cryptome: This spying was apparently done from the NSA's Medina Regional SIGINT Operations Center (MRSOC), Lackland Air Force Base Annex, San Antonio, TX (formerly Medina Regional SIGINT Operations Center):

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Candidate for Next NSA Head

Candidate for Next NSA Head
According to Reuters:
US Fleet Cyber Command US 10th Fleet: (1.9MB)
Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers
Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command
Commander, U.S. 10th Fleet
MONTEREY, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2012) Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers, commander of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S.10th Fleet, speaks to students and staff at the Center for Information Dominance, Unit Monterey, during an all-hands call. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan L. Guimont/Released) (Source)
Vice Adm. Rogers is a native of Chicago and attended Auburn University, graduating in 1981 and receiving his commission via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps. Originally a surface warfare officer (SWO), he was selected for re-designation to cryptology (now Information Warfare) in 1986.
He assumed his present duties as commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/commander, U.S. 10th Fleet in September 2011. Since becoming a flag officer in 2007, Rogers has also been the director for Intelligence for both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. Pacific Command.
Duties afloat have included service at the unit level as a SWO aboard USS Caron (DD 970); at the strike group level as the senior cryptologist on the staff of Commander, Carrier Group Two/John F. Kennedy Carrier Strike Group; and, at the numbered fleet level on the staff of Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet embarked in USS Lasalle (AGF 3) as the fleet information operations (IO) officer and fleet cryptologist. He has also led cryptologic direct support missions aboard U.S. submarines and surface units in the Arabian Gulf and Mediterranean.
Ashore, Rogers commanded Naval Security Group Activity Winter Harbor, Maine (1998-2000); and, has served at Naval Security Group Department; NAVCOMSTA Rota, Spain; Naval Military Personnel Command; Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; the Bureau of Personnel as the cryptologic junior officer detailer; and, Commander, Naval Security Group Command as aide and executive assistant (EA) to the commander.
Rogers’ joint service both afloat and ashore has been extensive and, prior to becoming a flag officer, he served at U.S. Atlantic Command, CJTF 120 Operation Support Democracy (Haiti), Joint Force Maritime Component Commander, Europe, and the Joint Staff. His Joint Staff duties (2003-2007) included leadership of the J3 Computer Network Attack/Defense and IO Operations shops, EA to the J3, EA to two Directors of the Joint Staff, special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, director of the Chairman’s Action Group, and a leader of the JCS Joint Strategic Working Group.
Rogers is a distinguished graduate of the National War College and a graduate of highest distinction from the Naval War College. He is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI fellow and holds a Master of Science in National Security Strategy.

