18.4.6 (L2) Ensure 'MSS: (KeepAliveTime) How often keep-alive packets are sent in milliseconds' is set to 'Enabled: 300,000 or 5 minutes (recommended)'

Warning! Audit Deprecated

This audit has been deprecated and will be removed in a future update.

View Next Audit Version


This value controls how often TCP attempts to verify that an idle connection is still intact by sending a keep-alive packet. If the remote computer is still reachable, it acknowledges the keep-alive packet.
The recommended state for this setting is: Enabled: 300,000 or 5 minutes (recommended).

An attacker who is able to connect to network applications could establish numerous connections to cause a DoS condition.


To establish the recommended configuration via GP, set the following UI path to Enabled: 300,000 or 5 minutes (recommended):
Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\MSS (Legacy)\MSS: (KeepAliveTime) How often keep-alive packets are sent in milliseconds
Note: This Group Policy path does not exist by default. An additional Group Policy template (MSS-legacy.admx/adml) is required - it is available from this TechNet blog post: The MSS settings ? Microsoft Security Guidance blog

Keep-alive packets are not sent by default by Windows. However, some applications may configure the TCP stack flag that requests keep-alive packets. For such configurations, you can lower this value from the default setting of two hours to five minutes to disconnect inactive sessions more quickly.

Default Value:
7,200,000 milliseconds or 120 minutes.

1. CCE-35469-6

See Also