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STIR-SHAKEN

DRAFT

This document refers to the Stir/Shaken Refactor of 1Q2024. The earlier version was only partially functional and not interoperable with other implementations.

STIR-SHAKEN Services

There are 2 services associated with STIR-SHAKEN call processing implementations...

Attestation

On an outbound call, attestation is basically you swearing in court what level of responsibility you have over the accuracy of the caller id you're presenting in the outgoing INVITE message, where the level can be one of the following:

  • A: Full Attestation
    • You are responsible for the origination of the call onto the IP-based service provider voice network.
    • You have a direct authenticated relationship with the customer and can identify the customer.
    • You have established a verified association with the telephone number used for the call.
  • B: Partial Attestation
    • You are responsible for the origination of the call onto the IP-based service provider voice network.
    • You have a direct authenticated relationship with the customer and can identify the customer.
    • BUT you have NOT established a verified association with the telephone number used for the call.
  • C: Gateway Attestation
    • You're clueless. You're just passing the call along.

Attestation is accomplished by adding a SIP "Identity" header to the outgoing INVITE whose contents are signed with a specific private key/certificate which can be traced back to the actual caller id's owning service provider. For most Asterisk installation scenarios, you'd receive such a key/certificate from your upstream service provider when they issue you DID telephone numbers. Parameters that must be placed in the header include...

  • The caller-id, even though it's probably already in the P-Asserted-Identity or From SIP headers.
  • The attestation level.
  • The date.
  • The destination telephone number.
  • A URL to the certificate whose private key was used to sign this header.
  • The signature that resulted from signing the header with the associated private key.

Verification

This is the hard part... When you receive an incoming INVITE containing an Identity header, you can't just automatically trust it. There are a very specific set of tests that must be executed to determine if the information in that Identity header is valid. Most of these tests are described in ATIS-1000074v003 * The certificate URL included in the Identity header must use the https scheme, must not have any query parameters, user/password components, or path parameters. The hostname part of the URL must also NOT resolve to any of the Special-Purpose IP Addresses described in RFC-6890 which includes the local interface 127.0.0.x and the private networks like 10.0.0.0/8, 172.16.0.0/12 and 192.168.0.0/16. Don't worry, for testing purposes you can relax these restrictions. :)

  • The verifier must retrieve the certificate using the URL referenced in the Identity header.
  • The certificate's valid times must encompass the current time.
  • The certificate must be traceable back to a certificate authority that is trusted to issue certificates for the telephone number in question.
  • The certificate must contain an X509v3 CRL Distribution Points extension with a URI to the issuer's certificate revocation list.
  • The certificate must not be in the CRL.
  • The certificate must have a special TNAuthList extension.
  • The TNAuthList extension must contain a Service Provider Code(SPC)
  • The certificate's Subject commonName(CN) must be in the format "SHAKEN ".
  • The SPC in the TNAuthList extension must match the SPC in the CN.
  • The public key attached to the retrieved certificate must be able to decrypt the signature on the Identity header. This ensures that that certificate's private key was the one that created the signature.
  • The "iat" date parameter in the header must be within a few seconds of "now".
  • The SIP Date header must be present and also within a few seconds of "now".
  • The caller-id in the Identity header must match the caller-id in the P-Asserted-Identity or From SIP headers.

If any of the checks fail, the specifications say you MUST... do absolutely nothing. You may however do one of the following:

  • Accept the call and continue as if nothing happened.
  • Accept the call but return some data back to the sender with some error information that may be useful to them. What they do with it is their business.
  • Reject the call with very specific 4XX response codes.

Deviations from Specifications

  • At the present time, Asterisk does not validate the destination TN in the SIP "To:" and the "dest" TN in the Identity header. The rules for doing so are fairly complex with regard to emergency services numbers and call diversion (forwarding, transfer, etc).
  • Although RFC-8225 section 7 allows the use of the compact form of the PASSporT, ATIS-1000074 section 5.3.3 states that only the full form shall be used. Asterisk therefore supports only the full form of the PASSporT.
  • Asterisk currently performs only basic validation of certificates retrieved during the verification process. Certificate authority, validity date and TNAuthList extension presence are validated but validation of the Common Name content is not performed. Also, the certificate is only checked against CRLs previously downloaded and configured in stir_shaken.conf. No attempt to retrieve or use the CRL indicated in the certificate's X509v3 CRL Distribution Points extension because the only real-world certificate we could find to test with has a bad URI.

