7. Base Protocol Procedures This section defines the base procedures of the STUN protocol. It describes how messages are formed, how they are sent, and how they are processed when they are received. It also defines the detailed processing of the Binding method. Other sections in this document describe optional procedures that a usage may elect to use in certain situations. Other documents may define other extensions to STUN, by adding new methods, new attributes, or new error response codes. 7.1. Forming a Request or an Indication When formulating a request or indication message, the agent MUST follow the rules in Section 6 when creating the header. In addition, the message class MUST be either "Request" or "Indication" (as appropriate), and the method must be either Binding or some method defined in another document. The agent then adds any attributes specified by the method or the usage. For example, some usages may specify that the agent use an authentication method (Section 10) or the FINGERPRINT attribute (Section 8).
If the agent is sending a request, it SHOULD add a SOFTWARE attribute to the request. Agents MAY include a SOFTWARE attribute in indications, depending on the method. Extensions to STUN should discuss whether SOFTWARE is useful in new indications. For the Binding method with no authentication, no attributes are required unless the usage specifies otherwise. All STUN messages sent over UDP SHOULD be less than the path MTU, if known. If the path MTU is unknown, messages SHOULD be the smaller of 576 bytes and the first-hop MTU for IPv4 [RFC1122] and 1280 bytes for IPv6 [RFC2460]. This value corresponds to the overall size of the IP packet. Consequently, for IPv4, the actual STUN message would need to be less than 548 bytes (576 minus 20-byte IP header, minus 8-byte UDP header, assuming no IP options are used). STUN provides no ability to handle the case where the request is under the MTU but the response would be larger than the MTU. It is not envisioned that this limitation will be an issue for STUN. The MTU limitation is a SHOULD, and not a MUST, to account for cases where STUN itself is being used to probe for MTU characteristics [BEHAVE-NAT]. Outside of this or similar applications, the MTU constraint MUST be followed. 7.2. Sending the Request or Indication The agent then sends the request or indication. This document specifies how to send STUN messages over UDP, TCP, or TLS-over-TCP; other transport protocols may be added in the future. The STUN usage must specify which transport protocol is used, and how the agent determines the IP address and port of the recipient. Section 9 describes a DNS-based method of determining the IP address and port of a server that a usage may elect to use. STUN may be used with anycast addresses, but only with UDP and in usages where authentication is not used. At any time, a client MAY have multiple outstanding STUN requests with the same STUN server (that is, multiple transactions in progress, with different transaction IDs). Absent other limits to the rate of new transactions (such as those specified by ICE for connectivity checks or when STUN is run over TCP), a client SHOULD space new transactions to a server by RTO and SHOULD limit itself to ten outstanding transactions to the same server. 7.2.1. Sending over UDP When running STUN over UDP, it is possible that the STUN message might be dropped by the network. Reliability of STUN request/ response transactions is accomplished through retransmissions of the
request message by the client application itself. STUN indications are not retransmitted; thus, indication transactions over UDP are not reliable. A client SHOULD retransmit a STUN request message starting with an interval of RTO ("Retransmission TimeOut"), doubling after each retransmission. The RTO is an estimate of the round-trip time (RTT), and is computed as described in RFC 2988 [RFC2988], with two exceptions. First, the initial value for RTO SHOULD be configurable (rather than the 3 s recommended in RFC 2988) and SHOULD be greater than 500 ms. The exception cases for this "SHOULD" are when other mechanisms are used to derive congestion thresholds (such as the ones defined in ICE for fixed rate streams), or when STUN is used in non- Internet environments with known network capacities. In fixed-line access links, a value of 500 ms is RECOMMENDED. Second, the value of RTO SHOULD NOT be rounded up to the nearest second. Rather, a 1 ms accuracy SHOULD be maintained. As with TCP, the usage of Karn's algorithm is RECOMMENDED [KARN87]. When applied to STUN, it means that RTT estimates SHOULD NOT be computed from STUN transactions that result in the retransmission of a request. The value for RTO SHOULD be cached by a client after the completion of the transaction, and used as the starting value for RTO for the next transaction to the same server (based on equality of IP address). The value SHOULD be considered stale and discarded after 10 minutes. Retransmissions continue until a response is received, or until a total of Rc requests have been sent. Rc SHOULD be configurable and SHOULD have a default of 7. If, after the last request, a duration equal to Rm times the RTO has passed without a response (providing ample time to get a response if only this final request actually succeeds), the client SHOULD consider the transaction to have failed. Rm SHOULD be configurable and SHOULD have a default of 16. A STUN transaction over UDP is also considered failed if there has been a hard ICMP error [RFC1122]. For example, assuming an RTO of 500 ms, requests would be sent at times 0 ms, 500 ms, 1500 ms, 3500 ms, 7500 ms, 15500 ms, and 31500 ms. If the client has not received a response after 39500 ms, the client will consider the transaction to have timed out. 7.2.2. Sending over TCP or TLS-over-TCP For TCP and TLS-over-TCP, the client opens a TCP connection to the server.
