Media Type 'application/nss' Details

Media Type 'application/nss' Details

Basic Info
Media Type application
subtype nss
Registered? Yes
See also Hammer

Tags: (none)

File Formats: (none)


MIME Media type: application/nss
(last updated 28 October 2005)

The IESG has approved a request to register the "application/nss" MIME media type 
in the standards tree. This media type is a product of ITU-T Study Group 11.

The IESG contact persons are Ted Hardie and Scott Hollenbeck.

Type name: application

Subtype name: nss

Required parameters: none

Optional parameters: charset

Encoding considerations: binary (Note: Data is in US-ASCII range.)

Security considerations: 

NSS has the potential to disclose private customer information and the
potential for modification of NSS bodies during message transport to
manipulate call setup, mid-call events, or call release. Modification means
the addition of an NSS body where none existed, the removal of an NSS body
where one existed, or the changing of contents of existing NSS bodies in
NSS can reveal information about telephone subscribers that is requested to
remain private. Security mechanisms must be provided to meet privacy
agreements and regulations. 

NSS can be deployed as an interdomain signaling mechanism and may be subject
to trust relationships and agreements between administrative domains as well
as legal requirements in various jurisdictions. NSS can affect routing of
telephone calls and associated billing. Security mechanisms must be provided
to control fraud, malicious intents, and unintended consequences.

Such mechanisms include the ability to selectively filter or map and forward
each information element within NSS upon entry or exit of an administrative
domain. It is expected that nodes performing such functions will be User
Agents, such as gateway nodes or IP-based Application servers acting on
behalf of users. Note that RFC 3261 Section 16.6 says: "The proxy MUST NOT
add to, modify, or remove the message body." That includes NSS bodies. All
information from unauthenticated entities must be validated and authorized
before being mapped and forwarded in subsequent signaling messages. Such
checks are particularly needed when information is mapped to/from SIP
headers. Note, however, that the intent of NSS is to carry data that would
be mutually exclusive with the data capable of being carried in SIP headers.

When encapsulated by SIP, the integrity and confidentiality of SIP messages
containing NSS bodies must be addressed. SIP mandates that Transport Layer
Security (TLS) must be supported. The Internet Protocol Security (IPSEC)
mechanisms may be used as an alternative on signaling hops between nodes
trusted to handle PSTN signaling. 
TLS and IPSEC are discussed in Section 26 of the Session Initiation Protocol
RFC 3261. However, trusted nodes would need to specify and agree on the
security suites to be used with IPSEC.
See RFC 3324 for discussion on trust domains and related security

When intermediate hops are not trusted, end-to-end integrity and
confidentiality may be addressed using S/MIME:

RFC 3850, "Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) Version 3.1
Certificate Handling", July 2004.

RFC 3851, "Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) Version 3.1
Message Specification", July 2004.

RFC 3852, "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)", July 2004.

RFC 3853, "S/MIME Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Requirement for the
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)", July 2004.

NSS MIME bodies should be secured using S/MIME to mitigate concerns with
authentication of the sender, integrity protection during transit, and
confidentiality protection from disclosure to unauthorized third parties.
NSS endpoints must support S/MIME signatures and should support S/MIME

For H.323-based encapsulation of NSS bodies, the security mechanisms of
ITU-T Recommendation H.235, "Security and encryption for H-series
(H.323 and other H.245-based) multimedia terminals", August 2003, must be
used to provide integrity and confidentiality.

NSS consists of well defined message types and parameters. Arbitrary content
or directives within field values is not permitted.

NSS does not employ "active content."

NSS contains fields which instruct whether privacy data such as calling
party's number is to be presented or restricted.

NSS is used without and is silent about compression. Use of compression in
conjunction with NSS does not present any security issues.

Interoperability considerations: Compatibility mechanisms are defined in

Published specification: ITU-T Recommendation Q.1980.1, "The Narrowband
Signalling Syntax (NSS) - Syntax Definition", December 2004. Link:

Applications which use this media type: Applications in PSTN Gateways and
call control application servers.

Additional Information:

Magic numbers: None

File Extensions: None

Macintosh File Type Codes: None

Object Identifiers: {itu-t(0) recommendation(0) q(17) 1980 1}
See ITU-T Recommendation H.323 Annex M.4 "Tunneling of Narrowband Signalling
Syntax (NSS) for H.323", December 2004.

Person to contact for further information:

Name: Michael Hammer
E-Mail: [email protected]

Intended Usage: COMMON

Restrictions on usage: None

Author: ITU-T Study Group 11

Change controller: ITU-T Study Group 11

(file created 28 October 2005)