pike Module

Bogdan-Andrei Iancu

Edited by

Bogdan-Andrei Iancu

Revision History
Revision $Revision: 8740 $$Date: 2012-02-22 18:29:43 +0100 (Wed, 22 Feb 2012) $

Table of Contents

1. Admin Guide
1.1. Overview
1.2. How to use
1.3. Dependencies
1.3.1. OpenSIPS Modules
1.3.2. External Libraries or Applications
1.4. Exported Parameters
1.4.1. sampling_time_unit (integer)
1.4.2. reqs_density_per_unit (integer)
1.4.3. remove_latency (integer)
1.4.4. check_route (integer)
1.4.5. pike_log_level (integer)
1.5. Exported Functions
1.5.1. pike_check_req()
1.6. Exported MI Functions
1.6.1. pike_list
1.7. Exported Events
2. Developer Guide

List of Examples

1.1. Set sampling_time_unit parameter
1.2. Set reqs_density_per_unit parameter
1.3. Set remove_latency parameter
1.4. Set check_route parameter
1.5. Set pike_log_level parameter
1.6. pike_check_req usage
2.1. Tree of IP addresses

Chapter 1. Admin Guide

1.1. Overview

The module provides a simple mechanism for DOS protection - DOS based on floods at network level. The module keeps trace of all (or selected ones) IPs of incoming SIP traffic (as source IP) and blocks the ones that exceeded some limit. Works simultaneous for IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

The module does not implement any actions on blocking - it just simply reports that there is a high traffic from an IP; what to do, is the administator decision (via scripting).

1.2. How to use

There are 2 ways of using this module (as detecting flood attacks and as taking the right action to limit the impact on the system):

  • manual - from routing script you can force the check of the source IP of an incoming requests, using "pike_check_req" function. Note that this checking works only for SIP requests and you can decide (based on scripting logic) what source IPs to be monitored and what action to be taken when a flood is detected.

  • automatic - the module will install internal hooks to catch all incoming requests and replies (even if not well formed from SIP point of view) - more or less the module will monitor all incoming packages (from the network) on the SIP sockets. Each time the source IP of a package needs to be analyse (to see if trusted or not), the module will run a script route - see "check_route" module parameter -, where, based on custom logic, you can decide if that IP needs to be monitored for flooding or not. As action, when flood is detected, the module will automatically drop the packages.

1.3. Dependencies

1.3.1. OpenSIPS Modules

The following modules must be loaded before this module:

  • No dependencies on other OpenSIPS modules.

1.3.2. External Libraries or Applications

The following libraries or applications must be installed before running OpenSIPS with this module loaded:

  • None.

1.4. Exported Parameters

1.4.1. sampling_time_unit (integer)

Time period used for sampling (or the sampling accuracy ;-) ). The smaller the better, but slower. If you want to detect peaks, use a small one. To limit the access (like total number of requests on a long period of time) to a proxy resource (a gateway for ex), use a bigger value of this parameter.

IMPORTANT: a too small value may lead to performance penalties due timer process overloading.

Default value is 2.

Example 1.1. Set sampling_time_unit parameter

modparam("pike", "sampling_time_unit", 10)

1.4.2. reqs_density_per_unit (integer)

How many requests should be allowed per sampling_time_unit before blocking all the incoming request from that IP. Practically, the blocking limit is between ( let's have x=reqs_density_per_unit) x and 3*x for IPv4 addresses and between x and 8*x for ipv6 addresses.

Default value is 30.

Example 1.2. Set reqs_density_per_unit parameter

modparam("pike", "reqs_density_per_unit", 30)

1.4.3. remove_latency (integer)

For how long the IP address will be kept in memory after the last request from that IP address. It's a sort of timeout value.

Default value is 120.

Example 1.3. Set remove_latency parameter

modparam("pike", "remove_latency", 130)

1.4.4. check_route (integer)

The name of the script route to be triggers (in automatic way) when a package is received from the network. If you do a "drop" in this route, it will indicate to the module that the source IP of the package does not need to be monitored. Otherwise, the source IP will be automatically monitered.

By defining this parameter, the automatic checking mode is enabled.

Default value is NONE (no auto mode).

Example 1.4. Set check_route parameter

modparam("pike", "check_route", "pike")
    if (src_ip==  /*trusted, do not check it*/
    /* all other IPs are checked*/

1.4.5. pike_log_level (integer)

Log level to be used by module to auto report the blocking (only first time) and unblocking of IPs detected as source of floods.

Default value is 1 (L_WARN).

Example 1.5. Set pike_log_level parameter

modparam("pike", "pike_log_level", -1)

1.5. Exported Functions

1.5.1.  pike_check_req()

Process the source IP of the current request and returns false if the IP was exceeding the blocking limit.

Return codes:

  • 1 (true) - IP is not to be blocked or internal error occured.


    IMPORTANT: in case of internal error, the function returns true to avoid reporting the current processed IP as blocked.
  • -1 (false) - IP is source of flooding, being previously detected

  • -2 (false) - IP is detected as a new source of flooding - first time detection

This function can be used from REQUEST_ROUTE.

Example 1.6. pike_check_req usage

if (!pike_check_req()) { exit; };

1.6. Exported MI Functions

1.6.1.  pike_list

Lists the nodes in the pike tree.

Name: pike_list

Parameters: none

MI FIFO Command Format:


1.7. Exported Events


This event is raised when the pike module decides that an IP should be blocked.


  • ip - the IP address that has been blocked.

Chapter 2. Developer Guide

One single tree (for both IPv4 and IPv6) is used. Each node contains a byte, the IP addresses stretching from root to the leafs.

Example 2.1. Tree of IP addresses

	   / 193 - 175 - 132 - 164
tree root /                  \ 142
	  \ 195 - 37 - 78 - 163
	   \ 79 - 134

To detect the whole address, step by step, from the root to the leafs, the nodes corresponding to each byte of the ip address are expanded. In order to be expended a node has to be hit for a given number of times (possible by different addresses; in the previous example, the node “37” was expended by the and hits).

For with x= reqs_density_per_unit:

  • After first req hits -> the “193” node is built.

  • After x more hits, the “175” node is build; the hits of “193” node are split between itself and its child--both of them gone have x/2.

  • And so on for node “132” and “164”.

  • Once “164” build the entire address can be found in the tree. “164” becomes a leaf. After it will be hit as a leaf for x times, it will become “RED” (further request from this address will be blocked).

So, to build and block this address were needed 3*x hits. Now, if reqs start coming from, the first 3 bytes are already in the tree (they are shared with the previous address), so I will need only x hits (to build node “142” and to make it “RED”) to make this address also to be blocked. This is the reason for the variable number of hits necessary to block an IP.

The maximum number of hits to turn an address red are (n is the address's number of bytes):

1 (first byte) + x (second byte) + (x / 2) * (n - 2) (for the rest of the bytes) + (n - 1) (to turn the node to red).

So, for IPv4 (n = 4) will be 3x and for IPv6 (n = 16) will be 9x. The minimum number of hits to turn an address red is x.