In some usages of STUN, STUN is sent as the only protocol over the TCP connection. In this case, it can be sent without the aid of any additional framing or demultiplexing. In other usages, or with other extensions, it may be multiplexed with other data over a TCP connection. In that case, STUN MUST be run on top of some kind of framing protocol, specified by the usage or extension, which allows for the agent to extract complete STUN messages and complete application layer messages. The STUN service running on the well- known port or ports discovered through the DNS procedures in Section 9 is for STUN alone, and not for STUN multiplexed with other data. Consequently, no framing protocols are used in connections to those servers. When additional framing is utilized, the usage will specify how the client knows to apply it and what port to connect to. For example, in the case of ICE connectivity checks, this information is learned through out-of-band negotiation between client and server. When STUN is run by itself over TLS-over-TCP, the TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CBC_SHA ciphersuite MUST be implemented at a minimum. Implementations MAY also support any other ciphersuite. When it receives the TLS Certificate message, the client SHOULD verify the certificate and inspect the site identified by the certificate. If the certificate is invalid or revoked, or if it does not identify the appropriate party, the client MUST NOT send the STUN message or otherwise proceed with the STUN transaction. The client MUST verify the identity of the server. To do that, it follows the identification procedures defined in Section 3.1 of RFC 2818 [RFC2818]. Those procedures assume the client is dereferencing a URI. For purposes of usage with this specification, the client treats the domain name or IP address used in Section 8.1 as the host portion of the URI that has been dereferenced. Alternatively, a client MAY be configured with a set of domains or IP addresses that are trusted; if a certificate is received that identifies one of those domains or IP addresses, the client considers the identity of the server to be verified. When STUN is run multiplexed with other protocols over a TLS-over-TCP connection, the mandatory ciphersuites and TLS handling procedures operate as defined by those protocols. Reliability of STUN over TCP and TLS-over-TCP is handled by TCP itself, and there are no retransmissions at the STUN protocol level. However, for a request/response transaction, if the client has not received a response by Ti seconds after it sent the SYN to establish the connection, it considers the transaction to have timed out. Ti SHOULD be configurable and SHOULD have a default of 39.5s. This value has been chosen to equalize the TCP and UDP timeouts for the default initial RTO.
In addition, if the client is unable to establish the TCP connection, or the TCP connection is reset or fails before a response is received, any request/response transaction in progress is considered to have failed. The client MAY send multiple transactions over a single TCP (or TLS- over-TCP) connection, and it MAY send another request before receiving a response to the previous. The client SHOULD keep the connection open until it: o has no further STUN requests or indications to send over that connection, and o has no plans to use any resources (such as a mapped address (MAPPED-ADDRESS or XOR-MAPPED-ADDRESS) or relayed address [BEHAVE-TURN]) that were learned though STUN requests sent over that connection, and o if multiplexing other application protocols over that port, has finished using that other application, and o if using that learned port with a remote peer, has established communications with that remote peer, as is required by some TCP NAT traversal techniques (e.g., [MMUSIC-ICE-TCP]). At the server end, the server SHOULD keep the connection open, and let the client close it, unless the server has determined that the connection has timed out (for example, due to the client disconnecting from the network). Bindings learned by the client will remain valid in intervening NATs only while the connection remains open. Only the client knows how long it needs the binding. The server SHOULD NOT close a connection if a request was received over that connection for which a response was not sent. A server MUST NOT ever open a connection back towards the client in order to send a response. Servers SHOULD follow best practices regarding connection management in cases of overload. 7.3. Receiving a STUN Message This section specifies the processing of a STUN message. The processing specified here is for STUN messages as defined in this specification; additional rules for backwards compatibility are defined in Section 12. Those additional procedures are optional, and usages can elect to utilize them. First, a set of processing operations is applied that is independent of the class. This is followed by class-specific processing, described in the subsections that follow.
