Request for Comments: 6259
The MITRE Corporation
Delay-Tolerant Networking Previous-Hop Insertion Block
This document defines an extension block for use with the Delay- Tolerant Networking (DTN) Bundle Protocol. This Previous-Hop Insertion Block (PHIB) extension block is designed to be inserted by a forwarding node to provide the endpoint identifier (EID) of an endpoint of which the forwarding node is a member so that this EID may be conveyed to the next-hop receiving node. Knowledge of an EID of an endpoint of which a previous-hop node is a member may be required in some circumstances to support certain routing protocols (e.g., flood routing). If this EID cannot be provided by the convergence layer or other means, the PHIB defines the mechanism whereby the EID can be provided with the bundle. Each PHIB is always removed from the bundle by the receiving node so that its presence within the bundle is limited to exactly one hop. This document defines the format and processing of this PHIB. This document is a product of the Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group and has been reviewed by that group. No objections to its publication as an RFC were raised.
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for examination, experimental implementation, and evaluation.
This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet community. This document is a product of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). The IRTF publishes the results of Internet-related research and development activities. These results might not be suitable for deployment. This RFC represents the consensus of the Delay-Tolerant Networking Research Group of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). Documents approved for publication by the IRSG are not a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6259.
Copyright © 2011 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved.
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction ....................................................2 1.1. Requirements Language ......................................4 2. Previous-Hop Insertion Block Format .............................4 3. Previous-Hop Insertion Block Processing .........................6 3.1. Bundle Transmission ........................................6 3.2. Bundle Forwarding ..........................................6 3.3. Bundle Reception ...........................................7 4. Security Considerations .........................................8 5. IANA Considerations .............................................9 6. References ......................................................9 6.1. Normative References .......................................9 6.2. Informative References .....................................9
This document defines an extension block for use with the Bundle Protocol [RFC5050] within the context of a Delay-Tolerant Networking architecture [RFC4838]. The DTN Bundle Protocol defines the bundle as its protocol data unit and defines "bundle blocks" to carry data of different types. This document defines an optional bundle block called a Previous-Hop Insertion Block (PHIB).
The PHIB is inserted into a bundle by a forwarding node to provide the endpoint identifier (EID) of an endpoint of which the forwarding node is a member so that this EID may be conveyed to the next-hop receiving node. (Hereafter, an EID of an endpoint of which a node is a member will be referred to as an "M-EID" of that node. A node may have one or more M-EIDs, depending on the number of endpoints to which it belongs. An EID of a singleton endpoint of which a node is a member will be referred to as a "singleton M-EID" of that node.) In situations where there is a requirement that the receiving node be able to determine an M-EID of a forwarding node, but the M-EID of the forwarding node cannot be inferred by the receiving node through existing mechanisms, the forwarding node must explicitly provide this
M-EID in the bundle. This specification defines the mechanism whereby a node can insert such an M-EID into a bundle before forwarding it to the bundle's next hop.
This previous-hop M-EID information may be used in some circumstances to support various routing protocols. For example, the PHIB could be helpful when implementing flood routing because each receiving node could use the PHIB to determine which EID to exclude from the list of adjacent nodes to which it forwards received bundles as it does its part in flooding the bundle. A node will flood the bundle to all neighboring nodes except for the node from which it received the bundle, as identified in the PHIB.
The PHIB could also be used in conjunction with the Bundle Authentication Block (BAB) of the DTN Bundle Security Protocol [DTNBSP] to provide the security-source EID for the BAB. The PHIB can be used to carry the BAB's security-source EID instead of conveying this EID using a reference in the BAB's EID-reference field or including the EID as part of the BAB's key-information parameters.
