arXiv:2403.05663v1 Announce Type: new
Abstract: SCTP is a transport protocol offering features such as multi-homing, multi-streaming, and message-oriented delivery. Its two main implementations were subjected to conformance tests using the PacketDrill tool. Conformance testing is not exhaustive and a recent vulnerability (CVE-2021-3772) showed SCTP is not immune to attacks. Changes addressing the vulnerability were implemented, but the question remains whether other flaws might persist in the protocol design.
We study the security of the SCTP design, taking a rigorous approach rooted in formal methods. We create a formal Promela model of SCTP, and define 10 properties capturing the essential protocol functionality based on its RFC specification and consultation with the lead RFC author. Then we show using the Spin model checker that our model satisfies these properties. We define 4 attacker models – Off-Path, where the attacker is an outsider that can spoof the port and IP of a peer; Evil-Server, where the attacker is a malicious peer; Replay, where an attacker can capture and replay, but not modify, packets; and On-Path, where the attacker controls the channel between peers. We modify an attack synthesis tool designed for transport protocols, Korg, to support our SCTP model and four attacker models.
We synthesize 14 unique attacks using the attacker models – including the CVE vulnerability in the Off-Path attacker model, 4 attacks in the Evil-Server attacker model, an opportunistic ABORT attack in the Replay attacker model, and eight connection manipulation attacks in the On-Path attacker model. We show that the proposed patch eliminates the vulnerability and does not introduce new ones according to our model and protocol properties. Finally, we identify and analyze an ambiguity in the RFC, which we show can be interpreted insecurely. We propose an erratum and show that it eliminates the ambiguity.

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