When a STUN agent receives a STUN message, it first checks that the message obeys the rules of Section 6. It checks that the first two bits are 0, that the magic cookie field has the correct value, that the message length is sensible, and that the method value is a supported method. It checks that the message class is allowed for the particular method. If the message class is "Success Response" or "Error Response", the agent checks that the transaction ID matches a transaction that is still in progress. If the FINGERPRINT extension is being used, the agent checks that the FINGERPRINT attribute is present and contains the correct value. If any errors are detected, the message is silently discarded. In the case when STUN is being multiplexed with another protocol, an error may indicate that this is not really a STUN message; in this case, the agent should try to parse the message as a different protocol. The STUN agent then does any checks that are required by a authentication mechanism that the usage has specified (see Section 10). Once the authentication checks are done, the STUN agent checks for unknown attributes and known-but-unexpected attributes in the message. Unknown comprehension-optional attributes MUST be ignored by the agent. Known-but-unexpected attributes SHOULD be ignored by the agent. Unknown comprehension-required attributes cause processing that depends on the message class and is described below. At this point, further processing depends on the message class of the request. 7.3.1. Processing a Request If the request contains one or more unknown comprehension-required attributes, the server replies with an error response with an error code of 420 (Unknown Attribute), and includes an UNKNOWN-ATTRIBUTES attribute in the response that lists the unknown comprehension- required attributes. The server then does any additional checking that the method or the specific usage requires. If all the checks succeed, the server formulates a success response as described below. When run over UDP, a request received by the server could be the first request of a transaction, or a retransmission. The server MUST respond to retransmissions such that the following property is preserved: if the client receives the response to the retransmission and not the response that was sent to the original request, the overall state on the client and server is identical to the case where only the response to the original retransmission is received, or
where both responses are received (in which case the client will use the first). The easiest way to meet this requirement is for the server to remember all transaction IDs received over UDP and their corresponding responses in the last 40 seconds. However, this requires the server to hold state, and will be inappropriate for any requests which are not authenticated. Another way is to reprocess the request and recompute the response. The latter technique MUST only be applied to requests that are idempotent (a request is considered idempotent when the same request can be safely repeated without impacting the overall state of the system) and result in the same success response for the same request. The Binding method is considered to be idempotent. Note that there are certain rare network events that could cause the reflexive transport address value to change, resulting in a different mapped address in different success responses. Extensions to STUN MUST discuss the implications of request retransmissions on servers that do not store transaction state. 184.108.40.206. Forming a Success or Error Response When forming the response (success or error), the server follows the rules of Section 6. The method of the response is the same as that of the request, and the message class is either "Success Response" or "Error Response". For an error response, the server MUST add an ERROR-CODE attribute containing the error code specified in the processing above. The reason phrase is not fixed, but SHOULD be something suitable for the error code. For certain errors, additional attributes are added to the message. These attributes are spelled out in the description where the error code is specified. For example, for an error code of 420 (Unknown Attribute), the server MUST include an UNKNOWN- ATTRIBUTES attribute. Certain authentication errors also cause attributes to be added (see Section 10). Extensions may define other errors and/or additional attributes to add in error cases. If the server authenticated the request using an authentication mechanism, then the server SHOULD add the appropriate authentication attributes to the response (see Section 10). The server also adds any attributes required by the specific method or usage. In addition, the server SHOULD add a SOFTWARE attribute to the message. For the Binding method, no additional checking is required unless the usage specifies otherwise. When forming the success response, the server adds a XOR-MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute to the response, where the contents of the attribute are the source transport address of the
