Stateful SIP tracking, call termination, and session inactivity timeout

Stateful SIP tracking, call termination, and session inactivity timeout

The SIP ALG tracks SIP dialogs over their lifespan between the first INVITE message and the Final 200 OK and ACK messages. For every SIP dialog, stateful SIP tracking reviews every SIP message and makes adjustment to SIP tracking tables as required. These adjustments include source and destination IP addresses, address translation, dialog expiration information, and media stream port changes. Such changes can also result in dynamically opening and closing pinholes. You can use the diagnose sys sip-proxy stats list and the diagnose sys sip-proxy filter command to view the SIP call data being tracked by the SIP ALG.

The SIP ALG uses the SIP Expires header line to time out a SIP dialog if the dialog is idle and a Re-INVITE or UPDATE message is not received. The SIP ALG gets the Session-Expires value, if present, from the 200 OK response to the INVITE message. If the SIP ALG receives an INVITE before the session times out, all timeout values are reset to the settings in the new INVITE message or to default values. As a precautionary measure, the SIP ALG uses hard timeout values to set the maximum amount of time a call can exist. This ensures that the FortiGate unit is protected if a call ends prematurely.

When a SIP dialog ends normally, the SIP ALG deletes the SIP call information and closes open pinholes. A SIP call can also end abnormally due to an unexpected signaling or transport event that cuts off the call. When a call ends abnormally the SIP messages to end the call may not be sent or received. A call can end abnormally for the following reasons:

  • Phones or servers crash during a call and a BYE message is not received.
  • To attack a SIP system, a malicious user never send a BYE message.
  • Poor implementations of SIP fail to process Record-Route messages and never send a BYE message.
  • Network failures prevent a BYE message from being received.

Any phone or server in a SIP call can cancel the call by sending a CANCEL message. When a CANCEL message is received by the FortiGate unit, the SIP ALG closes open pinholes. Before terminating the call, the ALG waits for the final 200 OK message.

The SIP ALG can be configured to terminate SIP calls if the SIP dialog message flow or the call RTP (media) stream is interrupted and does not recover. You can use the following commands to configure terminating inactive SIP sessions and to set timers or counters to control when the call is terminated by the SIP ALG.

 

Adding a media stream timeout for SIP calls

Use the following command in a VoIP profile to terminate SIP calls accepted by a security policy containing the VoIP profile when the RTP media stream is idle for 100 seconds.

config voip profile edit VoIP_Pro_Name

config sip

set call-keepalive 100 end

end

You can adjust this setting between 1 and 10,080 seconds. The default call keepalive setting of 0 disables terminating a call if the media stream is interrupted. Set call keepalive higher if your network has latency problems that could temporarily interrupt media streams. If you have configured call keepalive and the FortiGate unit terminates calls unexpectedly you can increase the call keepalive time to resolve the problem.

Call keep alive should be used with caution because enabling this feature results in extra FortiGate CPU overhead and can cause delay/jitter for the VoIP call. Also, the FortiGate unit terminates the call without sending SIP messages to end the call. And if the SIP endpoints send SIP messages to terminate the call they will be blocked by the FortiGate unit if they are sent after the FortiGate unit terminates the call.

 

Adding an idle dialog setting for SIP calls

Use the following command in a VoIP profile to terminate SIP calls when for a single security policy, when the configured number of SIP calls (or dialogs) has stopped receiving SIP messages or has not received legitimate SIP messages. Using this command you can configure how many dialogs that have been accepted by a security policy that the VoIP profile is added to become idle before the SIP ALG deletes the oldest ones. The following command sets the maximum number of idle dialogs to 200:

config voip profile edit VoIP_Pro_Name

config sip

set max-idle-dialogs 200 end

end

Idle dialogs would usually be dialogs that have been interrupted because of errors or problems or as the result of a SIP attack that opens a large number of SIP dialogs without closing them. This command provides a way to remove these dialogs from the dialog table and recover memory and resources being used by these open and idle dialogs.

You can adjust this setting between 1 and a very high number. The default maximum idle dialogs setting of 0 disables this feature. Set maximum dialogs higher if your network has latency problems that could temporarily interrupt SIP messaging. If you have configured max idle dialogs and the FortiGate unit terminates calls unexpectedly you can increase the max idle dialogs number to resolve the problem.

 

Changing how long to wait for call setup to complete

In some cases and some configurations your SIP system may experience delays during call setup. If this happens, some SIP ALG timers may expire before call setup is complete and drop the call. In some cases you may also want to reduce the amount of time the SIP ALG allows for call setup to complete.

You can use the provisional-invite-expiry-time SIP VoIP profile option to control how long the SIP ALG waits for provisional INVITE messages before assuming that the call setup has been interrupted and the SIP call should be dropped. The default value for this timer is 210 seconds. You can change it to between 10 and 3600 seconds.

 

Use the following command to change the expiry time to 100 seconds.

config voip profile edit Profile_name

config sip

set provisional-invite-expiry-time 100 end

end


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