Application Authentication/Authorization Review Gr

Document Charter Application Authentication/Authorization Review Gr WG (aaarg)
Title Application Authentication/Authorization Review Gr
Last updated 2000-06-05
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter Edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


The IESG/IAB security workshop concluded that plaintext passwords are
no longer acceptable in new protocols.  Unfortunately, a large number
of complex problems need to be solved in order for there to be a
practical alternative for application protocols.  The goal of this
working group is to identify or develop components for a baseline
authentication/authorization system for use by Internet application
protocols.  This system must have the following characteristics:

* Be as simple as possible -- specifically, baseline authentication,
  authorization and integrity services must not require ASN.1 or the
  deployment of a certificate infrastructure.

* Have no dependencies which require or have the effect of requiring
  trade secret technology

* Have no dependencies which would prevent or unnecessarily complicate
  freely available or shareware implementations.  Specifically, patents
  are a serious concern.

* Provide a transition strategy for moving from current plaintext
  password systems

* Allow for the existence of proxy servers in the architecture

* Avoid potential export restrictions as much as possible

The top priority deliverables are:

* A SASL mechanism intended to replace CRAM-MD5 which repairs the
  weakness of MD5, the lack of an authorization identifier, and
  possibly also addresses the lack of optional integrity protection
  and CRAM's susceptibility to dictionary attacks by a passive
  observer.  This document should include sample source code in an
  appendix to assist implementors with no security experience or

* A simple password changing protocol to replace the defacto standard
  "poppassd" which uses plaintext passwords.

* A SASL mechanism which can be used to transition from plaintext

* A simple protocol to permit the verification of authentication
  credentials against an authentication/authorization database.
  RADIUS will be reviewed to determine if it is appropriate for
  application level use.

* An RFC which documents the overall architecture for application
  protocols and makes recommendations for how application protocol
  implementors can support various security scenarios.

The second priority deliverables are:

* An Informational RFC which documents vendor support for this
  architecture.  This will require an outreach effort to Internet
  server vendors to determine how they can integrate a "no plaintext
  passwords on the network" architecture into operating system
  services such as login, change password, switch user and proprietary
  secure services.

* An RFC which makes a recommendation for a small set of encryption
  technologies for use in application protocols which meet the
  architecture criteria listed above.  The goal is to make
  interoperable encryption easier to deploy.

* An RFC which recommends a single remote login protocol for use with
  this architecture.  If necessary this will repair problems in that
  protocol or extend it to meet the architecture criteria.

* An RFC which documents an API for use with SASL
 Goals and Milestones: 

   Jun 97       First draft of SASL password transition document

   Jul 97       First draft of password change document

   Aug 97       First draft of authentication verification protocol,
                if deemed necessary

   Aug 97       First draft of CRAM-MD5 replacement document

   Aug 97       Meet in Munich

   Sep 97       First draft of architecture document

   Sep 97       SASL transition submitted to IESG for proposed standard

   Sep 97       Password change submitted to IESG for proposed standard

   Oct 97       Auth verification submitted to IESG for proposed 

   Nov 97       CRAM-MD5 replacement submitted to IESG for proposed 

   Nov 97       First draft of encryption document

   Nov 97       First draft of SASL API

   Nov 97       First draft of remote login document

   Dec 97       First draft of vendor document

   Dec 97       Architecture document submitted to IESG for ?? status

   Jun 98       Conclude Working Group


Posted Revised       I-D Title  <Filename>
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 Request For Comments:

  None to date.