Wireshark-dev: Re: [Wireshark-dev] tvb_get_string_enc() doesn't always return valid UTF-8
From: Guy Harris <[email protected]>
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2014 15:13:57 -0800
On Jan 26, 2014, at 1:27 PM, Jakub Zawadzki <[email protected]> wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 08:01:15AM -0500, Evan Huus wrote:
>> On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 2:40 AM, Guy Harris <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> 
>>> On Jan 20, 2014, at 5:59 PM, Evan Huus <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> In which case is dumb search-and-replace of tvb_get_string with
>>>> tvb_get_string_enc and ENC_ASCII an easy way to make (part of) the API
>>>> transition?
>>> 
>>> Did somebody say that had been done or suggest that it be done?
>> 
>> I thought it was kind of implied when you wrote "We should also
>> probably audit all calls to tvb_get_string() and tvb_get_stringz() in
>> dissectors and change them to tvb_get_string_enc() with the
>> appropriate encoding."
>> 
>> If tvb_get_string() behaves identically to tvb_get_string_enc(...
>> ENC_ASCII) then there doesn't seem much point in having both.
> 
> We can also think about dropping STR_ASCII, STR_UNICODE stuff.
> 
> To be honest I'm not happy about it, I'd rather still display
> non-printable ascii in escaped-hex-form.

OK, first-principles time:

A character string is a sequence of code points from a character set.  It's represented as a sequence of octets using a particular encoding for that character set, wherein each character is represented as a 1-or-more-octet subsequence in that sequence.

In many of those encodings, not all subsequences of octets correspond to code points in the character set.  For example:

	the 8-bit encoding of ASCII encodes each code point as an octet, and octets with the uppermost bit set don't correspond to ASCII code points;

	the 8-bit encodings of "8-bit" character sets encode each code point as an octet and, in some of those character sets, there are fewer than 256 code points, and some octet values don't correspond to code points in the character set;

	UTF-8 encodes each Unicode code point as 1 or more octets, and:

		an octet sequence that begins with an octet with the uppermost bit set and the bit below it clear is invalid and doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

		an octet sequence that begins with an octet with the uppermost two bits set, and where the 1 bits below it indicate that the sequence is N bytes long, but that has fewer than N-1 octets-with-10-at-the-top following it (either because it's terminated by an octet that doesn't have 10 at the top or it's terminated by the end of the string), is invalid and doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

		an octet sequence doesn't have the two problems above but that produces a value that's not a valid Unicode code point is invalid and (by definition) doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

	UCS-2 encodes each code point in the Unicode Basic Multilingual Plane as 2 octets (big-endian or little-endian), and not all values from 0 to 65535 correspond to Unicode code points (see next item...);

	UTF-16 encodes each Unicode code point as 2 or 4 octets (big-endian or little-endian), with code points in the Basic Multilingual Plane encoded as 2 octets and other code points encoded as a 2-octet "leading surrogate" followed by a 2-octet "trailing surrogate" (those are values between 0 and 65535 that are *not* Unicode code points; see previous item), and:

		a leading surrogate not followed by a trailing surrogate (either because it's followed by a 2-octet Unicode code point value or because it's at the end of the string) is not a valid UTF-16 sequence and doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

		a trailing surrogate not preceded by a leading surrogate (either because it's at the beginning of the string or because it's preceded by a 2-octet Unicode code point value) is not a valid UTF-16 sequence and doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

		a leading surrogate followed by a trailing surrogate that gives a value that's not a valid Unicode code point is invalid and (by definition) doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

	UCS-4 encodes each Unicode code point directly as 4 octets (big-endian or little-endian), and any value that corresponds to a surrogate or a value larger than the largest possible Unicode code point value is invalid and doesn't correspond to a code point in Unicode;

etc..