In many situations, a node that receives a bundle may be able to infer an M-EID of the node that forwarded the bundle. In some situations, however, no M-EID will be able to be inferred by the receiving node. For example, if tunneling DTN bundles across some portion of the DTN network, it is not possible for the node at the receiving end of the tunnel to determine from the convergence layer the M-EID of the node at the sending end of the tunnel. The node at the receiving end of the tunnel will receive an encapsulating bundle from one of its adjacent nodes, and it may be able to tell the M-EID of this adjacent node using the convergence-layer protocol. However, the node at the sending end of the tunnel is most likely not adjacent to the node at the receiving end of the tunnel, so in order for the node at the receiving end of the tunnel to be able to learn the M-EID of the node at the sending end of the tunnel, which is the previous- hop node of the tunneled bundle, the M-EID must be provided within the tunneled bundle. In this case, the PHIB is the vehicle for enabling the node at the sending end of the tunnel to provide its M-EID to the node at the receiving end of the tunnel.
EIDs may be presented in two ways within the PHIB. If the M-EID of the forwarding node is already in the Dictionary field of the bundle's primary bundle block, the PHIB MAY identify this EID using its Block EID-reference count and EID-reference field. Otherwise, the PHIB MUST identify this EID by providing the EID in its block- type-specific data field. These two alternative ways of presenting EIDs in the PHIB are further discussed in Section 3.
The lifetime of the PHIB is always exactly one hop in the DTN. If a bundle containing a PHIB is received, the receiving node is assured that this PHIB was inserted by the previous node, assuming all nodes are operating correctly; likewise, this PHIB is not retained with the bundle when the bundle is forwarded. If the bundle is forwarded with a PHIB, this PHIB MUST identify an M-EID of the forwarding node.
This document defines the format and processing of the PHIB. The capabilities described in this document are OPTIONAL for deployment with the Bundle Protocol. Bundle Protocol implementations claiming to support the PHIB MUST be capable of:
- generating a PHIB and inserting it into a bundle,
- receiving bundles containing a PHIB and making the information contained in this PHIB available for use, e.g., in forwarding decisions, and
- deleting a PHIB from a bundle
as defined in this document.
1.1. Requirements Language
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 [RFC2119].
2. Previous-Hop Insertion Block Format
The PHIB uses the Canonical Bundle Block Format as defined in the Bundle Protocol Specification [RFC5050]. That is, the PHIB is comprised of the following elements, which are defined as in all bundle protocol blocks except the primary bundle block. Note that Self-Delimiting Numeric Value (SDNV) encoding is also described in the Bundle Protocol Specification:
- Block-type code (one byte) - The block-type code for the PHIB is 0x05.
- Block processing control flags (SDNV) - The following block processing control flag MUST be set:
Discard block if it can't be processed
o Block EID-reference count and EID-references (optional) - composite field defined in [RFC5050] containing a count of EID- references (expressed as an SDNV) followed by an EID-reference (expressed as a pair of SDNVs).
Whether or not this field is allowed in the PHIB is determined by whether or not an M-EID of the node inserting the PHIB is already in the Dictionary field of the primary bundle block (e.g., whether an M-EID of the inserting node is also an M-EID of the bundle's source, current custodian, or report-to endpoint, or is the same as some other endpoint in the dictionary that is referenced by another block in the bundle).
If an M-EID of the inserting node is already in the dictionary, this field MAY be present in the PHIB. If this field is present in the PHIB, the value of the EID-reference count MUST be one, meaning that the field contains exactly one EID-reference, which MUST be a reference to an M-EID of the inserting node. Presence of this field MUST be indicated by a set "block contains an EID- reference field" flag in the block processing control flags.
If no M-EID of the inserting node is in the dictionary, this field MUST NOT be present in the PHIB, which MUST be indicated by an unset "block contains an EID-reference field" flag in the block processing control flags.
- Block data length (SDNV) - If this value is zero, there are no block-type-specific data fields. In this case, the M-EID of the inserting node must be in the dictionary and it MUST be referenced in the Block EID-reference count and EID-references field as described above.