Monday, October 14, 2013

N.S.A. Director Firmly Defends Surveillance Efforts

NSA Director Defends Spying
N.S.A. Director Firmly Defends Surveillance Efforts
Published: October 12, 2013
FORT MEADE, Md. — The director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, said in an interview that to prevent terrorist attacks he saw no effective alternative to the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of telephone and other electronic metadata from Americans. But he acknowledged that his agency now faced an entirely new reality, and the possibility of Congressional restrictions, after revelations about its operations at home and abroad.
While offering a detailed defense of his agency’s work, General Alexander said the broader lesson of the controversy over disclosures of secret N.S.A. surveillance missions was that he and other top officials have to be more open in explaining the agency’s role, especially as it expands its mission into cyberoffense and cyberdefense.
“Given where we are and all the issues that are on the table, I do feel it’s important to have a public, transparent discussion on cyber so that the American people know what’s going on,” General Alexander said. “And in order to have that, they need to understand the truth about what’s going on.”
General Alexander, a career Army intelligence officer who also serves as head of the military’s Cyber Command, has become the public face of the secret — and, to many, unwarranted — government collection of records about personal communications in the name of national security. He has given a number of speeches in recent weeks to counter a highly negative portrayal of the N.S.A.’s work, but the 90-minute interview was his most extensive personal statement on the issue to date.
Speaking at the agency’s heavily guarded headquarters, General Alexander acknowledged that his agency had stumbled in responding to the revelations by Edward J. Snowden, the contractor who stole thousands of documents about the N.S.A.’s most secret programs.
But General Alexander insisted that the chief problem was a public misunderstanding about what information the agency collects — and what it does not — not the programs themselves.
“The way we’ve explained it to the American people,” he said, “has gotten them so riled up that nobody told them the facts of the program and the controls that go around it.” But he was firm in saying that the disclosures had allowed adversaries, whether foreign governments or terrorist organizations, to learn how to avoid detection by American intelligence and had caused “significant and irreversible damage” to national security.
General Alexander said that he was extremely sensitive to the power of the software tools and electronic weapons being developed by the United States for surveillance and computer-network warfare, and that he set a very high bar for when the nation should use them for offensive purposes.
“I see no reason to use offensive tools unless you’re defending the country or in a state of war, or you want to achieve some really important thing for the good of the nation and others,” he said.
Those comments were prompted by a document in the Snowden trove that said the United States conducted more than 200 offensive cyberattacks in 2011 alone. But American officials say that in reality only a handful of attacks have been carried out. They say the erroneous estimate reflected an inaccurate grouping of other electronic missions.
But General Alexander would not discuss any specific cases in which the United States had used those weapons, including the best-known example: its years-long attack on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz. To critics of President Obama’s administration, that decision made it easier for China, Iran and other nations to justify their own use of cyberweapons.
General Alexander, who became the N.S.A. director in 2005, will retire early next year. The timing of his departure was set in March when his tour was extended for a third time, according to officials, who said it had nothing to do with the surveillance controversy spawned by the leaks. The appointment of his successor is likely to be a focal point of Congressional debate over whether the huge infrastructure that was built during his tenure will remain or begin to be restricted.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, a Vermont Democrat who leads the Senate Judiciary Committee, has already drafted legislation to eliminate the N.S.A.’s ability to systematically obtain Americans’ calling records. And Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican and co-author of the Patriot Act, is drafting a bill that would cut back on domestic surveillance programs.
General Alexander was by turns folksy and firm in the interview. But he was unapologetic about the agency’s strict culture of secrecy and unabashed in describing its importance to defending the nation.
He insisted that it would have been impossible to have made public, in advance of the revelations by Mr. Snowden, the fact that the agency collected what it calls the “business records” of all telephone calls, and many other electronic communications, made in the United States. The agency is under rules preventing it from investigating that so-called haystack of data unless it has a “reasonable, articulable” justification, involving communications with terrorists abroad, he added.
But he said the agency had not told its story well. As an example, he said, the agency itself killed a program in 2011 that collected the metadata of about 1 percent of all of the e-mails sent in the United States. “We terminated it,” he said. “It was not operationally relevant to what we needed.”
However, until it was killed, the N.S.A. had repeatedly defended that program as vital in reports to Congress.
Senior officials also said that one document in the Snowden revelations, an agreement with Israel, had been misinterpreted by those who believed that it meant the N.S.A. was sharing raw intelligence data on Americans, including the metadata on phone calls. Officials said the probability of American content in the shared data was extremely small.
General Alexander said that confronting what he called the two biggest threats facing the United States — terrorism and cyberattacks — would require the application of expanded computer monitoring. In both cases, he said, he was open to much of that work being done by private industry, which he said could be more efficient than government.
In fact, he said, a direct government role in filtering Internet traffic into the United States, in an effort to stop destructive attacks on Wall Street, American banks and the theft of intellectual property, would be inefficient and ineffective.
“I think it leads people to the wrong conclusion, that we’re reading their e-mails and trying to listen to their phone calls,” he said.
Although he acknowledged that the N.S.A. must change its dialogue with the public, General Alexander was adamant that the agency adhered to the law.
“We followed the law, we follow our policies, we self-report, we identify problems, we fix them,” he said. “And I think we do a great job, and we do, I think, more to protect people’s civil liberties and privacy than they’ll ever know.”
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2013, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: N.S.A. Director Firmly Defends Surveillance Efforts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center!

