Number
157
Author
zzz, orignal
Created
Thread
http://zzz.i2p/topics/2957
Last updated
Status
Open

Overview

Summary

The current size of the encrypted tunnel Build Request and Reply records is 528. For typical Variable Tunnel Build and Variable Tunnel Build Reply messages, the total size is 2113 bytes. This message is fragmented into 1KB three tunnel messages for the reverse path.

Changes to the 528-byte record format for ECIES-X25519 routers are specified in [Prop152] and [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES]. For a mix of ElGamal and ECIES-X25519 routers in a tunnel, the record size must remain 528 bytes. However, if all routers in a tunnel are ECIES-X25519, a new, smaller build record is possible, because ECIES-X25519 encryption has much less overhead than ElGamal.

Smaller messages would save bandwidth. Also, if the messages could fit in a single tunnel message, the reverse path would be three times more efficient.

This proposal defines new request and reply records and new Build Request and Build Reply messages.

The tunnel creator and all hops in the created tunnel must ECIES-X25519, and at least version TBD. This proposal will not be useful until a majority of the routers in the network are ECIES-X25519. This is expected to happen by year-end 2021.

Goals

See [Prop152] and [Prop156] for additional goals.

  • Smaller records and messages
  • Maintain sufficient space for future options, as in [Prop152] and [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES]
  • Fit in one tunnel message for the reverse path
  • Support ECIES hops only
  • Maintain improvements implemented in [Prop152] and [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES]
  • Maximize compatibility with current network
  • Hide inbound build messages from the OBEP
  • Hide outbound build reply messages from the IBGW
  • Do not require "flag day" upgrade to entire network
  • Gradual rollout to minimize risk
  • Reuse existing cryptographic primitives

Non-Goals

See [Prop156] for additional non-goals.

  • No requirement for mixed ElGamal/ECIES tunnels
  • Layer encryption changes, for that see [Prop153]
  • No speedups of crypto operations. It's assumed that ChaCha20 and AES are similar, even with AESNI, at least for the small data sizes in question.

Design

Records

See appendix for calculations.

Encrypted request and reply records will be 236 bytes, compared to 528 bytes now.

The plaintext request records will be 172 bytes, compared to 222 bytes for ElGamal records, and 464 bytes for ECIES records as defined in [Prop152] and [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES].

The plaintext response records will be 172 bytes, compared to 496 bytes for ElGamal records, and 512 bytes for ECIES records as defined in [Prop152] and [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES].

The reply encryption will be ChaCha20 (NOT ChaCha20/Poly1305), so the plaintext records do not need to be a multiple of 16 bytes.

Request records will be made smaller by using HKDF to create the layer and reply keys, so they do not need to be explicitly included in the request.

Tunnel Build Messages

Both will be "variable" with a one-byte number of records field, as with the existing Variable messages.

ShortTunnelBuild: Type 25

Typical length (with 4 records): 945 bytes

OutboundTunnelBuildReply: Type 26

We define a new OutboundTunnelBuildReply message. This is used for outbound tunnel builds only. The purpose is to hide outbound build reply messages from the IBGW. It must be garlic encrypted by the OBEP, targeting the originator (delivery instructions TUNNEL). The OBEP decrypts the tunnel build message, constructs a OutboundTunnelBuildReply message, and puts the reply into the cleartext field. The other records go into the other slots. It then garlic encrypts the message to originator with the derived symmetric keys.

InboundTunnelBuild: Type 27

We define a new InboundTunnelBuild message, Type 27. This is used for inbound tunnel builds only. The purpose is to hide inbound build messages from the OBEP. It must be garlic encrypted by the originator, targeting the inbound gateway (delivery instructions ROUTER). The IBGW decrypts the message, constructs a ShortTunnelBuild message, and puts the reply into the correct slot specified. The other records go into the other slots. It then sends the ShortTunnelBuildMessage to the next hop. As the ShortTunnelBuild message is garlic encrypted, the build record for the IBGW does not need to be encrypted again.

Notes

By garlic encrypting the OTBRM and ITBM, we also avoid any potential issues with compatibility at the IBGW and OBEP of the paired tunnels.