Telephone Number to Service Provider validation is not possible!

Although RFC-8226 section 9 states that the TNAuthList extension can contain a service provider code, a telephone number, or a range of telephone numbers, ATIS-1000080 section 6.4.1.2 states "The TNAuthList shall contain a single SPC value.". Asterisk therefore will fail to verify a certificate whose TNAuthList extension contains something other than an SPC code.

It was apparently envisioned that a facility would be made available to verify that a particular SPC has the authority over a particular telephone number. To our knowledge, that facility doesn't yet exist. This means that there is currently no way for Asterisk to verify that the SPC in the certificate has the authority over the TN in the Identity header.

Asterisk Implementation

Configuration

All configuration is done via the stir_shaken.conf file. The sample stir_shaken.conf is heavily commented.

There are 4 object types used by the STIR/SHAKEN process...

The "attestation" object sets the parameters for creating an Identity header which attests to the ownership of the caller id on outgoing INVITE requests.

One or more "tn" objects that are used to create the outgoing Identity header. Each object's "id" is a specific caller-id telephone number and the object contains the URL to the certificate that was used to attest to the ownership of the caller-id, the level (A,B,C) of the attestation you're making, and the private key the asterisk attestation service will use to sign the Identity header. When an outgoing INVITE request is placed, the attestation service will look up the caller-id in the tn object list and if it's found, use the information in the object to create the Identity header.

The "verification" object sets the parameters for verification of the Identity header and caller id on incoming INVITE requests.

One or more "profile" objects that can be associated to channel driver endpoints (currently only chan_pjsip). Profiles can set whether verification, attestation, both or neither should be performed on requests coming in to this endpoint or requests going out from this endpoint. Additionally they can override most of the attestation and verification options to make them specific to an endpoint. When Asterisk loads the configs, it creates "effective profiles" or "eprofiles" on the fly that are the amalgamation of the attestation, verification and profile. You can see them in the CLI with "stir_shaken show eprofiles".

NOTE: The "tn" object can be configured to source its data from a realtime database by configuring sorcery.conf and extconfig.conf. Both of those files have examples for "stir_tn". There is also an Alembic script in the "config" section of contrib/ast-db-manage that will create the table. Since there can be only one "verification" or "attestation" object, and will probably be only a few "profile" objects, those objects aren't realtime enabled.

Attestation Object

The "attestation" object sets the parameters for creating an Identity header which attests to the ownership of the caller id on outgoing INVITE requests.

All parameters except 'global_disable" may be overridden in a "profile" or "tn" object.

Only one "attestation" object may exist. If it doesn't exist at all, the attestation service is globally disabled.

Parameters:

global_disable

If set, globally disables the attestation service. No Identity headers will be added to any outgoing INVITE requests.

Default: no

private_key_file

The path to a file containing the private key you received from the issuing authority. The file must NOT be group or world readable or writable so make sure the user the asterisk process is running as is the owner.

Default: none

public_cert_url

The URL to the certificate you received from the issueing authority. They may give you a URL to use or you may have to host the certificate yourself and provide your own URL here.

Default: none

WARNING: Make absolutely sure the file that's made public doesn't accidentally include the privite key as well as the certificate. If you set "check_tn_cert_public_url" in the "attestation" section above, the tn will not be loaded and a "DANGER" message will be output on the asterisk console if the file does contain a private key.

check_tn_cert_public_url

Identity headers in outgoing requests must contain a URL that points to the certificate used to sign the header. Setting this parameter tells Asterisk to actually try to retrieve the certificates indicated by "public_cert_url" parameters and fail loading that tn if the cert can't be retrieved or if its 'Not Valid Before" -> 'Not Valid After" date range doesn't include today. This is a network intensive process so use with caution.

