Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Protect Kamailio from TCP/TLS flood

 After stress-testing Kamailio with sipflood tool from sippts suite (which deserves another article), not so good outcome was faced.

Using CentOS 7 default OpenSSL library (1.0.2k-fips) with using Kamailio 5.4-5.6 with TLS transport, it's quite easy to get a segfault inside tls routines. I've found that roughly 10 000 OPTIONS packets with 200 threads is enough to ruin Kamailio process.

Basically, you can DoS the whole server regardless of it's power just with a single mid-range computer.

Solution was found with using Kamailio 5.6, but with tlsa flavour and latest openssl 1.1.x compiled.

Turns out it's a really simple process. 

As we're gonna need to compile Kamailio anyway, assume, that we have all necessary packets for build already on the system.

First - we need to get openssl sources:

# cd /usr/src

# wget https://www.openssl.org/source/openssl-1.1.<latest>.tar.gz

# tar xvf https://www.openssl.org/source/openssl-1.1.<latest>.tar.gz

# cd  openssl-1.1.<latest>

#  ./config

# make

(Optionally) Here we can make sure that this release is passing tests

# yum install perl-Test-Simple

# make test

Next step - point Kamailio to newly compiled openssl

# cd /usr/src

# wget https://www.kamailio.org/pub/kamailio/5.6.<latest>/src/kamailio-5.6.<latest>_src.tar.gz

# tar xvf kamailio-5.6.<latest>_src.tar.gz

# cd kamailio-5.6.<latest>

#  sed -i "s?LIBSSL_STATIC_SRCLIB \?= no?LIBSSL_STATIC_SRCLIB \?= yes?g" ./src/modules/tlsa/Makefile

# sed -i "s?LIBSSL_STATIC_SRCPATH \?= /usr/local/src/openssl?LIBSSL_STATIC_SRCPATH \?= /usr/src/openssl-1.1.<latest>?g" ./src/modules/tlsa/Makefile


Than goes your usual Kamailio compiling and don't forget to replace all "tls" module mentions in kamailio.cfg to "tlsa"

Results are much better. But than I've faced, that it's possible to "eat" all TCP connections on Kamailio server with this type of flood.

First - ulimit. Never underestimate defaults.  

# ulimit -n unlimited

Next steps - tune TCP stack.

Disclamer: next provided options are discussable and was not found by me and need to be adjusted to your case







# To increase the amount of memory available for socket input/output queues
net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 4096 25165824 25165824
net.core.rmem_max = 25165824
net.core.rmem_default = 25165824
net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 4096 65536 25165824
net.core.wmem_max = 25165824
net.core.wmem_default = 65536
net.core.optmem_max = 25165824

# To limit the maximum number of requests queued to a listen socket
net.core.somaxconn = 128

# Tells TCP to instead make decisions that would prefer lower latency.

# Optional (it will increase performance)
net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 1000
net.ipv4.tcp_max_syn_backlog = 128

This will help, but not fully (at least in my case, I've must miss something and comments here are really welcomed)

As the second part I've decided to go with Fail2Ban and block flood on iptables level.

Setup is quite simple as well.

First - make sure Kamailio will log flood attempts:



 loadmodule "pike.so"

modparam("pike", "sampling_time_unit", 2)
modparam("pike", "reqs_density_per_unit", 30)
modparam("pike", "remove_latency", 120)


if (!pike_check_req()) {
            xlog("L_ALERT", "[SIP-FIREWALL][FAIL2BAN] $si\n");

            $sht(ipban=>$si) = 1;
            if ($proto != 'udp') {


Next - install and configure Fail2Ban

# yum install -y fail2ban


# Ban hosts for one hour:
bantime = 3600

# Override /etc/fail2ban/jail.d/00-firewalld.conf:
banaction = iptables-multiport
action      = %(action_mwl)s

enabled  = true
filter   = mypbx
action   = iptables-mypbx[name=mypbx, protocol=tcp, blocktype='REJECT --reject-with tcp-reset']
           sendmail[sender=<sender_addr>, dest=<dest_addr> sendername=Fail2Ban]
logpath  = <your_kamailio_logfile>
maxretry = 1
bantime  = 3600s
findtime = 10s



before = iptables-common.conf


actionstart = <iptables> -N f2b-<name>
              <iptables> -A f2b-<name> -j <returntype>
              <iptables> -I <chain> -p <protocol> -j f2b-<name>

actionstop = <iptables> -D <chain> -p <protocol>  -j f2b-<name>
             <iptables> -X f2b-<name>

actioncheck = <iptables> -n -L <chain> | grep -q 'f2b-<name>[ \t]'

actionban = <iptables> -I f2b-<name> 1 -s <ip> -p <protocol> -j <blocktype>

actionunban = <iptables> -D f2b-<name> -s <ip> -p <protocol> -j <blocktype>



# filter for kamailio messages
failregex = \[SIP-FIREWALL\]\[FAIL2BAN\] <HOST>$

# systemctl enable fail2ban

# systemctl start fail2ban

In this case we will get host banned on iptables level.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Kamailio dynamic logging level

 Yet another method to get dynamic logging level on Kamailio. Means to change logging level on the fly.

