[strongSwan-dev] IKEv1, Racoon and traffic selectors

Jean-Francois HREN jean-francois.hren at stormshield.eu
Mon May 18 11:46:37 CEST 2020

Hello all, 

I have some compatibility issue between Racoon & Charon. 
Let say you setup a working phase 1 between Racoon and Charon as well as a working phase 2. 
The tunnel goes up and everything works fine. 
You add a phase 2 to Charon but unknown to Racoon and try to initiate it. 
A Quick Mode exchange is started by Charon but Racoon drops it since the traffic selectors are unknown. 
However Racoon does not send any Informational Exchange message mostly because I think it is not mandatory according to the RFC. 
Charon re-transmits the message 4 times and deems the remote peer dead (dpdaction is hold and closeaction is none). 
The working phase 1 and 2 are deleted and the phase 1 is reestablished with the previous Quick Mode task reactivated for the unknown phase 2 leading to a new series of re-transmitted messages, dead peer and reestablished phase 1. 

A first solution would be make Racoon sends an Informational Exchange message with a notify payload of type INVALID-ID-INFORMATION. It works and the phase 1 is not put down by Charon but compatibility wise it is not the optimal solution I guess. 
Another solution would be to allow Charon to do nothing after 4 re-transmissions or maybe check the use time of phase 2 or launch some DPD. 

Any ideas on this problem ? 

Thank you. 

Jean-Fran├žois Hren 
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