[erlang-questions] 'ssl_otp_session_cache' ets table

Bogdan Andu <>
Wed Nov 5 14:51:19 CET 2014


with this scenario you can easily DOS yourself. you don t even need DDOS,
DOS is enough.

In fact I managed to almost DOS myself - in test environment, of course

With a few hundred concurrent ssl connections to the server one can easily
run out of memory
sooner than might think.

What about few thousands or millions of concurrent ssl connections?

In 24 hours a lot of data can be accumulated from a lot of clients

Of course one can distribute the application and load balance it, but still
the problem is not solved.

The only solution I came up with was that to use a tcp reversed proxy as a
a ssl off-loader a
nd speak with Erlang plain text.

This way the memory remains constant (with little variations, of course) .

If plain connections are involved the total Ets memory usage does not
exceed a value
around 600 - 700 Kilobytes of RAM.

And also I am able to confirm the fact that ssl connections opened from
Erlang vm
 (so, as client) does not affect the Ets: memory usage.





On Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 3:15 PM, Tony Rogvall <> wrote:

> I think the ssl session times is the problem here, and the lack of a
> maximum size.
>
> You can change the session time in the ssl environment:  session_lifetime
> The default is set to 24 hours (in seconds) (if I read it correctly, in
> ssl_manager.erl)
>
> I guess that a session_cache_size could be a nice thing to have,
> limiting the growth of the session cache.
>
> In other words you have to estimate the life time of your clients and
> try to find a reasonable session_lifetime to match that, without blowing up
> the system.
>
> Maybe the ssl_session_cache_api could be used to implement a strategy with
> a max size
> cache. Retire session least recently used, while performing the update?
> There is a time_stamp in the session that that could be used for this
> purpose.
>
> OTP: Why is a fixed limit not implemented in the standard
> ssl_session_cache?
> Could this be a target for DOS attacks?
>
> /Tony
>
> > On 5 nov 2014, at 13:08, Bogdan Andu <> wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > I performed a series of test regarding the an Erlang SSL server.
> >
> > In this setup a major role is played by the table called
> 'ssl_otp_session_cache', and of course the processes using it.
> >
> > The problem is that the size of table increases constantly and, because
> an ets table does not automatically deallocate memory unless the object are
> deleted from that table, the size of table remains the same even if there
> no ssl connections to server.
> >
> > For example, with a single client running 'ad infinitum' the table
> increases at a rate of 5 MBytes/hour. In 12 hours there are allocate around
> 60 MB of memory only for this table.
> >
> > Some info about this:
> > $ erl -sname  -remsh  -setcookie operator
> > Erlang/OTP 17 [erts-6.2] [source] [64-bit] [smp:2:2] [async-threads:10]
> [kernel-poll:false]
> >
> > Eshell V6.2  (abort with ^G)
> >
> >
> > ()1> ets:i().
> >  id              name              type  size   mem      owner
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >  12              cookies           set   0      291      auth
> >  4111            code              set   410    26132    code_server
> >  8208            code_names        set   58     7459     code_server
> >  12307           httpc_manager__session_cookie_db bag   0      291
> httpc_manager
> >  16404           ssl_otp_cacertificate_db set   0      291
> ssl_manager
> >  20501           ssl_otp_ca_file_ref set   0      291      ssl_manager
> >  24598           ssl_otp_pem_cache set   3      360      ssl_manager
> >  28695           ssl_otp_session_cache ordered_set 138057 8421893
> ssl_manager
> >  32797           dets              duplicate_bag 2      308      dets
> >  40990           ign_requests      set   0      291
> inet_gethost_native
> >  45087           ign_req_index     set   0      291
> inet_gethost_native
> >  2261635104      shell_records     ordered_set 0      81
>  <0.30638.37>
> >  ac_tab          ac_tab            set   33     2216
>  application_controller
> >  code_map        code_map          set   100    2791     <0.72.0>
> >  config          config            set   12     892      <0.72.0>
> >  dets_owners     dets_owners       set   1      298      dets
> >  dets_registry   dets_registry     set   1      299      dets
> >  file_io_servers file_io_servers   set   1      344      file_server_2
> >  global_locks    global_locks      set   0      291
> global_name_server
> >  global_names    global_names      set   0      291
> global_name_server
> >  global_names_ext global_names_ext  set   0      291
> global_name_server
> >  global_pid_ids  global_pid_ids    bag   0      291
> global_name_server
> >  global_pid_names global_pid_names  bag   0      291
> global_name_server
> >  httpc_manager__handler_db httpc_manager__handler_db set   0      291
>   httpc_manager
> >  httpc_manager__session_db httpc_manager__session_db set   0      291
>   httpc_manager
> >  inet_cache      inet_cache        bag   0      291      inet_db
> >  inet_db         inet_db           set   29     600      inet_db
> >  inet_hosts_byaddr inet_hosts_byaddr bag   0      291      inet_db
> >  inet_hosts_byname inet_hosts_byname bag   0      291      inet_db
> >  inet_hosts_file_byaddr inet_hosts_file_byaddr bag   0      291
> inet_db
> >  inet_hosts_file_byname inet_hosts_file_byname bag   0      291
> inet_db
> >  models          models            set   3      28952    <0.72.0>
> >  sys_dist        sys_dist          set   1      334      net_kernel
> > ok
> > ()5> ets:info(ssl_otp_session_cache).
> > undefined
> > ()7> (8421893*8)/1024.
> > 65796.0390625
> > ()8> memory().
> > [{total,92699464},
> >  {processes,8964000},
> >  {processes_used,8963152},
> >  {system,83735464},
> >  {atom,429569},
> >  {atom_used,421768},
> >  {binary,199040},
> >  {code,10411520},
> >  {ets,69163032}]
> >
> > The memory allocated to table 'ssl_otp_session_cache' is roughly 64 MB
> in 12 hours.
> >
> > On an OpenBSD platform such process gets killed immediately it hits some
> memory and/or CPU limits.
> >
> > To make this test on OpenBSD I had to put 'infinit' to memory, otherwise
> the Erlang VM would be killed.
> >
> > How can one control , tweak or configure this table such that it does
> not accumulate such data at such high rate.
> >
> > I seems the table being created private, and there is no way to
> ets:delete_all_objects/1 from table manually.
> >
> > I know that this table caches some SSL data related to clients, but the
> client has the same IP address,
> > and I wonder why is neccesary to store a lot of SSL connection info
> about the same client when only the ephemeral peer port
> > differs?
> >
> > How the size of this table can be held in reasonable limits and the rate
> it's size increases ?
> >
> > Please if somebody shed some light on these issues.
> >
> > Thank you,
> >
> > Bogdan
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > erlang-questions mailing list
> > 
> > http://erlang.org/mailman/listinfo/erlang-questions
>
> "Installing applications can lead to corruption over time. Applications
> gradually write over each other's libraries, partial upgrades occur, user
> and system errors happen, and minute changes may be unnoticeable and
> difficult to fix"
>
>
>
>
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://erlang.org/pipermail/erlang-questions/attachments/20141105/552830c7/attachment.html>


More information about the erlang-questions mailing list