A version of this article appeared October 8, 2013, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center.
Meltdowns Hobble NSA Data Center
Investigators Stumped by What's Causing Power Surges That Destroy Equipment
Chronic electrical surges at the massive new data-storage facility central to the National Security Agency's spying operation have destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the center's opening for a year, according to project documents and current and former officials.
There have been 10 meltdowns in the past 13 months that have prevented the NSA from using computers at its new Utah data-storage center, slated to be the spy agency's largest, according to project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
One project official described the electrical troubles—so-called arc fault failures—as "a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box." These failures create fiery explosions, melt metal and cause circuits to fail, the official said.
The causes remain under investigation, and there is disagreement whether proposed fixes will work, according to officials and project documents. One Utah project official said the NSA planned this week to turn on some of its computers there.
NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines acknowledged problems but said "the failures that occurred during testing have been mitigated. A project of this magnitude requires stringent management, oversight, and testing before the government accepts any building."
The Utah facility, one of the Pentagon's biggest U.S. construction projects, has become a symbol of the spy agency's surveillance prowess, which gained broad attention in the wake of leaks from NSA contractor Edward Snowden. It spans more than one-million square feet, with construction costs pegged at $1.4 billion—not counting the Cray supercomputers that will reside there.
Exactly how much data the NSA will be able to store there is classified. Engineers on the project believe the capacity is bigger than Google's largest data center. Estimates are in a range difficult to imagine but outside experts believe it will keep exabytes or zettabytes of data. An exabyte is roughly 100,000 times the size of the printed material in the Library of Congress; a zettabyte is 1,000 times larger.
But without a reliable electrical system to run computers and keep them cool, the NSA's global surveillance data systems can't function. The NSA chose Bluffdale, Utah, to house the data center largely because of the abundance of cheap electricity. It continuously uses 65 megawatts, which could power a small city of at least 20,000, at a cost of more than $1 million a month, according to project officials and documents.
Utah is the largest of several new NSA data centers, including a nearly $900 million facility at its Fort Meade, Md., headquarters and a smaller one in San Antonio. The first of four data facilities at the Utah center was originally scheduled to open in October 2012, according to project documents.
In the wake of the Snowden leaks, the NSA has been criticized for its expansive domestic operations. Through court orders, the NSA collects the phone records of nearly all Americans and has built a system with telecommunications companies that provides coverage of roughly 75% of Internet communications in the U.S.
In another program called Prism, companies including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Yahoo are under court orders to provide the NSA with account information. The agency said it legally sifts through the collected data to advance its foreign intelligence investigations.
The data-center delays show that the NSA's ability to use its powerful capabilities is undercut by logistical headaches. Documents and interviews paint a picture of a project that cut corners to speed building.
Backup generators have failed numerous tests, according to project documents, and officials disagree about whether the cause is understood. There are also disagreements among government officials and contractors over the adequacy of the electrical control systems, a project official said, and the cooling systems also remain untested.
The Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the data center's construction. Chief of Construction Operations, Norbert Suter said, "the cause of the electrical issues was identified by the team, and is currently being corrected by the contractor." He said the Corps would ensure the center is "completely reliable" before handing it over to the NSA.
But another government assessment concluded the contractor's proposed solutions fall short and the causes of eight of the failures haven't been conclusively determined. "We did not find any indication that the proposed equipment modification measures will be effective in preventing future incidents," said a report last week by special investigators from the Army Corps of Engineers known as a Tiger Team.
The architectural firm KlingStubbins designed the electrical system. The firm is a subcontractor to a joint venture of three companies: Balfour Beatty Construction, DPR Construction and Big-D Construction Corp. A KlingStubbins official referred questions to the Army Corps of Engineers.
The joint venture said in a statement it expected to submit a report on the problems within 10 days: "Problems were discovered with certain parts of the unique and highly complex electrical system. The causes of those problems have been determined and a permanent fix is being implemented."
The first arc fault failure at the Utah plant was on Aug. 9, 2012, according to project documents. Since then, the center has had nine more failures, most recently on Sept. 25. Each incident caused as much as $100,000 in damage, according to a project official.
It took six months for investigators to determine the causes of two of the failures. In the months that followed, the contractors employed more than 30 independent experts that conducted 160 tests over 50,000 man-hours, according to project documents.
This summer, the Army Corps of Engineers dispatched its Tiger Team, officials said. In an initial report, the team said the cause of the failures remained unknown in all but two instances.
The team said the government has incomplete information about the design of the electrical system that could pose new problems if settings need to change on circuit breakers. The report concluded that efforts to "fast track" the Utah project bypassed regular quality controls in design and construction.
Contractors have started installing devices that insulate the power system from a failure and would reduce damage to the electrical machinery. But the fix wouldn't prevent the failures, according to project documents and current and former officials.
Contractor representatives wrote last month to NSA officials to acknowledge the failures and describe their plan to ensure there is reliable electricity for computers. The representatives said they didn't know the true source of the failures but proposed remedies they believed would work. With those measures and others in place, they said, they had "high confidence that the electrical systems will perform as required by the contract."
A couple of weeks later, on Sept. 23, the contractors reported they had uncovered the "root cause" of the electrical failures, citing a "consensus" among 30 investigators, which didn't include government officials. Their proposed solution was the same device they had already begun installing.
The Army Corps of Engineer's Tiger Team said the contractor's explanations were unproven. The causes of the incidents "are not yet sufficiently understood to ensure that [the NSA] can expect to avoid these incidents in the future," their report said.
Write to Siobhan Gorman at

