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SubjectRe: Incremental update of TCP Checksum

Richard B. Johnson wrote:
> On Tue, 16 Sep 2003, Vishwas Raman wrote:
>>Hi all,
>>I have a very simple question, which a lot of you would have solved. I
>>am intercepting a TCP packet, which I would like to change slightly.
>>Let's say, I change the doff field of the tcp-header (for eg: increase
>>it by 1). I know it is wrong just to change the doff field without
>>increasing the packet length, but lets say I do it just as a test. Since
>>I changed a portion of the tcp header, I have to update the tcp checksum
>>too right!!! If so, what is the best way to do so, without having to
>>recalculate the entire tcp checksum (I know how to recalculate the
>>checksum from scratch).
>>Can anyone out there tell me the algorithm to update the checksum
>>without having to recalculate it.
>>I tried the following algorithm but it didnt work. The packet got
>>rejected as a packet with bad cksum.
>>void changePacket(struct sk_buff* skb)
>> struct tcphdr *tcpHdr = skb->;
>> // Verifying the tcp checksum works here...
>> tcpHeader->doff += 1;
>> long cksum = (~(tcpHdr->check))&0xffff;
>> cksum += 1;
>> while (cksum >> 16)
>> {
>> cksum = (cksum & 0xffff) + (cksum >> 16);
>> }
>> tcpHeader->check = ~cksum;
>> // Verifying tcp checksum here fails with bad cksum
>>Any pointers/help in this regard will be highly appreciated...
> The TCP/IP checksum is a WORD sum (unsigned short) in which
> any overflow out of the word causes the word to be incremented.
> The final sum is then inverted to become the checksum. Note that
> many algorithms sum into a long then fold-back the bits. It's
> the same thing, different method.
> Therefore:
> Given an existing checksum of 0xffff, if the
> next word to be summed is 0x0001, the result
> will be 0x0001 because adding 1 to 0xffff makes
> it 0, causing an overflow which propagates to
> become 0x0001.
> So:
> Clearly, information is lost because one doesn't
> know how the 0x0001 was obtained.
> If I were to modify a low byte somewhere by subtracting 1,
> would I know that the new checksum, excluding the inversion,
> was 0x0000? No. It could be 0xffff.
> This presents a problem when trying to modify existing checksums.
> It's certainly easier to set the existing checksum to 0, then
> re-checksum the whole packet. It's probably faster than some
> looping algorithm that attempts to unwind a previous checksum.

Are you then suggesting that instead of trying to do an incremental
update of the tcp checksum, I set it to 0 and recalculate it from
scratch? But I thought that doing that was a big performance hit. Isn't it?

> Cheers,
> Dick Johnson
> Penguin : Linux version 2.4.22 on an i686 machine (794.73 BogoMips).
> Note 96.31% of all statistics are fiction.

Vishwas Raman
Software Engineer, Eternal Systems, Inc,
5290 Overpass Rd, Bldg D, Santa Barbara. CA 93111
Tel: (805) 696-9051 x246
Fax: (805) 696-9083

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