Default: no

attest_level

The level of the attestation you're making. One of "A", "B", "C"

Default: none

send_mky

If set and an outgoing call uses DTLS, an "mky" Media Key grant will be added to the Identity header. Although RFC8224/8225 require this, not many implementations support it so a remote verification service may fail to verify the signature.

Default: no

Example "attestation" object:
[attestation]
global_disable = no
private_key_path = /var/lib/asterisk/keys/stir_shaken/tns/multi-tns-key.pem
public_cert_url = https://example.com/tncerts/multi-tns-cert.pem
attest_level = C

TN Object

Each "tn" object contains the parameters needed to create the Identity header used to attest to the ownership of the caller-id on outgoing requests. When an outgoing INVITE request is placed, the attestation service will look up the caller-id in this list and if it's found, use the information in the object to create the Identity header. The private key and certificate needed to sign the Identity header are usually provided to you by the telephone number issuing authority along with their certificate authority certificate. You should give the CA certificate to any recipients who expect to receive calls from you although this has probably already been done by the issuing authority.

The "id" of this object MUST be a canonicalized telephone nmumber which starts with a country code. The only valid characters are the numbers 0-9, '#' and '*'.

The default values for all of the "tn" parameters come from the "attestation" and "profile" objects.

Parameters:

type (required)

Must be set to "tn"

Default: none

private_key_file

See the description under attestation

public_cert_url

See the description and WARNING under attestation

attest_level

See the description under attestation

Example "tn" object:

[18005551515]
type = tn
private_key_path = /var/lib/asterisk/keys/stir_shaken/tns/18005551515-key.pem
public_cert_url = https://example.com/tncerts/18005551515-cert.pem
attest_level = C
Using all the attestation and profile defaults:

[18005551515]
type = tn

Verification Object

The "verification" object sets the parameters for verification of the Identity header on incoming INVITE requests.

All parameters except 'global_disable" may be overridden in a "profile" object.

Only one "verification" object may exist. If it doesn't exist at all, the verification service is globally disabled.

Parameters:

global_disable

If set, globally disables the verification service.

Default: no

load_system_certs

If set, loads the system Certificate Authority certificates (usually located in /etc/pki/CA) into the trust store used to validate the certificates in incoming requests. This is not normally required as service providers will usually provide their CA certififcate to you separately.

Default: no

ca_file

Path to a single file containing a CA certificate or certificate chain to be used to validate the certificates in incoming requests.

Default: none

ca_path

Path to a directory containing one or more CA certificates to be used to validate the certificates in incoming requests. The files in that directory must contain only one certificate each and the directory must be hashed using the OpenSSL 'c_rehash' utility.

Default: none

NOTE: Both ca_file and ca_path can be specified but at least one MUST be.

crl_file

Path to a single file containing a CA certificate revocation list to be used to validate the certificates in incoming requests.

Default: none

crl_path

Path to a directory containing one or more CA certificate revocation lists to be used to validate the certificates in incoming requests. The files in that directory must contain only one certificate each and the directory must be hashed using the OpenSSL 'c_rehash' utility.

Default: none

NOTE: Neither crl_file nor crl_path are required.

cert_cache_dir

Incoming Identity headers will have a URL pointing to the certificate used to sign the header. To prevent us from having to retrieve the certificate for every request, we maintain a cache of them in the 'cert_cache_dir' specified. The directory will be checked for existence and writability at startup.

Default: /keys/stir_shaken/cache

curl_timeout

The number of seconds we'll wait for a response when trying to retrieve the certificate specified in the incoming Identity header's "x5u" parameter.

Default: 2

max_cache_entry_age

Maximum age in seconds a certificate in the cache can reach before re-retrieving it.

Default: 86400 (24 hours per ATIS-1000074)

NOTE: If, when retrieving the URL specified by the "x5u" parameter, we receive a recognized caching directive in the HTTP response AND that directive indicates caching for MORE than the value set here, we'll use that time for the max_cache_entry_age.

max_cache_size

Maximum number of entries the cache can hold. Not presently implemented.

max_iat_age

The "iat" parameter in the Identity header indicates the time the sender actually created their attestation. If that is older than the current time by the number of seconds set here, the request will be considered "failed".