First to mention - already built-in method for Kamailio inside corex module. But this one could be very verbose.

Other method is to specify level in xlog command explicitly.



# Level for realtime logging for messages. To see debug messages in realtime, set it to 2




request_route {

    $var(debug_level) = $(sel(cfg_get.realtime.debug_level){s.int});


    xlog("$var(debug_level)", "This is a debug message\n");


And than just adjust this debug_level config variable via shell

# kamcmd cfg.set realtime debug_level 2

to get all xlog messages to be printed, or set it to the greater value like

# kamcmd cfg.set realtime debug_level 5

to get em suppressed.  

You can expand this method to have bigger levels of verbosity via different variables, but usually it's enough like this.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Small script to record calls on Asterisk on the fly

 Sometimes there is a need to record ongoing call on Asterisk, where usually there is no recording (due to GDPR or smth like this). Usual way with mixmonitor start in CLI requires a channel ID, which is usually not at hand.

 Small script that will get calls with caller and/or callee numbers (based on assumption, that these numbers are available in Asterisk channel name) and put recordings of them in /tmp directory. Separated for A/B legs and mixed.

Made for myself to simplify some tasks and not to look for it again.


./call_record.sh <CALLER_NUM> [<CALLEE_NUM>]




CHANNELS=$(asterisk -rx 'core show channels' | grep -E "${NUM_1}|${NUM_2}" | awk '{print $1}')

if [ -z ${CHANNELS} ]; then
    echo "Cannot find channel"
    exit 0

DATE=$(date '+%F-%H-%M-%S')



    mkdir -p ${DIRNAME}

    REC_COMMAND=`echo ${DIRNAME}/${ID}-mix.wav,r'('${DIRNAME}/${ID}-in.wav')'t'('${DIRNAME}/${ID}-out.wav')'`

    echo "Recording ${ID} at ${DIRNAME}"

    asterisk -rx "mixmonitor start ${CHANNEL} ${REC_COMMAND}"
    ID=$[ ${ID} + 1 ]


Thursday, March 31, 2022

Implementation of 2-stage ringback (WhatsApp - like) on Asterisk

 I'm pretty sure most of us nowadays get familiar with 2-stage ringback on different OTT (Over-The-Top, yes it's a sort of common name) applications. Like Skype/WhatsApp/Telegram. It's when you have 1 ringback when the remote device is "search" or "trying" state (like locating, receiving push-notification) and actually "ringing" state. 

And it's a handy thing to indicate these processes for the caller side

With a small hack, it's possible to do on Asterisk as well.

So, the overall schema will look like

Client A            Asterisk        SIP Proxy       Client B

    |   INVITE         |                |              |
    | ---------------> |   INVITE       |              |
    |                  | -------------> |   INVITE     |
    |                  |   100 - Trying | -----------> |
    |   Ringback 1     | <------------- |              |
    | <--------------- |                |              |
    |                  |                | 180 - Ringing|
    |                  |  180 - Ringing | <----------- |
    |   Ringback 2     | <------------- |              |
    | <--------------- |                |              |
    |                  |                |              |
    |                  |                |              |

Between INVITE and 180 - Ringing on Client B can pass some seconds in case of a mobile device. I'm not touching here on how to make this schema on SIP Proxy, but not much changed since this presentation in 2015.

So, Asterisk recipe:


exten => _X.,1,Progress()
 same => n,Playtones(trying)
 same => n,Dial(PJSIP/${EXTEN}@my_trunk&Local/keep_ringback@keep_ringback)

exten => keep_ringback,1,NoOp


trying = 425/90,0/75,525/90,0/250,425/90,0/75,525/90,0/3000

The idea here is to add one more channel to Dial() command, which will die instantly after the start. But somehow will keep the Playtones() working.

