On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 4:05 PM, Tom Worster <f...@thefsb.org> wrote:

> On 9/21/16 8:37 AM, Rowan Collins wrote:
>> On 21 September 2016 13:02:20 BST, Glenn Eggleton <geggl...@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> What if we had some sort of configuration limit on collision length?
>> Previous discussions have come to the conclusion that the difference
>> between normal collision frequency and sufficient for a DoS is so large
>> that the only meaningful settings would be on or off. e.g. the proposed
>> limit is 1000, and randomly inserting millions of rows produces about 12.
>> The problem with long running applications is not that they need to raise
>> the limit, it's that they need to handle the error gracefully if they are
>> in fact under attack. Because hash tables are so ubiquitous in the engine,
>> there's no guarantee that that's possible, so an attacker would have the
>> ability to crash the process with the limit turned on, or hang the CPU with
>> the limit turned off.
> Right. It seems like count-and-limit pushes the problem onto the user who
> then has to discriminate normal from malicious causes for rising counters
> and find appropriate actions for each.
> Even a sophisticated user who understands hash collision counters may not
> welcome this since it adds complexity that's hard to test and involves
> questionable heuristics.
> Tom

Quoting a relevant part of the previous discussion:

> Lets [try] to quantify the probability of reaching the collision limit C
with a hashtable of size N and assuming a random hash distribution. The
upper bound for this should be (N choose C) * (1/N)^(C-1), with (1/N)^(C-1)
being the probability that C elements hash to one value and (N over C) the
number of C element subsets of an N element set. For large N and N >> C we
approximate (N choose C) to (e*N/C)^C / sqrt(2pi*C). As such our upper
bound becomes N * (e/C)^C / sqrt(2pi*C). Choosing N = 2^31 (largest
possible hashtable) we get for C = 20 probability 8.9E-10 and for C = 100
probability 2.3E-149. The patch uses C = 1000.

In other words, it is extremely unlikely that you hit the collision limit
by accident, with non-malicious data. So no, the user does not have to
discriminate normal from malicious causes. If the limit triggers, it's


Reply via email to