Message Flow

STBM: Short tunnel build message (type 25)
OTBRM: Outbound tunnel build reply message (type 26)
ITBM: Inbound tunnel build message (type 27)

Outbound Build A-B-C
Reply through existing inbound D-E-F


                New Tunnel
         STBM      STBM      STBM
Creator ------> A ------> B ------> C ---\
                                   OBEP   \
                                          | Garlic wrapped
                                          | OTBRM
                                          | (TUNNEL delivery)
                                          | from OBEP to
                                          | creator
              Existing Tunnel             /
Creator <-------F---------E-------- D <--/
                                   IBGW



Inbound Build D-E-F
Sent through existing outbound A-B-C


              Existing Tunnel
Creator ------> A ------> B ------> C ---\
                                  OBEP    \
                                          | Garlic wrapped
                                          | ITBM
                                          | (ROUTER delivery)
                                          | from creator
                New Tunnel                | to IBGW
          STBM      STBM      STBM        /
Creator <------ F <------ E <------ D <--/
                                   IBGW

Record Encryption

Request and reply record encryption: as defined in [Prop152] and [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES].

Reply record encryption for other slots: ChaCha20.

Layer Encryption

Currently there is no plan to change layer encryption for tunnels built with this specification; it would remain AES, as currently used for all tunnels.

Changing layer encryption to ChaCha20 is a topic for additional research.

New Tunnel Data Message

Currently there is no plan to change the 1KB Tunnel Data Message used for tunnels built with this specification.

It may be useful to introduce a new I2NP message that is larger or variable-sized, concurrent with this proposal, for use over these tunnels. This would reduce overhead for large messages. This is a topic for additional research.

Specification

Short Request Record

Short Request Record Unencrypted

This is the proposed specification of the tunnel BuildRequestRecord for ECIES-X25519 routers. Summary of changes from [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES]:

  • Change unencrypted length from 464 to 172 bytes
  • Change encrypted length from 528 to 236 bytes
  • Remove layer and reply keys and IVs, they will be generated from split() and a KDF
  • Padding omitted when in ITBM.

The request record does not contain any ChaCha reply keys. Those keys are derived from a KDF. See below.

All fields are big-endian.

Unencrypted size: 172 bytes, except when in the first record of an InboundTunnelBuild message. Variable size in the first record of an InboundTunnelBuild message. Minimum size in the first record of an InboundTunnelBuild message: 90 bytes.

Standard format:

bytes     0-3: tunnel ID to receive messages as, nonzero
bytes     4-7: next tunnel ID, nonzero
bytes    8-39: next router identity hash
byte       40: flags
bytes   41-42: more flags, unused, set to 0 for compatibility
byte       43: layer encryption type
bytes   44-47: request time (in minutes since the epoch, rounded down)
bytes   48-51: request expiration (in seconds since creation)
bytes   52-55: next message ID
bytes    56-x: tunnel build options (Mapping)
bytes     x-x: other data as implied by flags or options
bytes   x-171: random padding (see below)

Format in first (plaintext) record in the Inbound Tunnel Build Message:

bytes     0-3: tunnel ID to receive messages as, nonzero
bytes     4-7: next tunnel ID, nonzero
bytes    8-39: next router identity hash
byte       40: flags
bytes   41-42: more flags, unused, set to 0 for compatibility
byte       43: layer encryption type
bytes   44-47: request time (in minutes since the epoch, rounded down)
bytes   48-51: request expiration (in seconds since creation)
bytes   52-55: next message ID
bytes   56-87: creator ephemeral public key for KDF
bytes    88-x: tunnel build options (Mapping)
bytes     x-x: other data as implied by flags or options

The flags field is the same as defined in [Tunnel-Creation] and contains the following:

Bit order: 76543210 (bit 7 is MSB)
bit 7: if set, allow messages from anyone
bit 6: if set, allow messages to anyone, and send the reply to the
       specified next hop in a Tunnel Build Reply Message
bits 5-0: Undefined, must set to 0 for compatibility with future options

Bit 7 indicates that the hop will be an inbound gateway (IBGW). Bit 6 indicates that the hop will be an outbound endpoint (OBEP). If neither bit is set, the hop will be an intermediate participant. Both cannot be set at once.

