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Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) over Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Short Message Service (SMS)
draft-fossati-dtls-over-gsm-sms-00

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Author Thomas Fossati
Last updated 2014-06-16
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draft-fossati-dtls-over-gsm-sms-00
Internet Engineering Task Force                               T. Fossati
Internet-Draft                                            Alcatel-Lucent
Intended status: Standards Track                           June 16, 2014
Expires: December 18, 2014

 Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) over Global System for Mobile
            Communications (GSM) Short Message Service (SMS)
                   draft-fossati-dtls-over-gsm-sms-00

Abstract

   This document specifies the use of Datagram Transport Layer Security
   (DTLS) over the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Short
   Message Service (SMS).

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 18, 2014.

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   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Usage of DTLS and SMS in CoAP M2M Environments  . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  DTLS over SMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1.  Data Coding Scheme  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.2.  Handshake Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
       3.2.1.  X.509 Certificate-based Authentication Caveats  . . .   4
     3.3.  Message Segmentation and Re-Assembly  . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.4.  DTLS State Machine Timers Adjustments . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.5.  Multiplexing Security Associations  . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  New Versions of DTLS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

1.  Introduction

   This document specifies the use of DTLS [RFC6347] over GSM SMS
   [GSM-SMS] for securing end-to-end communication between Mobile
   Stations (i.e. devices implementing the GSM SMS communication
   standard).

   DTLS provides communications privacy for applications that use
   datagram transport protocols and allows client/server applications to
   communicate in a way that is designed to prevent eavesdropping and
   detect tampering or message forgery.

   SMS is a generic transport protocol for narrow-band end-to-end
   communication between devices, and is an integral part of the GSM
   network technology.

1.1.  Usage of DTLS and SMS in CoAP M2M Environments

   One of the main reasons for defining a DTLS/SMS binding is its
   envisaged usage in machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.

   Specifically, M2M environments based on the CoAP protocol mandate
   DTLS for securing transactions between endpoints -- as detailed in
   Section 9 of [I-D.ietf-core-coap], and further articulated in
   [I-D.ietf-dice-profile], while the [OMA-LWM2M] architecture
   identifies SMS as an alternative transport for CoAP messages.

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2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   This specification requires readers to be familiar with all the terms
   and concepts that are described in [GSM-SMS], [WAP-WDP], [RFC5246],
   and [RFC6347].

3.  DTLS over SMS

3.1.  Data Coding Scheme

   The remainder of this specification assumes Mobile Stations are
   capable of producing and consuming 8-bit binary data encoded
   Transport Protocol Data Units (TPDU).

3.2.  Handshake Overview

   DTLS adds an additional roundtrip to the TLS [RFC5246] handshake to
   serve as a return-routability test for protection against certain
   types of DoS attacks.  Thus a full blown DTLS handshake comprises up
   to 6 "flights" (i.e. logical message exchanges), each of which is
   then mapped on to one or more lower layer PDUs using the segmentation
   and reassembly (SaR) scheme described in Section 4.2.3 of [RFC6347].
   The overhead for said scheme is 6 bytes per Handshake message which,
   given a realistic 10+ messages handshake, would amount around 60
   bytes across the whole handshake sequence.

   (Note that the DTLS SaR scheme is defined for handshake messages
   only.  In fact, Record Layer messages are never fragmented and MUST
   fit within a single transport layer datagram, whatever be the limit
   imposed by the underlying transport.)

   SMS provides an optional segmentation and reassembly scheme as well,
   known as Concatenated short messages (see Section 9.2.3.24.1 of
   [GSM-SMS]).  However, since the SaR scheme in DTLS can't be
   circumvented, the Concatenated short messages mechanism SHOULD NOT be
   used during handshake to avoid redundant overhead.  Before starting
   the handshake phase (either actively or passively), the DTLS
   implementation MUST be explicitly configured with the PMTU of the SMS
   transport in order to correctly instrument its SaR function.  The
   PMTU SHALL be 133 bytes if WPD-based multiplexing is used (see
   Section 3.5), 140 bytes otherwise.