request message. For UDP, this is the source IP address and source UDP port of the request message. For TCP and TLS-over-TCP, this is the source IP address and source TCP port of the TCP connection as seen by the server. 220.127.116.11. Sending the Success or Error Response The response (success or error) is sent over the same transport as the request was received on. If the request was received over UDP, the destination IP address and port of the response are the source IP address and port of the received request message, and the source IP address and port of the response are equal to the destination IP address and port of the received request message. If the request was received over TCP or TLS-over-TCP, the response is sent back on the same TCP connection as the request was received on. 7.3.2. Processing an Indication If the indication contains unknown comprehension-required attributes, the indication is discarded and processing ceases. The agent then does any additional checking that the method or the specific usage requires. If all the checks succeed, the agent then processes the indication. No response is generated for an indication. For the Binding method, no additional checking or processing is required, unless the usage specifies otherwise. The mere receipt of the message by the agent has refreshed the "bindings" in the intervening NATs. Since indications are not re-transmitted over UDP (unlike requests), there is no need to handle re-transmissions of indications at the sending agent. 7.3.3. Processing a Success Response If the success response contains unknown comprehension-required attributes, the response is discarded and the transaction is considered to have failed. The client then does any additional checking that the method or the specific usage requires. If all the checks succeed, the client then processes the success response. For the Binding method, the client checks that the XOR-MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute is present in the response. The client checks the address family specified. If it is an unsupported address family, the
attribute SHOULD be ignored. If it is an unexpected but supported address family (for example, the Binding transaction was sent over IPv4, but the address family specified is IPv6), then the client MAY accept and use the value. 7.3.4. Processing an Error Response If the error response contains unknown comprehension-required attributes, or if the error response does not contain an ERROR-CODE attribute, then the transaction is simply considered to have failed. The client then does any processing specified by the authentication mechanism (see Section 10). This may result in a new transaction attempt. The processing at this point depends on the error code, the method, and the usage; the following are the default rules: o If the error code is 300 through 399, the client SHOULD consider the transaction as failed unless the ALTERNATE-SERVER extension is being used. See Section 11. o If the error code is 400 through 499, the client declares the transaction failed; in the case of 420 (Unknown Attribute), the response should contain a UNKNOWN-ATTRIBUTES attribute that gives additional information. o If the error code is 500 through 599, the client MAY resend the request; clients that do so MUST limit the number of times they do this. Any other error code causes the client to consider the transaction failed. 8. FINGERPRINT Mechanism This section describes an optional mechanism for STUN that aids in distinguishing STUN messages from packets of other protocols when the two are multiplexed on the same transport address. This mechanism is optional, and a STUN usage must describe if and when it is used. The FINGERPRINT mechanism is not backwards compatible with RFC 3489, and cannot be used in environments where such compatibility is required. In some usages, STUN messages are multiplexed on the same transport address as other protocols, such as the Real Time Transport Protocol (RTP). In order to apply the processing described in Section 7, STUN messages must first be separated from the application packets.
Section 6 describes three fixed fields in the STUN header that can be used for this purpose. However, in some cases, these three fixed fields may not be sufficient. When the FINGERPRINT extension is used, an agent includes the FINGERPRINT attribute in messages it sends to another agent. Section 15.5 describes the placement and value of this attribute. When the agent receives what it believes is a STUN message, then, in addition to other basic checks, the agent also checks that the message contains a FINGERPRINT attribute and that the attribute contains the correct value. Section 7.3 describes when in the overall processing of a STUN message the FINGERPRINT check is performed. This additional check helps the agent detect messages of other protocols that might otherwise seem to be STUN messages. 9. DNS Discovery of a Server This section describes an optional procedure for STUN that allows a client to use DNS to determine the IP address and port of a server. A STUN usage must describe if and when this extension is used. To use this procedure, the client must know a server's domain name and a service name; the usage must also describe how the client obtains these. Hard-coding the domain name of the server into software is NOT RECOMMENDED in case the domain name is lost or needs to change for legal or other reasons. When a client wishes to locate a STUN server in the public Internet that accepts Binding request/response transactions, the SRV service name is "stun". When it wishes to locate a STUN server that accepts Binding request/response transactions over a TLS session, the SRV service name is "stuns". STUN usages MAY define additional DNS SRV service names. The domain name is resolved to a transport address using the SRV procedures specified in [RFC2782]. The DNS SRV service name is the service name provided as input to this procedure. The protocol in the SRV lookup is the transport protocol the client will run STUN over: "udp" for UDP and "tcp" for TCP. Note that only "tcp" is defined with "stuns" at this time. The procedures of RFC 2782 are followed to determine the server to contact. RFC 2782 spells out the details of how a set of SRV records is sorted and then tried. However, RFC 2782 only states that the client should "try to connect to the (protocol, address, service)" without giving any details on what happens in the event of failure. When following these procedures, if the STUN transaction times out without receipt of a response, the client SHOULD retry the request to