Layer encryption type: 0 for AES (as in current tunnels); 1 for future (ChaCha?)

The request exipration is for future variable tunnel duration. For now, the only supported value is 600 (10 minutes).

The creator ephemeral public key is an ECIES key, big-endian. It is used for the KDF for the IBGW layer and reply keys and IVs. This is only included in the plaintext record in an Inbound Tunnel Build message. It is required because there is no DH at this layer for the build record.

The tunnel build options is a Mapping structure as defined in [Common]. This is for future use. No options are currently defined. If the Mapping structure is empty, this is two bytes 0x00 0x00. The maximum size of the Mapping (including the length field) is 116 bytes, and the maximum value of the Mapping length field is 114.

NOTE: The random padding is NOT included in the first record of an InboundTunnelBuild message. That record is variable-length and is preceded by a length field.

Short Request Record Encrypted

All fields are big-endian except for the ephemeral public key which is little-endian.

Encrypted size: 236 bytes

bytes    0-15: Hop's truncated identity hash
bytes   16-47: Sender's ephemeral X25519 public key
bytes  48-219: ChaCha20 encrypted ShortBuildRequestRecord
bytes 220-235: Poly1305 MAC

Short Reply Record

Encrypted BuildReplyRecords are 528 bytes for both ElGamal and ECIES, for compatibility.

Short Reply Record Unencrypted

This is the proposed specification of the tunnel ShortBuildReplyRecord for ECIES-X25519 routers. Summary of changes from [Tunnel-Creation-ECIES]:

  • Change unencrypted length from 512 to 172 bytes
  • Change encrypted length from 528 to 236 bytes
  • Padding omitted when in OTBRM.

ECIES replies are encrypted with ChaCha20/Poly1305.

All fields are big-endian.

Unencrypted size: 172 bytes, except when in the first record of an OutboundTunnelBuildReply message. Variable size in the first record of an OutboundTunnelBuildReply message. Minimum size in the first record of an OutboundTunnelBuildReply message: 3 bytes.

bytes    0-x: Tunnel Build Reply Options (Mapping)
bytes    x-x: other data as implied by options
bytes  x-170: Random padding (see below)
byte     171: Reply byte

The tunnel build reply options is a Mapping structure as defined in [Common]. This is for future use. No options are currently defined. If the Mapping structure is empty, this is two bytes 0x00 0x00. The maximum size of the Mapping (including the length field) is 171 bytes, and the maximum value of the Mapping length field is 169.

NOTE: The random padding is NOT included in the first record of an OutboundTunnelBuildReply message. That record is variable-length and is preceded by a length field.

The reply byte is one of the following values as defined in [Tunnel-Creation] to avoid fingerprinting:

  • 0x00 (accept)
  • 30 (TUNNEL_REJECT_BANDWIDTH)

Short Reply Record Encrypted

Encrypted size: 236 bytes

bytes   0-219: ChaCha20 encrypted ShortBuildReplyRecord
bytes 220-235: Poly1305 MAC

KDF

TBD

ShortTunnelBuild

I2NP Type 25

+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
| num| ShortBuildRequestRecords...
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+

num ::
       1 byte Integer
       Valid values: 1-8

record size: 236 bytes
total size: 1+$num*236

Notes

  • Typical number of records is 4, for a total size of 945.

OutboundTunnelBuildReply

I2NP Type 26

+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
| num|slot| length  |   Cleartext
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
            BuildReplyRecord            |
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
|      ShortBuildReplyRecords...        |
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+

num ::
       Total number of records,
       equal to 1 + the number of encrypted reply records
       1 byte Integer
       Valid values: 1-8

slot ::
       Slot for the plaintext record to follow
       1 byte Integer
       Valid values: 0-7

length ::
       Length of the plaintext record to follow
       2 byte Integer
       Valid values: 3-172

BuildReplyRecord ::
       Plaintext record for OBEP
       length: 3-172

ShortBuildReplyRecords ::
       Encrypted records
       length: (num-1) * 236

cleartext record size: TBD-172 bytes
encrypted record size: 236 bytes
total size: varies

Notes

  • The Cleartext BuildReplyRecord does NOT contain padding after the properties field. It does not need to be fixed length. This hopefully allows the garlic encrypted message to fit in one tunnel message. Calculation TBD.
  • This message MUST be garlic encrypted.