Looks really hacky, but works. But also I've found a problem, that will get into conflict with Queue() command with r(ring) option in a case if queue members are defined as Local channels and got into this schema as well. So, a bit updated version of this script would look like


exten => _X.,1,Progress()
 same => n,Playtones(trying)
 same => n,Set(KEEP_RINGBACK=)
 same => n,ExecIf($[ "${IS_CALL_WITHIN_QUEUE}" == "yes" ]?Set(KEEP_RINGBACK=&Local/keep_ringback@keep_ringback))
 same => n,Dial(PJSIP/${EXTEN}@my_trunk${KEEP_RINGBACK})

This was done on Asterisk 13 (which is not supported at the moment), maybe on newer version of Asterisk this one will stop working.

Upd: confirmed it's needed and working on Asterisk 18

Friday, October 15, 2021

Functional testing of VoIP infrastructure

 Sometimes, it's really hard to test VoIP infrastructure in an automated way. The usual way of testing any telco system is to take a phone, make some calls and that's it. Maybe to look at the logs. 

Some of the engineers going further and using famous SIPP, which is quite good in testing low-level SIP, but really could be a pain in some closer-to-world scenarios.

Another approach is to write some scripts and automating Asterisk or FreeSWITCH to do some test calls. And it's a good approach, but sometimes writing something simple could take a lot of time. And attention.

But there is one more way - use standalone SIP libraries like baresip or pjsip and control them via API or CLI.

Exactly this way was taken by Julien Chavanton in his voip_patrol project. After a short time of playing around with it, I can say it's a really good combination of simplicity of things it can test and a way it's configuring.

In my current position, I'm dealing mostly with opus/SRTP media (in DTLS-SRTP flavor) and I was able to add support of this  to voip_patrol (in this branch) and it's working well with rtpengine provided SRTP.

And here is just an example of voip_patrol scenario to register TLS endpoint, make a call with SRTP and catch it back. So, a simple register-call test as a good starting point for more complex scenarios. 


  <action type="codec" disable="all"/>
    <action type="codec" enable="pcma" priority="250"/>
    <action type="codec" enable="pcmu" priority="249"/>
    <action type="register" label="Register 88881"
    <action type="wait" complete="true"/>
    <action type="accept" label="Receive all calls"
            code="200" reason="OK"
    <action type="call" label="Call to 88881"
            max_duration="20" hangup="16"
    <action type="wait" complete="true"/>


For more advanced, I suggest to look on issues [1, 2] on GitHub, where author expands some concepts.

And as a good quickstart - video from author

UPDATE: Based on this tool, templating and reporting suite VOLTS was created. Stay tuned for more cool features to come!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Asterisk and importance of filtering of numbers dialed

 Recently my collegaue found an interesting vector of possible attacks on Asterisk.

Imagine having following construction


exten => _X.,1,GoTo(check_rights,${EXTEN},1)



exten => _X.,1,AGI(my_check.agi)

 same => 2,GoTo(all_ok,${EXTEN},1)

I know, looks a bit dully, but quite common situation. You may believe, that all calls from [endpoints] context will bypass your script of checking auth. my_check.agi, actually.

But imagine calling not to 12345, for example, but 12345,2

What will happen, that line

exten => _X.,1,GoTo(check_rights,${EXTEN},1)

will evaluate to

Goto("PJSIP/anonymous-00000579", "check_rights,12345,2,1") 

So, you can attach desired priority to your number and in example above - just bypass auth.

I'm not saying it's very common case, but don't forget to use something like FILTER

Possible good idea would be using something like

GoToIf($[ "${EXTEN}" == "${FILTER(+0-9,${EXTEN})}" ]?number_ok:number_not_ok)

to filter only + and digits.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Kamailio and delayed CANCEL on iOS

One who is working with SIP aware of a problem with mobile devices. Long story short, the only reliable and proper way to deliver SIP calls to mobile devices is push notification.

A usual algo here, the server sends push notification to a device (via Apple or Google PNS respectively) and after mobile device woke up an application, it registers to SIP server and only after this SIP server sends INVITE to application. And last part here - device starts ringing.

So, SIP server have to store info on this call and wait for a device to register. To achieve this, Kamailio offers tsilo module, which is working great. If you haven't seen it or having problems with it, there is a great presentation which is a good starting point.

But there is one problem. After the call is canceled or answered, no more info is stored in this module. So, if push arrives later, than the call was answered, the app will not receive any info after REGISTER. Usually, it's ok, but with iOS > 13, there is a new mechanism of push notifications using for VoIP calls. CallKit (iOS developers may correct me here, cause I'm not). Idea is the following. When iOS device receives push notification for the VoIP call, it first will show a screen with info, that call has arrived. Later, after the app is already wakened up and running, the app is taking control over the calling screen to update caller info, show Accept/Reject buttons, etc. Sounds good. But if the call was canceled (or answered elsewhere) at the moment when Call Screen is shown already, but the app is not ready yet? The app is woken up, sends REGISTER to SIP server, but no INVITE is following. The call is already not this device business. 

