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Table of Contents

FortiOS Carrier

More about protocol anomaly detection

When anomalies do happen, it is possible for the anomaly to interrupt network traffic or consume network resources — if precautions are not taken. Anomalies can be generated by accident or maliciously, but both methods can have the same results — degrading the performance of the carrier network, or worse.

The following are some examples:

  • The GTP header specifies the length of the packet excluding the mandatory GTP header. In GTP version 0 (GSM 09.60), the mandatory GTP header size is 20 bytes, whereas GTP version 1 (GSM 29.060) specifies that the minimum length of the GTP header is 8 bytes. The GTP packet is composed of the header, followed by Information Elements typically presented in a Type-Length-Value format. It is possible for an attacker to create a GTP packet with a GTP header field length that is incompatible with the length of the necessary information elements.
  • The same concepts are true for GTP version 2 headers even though there are different fields in them.
  • It is similarly possible for an attacker to create a packet with an invalid IE length. Invalid lengths may cause protocol stacks to allocate incorrect amounts of memory, and thereby cause crashes or buffer overflows.

By default, the FortiOS Carrier firewall detects these problems, as well as other protocol anomalies, and drops the packets. All protocol anomaly options are set to Deny by default. However, you can change the policy to allow them.

More about protocol anomaly detection

When anomalies do happen, it is possible for the anomaly to interrupt network traffic or consume network resources — if precautions are not taken. Anomalies can be generated by accident or maliciously, but both methods can have the same results — degrading the performance of the carrier network, or worse.

The following are some examples:

  • The GTP header specifies the length of the packet excluding the mandatory GTP header. In GTP version 0 (GSM 09.60), the mandatory GTP header size is 20 bytes, whereas GTP version 1 (GSM 29.060) specifies that the minimum length of the GTP header is 8 bytes. The GTP packet is composed of the header, followed by Information Elements typically presented in a Type-Length-Value format. It is possible for an attacker to create a GTP packet with a GTP header field length that is incompatible with the length of the necessary information elements.
  • The same concepts are true for GTP version 2 headers even though there are different fields in them.
  • It is similarly possible for an attacker to create a packet with an invalid IE length. Invalid lengths may cause protocol stacks to allocate incorrect amounts of memory, and thereby cause crashes or buffer overflows.

By default, the FortiOS Carrier firewall detects these problems, as well as other protocol anomalies, and drops the packets. All protocol anomaly options are set to Deny by default. However, you can change the policy to allow them.