the next server in the ordered defined by RFC 2782. Such a retry is only possible for request/response transmissions, since indication transactions generate no response or timeout. The default port for STUN requests is 3478, for both TCP and UDP. Administrators of STUN servers SHOULD use this port in their SRV records for UDP and TCP. In all cases, the port in DNS MUST reflect the one on which the server is listening. The default port for STUN over TLS is 5349. Servers can run STUN over TLS on the same port as STUN over TCP if the server software supports determining whether the initial message is a TLS or STUN message. If no SRV records were found, the client performs an A or AAAA record lookup of the domain name. The result will be a list of IP addresses, each of which can be contacted at the default port using UDP or TCP, independent of the STUN usage. For usages that require TLS, the client connects to one of the IP addresses using the default STUN over TLS port. 10. Authentication and Message-Integrity Mechanisms This section defines two mechanisms for STUN that a client and server can use to provide authentication and message integrity; these two mechanisms are known as the short-term credential mechanism and the long-term credential mechanism. These two mechanisms are optional, and each usage must specify if and when these mechanisms are used. Consequently, both clients and servers will know which mechanism (if any) to follow based on knowledge of which usage applies. For example, a STUN server on the public Internet supporting ICE would have no authentication, whereas the STUN server functionality in an agent supporting connectivity checks would utilize short-term credentials. An overview of these two mechanisms is given in Section 3. Each mechanism specifies the additional processing required to use that mechanism, extending the processing specified in Section 7. The additional processing occurs in three different places: when forming a message, when receiving a message immediately after the basic checks have been performed, and when doing the detailed processing of error responses. 10.1. Short-Term Credential Mechanism The short-term credential mechanism assumes that, prior to the STUN transaction, the client and server have used some other protocol to exchange a credential in the form of a username and password. This credential is time-limited. The time limit is defined by the usage.
As an example, in the ICE usage [MMUSIC-ICE], the two endpoints use out-of-band signaling to agree on a username and password, and this username and password are applicable for the duration of the media session. This credential is used to form a message-integrity check in each request and in many responses. There is no challenge and response as in the long-term mechanism; consequently, replay is prevented by virtue of the time-limited nature of the credential. 10.1.1. Forming a Request or Indication For a request or indication message, the agent MUST include the USERNAME and MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attributes in the message. The HMAC for the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute is computed as described in Section 15.4. Note that the password is never included in the request or indication. 10.1.2. Receiving a Request or Indication After the agent has done the basic processing of a message, the agent performs the checks listed below in order specified: o If the message does not contain both a MESSAGE-INTEGRITY and a USERNAME attribute: * If the message is a request, the server MUST reject the request with an error response. This response MUST use an error code of 400 (Bad Request). * If the message is an indication, the agent MUST silently discard the indication. o If the USERNAME does not contain a username value currently valid within the server: * If the message is a request, the server MUST reject the request with an error response. This response MUST use an error code of 401 (Unauthorized). * If the message is an indication, the agent MUST silently discard the indication. o Using the password associated with the username, compute the value for the message integrity as described in Section 15.4. If the resulting value does not match the contents of the MESSAGE- INTEGRITY attribute:
* If the message is a request, the server MUST reject the request with an error response. This response MUST use an error code of 401 (Unauthorized). * If the message is an indication, the agent MUST silently discard the indication. If these checks pass, the agent continues to process the request or indication. Any response generated by a server MUST include the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, computed using the password utilized to authenticate the request. The response MUST NOT contain the USERNAME attribute. If any of the checks fail, a server MUST NOT include a MESSAGE- INTEGRITY or USERNAME attribute in the error response. This is because, in these failure cases, the server cannot determine the shared secret necessary to compute MESSAGE-INTEGRITY. 10.1.3. Receiving a Response The client looks for the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute in the response. If present, the client computes the message integrity over the response as defined in Section 15.4, using the same password it utilized for the request. If the resulting value matches the contents of the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, the response is considered authenticated. If the value does not match, or if MESSAGE-INTEGRITY was absent, the response MUST be discarded, as if it was never received. This means that retransmits, if applicable, will continue. 