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users.........................

Packet Staining
NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users:
GCHQ packet staining of Tor users:
Versions: 00 01

6man Working Group                                           T. Macaulay
Internet-Draft                                               Bell Canada
Intended status: Standards Track                       February 14, 2012
Expires: August 17, 2012


IPv6 packet staining


Abstract This document specifies the application of security staining on an IPv6 datagrams and the minimum requirements for IPv6 nodes staining flows, IPv6 nodes forwarding stained packets and interpreting stains on flows. The usage of the packet staining destination option enables proactive delivery of security intelligence to IPv6 nodes such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, and end-points such servers, workstations, mobile and smart devices and an infinite array of as- yet-to-be-invented sensors and controllers. 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 August 17, 2012. Copyright Notice Copyright (c) 2012 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 ( in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 1]

Internet-Draft            IPv6 Packet Staining             February 2012

   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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Conventions used in this document  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     3.1.  Packet Staining Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.2.  Implementation and support models  . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.3.  Use cases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   4.  Requirements for staining IPv6 packets . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   5.  Packet Stain Destination Option (PSDO) . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   6.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   9.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Macaulay                 Expires August 17, 2012                [Page 2]

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1. Introduction

From the viewpoint of the network layer, a flow is a sequence of packets sent from a particular source to a particular unicast, anycast, or multicast destination. From an upper layer viewpoint, a flow could consist of all packets in one direction of a specific transport connection or media stream. However, a flow is not necessarily 1:1 mapped to a transport connection. Traditionally, flow classifiers have been based on the 5-tuple of the source and destination addresses, ports, and the transport protocol type. However, as the growth of internetworked devices continues under IPv6, security issues associated with the reputation of the source of flows are becoming a critical criterion associated with the trust of the data payloads and the security of the destination end- points and the networks on which they reside. The usage of security reputational intelligence associated with the source address field and possibly the port and protocol [REF1] enables packet-by-packet IPv6 security classification, where the IPv6 header extensions in the form of Destination Options may be used to stain each packet with security reputation information such that the network routing is unaffected, but intermediate security nodes and endpoint devices can apply policy decisions about incoming information flows without the requirement to assemble and treat payloads at higher levels of the stack. IPv6 packet staining support consists of labeling datagrams with security reputation information through the addition of an IPv6 destination option in the packet header by packet manipulation devices (PMDs) in the carrier or enterprise network. This destination option may be read by in-line security nodes upstream from the packet destination, as well as by the destination nodes themselves.

2. Conventions used in this document

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

3. Background

Internet based threats in the form of both malicious software and the agents that control this software (organized crime, spys, hackitivits) have surpassed the abilities of signature-based security Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 3]

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   systems; whether they be on the enterprise perimeter, within the
   corporate network, on the endpoint point or in-the-cloud (internet-
   based service).  Additionally, the sensitivity of IP network
   continues to grow as new generation of smart devices is appearing on
   the networks in the form of broadband mobile devices, legacy
   industrial control devices, and very low-power sensors.  This diverse
   collections of IP-based assets is coming to be known as the Internet
   of Things (IOT).

   In response to the accelerating threats, the security vendor
   community have integrated their products with proprietary forms of
   security reputation intelligence.  This intelligence is about IP
   addresses and domains which have been observed engaged in attack-
   behaviours such as inappropriate messaging and traffic volumes,
   domain management, Botnet command-and-control channel exchanges and
   other indicators of either compromise or malicious intent.  [REF 1]
   IP address may also end up on a security reputation list if they are
   identified as compromised through vendor-specific signature-based
   processes.  Security reputation intelligence from vendors is
   typically made available to perimeter and end-point products through
   proprietary, internet-based queries to vendor information bases.

