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Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2014 14:36:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: cve-assign@...re.org
To: phk@....freebsd.dk
Cc: cve-assign@...re.org, oss-security@...ts.openwall.com
Subject: Re: Varnish - no CVE == bug regression

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> https://www.varnish-cache.org/docs/trunk/reference/varnishd.html
> auto_restart
>   Units: bool
>   Default: on
> Restart child process automatically if it dies.


> https://www.varnish-cache.org/docs/trunk/reference/vcl.html
> Backend definition
> host (mandatory)
>   The host to be used. IP address or a hostname that resolves to a
>   single IP address.

Is it a supported configuration if auto_restart is off, and this
hostname is specified using a DNS domain name?

It seems that, if an attacker is occasionally successful at DNS
spoofing (or spoofing at another level) and can thus trigger even one
use of a rogue backend server, there's a long-lived denial of service.
This is a denial of service caused by a well-defined attack against an
issue in the Varnish code (an issue with no CVE ID at present).

(It's not an interesting case if the attacker controls the domain name
or is regularly successful in spoofing. The attacker could then
trigger long-term use of nonexistent backend servers: from the end
user's perspective, this isn't much different from a disruption of
Varnish itself. And, presumably, it's even worse because the attacker
could instead decide to provide wrong content instead of no content.)

> By definition Varnish must explicitly and implicitly trust the
> backend HTTP server

With many realistic network designs, there isn't 100% assurance that
this trusted server is always the actual origin of network traffic
that appears to be from this server, and has a malicious HTTP header.
Thus, it seems that you are trusting data for which it's essentially
impossible to know whether this data originated inside of your
security boundary.

Still, this may be the security policy that you want to have. In other
words, maybe what you are offering is sustained operation only in the
case of a network infrastructure that's 100% impervious to a spoofing
attack that succeeds for an instant of time. If there shouldn't be CVE
assignments, would it be possible to update your documentation so that
"auto_restart off" is labeled as a known risk for long-lived DoS
conditions?

- -- 
CVE assignment team, MITRE CVE Numbering Authority
M/S M300
202 Burlington Road, Bedford, MA 01730 USA
[ PGP key available through http://cve.mitre.org/cve/request_id.html ]
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