Usually, this problem is solved on an application level. Like if an app is not receiving INVITE after push within X seconds, it asks for a remote server for info and shows (or not) corresponding missed call info.

But that's not my case, unfortunately. I'm using slightly rebranded Linphone and not an expert in iOS programming. So, need to resolve everything fully on a server side, where Kamailio is my SIP server.

The idea of the solution is following - if iOS device registers within X seconds after the call start and the call is already canceled or answered - a fake call is simulated to this endpoint. X could be any, but we come to 15 seconds. For simulating call the famous sipp is used.

Here following some parts of the code


# Flag to define that the call was locally generated via SIPP

#!define FLT_LOCALGEN 4


# Save info iOS CallKit workaround
modparam("htable", "htable", "ios_reg=>size=5;autoexpire=2;")
modparam("htable", "htable", "ios_state=>size=5;autoexpire=15")


request_route {


    if (is_method("CANCEL")) {
        # inbound CANCEL

        xlog("L_INFO", "[REQUEST_ROUTE] Detected CANCEL, saving state\n");

        $sht(ios_state=>$rU) = "state=canceled;callid=" + $ci + ";fromnumber=" + $fU;

    # Save info in a case if call was answered to preserve callerID/destination

    if (is_method("INVITE") && !has_totag()) {

        $avp(orig_fU) = $fU;
        $avp(orig_rU) = $rU;



onreply_route {

     if ($rs == 200) {
        # Save call state fr
        xlog("L_INFO", "[MANAGE_REPLY] Call $avp(
orig_fU) -> $avp(orig_rU) was answered\n");

        $sht(ios_state=>$avp(orig_rU)) = "state=answered;callid=" + $ci + ";fromnumber=" + $avp(




   if ($si == 'MY_IP_ADDR') {
        xlog("L_NOTICE", "[AUTH] Packet from ourselves\n");



# We don't want  this INVITE to be processed via tsilo routine.


    if (isflagset(FLT_LOCALGEN)) {


    if (!is_method("INVITE") || isflagset(FLT_LOCALGEN)) {


# Small extra route to be called after succesful save("location")

    if (!($ua =~ "LinphoneiOS*")) {
        xlog("L_INFO", "[REGISTER_IOS] Not IPhone, not interesting...\n");


    xlog("L_INFO", "[REGISTER_IOS] IPhone registered, saving contact for 2 sec\n");

#  Saving location info for later
    $var(ios_contact) = "sip:" + $fU + "@" + $si + ":" + $sp + ";transport=" + $pr;

# Adding some random to support several iOS devices per same account.
    $var(ios_reg_hash_id) = $fU + "_" + $RANDOM;

# information on contact is stored in hash memrory, and the hash key would return to us via X-IOS-Contact-Hash header provided by SIPP.
    $sht(ios_reg=>$var(ios_reg_hash_id)) = $var(ios_contact);

    $var(ios_callstate) = $sht(ios_state=>$fU);

    if (not_empty("$var(ios_callstate)")) {
        $var(call_state) = $(var(ios_callstate){param.value,state});
        $var(call_callid) = $(var(ios_callstate){param.value,callid});
        $var(call_from) = $(var(ios_callstate){param.value,fromnumber});

        xlog("L_INFO", "[REGISTER_IOS] Registration from iOS is late. Call state is $var(call_state)\n");

        # Here we actually start call via SIPP

        exec_msg("/usr/bin/nohup launch_sipp.sh $var(call_callid) $fU $var(ios_reg_hash_id) $var(call_state) $var(call_from) >/dev/null 2>& 1 &");


# Own lookup("location"), but with info saved on [REGISTER_IOS]

    if (!isflagset(FLT_LOCALGEN) || !is_present_hf("X-IOS-Contact-Hash")) {

    $var(ios_reg_hash_id) = $hdr(X-IOS-Contact-Hash);
    $var(ios_contact) = $sht(ios_reg=>$var(ios_reg_hash_id));


    if (!not_empty("$var(ios_contact)")) {
        xlog("L_WARN", "[LOCATION_INTERNAL] Locally generated packet, but no contact was saved\n");

        send_reply("404", "Saved contact not found");