   This system of using proactive, security reputation intelligence has
   many benefits, but also several weakness and scaling challenges.
   Specifically, existing intelligence systems are:
   1.  subject to direct attack from the internet on distribution
       points, for instance
   2.  are proprietary to vendor devices
   3.  require fat-clients consuming both bandwidth and CPU, and
   4.  introduces flow latency while queries are sent, received and
   5.  introduces intelligence latency as reputation lists will be
       inevitably cached and only periodically refreshed given the
       number and range of vendor-specific processing elements

3.1. Packet Staining Benefits

In contrast to the challenges of current security reputation intelligence systems, packet staining has the following strengths 1. packet staining can occur transparently in the network, presenting no attack surface 2. packet staining uses standardized, public domain IPv6 capabilities 3. security rules can be easily applied in hardware or firmware 4. reading packet stains introduces little to no latency 5. near-real-time threat intelligence distribution systems can be implemented can be implemented out of band in PMDs using a standardized packet staining method allowing multiple Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 4]

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       intelligence sources (vendor sources) to be aggregated and
       applied in an agnostic (cross-vendor) manner.

3.2. Implementation and support models

Packet staining may be accomplished by different entities including carriers, enterprises and third-party value-added service providers. Carriers or service providers may elect to implement staining centres at strategic locations in the network to provide value-added services on a subscription basis. Under this model, subscribers to a security staining service would see their traffic directed through a staining centre where Destination Options are added to the IPv6 headers and IPv4 traffic is encapsulated within IPv6 tunnels, with stained headers. Carriers or service providers may elect to stain all IPv6 traffic entering their network, and allow subscribers to process the stains at their own discretion. If such upstream, network-based staining services are inappropriate or unavailable, Enterprise data centre managers / cloud computing service providers may elect to deploy IPv6 staining at the perimeter into the internal network, tunnelling all IPv4 traffic, and allow data centre/cloud service users to process stains at their discretion. Enterprise may wish to deploy IPv6 on internal networks, and stain all internal traffic whereby security nodes and end-points may apply corporate security policy related to reputation.

3.3. Use cases

The following are example use-cases for a security technique based upon a packet staining system. Organization Perimeter Use-case Traffic to a subscriber is routed through a PMD in the carrier network configured to stain (apply Destination Options extensions) all packets to the subscriber (TM)s IP-range, which have entries in the threat intelligence information base. The PMD accesses the information base from a locally cached file or other method not defined in this draft. Packets from sources not in the information base pass through the PDM unchanged. Packets from sources in the information base have a Destinations Option added to the datagram header. The Destination Options contains reputation from the information base. The format of the destination option is discussed later in this draft. IPv6 perimeter devices such as firewalls, web proxies or security routers on the perimeter of the Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 5]

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   subscriber network look for Destination Options on incoming packets
   with reputation stains.  If a stain is found, the perimeter device
   applies the organization policy associated with the reputation
   indicated by the stain.  For instance, drop the packet, quarantine
   the packet, issue alarms, or pass the packets and associated flow to
   specially hardened extra-net authentication systems, or do nothing.

   IPv4 support Use-case" IPv4 header fields and options are not
   suitable for packet staining; however, there is a clear security
   benefit to supporting IPv4 flows.  IPv4 traffic to a subscriber is
   routed through a PMD in the carrier network configured to encapsulate
   the IPv4 traffic in an IPv6 tunnel.  The PMD applies a stain
   (Destination Options extension) to the IPv6 tunnel as per the
   Perimeter Use-case above.  Subscriber perimeter devices such as
   firewalls, web proxies or security routers are configured to support
   both native IPv6 flows and IPv6 tunnels contain legacy IPv4 flows.
   Perimeter devices look for Destination Options on incoming IPv6
   packets with reputation stains.  If a stain is found, the perimeter
   device applies the organization policy associated with the reputation
   indicated by the stain to the IPv4 packet within the IPv6 tunnel.  In
   this manner IPv4 support may be transparent to end-users and

   IPv6 end-point use-case" IPv6 end-points may make use of reputation
   stains by processing Destination Options before engaging in any
   application level processing.  In the case of certain classes of
   smart device, remote and mobile sensors, reputation stains may be a
   critical form of security when other mitigations such as signature
   bases and firewalls are too power and processor intensive to support.

