SIP rate limiting

SIP rate limiting

Configurable threshold for SIP message rates per request method. Protects SIP servers from SIP overload and DoS attacks.

SIP rate limiting

FortiGates support rate limiting for the following types of VoIP traffic:

l Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) l Skinny Call Control Protocol (SCCP) (most versions) l Session Initiation Protocol for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions (SIMPLE).

You can use rate limiting of these VoIP protocols to protect the FortiGate and your network from SIP and SCCP

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. Rate limiting protects against SIP DoS attacks by limiting the number of SIP REGISTER and INVITE requests that the FortiGate receives per second. Rate limiting protects against SCCP

DoS attacks by limiting the number of SCCP call setup messages that the FortiGate receives per minute.

SIP rate limiting

You configure rate limiting for a message type by specifying a limit for the number of messages that can be received per second. The rate is limited per security policy. When VoIP rate limiting is enabled for a message type, if the a single security policy accepts more messages per second than the configured rate, the extra messages are dropped and log messages are written when the messages are dropped.

Use the following command to configure a VoIP profile to limit the number of INVITE messages accepted by each security policy that the VoIP profile is added to 100 INVITE messages a second:

config voip profile edit VoIP_Pro_Name config sip set invite-rate 100



If you are experiencing denial of service attacks from traffic using these VoIP protocols, you can enable VoIP rate limiting and limit the rates for your network. Limit the rates depending on the amount of SIP and SCCP traffic that you expect the FortiGate to be handling. You can adjust the settings if some calls are lost or if the amount of SIP or SCCP traffic is affecting FortiGate performance.

The table below lists all of the VoIP profile SIP rate limiting options. All of these options are set to 0 so are disabled by default.

Blocking SIP OPTIONS messages may prevent a redundant configuration from operating correctly. See Supporting geographic redundancy when blocking OPTIONS messages on page 113 for information about resolving this problem.

Options for SIP rate limiting

SIP request message Rate Limiting CLI Option
ACK ack-rate
BYE bye-rate
Cancel cancel-rate
INFO info-rate
INVITE invite-rate
Message message-rate
Notify notify-rate
Options options-rate
PRACK prack-rate
Publish publish-rate


SIP request message Rate Limiting CLI Option
Refer refer-rate
Register register-rate
Subscribe subscribe-rate
Update update-rate

Limiting the number of SIP dialogs accepted by a security policy

In addition to limiting the rates for receiving SIP messages, you can use the following command to limit the number of SIP dialogs (or SIP calls) that the FortiGate accepts.

config voip profile edit VoIP_Pro_Name config sip set max-dialogs 2000



This command sets the maximum number of SIP dialogs that can be open for SIP sessions accepted by any security policy that you add the VoIP profile to. The default setting of 0 does not limit the number of dialogs. You can add a limit to control the number of open dialogs and raise and lower it as required. You might want to limit the number of open dialogs for protection against SIP-based attackers opening large numbers of SIP dialogs. Every dialog takes memory and FortiGate CPU resources to process. Limiting the number of dialogs may improve the overall performance of the FortiGate. Limiting the number of dialogs will not drop calls in progress but may prevent new calls from connecting.


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