10.2. Long-Term Credential Mechanism The long-term credential mechanism relies on a long-term credential, in the form of a username and password that are shared between client and server. The credential is considered long-term since it is assumed that it is provisioned for a user, and remains in effect until the user is no longer a subscriber of the system, or is changed. This is basically a traditional "log-in" username and password given to users. Because these usernames and passwords are expected to be valid for extended periods of time, replay prevention is provided in the form of a digest challenge. In this mechanism, the client initially sends a request, without offering any credentials or any integrity checks. The server rejects this request, providing the user a realm (used to guide the user or agent in selection of a username and password) and a nonce. The nonce provides the replay protection. It is a cookie, selected by the server, and encoded in such a way as to indicate a
duration of validity or client identity from which it is valid. The client retries the request, this time including its username and the realm, and echoing the nonce provided by the server. The client also includes a message-integrity, which provides an HMAC over the entire request, including the nonce. The server validates the nonce and checks the message integrity. If they match, the request is authenticated. If the nonce is no longer valid, it is considered "stale", and the server rejects the request, providing a new nonce. In subsequent requests to the same server, the client reuses the nonce, username, realm, and password it used previously. In this way, subsequent requests are not rejected until the nonce becomes invalid by the server, in which case the rejection provides a new nonce to the client. Note that the long-term credential mechanism cannot be used to protect indications, since indications cannot be challenged. Usages utilizing indications must either use a short-term credential or omit authentication and message integrity for them. Since the long-term credential mechanism is susceptible to offline dictionary attacks, deployments SHOULD utilize passwords that are difficult to guess. In cases where the credentials are not entered by the user, but are rather placed on a client device during device provisioning, the password SHOULD have at least 128 bits of randomness. In cases where the credentials are entered by the user, they should follow best current practices around password structure. 10.2.1. Forming a Request There are two cases when forming a request. In the first case, this is the first request from the client to the server (as identified by its IP address and port). In the second case, the client is submitting a subsequent request once a previous request/response transaction has completed successfully. Forming a request as a consequence of a 401 or 438 error response is covered in Section 10.2.3 and is not considered a "subsequent request" and thus does not utilize the rules described in Section 10.2.1.2. 10.2.1.1. First Request If the client has not completed a successful request/response transaction with the server (as identified by hostname, if the DNS procedures of Section 9 are used, else IP address if not), it SHOULD omit the USERNAME, MESSAGE-INTEGRITY, REALM, and NONCE attributes. In other words, the very first request is sent as if there were no authentication or message integrity applied.
10.2.1.2. Subsequent Requests Once a request/response transaction has completed successfully, the client will have been presented a realm and nonce by the server, and selected a username and password with which it authenticated. The client SHOULD cache the username, password, realm, and nonce for subsequent communications with the server. When the client sends a subsequent request, it SHOULD include the USERNAME, REALM, and NONCE attributes with these cached values. It SHOULD include a MESSAGE- INTEGRITY attribute, computed as described in Section 15.4 using the cached password. 10.2.2. Receiving a Request After the server has done the basic processing of a request, it performs the checks listed below in the order specified: o If the message does not contain a MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, the server MUST generate an error response with an error code of 401 (Unauthorized). This response MUST include a REALM value. It is RECOMMENDED that the REALM value be the domain name of the provider of the STUN server. The response MUST include a NONCE, selected by the server. The response SHOULD NOT contain a USERNAME or MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute. o If the message contains a MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, but is missing the USERNAME, REALM, or NONCE attribute, the server MUST generate an error response with an error code of 400 (Bad Request). This response SHOULD NOT include a USERNAME, NONCE, REALM, or MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute. o If the NONCE is no longer valid, the server MUST generate an error response with an error code of 438 (Stale Nonce). This response MUST include NONCE and REALM attributes and SHOULD NOT include the USERNAME or MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute. Servers can invalidate nonces in order to provide additional security. See Section 4.3 of [RFC2617] for guidelines. o If the username in the USERNAME attribute is not valid, the server MUST generate an error response with an error code of 401 (Unauthorized). This response MUST include a REALM value. It is RECOMMENDED that the REALM value be the domain name of the provider of the STUN server. The response MUST include a NONCE, selected by the server. The response SHOULD NOT contain a USERNAME or MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute.