InboundTunnelBuild

I2NP Type 27

+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
| num|slot| length  |   Cleartext
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
            BuildRequestRecord          |
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
|      ShortBuildRequestRecords...      |
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+

num ::
       Total number of records,
       equal to 1 + the number of encrypted request records
       1 byte Integer
       Valid values: 1-8

slot ::
       Slot for the plaintext record to follow
       1 byte Integer
       Valid values: 0-7

length ::
       Length of the plaintext record to follow
       2 byte Integer
       Valid values: 90-172

BuildRequestRecord ::
       Plaintext record for IBGW
       length: 90-172

ShortBuildReplyRecords ::
       Encrypted records
       length: (num-1) * 236

cleartext record size: TBD-172 bytes
encrypted record size: 236 bytes
total size: varies

Notes

  • The Cleartext BuildRequestRecord does NOT contain padding after the properties field. It does not need to be fixed length. This hopefully allows the garlic encrypted message to fit in one tunnel message. Calculation TBD.
  • This message MUST be garlic encrypted.

Justification

This design maximizes reuse of existing cryptographic primitives, protocols, and code.

This design minimizes risk.

ChaCha20 is slightly faster than AES for small records, in Java testing. ChaCha20 avoids a requirement for data size multiples of 16.

Implementation Notes

  • As with the existing variable tunnel build message, messages smaller than 4 records are not recommended. The typical default is 3 hops. Inbound tunnels must be built with an extra record for the originator, so the last hop does not know it is last. So that middle hops don't know if a tunnel is inbound or outbound, outbound tunnels should be built with 4 records also.

Issues

  • HKDF details
  • Layer encryption changes?
Should we do additional hiding from the paired OBEP or IBGW? Garlic?

System Message: WARNING/2 (/opt/i2p.website/i2p.www/i2p2www/spec/proposals, line 594)

Block quote ends without a blank line; unexpected unindent.
  • For an IB build, the build message could be garlic encrypted to the IBGW, but then it would be larger.
  • We could do this for IB now for existing build messages if desired, but it's more expensive for ElGamal.
  • Is it worth it, or does the size of the message (much larger than typical database lookup, but maybe not database store) plus the delivery instructions make it obvious anyway?
  • For an OB build, the build reply message would have to be garlic encrypted by the OBEP to the originator, but that would not be anonymous. Is there another way? probably not.

Migration

The implementation, testing, and rollout will take several releases and approximately one year. The phases are as follows. Assignment of each phase to a particular release is TBD and depends on the pace of development.

Details of the implementation and migration may vary for each I2P implementation.

Tunnel creator must ensure that all hops in the created tunnel are ECIES-X25519, AND are at least version TBD. The tunnel creator does NOT have to be ECIES-X25519; it can be ElGamal. However, if the creator is ElGamal, it reveals to the closest hop that it is the creator. So, in practice, these tunnels should only be created by ECIES routers.

It should NOT be necessary for the paired tunnel OBEP or IBGW is ECIES or of any particular version. The new messages are garlic-wrapped and not visible at the OBEP or IBGW of the paired tunnel.

Phase 1: Implementation, not enabled by default

Phase 2 (next release): Enable by default

There are no backward-compatibility issues. The new messages may only be sent to routers that support them.

Appendix

Current 4-slot size: 4 * 528 + overhead = 3 tunnel messages

4-slot build message to fit in one tunnel message, ECIES-only:

1024
- 21 fragment header
----
1003
- 39 unfragmented instructions
----
964
- 16 I2NP header
----
948
- 1 number of slots
----
947
/ 4 slots
----
236 New encrypted build record size (vs. 528 now)
- 16 trunc. hash
- 32 eph. key
- 16 MAC
----
172 cleartext build record max (vs. 222 now)

Current build record cleartext size before unused padding: 193

Removal of full router hash and HKDF generation of keys/IVs would free up plenty of room for future options.
If everything is HKDF, required cleartext space is about 82 bytes (without any options)