[Standards] XEP-50: Ad hoc command protocol is stateful

Kurt Zeilenga Kurt.Zeilenga at Isode.com
Thu Dec 11 23:52:46 UTC 2008


I was implementing XEP-50 and was dumbfounded to find the protocol is  
stateful.  That is, the protocol requires a server to maintain state,  
potentially of significant size, of each in-progress command.  I think  
a stateless protocol design would be more appropriate, such as one  
where the server provides a state data in non-final command responses  
that the client is required to return in subsequent requests.

If the design remains stateful, I recommend a security consideration  
be added cautioning server developers of the possibility that state  
management requirements of 'ad hoc' commands might be used to mount  
denial of service attacks against the server.  One simple way to avoid  
such DoS attacks is to limit the number of concurrent commands a  
client (and/or user) can execute, and to limit the size of state held  
for each client (and/or user).

-- Kurt



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