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Re: Attack research on HTTP/2 implementations

From: Nick Harper <ietf@nharper.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 21:01:33 -0700
Message-ID: <CACcvr==xmiV72+xoE+9Rn0kpq04UYL3MmnyvqcCFi==OkEvbJQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Cc: Martin Thomson <mt@lowentropy.net>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
On Thu, Aug 5, 2021 at 8:46 PM Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu> wrote:

> Hi Martin,
>
> On Fri, Aug 06, 2021 at 10:43:00AM +1000, Martin Thomson wrote:
> > https://portswigger.net/research/http2
>
> Thanks for the link, pretty interesting stuff there!
>
> > The introduction claims to have found imperfections in the RFC, so I read
> > this fairly carefully.  There's solid work here in terms of attacking
> > implementations, but no concrete specification problems.
>
> I agree, unless I'm mistaken, everything that was attacked there is
> already dealt with in the spec (allowed characters in values & names
> etc).
>

I saw one thing in the paper that I don't think is addressed by RFC 7540:
the handling of a request that contains both an :authority pseudo-header
and a Host header. I see that draft-ietf-httpbis-http2bis-03 has new
language to mostly cover that issue. I say "mostly" because I don't see any
specification of what should happen if multiple :authority pseudo-headers
are present. (I would argue that that is a malformed request.)

>
> > In terms of actual changes to specifications, the work we did in the
> HTTP/2
> > revision on field validation should already cover all of these attacks.
> Not
> > that RFC 7540 didn't, but we're a lot, lot clearer about it now.
>
> Yes the new one is way better and more readable. In 7540 you often have
> to compare a series of "must" with a series of "must not" from another
> section.
>
> > There's a lesson in here for our industry regarding how implementations
> deal
> > with untrustworthy inputs.  The thing we might each reflect on is why we
> > haven't already internalized that lesson.  It's not like this is a new
> class
> > of attack or anything.
>
> I suspect that some of the attacked sites might be using outdated
> implementations of some of the usual suspects. We've all had such
> weaknesses in our early implementations precisely because they were
> not easy to spot in the spec or because some of them were hard to
> implement and there was no justification in the spec. For example I
> remember that the very first H2 implementation in haproxy didn't
> explicitly compare the content-length with the amount of transferred
> bytes in the H2 layer since that was already done in the inner HTTP
> layers. I don't *think* it could have exposed it to one of these
> vulnerabilities, but it's certain that by then I could easily have
> overlooked some of them!
>
> In that sense, the new trend of wording around "don't do that because
> it exposes to this risk" that we're seeing in the core spec is way
> more powerful to encourage to carefully follow all important rules.
>
> Cheers,
> Willy
>
>
Received on Friday, 6 August 2021 04:01:57 UTC

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