    $ru = $var(ios_contact);
    $du = $ru;




if [ -z "${1}" ]; then
    echo "CallID is not specified"
    exit 1

if [ -z "${2}" ]; then
    echo "To number is not specified"
    exit 1

if [ -z "${3}" ]; then
    echo "HASH ID is not specified"
    exit 1


# Create CSV file for SIPP first
/usr/bin/echo -e "SEQUENTIAL\n${TO_NUMBER};${FROM_NUMBER};'${FROM_NAME}';${HASH_ID};${REASON};" >> /tmp/invite_cancel_$$.csv

# Run SIPP with provided CallID, as it should be same as declared in Push Notification
/usr/bin/sipp localhost -sf invite_cancel.xml -inf /tmp/invite_cancel_$$.csv -m 1 -cid_str ${CALL_ID}
rm /tmp/invite_cancel_$$.csv


 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>

<!-- This sipp scenario combines 2 types of CANCEL with different reasons
Reason "Call Completed Elsewhere" will not get into a missed calls list
CANCEL without a reason will get there
Which CANCEL would be sent, controlled by field 4 in CSV line
If this field == 'answered', call is considered answered and will not get into missed call list
In all other cases call considered missed -->

<scenario name="iOS CallKit canceler">

    INVITE sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port] SIP/2.0
    Via: SIP/2.0/[transport] [local_ip]:[local_port]
    From: <sip:[field1 line=0]@[local_ip]:[local_port]>;tag=[call_number]_sipp_call_canceler_[call_number]
    To: <sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port]>
    Call-ID: [call_id]
    Cseq: [cseq] INVITE
    Supported: 100rel, timer, replaces, norefersub
    Session-Expires: 1800
    Min-SE: 90
    Contact: sip:asterisk@[local_ip]:[local_port]
    Max-Forwards: 70
    X-IOS-Contact-Hash: [field3 line=0]
    Content-Type: application/sdp
    Content-Length: [len]

    o=- 558046395 558046395 IN IP[media_ip_type] [media_ip]
    c=IN IP[media_ip_type] [media_ip]
    t=0 0
    m=audio 16170 RTP/AVP 107 8 0 101
    a=rtpmap:107 opus/48000/2
    a=fmtp:107 useinbandfec=1
    a=rtpmap:8 PCMA/8000
    a=rtpmap:0 PCMU/8000
    a=rtpmap:101 telephone-event/8000
    a=fmtp:101 0-16
    m=video 14074 RTP/AVP 100
    a=rtpmap:100 VP8/90000


 <!-- Wait for provisional responces and if something wrong (404 or timeout) - end scenario -->
 <recv response="100" optional="true" timeout="5000" ontimeout="12"/>
 <recv response="404" optional="true" next="12"/>
 <recv response="180" timeout="5000" ontimeout="12" />

<!-- Check if field4 == 'answered' and assign bool result to $3 -->

    <assignstr assign_to="1" value="[field4 line=0]" />
    <strcmp assign_to="2" variable="1" value="answered" />
    <test assign_to="3" variable="2" compare="equal" value="0" />

<!-- If $3 == true, go to label 10  -->
 <nop next="10" test="3" />


    CANCEL sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port] SIP/2.0
    Via: SIP/2.0/[transport] [local_ip]:[local_port]
    From: <sip:[field1 line=0]@[local_ip]:[local_port]>;tag=[call_number]_sipp_call_canceler_[call_number]
    To: <sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port]>
    Call-ID: [call_id]
    Cseq: [cseq] CANCEL
    Max-Forwards: 70
    Content-Length: 0


 <!-- Simple goto "11" after receiving 200 -->
 <recv response="200" next="11"/>

 <label id="10"/>


    CANCEL sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port] SIP/2.0
    Via: SIP/2.0/[transport] [local_ip]:[local_port]
    From: <sip:[field1 line=0]@[local_ip]:[local_port]>;tag=[call_number]_sipp_call_canceler_[call_number]
    To: <sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port]>
    Call-ID: [call_id]
    Cseq: [cseq] CANCEL
    Max-Forwards: 70
    Reason: SIP;cause=200;text="Call completed elsewhere"
    Content-Length: 0


 <recv response="200" />

 <label id="11"/>

 <recv response="487" />


    ACK sip:[field0 line=0]@[remote_ip]:[remote_port] SIP/2.0
    Via: SIP/2.0/[transport] [local_ip]:[local_port]
    From: <sip:[field1 line=0]@[local_ip]:[local_port]>;tag=[call_number]_sipp_call_canceler_[call_number]
    Call-ID: [call_id]
    Cseq: [cseq] ACK
    Contact: sip:asterisk@[local_ip]:[local_port]
    Content-Length: 0


 <label id="12" />


A bit dirty solution, but it's working.