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We have such server structure: reverse proxy (nginx) -> worker (uwsgi) -> postgresql / memcached. All servers are in local network behind router, with NATed external ip:ports (http/s 80/443 to proxy, and ssh 22 to all servers).

Problem is, that sometimes proxy server netstat reports MILLIONS of SYN_RECV connections. From same IP / same ports. Like that:

nginx ~ # netstat -n | grep 83.238.153.195
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
tcp 0 0 192.168.1.1:80 83.238.153.195:3107 SYN_RECV
[...]

And this is not DDoS, because all IPs affected belongs to our website users. On side note, users says that it's not affecting them. Website is online and working, but... that particular one (from example above) told me that website is down and Firefox can't connect. I've done tcpdump.

19:42:14.826011 IP 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 1845850583, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0
19:42:14.826042 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:17.887331 IP 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 1845850583, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0
19:42:17.887343 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:19.065497 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:23.918064 IP 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 1845850583, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0
19:42:23.918076 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:25.265499 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:37.265501 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0
19:42:37.758051 IP 83.238.153.195.2107 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 564208067, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:42:37.758069 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:40.714360 IP 83.238.153.195.2107 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 564208067, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:42:40.714374 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:41.665503 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:46.751073 IP 83.238.153.195.2107 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 564208067, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:42:46.751087 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:47.665498 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:42:59.865499 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:01.265500 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:13.320382 IP 83.238.153.195.2114 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 2136055006, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:43:13.320399 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2114: Flags [S.], seq 3754336171, ack 2136055007, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:16.320556 IP 83.238.153.195.2114 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 2136055006, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:43:16.320569 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2114: Flags [S.], seq 3754336171, ack 2136055007, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:17.665498 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2114: Flags [S.], seq 3754336171, ack 2136055007, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:22.250069 IP 83.238.153.195.2114 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 2136055006, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:43:22.250080 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2114: Flags [S.], seq 3754336171, ack 2136055007, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:23.665500 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2114: Flags [S.], seq 3754336171, ack 2136055007, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:23.865501 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2107: Flags [S.], seq 3188568660, ack 564208068, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:35.665498 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2114: Flags [S.], seq 3754336171, ack 2136055007, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:37.903038 IP 83.238.153.195.2213 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 2918118729, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:43:37.903054 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2213: Flags [S.], seq 4145523337, ack 2918118730, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:40.772899 IP 83.238.153.195.2213 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 2918118729, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:43:40.772912 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2213: Flags [S.], seq 4145523337, ack 2918118730, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:41.865500 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2213: Flags [S.], seq 4145523337, ack 2918118730, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0   
19:43:46.793057 IP 83.238.153.195.2213 > 192.168.1.1.http: Flags [S], seq 2918118729, win 65535, options [mss 1412,nop,wscale 0,nop,nop,sackOK], length 0  
19:43:46.793069 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2213: Flags [S.], seq 4145523337, ack 2918118730, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:47.865500 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.2213: Flags [S.], seq 4145523337, ack 2918118730, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  
19:43:49.465503 IP 192.168.1.1.http > 83.238.153.195.zephyr-srv: Flags [S.], seq 2835837547, ack 1845850584, win 5840, options [mss 1460,nop,nop,sackOK,nop,wscale 7], length 0  

Anyone have some thoughts on that?

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2 Answers 2

Is this tcpdump from your server? It looks like the ACK from the server is not making it back to the client and then the server sends duplicate ACK's waiting for the SYN from the client in order to complete the three way handshake but the client is not sending the SYN because it's not getting the ACK. I would try to put a sniffer on the outside of the firewall and capture traffic there to see if the ACK's from the server are getting through the firewall. You need to find out where the ACK's are being lost. Are they being lost at the server or somewhere upstream?

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Yes, tcdump is from my server. I'm looking now at connections on router. There are 150-200 out of 3000 connections in "syn received" state. It's somehow wave. 200 connections, few seconds later 10, and then again 200 connections. –  ThomK Jan 27 '11 at 11:05
    
I would look at the traffic passing through the router by putting a sniffer between the router and your network, then look for the SYN and ACK packets for a specific TCP session being established. You can do this by installing a sniffer on a laptop/workstation and connecting it between the router and your network with a hub. The laptop/workstation/hub will then act like a passive network tap and will see all the traffic passing between the network and the router. If everything looks OK there then move the "tap" to the outside of the router and test again. –  joeqwerty Jan 27 '11 at 11:27

It seems that is kernel problem: https://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/498321/ i mean half of the problem (millions of SYN_RECV in netstat). User has restarted own home router and... here we go, everything works, she can access website again.

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