- Block-type-specific data fields (optional) as follows:
- Inserting Node's EID Scheme Name - A null-terminated array of bytes that comprises the scheme name of an M-EID of the node inserting this PHIB.
- Inserting Node's EID SSP - A null-terminated array of bytes that comprises the scheme-specific part (SSP) of an M-EID of the node inserting this PHIB.
If the Block EID-reference count and EID-references field is not present in the PHIB, the above two EID scheme name and SSP block- type-specific data fields MUST be present. If the Block EID- reference count and EID-references field is present in the PHIB, the above two EID scheme name and SSP block-type-specific data fields MUST NOT be present.
The structure of a PHIB is as follows:
PHIB Format: +----+------------+--------------------------------- -+-------------+ |type|flags (SDNV)|EID-ref count and list (comp) (opt)|length (SDNV)| +----+------------+-----------------------------------+-------------+ | Inserting Node EID Scheme Name (opt)| Inserting Node EID SSP (opt)| +-------------------------------------------------------------------+
3. Previous-Hop Insertion Block Processing
The following are the processing steps that a bundle node must take relative to generation, reception, and processing of a PHIB.
3.1. Bundle Transmission
When an outbound bundle is created per the parameters of the bundle transmission request, this bundle MAY include one or more PHIBs. Whether or not PHIBs are included is a local bundle agent configuration option and may be influenced by other factors, such as the routing protocol in use.
3.2. Bundle Forwarding
Before forwarding a bundle, the node SHALL delete all PHIBs that were in the bundle when it was received (if any). As described in the Bundle Protocol Specification, the node MAY delete all strings (scheme names and SSPs) in the bundle's dictionary to which no endpoint ID references in the bundle currently refer (if any).
The node MAY insert one or more PHIBs into the bundle before forwarding it, as dictated by local policy. If there are already strings (scheme names and SSPs) in the bundle's dictionary that denote the M-EID of the inserting node, the PHIB MAY reference these strings and, if it does, it MUST NOT include any block-type-specific data fields. The inserting node MUST NOT insert strings into the bundle's dictionary in order that they may be referenced by only the PHIB. If the PHIB is constructed such that it does not reference any strings from the dictionary, the inserting node MUST include the scheme name and SSP of one of its M-EIDs as the PHIB's block-type- specific data fields.
The node that is inserting a PHIB into the bundle may have more than one endpoint in which it is a member. The choice of which M-EID to insert into the PIB SHALL be made as follows:
- If the inserting node is a member of exactly one singleton endpoint, the node may insert at most one PHIB into the bundle and the EID of this singleton endpoint is what MUST be inserted into the PHIB.
- If the inserting node is a member of more than one singleton endpoint, then:
If the inserting node has a priori knowledge of the URI schemes supported by the next-hop node and if the inserting node has one or more singleton M-EIDs that are expressible in one or more of those URI schemes, then the inserting node MAY insert one or more PHIBs into the bundle being forwarded. The EIDs in the inserted PHIBs MUST be unique, they MUST be singleton M-EIDs of the inserting node, and they MUST be expressed in URI schemes supported by the next-hop node. Mechanisms for determining what URI schemes are supported by particular next- hop neighbors are not defined here.
If the inserting node has one or more singleton M-EIDs that are expressible in the same URI scheme as the destination of the bundle that is being forwarded, then the inserting node MAY insert one or more PHIBs into the bundle being forwarded. The EIDs in the inserted PHIBs MUST be unique, they MUST be singleton M-EIDs of the inserting node, and they MUST be expressed in the destination URI scheme of the bundle.
Else, if the inserting node has neither a singleton M-EID that is expressible in a URI scheme known to be supported by the next-hop node nor a singleton M-EID that is expressible in the same URI scheme as the destination of the bundle that is being forwarded, then the inserting node MAY insert one or more PHIBs into the bundle being forwarded. The EIDs in the inserted PHIBs MUST be unique, and they MUST be singleton M-EIDs of the inserting node.