   It is RECOMMENDED to use the established security context over the
   longest possible period (possibly until a Closure Alert message is

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   received, or after a very long inactivity timeout) to avoid the
   expensive re-establishment of the security association.

3.2.1.  X.509 Certificate-based Authentication Caveats

   X.509 certificate-based authentication (used in Certificate mode
   CoAP) exacerbates the number of TPDUs -- especially those involved in
   flight 4 and 5 -- needed to complete the handshake phase.

   In such case, given the typical latency of the SMS transport, the
   time to finalise the handshake could be in the order of 10s of
   seconds (maybe even minutes).

   More importantly, the large number of TPDUs involved increases the
   likelihood to incur packet loss which DTLS does not handle
   efficiently.  In fact, the DTLS timeout and retransmission logics
   apply to whole flights, but not to message fragments individually.
   So, loss or delay of a single fragment may disrupt the current
   flight, which needs to be entirely retransmitted.

   Depending on the delay and packet loss characteristics of the network
   link, completing a DTLS handshake which involves exchanging X.509
   data may prove to be a daunting task [[CREF1: TODO: substantiate with
   figures]].

   For these reasons, it is advisable to carefully consider whether the
   use of X.509 certificate-based authentication is compatible with the
   characteristics of the network link between the involved parties.

3.3.  Message Segmentation and Re-Assembly

   [RFC6347] requires that each DTLS message fits within a single
   transport layer datagram

   The content of an SMS message is carried in the TP-UserData field,
   and its size may be up to 140 bytes.  As already mentioned in
   Section 3.2, longer (i.e. up to 34170 bytes) messages can be sent
   using a segmentation and reassembly scheme known as Concatenated SMS
   (see Section 9.2.3.24.1 of [GSM-SMS]).

   This scheme consumes 6-7 bytes (depending on whether the short or
   long segmentation format is used) of the TP-UserData field, thus
   reducing the space available for the actual content of the SMS
   message to 133-134 bytes per TPDU.

   Though in principle a PMTU value higher than 140 bytes could be used
   (which may look like an appealing option given its more efficient use
   of the transport) there is a significant number of disadvantages to

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   consider (apart from the fixed tax of 7 bytes per TPDU to be paid to
   the SaR function):

   1.  high sensitivity to packet loss -- since there is no automatic
       recovery mechanism in case one TPDU in the chain is lost, and
       since the SaR function is transparent to the application layer,
       then a PMTU worth of data may be discarded even if just 1/255th
       of the data were lost;

   2.  some networks may support the Concatenated SMS function
       partially, if at all;

   3.  TPDU reordering may delay data delivery to the application;

   4.  high buffering requirement on both ends of the communication
       path.

   For these reasons, the Concatenated short messages mechanism SHOULD
   NOT be used, and it is RECOMMENDED to leave the same PMTU settings
   used during the handshake phase (Section 3.2), i.e. 133 bytes if WDP-
   based multiplexing is enabled (Section 3.5), 140 bytes otherwise.

3.4.  DTLS State Machine Timers Adjustments

   [RFC6347] recommends an initial timer value of 1 second with
   exponential back off up to no less then 60 seconds.  Given the
   latency characteristics of typical SMS delivery, the 1 second value
   can easily lead to spurious retransmissions, which in turn may lead
   to link congestion.

   Choosing an appropriate timer value is a difficult problem due to the
   wide variance in latency in SMS delivery.  This specification
   RECOMMENDS an initial timer value of 10 seconds with exponential back
   off up to no less then 60 seconds.

   If an RTT estimator (e.g.  [I-D.bormann-core-cocoa]) is already
   available in the protocol stack of the device, it could be used to
   dynamically update the setting of the retransmit timeout.

3.5.  Multiplexing Security Associations

   Unlike IPsec, DTLS records do not contain any association
   identifiers.  Applications must arrange to multiplex between
   associations on the same endpoint which, when using UDP/IP, is
   usually done with the host/port number.