Default: 15

max_date_header_age

The sender MUST also send a SIP Date header in their request. If we receive one that is older than the current time by the number of seconds set here, the request will be considered "failed".

Default: 15

failure_action

Indicates what will happen to requests that have failed verification. Must be one of:

  • continue: Continue processing the request. You can use the STIR_SHAKEN dialplan function to determine whether the request passed or failed verification and take the action you deem appropriate.

  • reject_request*: Reject the request immediately using the SIP response codes defined by RFC8224.

  • continue_return_reason: Continue processing the request but, per RFC8224, send a SIP Reason header back to the originator in the next provisional response indicating the issue according to RFC8224. You can use the STIR_SHAKEN dialplan function to determine whether the request passed or failed verification and take the action you deem appropriate.

Default: continue

NOTE: If you select "continue" or "continue_return_reason", and, based on the results from the STIR_SHAKEN function, you determine you want to terminate the call, you can use the PJSIPHangup() dialplan application to reject the call using a STIR/SHAKEN-specific SIP response code.

use_rfc9410_responses

If set, when sending Reason headers back to originators, the protocol header parameter will be set to "STIR" rather than "SIP". This is a new protocol defined in RFC9410 and may not be supported by all participants.

Default: no

relax_x5u_port_scheme_restrictions

If set, the port and scheme restrictions imposed by ATIS-1000074 section 5.3.1 that require the scheme to be "https" and the port to be 443 or 8443 are relaxed. This will allow schemes like "http" and ports other than the two mentioned to appear in x5u URLs received in Identity headers.

Default: no

CAUTION: Setting this parameter could have serious security implications and should only be use for testing.

relax_x5u_path_restrictions

If set, the path restrictions imposed by ATIS-1000074 section 5.3.1 that require the x5u URL to be rejected if it contains a query string, path parameters, fragment identifier or user/password are relaxed.

Default: no

CAUTION: Setting this parameter could have serious security implications and should only be use for testing.

x5u_permit/x5u_deny

When set, the IP address of the host in a received Identity header x5u URL is checked against the acl created by this list of permit/deny parameters. If the check fails, the x5u URL will be considered invalid and verification will fail. This can prevent an attacker from sending you a request pretending to be a known originator with a mailcious certificate URL. (Server-side request forgery (SSRF)). See acl.conf.sample to see examples of how to specify the permit/deny parameters.

Default: Per ATIS-1000074 Deny all "Special-Purpose" IP addresses described in RFC 6890. This includes the loopback addresses 127.0.0.0/8, private use networks such as 10.0.0/8, 172.16.0.0/12 and 192.168.0.0/16, and the link local network 169.254.0.0/16 among others.

CAUTION: Setting this parameter could have serious security implications and should only be use for testing.

x5u_acl

Rather than providing individual permit/deny parameters, you can set the acllist parameter to an acl list predefined in acl.conf.

Default: none

CAUTION: Setting this parameter could have serious security implications and should only be use for testing.

Example "verification" object:
[verification]
global_disable = yes
load_system_certs = no
ca_path = /var/lib/asterisk/keys/stir_shaken/verification_ca
cert_cache_dir = /var/lib/asterisk/keys/stir_shaken/verification_cache
failure_action = reject_request
curl_timeout=5
max_iat_age=60
max_date_header_age=60
max_cache_entry_age = 300
; For internal testing
x5u_deny=0.0.0.0/0.0.0.0
x5u_permit=127.0.0.0/8
x5u_permit=192.168.100.0/24
relax_x5u_port_scheme_restrictions = yes
relax_x5u_path_restrictions = yes

Profile Object

A "profile" object can be associated to channel driver endpoint (currently only chan_pjsip) and can set verification and attestation parameters specific to endpoints using this profile. If you have multiple upstream providers, this is the place to set parameters specific to them.

The "id" of this object is arbitrary and you'd specify it in the "stir_shaken_profile" parameter of the endpoint.

