Browse Prior Art Database

Changing the Default for Directed Broadcasts in Routers (RFC2644) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003232D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Document File: 4 page(s) / 5K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D. Senie: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC2644: DOI


This document discusses and defines a number of tests that may be used to describe the performance characteristics of a network interconnecting device. In addition to defining the tests this document also describes specific formats for reporting the results of the tests. This memo provides information for the Internet community.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 50% of the total text.

Network Working Group D. Senie Request for Comments: 2644 Amaranth Networks Inc. Updates: 1812 August 1999 BCP: 34 Category: Best Current Practice

Changing the Default for Directed Broadcasts in Routers

Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet Best Current Practices for the Internet Community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999). All Rights Reserved.

1. Introduction

Router Requirements [1] specifies that routers must receive and forward directed broadcasts. It also specifies that routers MUST have an option to disable this feature, and that this option MUST default to permit the receiving and forwarding of directed broadcasts. While directed broadcasts have uses, their use on the Internet backbone appears to be comprised entirely of malicious attacks on other networks.

Changing the required default for routers would help ensure new routers connected to the Internet do not add to the problems already present.

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 RFC 2119.

2. Discussion

Damaging denial of service attacks led to the writing of [2] on Ingress Filtering. Many network providers and corporate networks have endorsed the use of these methods to ensure their networks are not the source of such attacks.

A recent trend in Smurf Attacks [3] is to target networks which permit directed broadcasts from outside their networks. By permitting directed broadcasts, these systems become "Smurf Amplifiers."

Senie Best Current Practice [Page 1]

RFC 2644 Default Change for Directed Broadcast August 1999

While the continued implementation of ingress filters remains the best way to limit these attacks, restricting directed broadcasts should also receive priority.

Network service providers and corporate network operators are urged to ensure their networks are not susceptible to directed broadcast packets originating outside their networks.

Mobile IP [4] had provisions for using directed broadcasts in a mobile node’s use of dynamic agent discovery. While some implementations support this feature, it is unclear whether it is useful. Other methods of achieving the same result are documented in [5]. It may be worthwhile to consider removing the language on using directed broadcasts as Mobile IP progresses on the standards track.

3. Recommendation

Router Requirements [1] is updated as follows:

Section (d) is replaced with:

(d) { <Network-prefix>, -1 }

Directed Broadcast - a broadcast directed to the specified network prefix. It MUST NOT be used as a source address. A router MAY originate Network Directed Broadcast packets. A router MAY have a configuration option to allow it to receive directed broadcast packets, however this option MUST be disabled by default, and thus the router MUST NO...