3.3. Bundle Reception
If the bundle includes a PHIB, the EID identified in the PHIB SHALL be made available for use at the receiving node (e.g., in forwarding decisions or, if the receiving node is the bundle-destination, the EID may be made available to the receiving application; whether or not it is made available to the receiving application is an implementation matter). If the EID is identified both by a reference in the PHIB's block EID-reference count and EID-references field and by a scheme name and SSP in the block-type-specific fields, the PHIB is not considered to be well-formed. In the case of reception of such an ill-formed PHIB, if the identified EIDs are the same, the receiving node MAY process the PHIB as if it were well-formed. However, if the identified EIDs differ, the receiving node MUST NOT process the PHIB and must take action on the PHIB as specified by the PHIB's block processing flags.
4. Security Considerations
The DTN Bundle Security Protocol [DTNBSP] defines security-related blocks to provide hop-by-hop bundle authentication and integrity, end-to-end integrity, and end-to-end confidentiality of bundles or parts of bundles, as well as a set of ciphersuites that may be used to calculate security-results carried in these security blocks. The PHIB will not be encrypted when using the PCB-RSA-AES128-PAYLOAD-PIB- PCB ciphersuite with the Payload Confidentiality Block (PCB) to provide end-to-end confidentiality. This ciphersuite only allows for payload and Payload Integrity Block (PIB) encryption. If encryption of the PHIB block is desired, the Extension Security Block (ESB) could be used for this purpose.
All ciphersuites that use the strict canonicalization algorithm [DTNBSP] to calculate and verify security-results (e.g., many hop-by- hop authentication ciphersuites) apply to all blocks in the bundle, and so would apply to bundles that include an optional PHIB and would include that block in the calculation of their security-result. In particular, bundles including the optional PHIB would have their integrity protected in their entirety for the extent of a single hop, from a forwarding node to an adjacent receiving node, using the Bundle Authentication Block (BAB) with the BAB-HMAC (Hashed Message Authentication Code) ciphersuite defined in the Bundle Security Protocol Specification.
Ciphersuites that use the mutable canonicalization algorithm to calculate and verify security-results (e.g., the PIB-RSA-SHA256 ciphersuite and most end-to-end authentication ciphersuites used with the PIB) will (correctly) omit the PHIB from their calculation. The fact that several different instantiations of this PHIB block may be added to and deleted from the bundle as the bundle transits the network will not interfere with end-to-end security protection when using ciphersuites that use mutable canonicalization.
As stated above, the BAB can be used to ensure the integrity of the PHIB. Nodes receiving bundles with PHIBs should be aware, however, that forwarding nodes that insert PHIBs might lie about the EIDs of endpoints of which they are members. Lying in this way could provide a mechanism for subverting routing strategies that base routing decisions on EID information in the PHIB.
Note that if some Bundle Protocol implementation does not support the PHIB but does not properly implement the "Discard block if it can't be processed" flag, then a PHIB may unexpectedly persist for longer than a single hop.
5. IANA Considerations
This specification allocates a codepoint from the "Bundle Block Types" registry defined in [RFC6255] (see Section 2):
Additional Entry for the Bundle Block Type Codes Registry:
+-------+----------------------------------------+----------------+ | Value | Description + Reference | +-------+----------------------------------------+----------------+ | 5 | Previous-Hop Insertion Block + This document | +-------+----------------------------------------+----------------+
6.1. Normative References
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC5050] Scott, K. and S. Burleigh, "Bundle Protocol Specification", RFC 5050, November 2007. [RFC6255] Blanchet, M., "Delay-Tolerant Networking (DTN) Bundle Protocol IANA Registries", RFC 6255, May 2011.
6.2. Informative References
Susan Flynn Symington The MITRE Corporation 7515 Colshire Drive McLean, VA 22102 US Phone: +1 (703) 983-7209 EMail: email@example.com URI: http://mitre.org/