Strings in Wireshark are:

	displayed to users, either directly in the packet containing them as part of the packet summary or detail, or indirectly, for example, by being stored as a pathname or pathname component for a file and shown in packets referring to the file by some ID rather than by pathname;

	matched by packet-matching expressions (display filters, color filters, etc.);

	processed internally by dissectors and taps (whether in C, Lua, or some other language);

	handed to other programs by, for example, "tshark -T fields -e ...".

In all of those cases, we need to do *something* with the invalid octet sequences.

In the packet-matching expression case, I'd say that:

	*all* comparison operations in which a string value from the packet is compared with a constant text string should fail if the string has invalid octet sequences (so 0x20 0xC0 0xC0 0xC0, as a purportedly-UTF-8 string, is neither equal to nor unequal to " " or "hello" or....);

	comparison operations in which a string value from the packet is compared with an octet string (comparing against something such as 20:c0:c0:c0) should do an octet-by-octet comparison of the raw octets of the string (so 0x20 0xC0 0xC0 0xC0, no matter what the encoding, compares equal to 20:c0:c0:c0);

	equality comparison operations between two string values from the packet succeed if either

		1) the two string values are valid in their encoding and translate to the same UTF-8 string

	or

		2) the two string values have the same encoding and have the same octets.

That would require more work.

In the display case, an argument could be made that invalid octet sequences should be displayed as a sequence of \xNN escape sequences, one octet at a time.

In the "processed internally" case, if the part of the string that's being looked at contains an invalid octet sequence, the processing should fail, otherwise the processing should still work.  For example, an HTTP request beginning with 0x47 0x45 0x54 0x20 0xC0 should be treated as a GET request with the operand being invalid, but an HTTP request beginning with 0x47 0x45 0x54 0xC0 should be treated as an invalid request.  That would *also* require more work.

I'm not sure *what* the right thing to do when handing fields to other programs is.

So the functions that get strings from packets should not map invalid octet sequences to a sequence of \xNN escape sequences, as that would interfere with proper handling of the string when doing packet matching and internal processing.  For those cases, perhaps a combination of

	1) replacing invalid sequences with REPLACEMENT CHARACTER

and

	2) providing a separate indication that this was done

would be the right case.

However, that then throws away information, so that you can't *display* that string with the invalid sequences shown as \xNN sequences.

For now, my inclination is to continue with the "replace invalid sequences with REPLACEMENT CHARACTER in tvb_get_string* routines" strategy, but not treat that as the ultimate solution.  (I'll talk about some thoughts about what to do after that below.)

Non-printable characters are an orthogonal issue; they *can* be represented in our UTF-8 encoding of Unicode, but they shouldn't be displayed in the UI as themselves.

My inclination there is to replace them, when displaying, with escape sequences:

	for code points >= 0x80, I'd display them as a \uXXXXXX escape sequence (whether to trim leading zeroes, and how many of them to trim, is left as an exercise for the reader; probably trim no more than two leading zeroes, but I'm not sure what to do if there's only one leading zero) - note that this won't show the value(s) of the octet(s) that make up the code point, it'll show the Unicode code point;

	for 0x7F and most code points < 0x20, I'd display them either as \uXX, \xXX, or \ooo (whether to stick with Traditional Octal(TM), hex, or Unicode is left as an exercise for the reader);

	for the characters that have their own C string escape sequences (e.g., tab, CR, LF), I'd display them as that escape sequence.

(For the future, we might want to have the "value", in a protocol tree, of a string be a combination of the encoding and the raw octets; if some code wants the value for processing purposes, it'd call a routine that converts the value to UTF-8 with REPLACEMENT CHARACTER replacing invalid sequences, and if it wants the value for display purposes, it'd call a routine that converts it to UTF-8 with escape sequences replacing invalid sequences *and* with non-printable characters shown as the appropriate escape sequence.

That raises the question of whether, when building a protocol tree, we need to put the value into the protocol tree item at all if the item is created with proto_tree_create_item(), or whether we just postpone extracting the value until we actually need it.  Lazy processing FTW....)