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Incremental updating of the Internet checksum (RFC1141)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001952D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 3K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

T. Mallory: AUTHOR [+1]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1141: DOI

Abstract

This memo correctly describes the incremental update procedure for use with the standard Internet checksum. It is intended to replace the description of Incremental Update in RFC 1071. This is not a standard but rather, an implementation technique.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 61% of the total text.

Network Working Group T. Mallory Request for Comments: 1141 A. Kullberg Obsoletes: RFC 1071 BBN Communications January 1990

Incremental Updating of the Internet Checksum

Status of this Memo

This memo correctly describes the incremental update procedure for use with the standard Internet checksum. It is intended to replace the description of Incremental Update in RFC 1071. This is not a standard but rather, an implementation technique. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Description

In RFC 1071 on pages 4 and 5, there is a description of a method to update the IP checksum in the IP header without having to completely recompute the checksum. In particular, the RFC recommends the following equation for computing the update checksum C’ from the original checksum C, and the old and new values of byte m:

C’ = C + (-m) + m’ = C + (m’ - m)

While the equation above is correct, it is not very useful for incremental updates since the equation above updates the checksum C, rather than the 1’s complement of the checksum, ˜C, which is the value stored in the checksum field. In addition, it suffers because the notation does not clearly specify that all arithmetic, including the unary negation, must be performed one’s complement, and so is difficult to use to build working code. The useful calculation for 2’s complement machines is:

˜C’ = ˜(C + (-m) + m’) = ˜C + (m - m’) = ˜C + m + ˜m’

In the oft-mentioned case of updating the IP TTL field, subtracting one from the TTL means ADDING 1 or 256 as appropriate to the checksum field in the packet, using one’s complement addition. One big-endian non-portable implementation in C looks like:

unsigned long sum; ipptr->ttl--; /* decrement ttl */ sum = ipptr->Checksum + 0x100; /* increment checksum high byte*/ ipptr->Checksu...

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