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HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Massimo Vignone
Occasional Advisor

HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Hello everybody,

I've several hp 5308xl, all of them configured with ospf routing, no ip directed broadcast (for smurfing attacks) and broadcast limit activated.

This helped me a lot to avoid DoS attacks on my net. Unfortunately, I can't avoid teardrop attack, caused by some viruses.

An infected computer flooded the net with ip fragments: the 5308xl switch hangs, showing a cpu load of 7000 percent.

Any suggestion to avoid this ?

TIA,

Massimo
10 REPLIES

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Hi, im interested in what kind of IP fragments it was. Can it have been IGMP joins or was it just alot of rubbish from different computers?

I'm trying to find a way to manage DOS countermeasures in HP switches. Its a shame they dont have the same functions for DOs attacks as Extreme or Cisco has.

Regards,

Johan Eriksson
Johan
Massimo Vignone
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

I don know what kind of fragments the computer send on the net.

It could be IGMP, but I think that the broadcast-limit statement in the 5308xl configuration shoould block them.

The strange thing is that a single machine (this is my case) can hang a switch with a large backplane as the 53xx.

That makes me think that are some bug in the TCP/IP stack of the 53xx, and if the routing is enabled, sending an ip fragments flood with bad offset values can hang the switch. I think that the switch tries to reassembly the packets, with high cpu load values.

Using a keyword 'fragments' in the access-list statement (as in IOS) could help: unfortunately, this keyword does not exist in the Procurve 53xx.

Massimo
Markku Leinio
Valued Contributor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

As a side question, are there any specifications about the "broadcast-limit" command, how will it change the behaviour of the switch?

Procurve 2524 has some configurable threshold for broadcast limiting, 5300XL does not seem to have any options for that.
Massimo Vignone
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

If you sue Procurve 2524 or 2650 you need to specify the bandwidth percentage allowed for broadcast/multicast traffic.

With Procurve 53xx you don't need to specify it, because the switch adapt the allowed bandwidth automatically.

Massimo

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Broadcast control is only monitoring broadcast and acts as a proxy for these packets. It does not affect multicast traffic.

Back to the first message: What you are saying is that if ONE computer with 100mbps uplink sends bad packets to the 530x switch it hangs? Is this correct? Have you reported this to the HP support?

Johan Eriksson
Johan
Massimo Vignone
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Quoting from the 5300xl series manual:

"Broadcast limit - Reduces the bandwidth for broadcast and _multicast_ traffic on all ports on the switch. Any broadcast or multicast overload will be dropped. This feature is not appropriate for networks that require high levels of IPX or RIP broadcast traffic".

So, if you use the broadcast-limit statement, the switch should limit broadcast/multicast bandwidth.

Back to my problem: YES, if there is an ip fragments flood (with overlap offset) the switch hangs.

I reported the problem to HP today.

Maybe that Procurve 5300xl series is not rfc 1858 compliant?

Massimo
Markku Leinio
Valued Contributor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Which manual are you referring to? My "management and configuration guide" (Software Release E.07.2x or Greater, part number 5990-3016) only says:

"Configuring a Broadcast Limiting on the Switch. Executing this command
configures broadcast limiting for all ports on the switch.
Syntax: broadcast-limit"

(and that the current setting can be seen from "show run" output)

Great that you bring up any issues with 5300XL. There are so few user comments in the net about that device.
Massimo Vignone
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

I'm referring to "HP ProCurve Series 5300XL Switches Management and Configuration Guide (Edition 7, April 2003)", available on the net on the HP site in Pdf format.

The quoted paragraph is in chapter 9, 9-4; see also 9-11.

Massimo
Markku Leinio
Valued Contributor

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Thanks for the exact pointer. The keywords "broadcast" and "limit" are in the beginning of separate lines, that's why my search didn't catch it.

Re: HP Procurve 5308xl hangs in case of teardrop attack

Great info, thanks. I wonder if its the same case with HP4000/24xx? And is it only multicast/broadcast being sent TO the port not TX from the port?

I may be that the function is alot different from HP4000/24xx in which there are alot of other functions (RIP/Auto gateway).

Thanks for the info.
Johan
Johan