o Using the password associated with the username in the USERNAME attribute, compute the value for the message integrity as described in Section 15.4. If the resulting value does not match the contents of the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, the server MUST reject the request with an error response. This response MUST use an error code of 401 (Unauthorized). It MUST include REALM and NONCE attributes and SHOULD NOT include the USERNAME or MESSAGE- INTEGRITY attribute. If these checks pass, the server continues to process the request. Any response generated by the server (excepting the cases described above) MUST include the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, computed using the username and password utilized to authenticate the request. The REALM, NONCE, and USERNAME attributes SHOULD NOT be included. 10.2.3. Receiving a Response If the response is an error response with an error code of 401 (Unauthorized), the client SHOULD retry the request with a new transaction. This request MUST contain a USERNAME, determined by the client as the appropriate username for the REALM from the error response. The request MUST contain the REALM, copied from the error response. The request MUST contain the NONCE, copied from the error response. The request MUST contain the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, computed using the password associated with the username in the USERNAME attribute. The client MUST NOT perform this retry if it is not changing the USERNAME or REALM or its associated password, from the previous attempt. If the response is an error response with an error code of 438 (Stale Nonce), the client MUST retry the request, using the new NONCE supplied in the 438 (Stale Nonce) response. This retry MUST also include the USERNAME, REALM, and MESSAGE-INTEGRITY. The client looks for the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute in the response (either success or failure). If present, the client computes the message integrity over the response as defined in Section 15.4, using the same password it utilized for the request. If the resulting value matches the contents of the MESSAGE-INTEGRITY attribute, the response is considered authenticated. If the value does not match, or if MESSAGE-INTEGRITY was absent, the response MUST be discarded, as if it was never received. This means that retransmits, if applicable, will continue.
11. ALTERNATE-SERVER Mechanism This section describes a mechanism in STUN that allows a server to redirect a client to another server. This extension is optional, and a usage must define if and when this extension is used. A server using this extension redirects a client to another server by replying to a request message with an error response message with an error code of 300 (Try Alternate). The server MUST include an ALTERNATE-SERVER attribute in the error response. The error response message MAY be authenticated; however, there are uses cases for ALTERNATE-SERVER where authentication of the response is not possible or practical. A client using this extension handles a 300 (Try Alternate) error code as follows. The client looks for an ALTERNATE-SERVER attribute in the error response. If one is found, then the client considers the current transaction as failed, and reattempts the request with the server specified in the attribute, using the same transport protocol used for the previous request. That request, if authenticated, MUST utilize the same credentials that the client would have used in the request to the server that performed the redirection. If the client has been redirected to a server on which it has already tried this request within the last five minutes, it MUST ignore the redirection and consider the transaction to have failed. This prevents infinite ping-ponging between servers in case of redirection loops. 12. Backwards Compatibility with RFC 3489 This section defines procedures that allow a degree of backwards compatibility with the original protocol defined in RFC 3489 [RFC3489]. This mechanism is optional, meant to be utilized only in cases where a new client can connect to an old server, or vice versa. A usage must define if and when this procedure is used. Section 19 lists all the changes between this specification and RFC 3489 [RFC3489]. However, not all of these differences are important, because "classic STUN" was only used in a few specific ways. For the purposes of this extension, the important changes are the following. In RFC 3489: o UDP was the only supported transport. o The field that is now the magic cookie field was a part of the transaction ID field, and transaction IDs were 128 bits long.