   If the DTLS server allows more than one client to be active at any
   given time, then the WAP User Datagram Protocol [WAP-WDP] can be used

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   to achieve multiplexing of the different security associations.  (The
   use of WDP provides the additional benefit that upper layer protocols
   can operate independently of the underlying wireless network, hence
   achieving application-agnostic transport handover.)

   The total overhead cost for encoding the WDP source and destination
   ports is 7 bytes out of the total available for the SMS content.

   The receiving side of the communication gets the source address from
   the originator address (TP-OA) field of the SMS-DELIVER TPDU.  This
   way an unique 4-tuple identifying the security association can be
   reconstructed at both ends.

4.  New Versions of DTLS

   As DTLS matures, revisions to and updates for [RFC6347] can be
   expected.  DTLS includes mechanisms for identifying the version in
   use, and presumably future versions will either include backward
   compatibility modes or at least not allow connections between
   dissimilar versions.  Since DTLS over SMS simply encapsulates the
   DTLS records transparently, these changes should not affect this
   document and the methods of this document should apply to future
   versions of DTLS.

   Therefore, in the absence of a revision to this document, this
   document is assumed to apply to all future versions of DTLS.  This
   document will only be revised if a revision to DTLS or SMS makes a
   revision to the encapsulation necessary.

5.  Security Considerations

   Security considerations for DTLS as specified in [RFC6347] apply.

   In most networks, sending SMS messages is not a free service,
   therefore DoS attacks tend to be a lot less common than in IP
   networks.  However, it is RECOMMENDED not to disable the cookie
   exchange protection, unless the involved risks are fully understood,
   and the chance of a DoS attack is deemed low enough to drop the
   protection mechanism in order to save one round-trip per handshake.

   DTLS lays on top of SMS, and therefore it doesn't provide any
   security service to it.  The SMS implementation must be able to
   protect itself from any special SMS message that can be used to alter
   the device state or configuration in an undesired way (e.g. fiddling
   with the private key store).  Any SMS client must make sure that
   malicious use of such messages is not possible, for example, by
   filtering out certain SMS User Data header fields.

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   The layering of DTLS on top of the SMS transport does not introduce
   any new security issues.  We believe that the recommendations
   contained in this specification (i.e. initial RTO increase, use of
   WDP for multiplexing security associations, avoidance of SMS SaR)
   have no impact on the security of DTLS.

6.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Tim Carey, Zhiyuan Hu, Kathleen Moriarty, Eric Rescorla,
   Padmakumar Subramani, for helpful comments and discussions that have
   shaped this document.

7.  IANA Considerations

   This specification contains no request to IANA.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [GSM-SMS]  ETSI, "3GPP TS 23.040 V7.0.1 (2007-03): 3rd Generation
              Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group Core
              Network and Terminals; Technical realization of the Short
              Message Service (SMS) (Release 7)", March 2007.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246, August 2008.

   [RFC6347]  Rescorla, E. and N. Modadugu, "Datagram Transport Layer
              Security Version 1.2", RFC 6347, January 2012.

   [WAP-WDP]  Wireless Application Protocol Forum, "Wireless Datagram
              Protocol", June 2001.

8.2.  Informative References

   [I-D.bormann-core-cocoa]
              Bormann, C., "CoAP Simple Congestion Control/Advanced",
              draft-bormann-core-cocoa-01 (work in progress), February
              2014.

   [I-D.ietf-core-coap]
              Shelby, Z., Hartke, K., and C. Bormann, "Constrained
              Application Protocol (CoAP)", draft-ietf-core-coap-18
              (work in progress), June 2013.

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   [I-D.ietf-dice-profile]
              Hartke, K. and H. Tschofenig, "A DTLS 1.2 Profile for the
              Internet of Things", draft-ietf-dice-profile-01 (work in
              progress), May 2014.

   [OMA-LWM2M]
              OMA, "Lightweight Machine to Machine Technical
              Specification", 2013.

Author's Address

   Thomas Fossati
   Alcatel-Lucent
   3 Ely Road
   Milton, Cambridge  CB24 6DD
   UK

   Email: thomas.fossati@alcatel-lucent.com

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