[Standards-JIG] Jingle vs. Zoep

Richard Dobson richard at dobson-i.net
Tue Feb 14 01:57:06 UTC 2006

>>> 4. Content validation. Some very significant adopters of XMPP like the
>>> technology because it is pure XML and they can validate all the XML that
>>> flows across the wire using standard XML tools. It is much more
>>> difficult to parse SIP as it goes over the wire (yes, there are
>>> SIP-specific firewall products, but they are specialized and expensive).
>>> So if we send SIP over XMPP, it is quite likely that these adopters will
>>> not use it.
>> There is also the fact that if you are just wrapping the SIP packets 
>> without validating them somehow and simply passing them to a SIP 
>> stack, so you have no control (without adding lots of complexity to 
>> the code to validate the SIP packets which voids the benefits of just 
>> blindly passing the SIP packets to the SIP stack and allowing it to 
>> deal with it) over what the other end will ask your SIP stack to do, 
>> it also opens up quite a large surface for attack (i.e. a whole SIP 
>> stack, which is what I would expect most people would use with this 
>> kind of solution).
> Would this not apply for every payload in the XMPP world?

Not really no, the vast majority of protocols can be quickly and easily 
validated against an XML schema and dropped if they arnt valid, SIP 
packets cant. To validate those you would have to add a SIP packet 
parser to your application, rather than just being able to use the 
existing built in functions of your XML parser.

> And secondly, the application is in charge of the SIP stack over a 
> secure connection. Not the user.  The is no way to inject malicious
> content:

Urm yes there is, if you arnt validating the packets before you pass 
them to the SIP stack anyone can send potensially malicious content as 
there is nothing in place to prevent that.

> with pc2pc the SIP address is the same as the XMPP JID (all 
> rules apply), for pc2pstn only qualified numbers are allowed (things 
> like 00 44 123456789).

Huh? Im confused, what does this have to do with validating the SIP packets?

>> To make this solution secure as far as I can see would make it rather 
>> complex, i.e. you would have to add in parsers to validate the SIP 
>> packets either in the XMPP layer before they get passed to the SIP 
>> layer or will need to modify the SIP stack to add this stuff in.

> Why the duplication? The sip stack WILL parse & validate messages - 
> which means the message passed

Because you cant trust the SIP stack to validate its own messages if its 
just standard SIP stack, as there are all sorts of security problems 
with a default implementation like the lack of a required validated from 
address, there are all sorts of things like that which you will want to 
prevent your SIP stack from being able to do which are perfectly valid 
things for the SIP stack to do, but there are things you would never 
want it to be able to do because of the security problems people have 
already pointed out that you have yet to respond to, and the only way to 
prevent these things would be to as I pointed out validate the SIP 
packets before they get to the SIP stack, or alter the SIP stack to 
perform this validation.


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