o The XOR-MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute did not exist, and the Binding method used the MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute instead. o There were three comprehension-required attributes, RESPONSE- ADDRESS, CHANGE-REQUEST, and CHANGED-ADDRESS, that have been removed from this specification. * CHANGE-REQUEST and CHANGED-ADDRESS are now part of the NAT Behavior Discovery usage [BEHAVE-NAT], and the other is deprecated. 12.1. Changes to Client Processing A client that wants to interoperate with an [RFC3489] server SHOULD send a request message that uses the Binding method, contains no attributes, and uses UDP as the transport protocol to the server. If successful, the success response received from the server will contain a MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute rather than an XOR-MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute. A client seeking to interoperate with an older server MUST be prepared to receive either. Furthermore, the client MUST ignore any Reserved comprehension-required attributes that might appear in the response. Of the Reserved attributes in Section 18.2, 0x0002, 0x0004, 0x0005, and 0x000B may appear in Binding responses from a server compliant to RFC 3489. Other than this change, the processing of the response is identical to the procedures described above. 12.2. Changes to Server Processing A STUN server can detect when a given Binding request message was sent from an RFC 3489 [RFC3489] client by the absence of the correct value in the magic cookie field. When the server detects an RFC 3489 client, it SHOULD copy the value seen in the magic cookie field in the Binding request to the magic cookie field in the Binding response message, and insert a MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute instead of an XOR- MAPPED-ADDRESS attribute. The client might, in rare situations, include either the RESPONSE- ADDRESS or CHANGE-REQUEST attributes. In these situations, the server will view these as unknown comprehension-required attributes and reply with an error response. Since the mechanisms utilizing those attributes are no longer supported, this behavior is acceptable. The RFC 3489 version of STUN lacks both the magic cookie and the FINGERPRINT attribute that allows for a very high probability of correctly identifying STUN messages when multiplexed with other protocols. Therefore, STUN implementations that are backwards
compatible with RFC 3489 SHOULD NOT be used in cases where STUN will be multiplexed with another protocol. However, that should not be an issue as such multiplexing was not available in RFC 3489. 13. Basic Server Behavior This section defines the behavior of a basic, stand-alone STUN server. A basic STUN server provides clients with server reflexive transport addresses by receiving and replying to STUN Binding requests. The STUN server MUST support the Binding method. It SHOULD NOT utilize the short-term or long-term credential mechanism. This is because the work involved in authenticating the request is more than the work in simply processing it. It SHOULD NOT utilize the ALTERNATE-SERVER mechanism for the same reason. It MUST support UDP and TCP. It MAY support STUN over TCP/TLS; however, TLS provides minimal security benefits in this basic mode of operation. It MAY utilize the FINGERPRINT mechanism but MUST NOT require it. Since the stand-alone server only runs STUN, FINGERPRINT provides no benefit. Requiring it would break compatibility with RFC 3489, and such compatibility is desirable in a stand-alone server. Stand-alone STUN servers SHOULD support backwards compatibility with [RFC3489] clients, as described in Section 12. It is RECOMMENDED that administrators of STUN servers provide DNS entries for those servers as described in Section 9. A basic STUN server is not a solution for NAT traversal by itself. However, it can be utilized as part of a solution through STUN usages. This is discussed further in Section 14. 14. STUN Usages STUN by itself is not a solution to the NAT traversal problem. Rather, STUN defines a tool that can be used inside a larger solution. The term "STUN usage" is used for any solution that uses STUN as a component. At the time of writing, three STUN usages are defined: Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) [MMUSIC-ICE], Client-initiated connections for SIP [SIP-OUTBOUND], and NAT Behavior Discovery [BEHAVE-NAT]. Other STUN usages may be defined in the future. A STUN usage defines how STUN is actually utilized -- when to send requests, what to do with the responses, and which optional procedures defined here (or in an extension to STUN) are to be used. A usage would also define:
o Which STUN methods are used. o What authentication and message-integrity mechanisms are used. o The considerations around manual vs. automatic key derivation for the integrity mechanism, as discussed in [RFC4107]. o What mechanisms are used to distinguish STUN messages from other messages. When STUN is run over TCP, a framing mechanism may be required. o How a STUN client determines the IP address and port of the STUN server. o Whether backwards compatibility to RFC 3489 is required. o What optional attributes defined here (such as FINGERPRINT and ALTERNATE-SERVER) or in other extensions are required. In addition, any STUN usage must consider the security implications of using STUN in that usage. A number of attacks against STUN are known (see the Security Considerations section in this document), and any usage must consider how these attacks can be thwarted or mitigated. Finally, a usage must consider whether its usage of STUN is an example of the Unilateral Self-Address Fixing approach to NAT traversal, and if so, address the questions raised in RFC 3424 [RFC3424].