Not seeing all transactions due to late SSL packets

Document ID : KB000028698
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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In 21961067-1, customer is not seeing all of the transactions on their 9.5.3 MTP TIM. They are monitoring HTTP responses for Websphere Portal transactions.  TIM is reporting the malformed SSL record errors without actually having any loss of packets (i.e. recovered via re-transmissions).

The TIM logs contain the following:


Thu Nov  6 12:03:22 2014  5591   Trace: w7: ssl_analyze: unknown SSL content type 75 on []:60632->[]:443, conn 208703, packet 5783174


Thu Nov  6 12:03:22 2014  5591 ! Warning: w7: sslinterface: network_process_packet: error 3 (unspecified internal error), conn 208703, packet 5783174, []:60632->[]:443; ignoring further data



The current TIM design has the capability to re-assemble the packets when they arrive in out-of-order using standard seq/ack mechanism.

In this case,  the problem is the re-assembled TCP packets do not carry the full SSL/HTTPS record or carry multiple SSL/HTTPS records. As a result, TIM feeds the malformed SSL record to TIM's SSL dissector (i.e. ssldump) and eventually decryption fails. Thereafter, this leads to TIM ignoring the further data or no data on that connection. In other words, TIM does not know how to re-assemble packets not carrying the entire SSL/HTTPS record using seq/ack mechanism.

There are some possible solutions:

1) A Hotfix is available as needed that allows TIM to process/interpret/read the multiple or broken SSL records (that are re-assembled from TCP stream/segments) at the SSL layer/stack. If opening a Support case to request the hotfix, please provide a PCAP file to verify if it applies.

2) Consider using jumbo frames to avoid TCP segments getting out-of-order at the TCP layer. (See below links for reference.)

3) Use the following options to terminate/decrypt the SSL/HTTPS traffic and pass the HTTP traffic to TIM- monitored interface. So that re-assembling the TCP segments doesn't cause any issue:

 ·        Netronome SSL Inspector (Transparent SSL Proxy Appliance).

 ·        Reverse proxy setup (one connection for HTTPS and another for HTTP).