   URL-specific stains" it is a common occurrence to see large public
   content portals with millions of users sharing dozens of addresses.
   Frequently, malicious content will be loaded to such sites.  This
   content represents a very small fraction of the otherwise legitimate
   content on the site, which may be under the direct control of
   entirely separate entities .  Degrading the reputation of IP
   addresses used by these large portals based on a very small amount of
   content is problematic.  For such sites, reputation stains should
   have the ability to include the URL of malicious content, such that
   the reputation of the only specific portions of these large portals
   is degraded according to threat evidence, rather than the entire IP
   address, CIDR block, ASN or domain name.

4. Requirements for staining IPv6 packets

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   1.  The default behaviour of a security node MUST be to leave a
       packet unchanged (apply no stain).
   2.  Reputation stains may be inserted or overwritten by security
       nodes in the path.
   3.  Reputation stains may not be applied by the sender/source of the
   4.  The reputation staining mechanism needs to be visible to all
       stain-aware nodes on the path.
   5.  The mechanism needs to be able to traverse nodes that do not
       understand the reputation stains.  This is required to ensure
       that packet-staining can be incrementally deployed over the
   6.  The presence of the reputation staining mechanism should not
       significantly alter the processing of the packet by nodes, unless
       policy is explicitly configured.  This is required to ensure that
       stained packets do not face any undue delays or drops due to a
       badly chosen mechanism.
   7.  A PMD should be able to distinguish a trusted stain from an
       untrusted stain, through mechanism such as digital signatures or
       intrinsic trust among network elements.
   8.  A staining node MAY apply more specific and selective staining
       services according to subscriptions.  Staining nodes SHOULD
       support different reputation taxonomies to support different
       subscribers and/or interoperability with other staining entities,
       and have the ability to stain flows to different subscriber
       sources according to different semantics.

5. Packet Stain Destination Option (PSDO)

The Packet Stain Destination Option (PSDO) is a destination option that can be included in IPv6 datagrams that are inserted by PMDs in order to inform packet staining aware nodes on the path, or endpoints, that the PSDO has an alignment requirement of (none). 0 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ | Option Type | Option Length | +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ |S|U| Stain Data | +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ Figure 1: Packet Stain Destination Option Layout Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 7]

Internet-Draft            IPv6 Packet Staining             February 2012

   Option Type

      8-bit identifier of the type of option. The option identifier
      for the reputation stain option will be allocated by the IANA.

   Option Length

      8-bit unsigned integer.  The length of the option (excluding
      the Option Type and Option Length fields).

   S Bit

      When this bit is set, the reputation stain option has been signed.

   U Bit

      When this bit is set, the reputation stain option contains a
      malicious URL.

   Stain Data

      Contains the staining data.

6. Acknowledgements

The author wishes to achknowledge the guidance and support of Suresh Krishnan from Ericsson's Montreal lab. The author also wishes to credit Chris Mac-Stoker from NIKSUN for his substantial contributions to the early stages of the packet staining concept.

7. Security Considerations

Some implementation may elect to no apply digital signature to reputation stains in the Destination Option, in which case the stain is not protected in any way, even if IPsec authentication [RFC4302] is in use. Therefore an unsigned reputation stain can be forged by an on-path attacker. Implementers are advised that any en-route change to an unsigned security reputation stain value is undetectable. Therefore packet staining use the Destination Options extension without digital signatures requires intrinsic trust among the network elements and the PMD, and the destination node or intervening security nodes such as firewalls or IDS services. For this reason, receiving nodes MAY need to take account of the network from which the stained packet was received. For instance, a multi- homed organization may have some service providers with staining Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 8]

Internet-Draft            IPv6 Packet Staining             February 2012

   services and others that do not.  A receiving node SHOULD be able to
   distinguish which source from which stains are expected.  A receiving
   node SHOULD by default ignore any reputation stains from sources
   (networks or devices) that have not been specifically configured as

   The reputation intelligence of IP source addresses, ASNs, CIDR blocks
   and domains is fundamental to the application of reputation stains
   within packet headers.  Such reputation information can be seeded
   from a variety of open and closed sources.  Poorly managed or
   compromised intelligence information bases can result in denial of
   service against legitimate IP addresses, and allow malicious entities
   to appear trustworthy.  Intelligence information bases themselves may
   be compromised in a variety of ways; for instance the raw information
   feeds may be corrupted with erroneous information, alternately the
   intelligence reputation algorithms could be flawed in design or
   corrupted such that they generate false reputation scores.  Therefore
   seed intelligence SHOULD be sourced and monitored with demonstratable
   diligence.  Similarly, reputation algorithms should be protected from
   unauthorized change with multi-layered access controls.

   The value of reputation stains will be directly proportional to the
   trustworthiness, reliability and reputation of the intelligence
   source itself.  Operators of security nodes SHOULD have defined and
   auditable methods upon which they select and manage the source of
   reputation intelligence and the packet staining infrastructure

8. IANA Considerations

This document defines a new IPv6 destination option for carrying security reputation packet stains. IANA is requested to assign a new destination option type (TBA1) in the Destination Options registry maintained at 1) Signed Security Reputation Option, 2) Unsigned Security Reputation Option 3) Signed Security Reputation Option with malicious URL 4) Unsigned Security Reputation Option with malicious URL The act bits for this option need to be 10 and the chg bit needs to be 0.

9. Normative References

[REF1] Macaulay, T., "Upstream Intelligence: anatomy, architecture, case studies and use-cases.", Information Assurance Newsletter, DOD , Aug to Feburary 2010 to 2011. [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Macaulay Expires August 17, 2012 [Page 9]

Internet-Draft            IPv6 Packet Staining             February 2012

              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.

Author's Address

   Tyson Macaulay
   Bell Canada
   160 Elgin Floor 5
   Ottawa, Ontario


Macaulay                 Expires August 17, 2012               [Page 10]
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Related previous work:


Network Working Group                                        S. Bellovin
Request for Comments: 3514                            AT&T Labs Research
Category: Informational                                     1 April 2003


The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header

Status of this Memo This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003). All Rights Reserved. Abstract Firewalls, packet filters, intrusion detection systems, and the like often have difficulty distinguishing between packets that have malicious intent and those that are merely unusual. We define a security flag in the IPv4 header as a means of distinguishing the two cases.

1. Introduction

Firewalls [CBR03], packet filters, intrusion detection systems, and the like often have difficulty distinguishing between packets that have malicious intent and those that are merely unusual. The problem is that making such determinations is hard. To solve this problem, we define a security flag, known as the "evil" bit, in the IPv4 [RFC791] header. Benign packets have this bit set to 0; those that are used for an attack will have the bit set to 1.

1.1. Terminology

The keywords MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, RECOMMENDED, MAY, and OPTIONAL, when they appear in this document, are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2. Syntax

The high-order bit of the IP fragment offset field is the only unused bit in the IP header. Accordingly, the selection of the bit position is not left to IANA. Bellovin Informational [Page 1]

RFC 3514          The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header      1 April 2003

   The bit field is laid out as follows:


   Currently-assigned values are defined as follows:

   0x0  If the bit is set to 0, the packet has no evil intent.  Hosts,
        network elements, etc., SHOULD assume that the packet is
        harmless, and SHOULD NOT take any defensive measures.  (We note
        that this part of the spec is already implemented by many common
        desktop operating systems.)

   0x1  If the bit is set to 1, the packet has evil intent.  Secure
        systems SHOULD try to defend themselves against such packets.
        Insecure systems MAY chose to crash, be penetrated, etc.

3. Setting the Evil Bit

There are a number of ways in which the evil bit may be set. Attack applications may use a suitable API to request that it be set. Systems that do not have other mechanisms MUST provide such an API; attack programs MUST use it. Multi-level insecure operating systems may have special levels for attack programs; the evil bit MUST be set by default on packets emanating from programs running at such levels. However, the system MAY provide an API to allow it to be cleared for non-malicious activity by users who normally engage in attack behavior. Fragments that by themselves are dangerous MUST have the evil bit set. If a packet with the evil bit set is fragmented by an intermediate router and the fragments themselves are not dangerous, the evil bit MUST be cleared in the fragments, and MUST be turned back on in the reassembled packet. Intermediate systems are sometimes used to launder attack connections. Packets to such systems that are intended to be relayed to a target SHOULD have the evil bit set. Some applications hand-craft their own packets. If these packets are part of an attack, the application MUST set the evil bit by itself. In networks protected by firewalls, it is axiomatic that all attackers are on the outside of the firewall. Therefore, hosts inside the firewall MUST NOT set the evil bit on any packets. Bellovin Informational [Page 2]

RFC 3514          The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header      1 April 2003

   Because NAT [RFC3022] boxes modify packets, they SHOULD set the evil
   bit on such packets.  "Transparent" http and email proxies SHOULD set
   the evil bit on their reply packets to the innocent client host.

   Some hosts scan other hosts in a fashion that can alert intrusion
   detection systems.  If the scanning is part of a benign research
   project, the evil bit MUST NOT be set.  If the scanning per se is
   innocent, but the ultimate intent is evil and the destination site
   has such an intrusion detection system, the evil bit SHOULD be set.

4. Processing of the Evil Bit

Devices such as firewalls MUST drop all inbound packets that have the evil bit set. Packets with the evil bit off MUST NOT be dropped. Dropped packets SHOULD be noted in the appropriate MIB variable. Intrusion detection systems (IDSs) have a harder problem. Because of their known propensity for false negatives and false positives, IDSs MUST apply a probabilistic correction factor when evaluating the evil bit. If the evil bit is set, a suitable random number generator [RFC1750] must be consulted to determine if the attempt should be logged. Similarly, if the bit is off, another random number generator must be consulted to determine if it should be logged despite the setting. The default probabilities for these tests depends on the type of IDS. Thus, a signature-based IDS would have a low false positive value but a high false negative value. A suitable administrative interface MUST be provided to permit operators to reset these values. Routers that are not intended as as security devices SHOULD NOT examine this bit. This will allow them to pass packets at higher speeds. As outlined earlier, host processing of evil packets is operating- system dependent; however, all hosts MUST react appropriately according to their nature.

5. Related Work

Although this document only defines the IPv4 evil bit, there are complementary mechanisms for other forms of evil. We sketch some of those here. For IPv6 [RFC2460], evilness is conveyed by two options. The first, a hop-by-hop option, is used for packets that damage the network, such as DDoS packets. The second, an end-to-end option, is for packets intended to damage destination hosts. In either case, the Bellovin Informational [Page 3]

RFC 3514          The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header      1 April 2003

   option contains a 128-bit strength indicator, which says how evil the
   packet is, and a 128-bit type code that describes the particular type
   of attack intended.

   Some link layers, notably those based on optical switching, may
   bypass routers (and hence firewalls) entirely.  Accordingly, some
   link-layer scheme MUST be used to denote evil.  This may involve evil
   lambdas, evil polarizations, etc.

   DDoS attack packets are denoted by a special diffserv code point.

   An application/evil MIME type is defined for Web- or email-carried
   mischief.  Other MIME types can be embedded inside of evil sections;
   this permit easy encoding of word processing documents with macro
   viruses, etc.

6. IANA Considerations

This document defines the behavior of security elements for the 0x0 and 0x1 values of this bit. Behavior for other values of the bit may be defined only by IETF consensus [RFC2434].

7. Security Considerations

Correct functioning of security mechanisms depend critically on the evil bit being set properly. If faulty components do not set the evil bit to 1 when appropriate, firewalls will not be able to do their jobs properly. Similarly, if the bit is set to 1 when it shouldn't be, a denial of service condition may occur.

8. References

[CBR03] W.R. Cheswick, S.M. Bellovin, and A.D. Rubin, "Firewalls and Internet Security: Repelling the Wily Hacker", Second Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2003. [RFC791] Postel, J., "Internet Protocol", STD 5, RFC 791, September 1981. [RFC1750] Eastlake, D., 3rd, Crocker, S. and J. Schiller, "Randomness Recommendations for Security", RFC 1750, December 1994. [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC2434] Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 2434, October 1998. Bellovin Informational [Page 4]

RFC 3514          The Security Flag in the IPv4 Header      1 April 2003

   [RFC2460] Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
             (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.

   [RFC3022] Srisuresh, P. and K. Egevang, "Traditional IP Network
             Address Translator (Traditional NAT)", RFC 3022, January

9. Author's Address

Steven M. Bellovin AT&T Labs Research Shannon Laboratory 180 Park Avenue Florham Park, NJ 07932 Phone: +1 973-360-8656 EMail: