IPv6 Security Problems Related to Extension Headers & Fragmentation

Marc Heuse – who happens to give this workshop at the Troopers IPv6 Security Summit next week – just sent this email (subject: “Remote system freeze thanks to Kaspersky Internet Security 2013”) to the IPv6 hackers mailing list, describing how a system running a certain flavor of Kaspersky security products can be remotely frozen when receiving IPv6 packets with a specific combination of extension headers and fragmentation (which in turn can be easily generated by his IPv6 protocol attack suite).

This illustrates once more the huge security problems related to IPv6 extension headers and IPv6 fragmentation and in particular to the combination of those two. Antonios Atlasis will discuss those in detail at the event (see his announcements here and here). It would be really helpful if major security products had some simple global properties/command line parameters/checkboxes like “drop all fragmented IPv6 packets”, “drop all IPv6 packets with extension headers” (ok, maybe “drop all IPv6 with multiple extension headers”; besides HBH in MLD packets – which shouldn’t traverse L3 hops – we don’t see too much ext headers in production networks anyway, as of early 2013) or at least “drop all packets with a combination of fragmentation and ext headers other than the fragmentation header”. But this will probably need another some years to show up and unfortunately we’ll probably see such problems still for a very long time…

Again, you should see Antonios’ presentations on this stuff (I had the chance to look at them already, it’s great research with scary results). For those of you who can’t join us: they’ll be made available for download after the conference.


Looking forward to an active discussion of these topics at the IPv6 Sec Summit,

have a good week everybody



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