[tor-dev] Revisiting prop224 time periods and HS descriptor upload/downloads
desnacked at riseup.net
Mon Apr 11 11:42:02 UTC 2016
David Goulet <dgoulet at ev0ke.net> writes:
> [ text/plain ]
> On 04 Apr (19:13:39), George Kadianakis wrote:
>> during March we discussed the cell formats of prop224:
>> The prop224 topic for this month has to do with the way descriptors get
>> uploaded and downloaded, how this is scheduled using time periods and how the
>> shared randomness subsystem interacts with all that.
>> Here are some discussion topics. Lots of text on the first two, less text on the rest:
>> In any case, this is how this might look like:
>> | |
>> | 00:00 12:00 00:00 12:00 00:00 12:00 |
>> | SRV#1 TP#1 SRV#2 TP#2 SRV#3 TP#3 |
>> | |
>> | $ |-----------$-----======|-----------$-----======| |
>> | overlap12 overlap23 |
>> | |
>> Legend: [TP#1 = Time Period #1]
>> [SRV#1 = Shared Random Value #1]
>> - So now that we have ironed out the time period stuff slightly, let's discuss
>> the behavior that hidden services, clients and HSDirs should inherit.
>> This email is quite long already so I'm going to go with examples, instead of
>> formal specification. However, this stuff needs to go formally in the
>> proposal IMO, so any help in formalizing it would be great.
>> + Hidden Service behavior:
>> Example 1: Our hidden service boots up at 14:00 of TP#1. In this case, we
>> are nowhere close to the overlap period, so the hidden service should just
>> publish its TP#1 descriptor to the HSDir hash ring using SRV#1 (which at
>> that point should be in consensuses as "shared-rand-current-value").
>> The hidden service might also want to calculate its overlap OFFSET (as
>> specified in [TIME-OVERLAP]) and schedule a time callback for publishing
>> its TP#2 descriptors.
>> Example 2: Our hidden service boots up at 03:00 of TP#1. That's outside of
>> the overlap period again, but this time the hidden service needs to use the
>> SRV from "shared-rand-previous-value" because the SRV was rotated at midnight.
>> Example 3: Our hidden service boots up at 09:00 of TP#1. That's inside the
>> overlap period, so the hidden service should calculate its overlap
>> OFFSET and compare it with the current time.
>> If it has not passed, then we are in the exact same case as Example 2.
>> If the overlap OFFSET _has_ passed, then the hidden service needs to act
>> as Example 2, and _also_ publish its TP#2 descriptors to a second set of
>> HSDirs using SRV#2.
>> I think these are all the cases for the hidden service, but I would like to
>> formalize this in a way that can be written in the spec. Particularly, I'm
>> not sure how to formalize which SRV to pick at a given time point.
> It sounds simple as:
> "If we are before to the overlap period, use the time period shared random
> value (TP1 == SRV1). If we are in the overlap period, upload two descriptors
> using _both_ SRVs."
I'm not sure it's so simple. As it is now, there is no indicator connecting
time periods with shared random values, so "TP1 == SRV1" might make sense to us
but it's not something that can be implemented. How does the client know
whether to use "shared-rand-previous-value" or "shared-rand-current-value"?
Here is an idea:
"A hidden service uploading its normal descriptor using a consensus with
valid-after between 12:00UTC (inclusive) and 00:00UTC (exlusive), uses the
_current_ SRV. A hidden service uploading its normal descriptor using a
consensus with valid-after between 00:00UTC (inclusive) and 12:00UTC
(exclusive), uses the _previous_ SRV.
A hidden service uploading its overlap descriptor, always uses the current SRV
(assumming that the HS descriptor overlap period starts after midnight UTC)."
And the client equivalent:
"A client fetching a hidden service descriptor using a consensus with
valid-after between 12:00UTC (inclusive) and 00:00UTC (exclusive), uses the
_current_ SRV. A client fetching a hidden service descriptor using a consensus
with valid-after between 00:00UTC (inclusive) and 12:00UTC (exclusive), uses
the _previous_ SRV."
In both sections above, if the right SRV is missing from the consensus,
entities are supposed to use a fallback SRV value generated as specified in
section 2.3.1 of prop224.
FWIW, I don't like how I had to use hardcoded time values in the above
sections. That's because 12:00UTC is the $TIME_PERIOD_ROTATION_TIME and
00:00UTC is the $SHARED_RANDOM_VALUE_GENERATION_TIME. Maybe we could do this
without hardcoding $SHARED_RANDOM_VALUE_GENERATION_TIME, by adding expiration
times to the SRVs in the consensus and using those to choose the right SRV.
How else could we simplify this logic?
>> + HSDir behavior
>> Currently the spec says the following:
>> Hidden service directories should accept descriptors at least [TODO:
>> how much?] minutes before they would become valid, and retain them
>> for at least [TODO: how much?] minutes after the end of the period.
>> After discussion with David, we thought of chopping off the first part of
>> that paragraph and not imposing any such weak restrictions for accepting
>> descriptors (see #18332).
>> We still have not decided about the second part of that paragraph, that is
>> how long descriptors should be retained after the end of the period. We
>> currently think clock skew is the only thing that can bring clients to the
>> wrong HSDir after the end of the period. Maybe an hour is OK? David
>> suggested 12 hours. The current Tor is doing 48 hours... Any ideas?
> It should at least be 24 hours (maximum possible) with an adjustment of at the
> _very_ least the overlap period. If the overlap period is 6 hours, we can then
> add the "maximum clock skew" we think is reasonable and we would end up with
> an OK value imo.
> Descriptor maximum lifetime: 24 hours
> Overlap period span: 6 hours (taken from your diagram)
> Maximum acceptable clock skew: 6 hours (dgoulet opinion!)
> Thus we are talking of a 36 hours lifetime in the cache. Let's work with that
> as a baseline :).
Hm, I see you are calculating the total lifetime here. How often do hidden
services refresh (reupload) their descriptor in this case? I think in the
current system, hidden services do so every hour. Do we keep this feature?
Let's consider a hidden service that uploads a single descriptor during its
overlap period and then disappears completely: should the HSDir keep and serve
that descriptor for 36 hours? It's unlikely that the HS is still up and
maintaining its intro circuits if it can't keep on refreshing its descriptor.
Also consider that whatever "maximum acceptable clock skew" we choose, the
hidden service needs to keep its introduction circuits up for that time as
well, otherwise the descriptor will be useless to the clock skewed clients.
FWIW, I'm personally not sure how to choose the best "maximum acceptable clock skew"
value here. My intuition tells me to choose a big number so that even very
skewed clients can visit hidden services. I see the following two negatives here:
- Hidden services need to retain their old intro circuits for the duration of
the acceptable clock skew.
- HSDirs need to cache hidden service descriptors for the duration of the
acceptable clock skew.
Is there anything else I'm missing?
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