Parameters:

type

Must be set to "profile"

Default: none

endpoint_behhavior

Actions to be performed for endpoints referencing this profile. Must be one of:

  • off: Don't do any STIR/SHAKEN processing.
  • attest: Attest on outgoing calls.
  • verify: Verify incoming calls.
  • on: Attest outgoing calls and verify incoming calls.

Default: off

All of the "verification" parameters defined above can be set on a profile with the exception of 'global_disable'.

All of the "attestation" parameters defined above can be set on a profile with the exception of 'global_disable'.

When Asterisk loads the configs, it creates "effective profiles" or "eprofiles" on the fly that are the amalgamation of the attestation, verification and profile. You can see them in the CLI with stir_shaken show eprofiles.

Example "profile" object:

[myprofile]
type = profile
endpoint_behavior = verify
failure_action = continue_return_reason
x5u_acl = myacllist
In pjsip.conf...

[myendpoint]
type = endpoint
...
stir_shaken_profile = myprofile

In acl.conf...

[myacllist]
permit=0.0.0.0/0.0.0.0
deny=10.24.20.171

Incoming Call Flow

We perform verification on incoming calls.

  1. If there's no caller-id present, skip verification and continue the call.
  2. If the endpoint receiving the call doesn't have stir_shaken_profile set, skip verification and continue the call.
  3. If the profile name set in stir_shaken_profile doesn't exist, return an error and terminate the call.
  4. If the verification global_disable flag is true, skip verification and continue the call.
  5. If the profile endpoint_behavior parameter isn't verify or on, skip verification and continue the call.

From now on, the action taken on failure is controlled by the failure_action parameter in the profile or verification objects.

  1. If there's no Identity header in the SIP request, fail per failure_action
  2. Parse the Identity header.
  3. Check the URL in the "x5u" header parameter against the rules described in Verification.
  4. Check the "iat" header is within max_iat_age from the profile or verification.
  5. Check the SIP "Date" header is within the max_date_header_age from the profile or [verification](#verif
  6. Check the local cache to see if we have the certificate already and it's cache expiration isn't in the past. If we have a good one, skip to the next step. Otherwise...
    • Retrieve the certificate from the URL.
    • Parse the certificate and public key.
    • Validate the certificate using the CA certificates and certificate revocation lists provided by the ca_file, ca_path, crl_file and crl_path parameters provided in the profile or verification objects and against the other rules mentioned in Verification.
  7. Decode the Identity header using the public key from the certificate. ication).
  8. Retrieve the rest of the parameters from the decoded Identity header.
  9. Verify that the caller id presented in the SIP message matches the "tn" parameter in the Identity header.

If there was any failure and the failure_action parameter was set to reject_request, the request will be terminated with one of the 4XX response codes defined by RFC-8224.

If failure_action was set to continue_return_reason, the call will be sent to the dialplan as usual but the next progress response to the client will contain a "Reason" header containing the 4XX response code that would have been sent if we were going to fail the call.

If failure_action was set to continue, the call continues to the dialplan without any further action.

If the call does continue under the last two conditions, the dialplan author can use the STIR_SHAKEN function to determine the verification status. They can then elect to continue or use the PJSIPHangup() dialplan app to terminate the call with a specific 4XX response code.

Outgoing Call Flow

Compared to verification, attestation is simple.

  1. If there's no caller-id present, skip attestation and continue the call.
  2. If the endpoint sending the call doesn't have stir_shaken_profile set, skip attestation and continue the call.
  3. If the profile name set in stir_shaken_profile doesn't exist, skip attestation and continue the call.
  4. If the attestation global_disable flag is true, skip attestation and continue the call.
  5. If the profile endpoint_behavior parameter isn't attest or on, skip attestation and continue the call.
  6. If there's no "tn" object matching the caller-id, skip attestation and continue the call.
  7. Finally create and sign the Identity header using the private_key_file, public_cert_url, attest_level and send_mky parameters from tn, profile or attestation. If this fails, the call will be terminated.

References

The best places to become familiar with STIR/SHAKEN itself are: