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AES-CCM ECC Cipher Suites for TLS

The information below is for an old version of the document.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 7251.
Authors David McGrew , Daniel Bailey , Matthew Campagna , Robert Dugal
Last updated 2013-10-24 (Latest revision 2013-08-30)
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd Robert Cragie
Shepherd write-up Show Last changed 2013-06-20
IESG IESG state Approved-announcement to be sent
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Sean Turner
Send notices to,,,,,,
IANA IANA review state IANA OK - Actions Needed
TLS Working Group                                              D. McGrew
Internet-Draft                                             Cisco Systems
Intended status: Informational                                 D. Bailey
Expires: January 13, 2014                                        RSA/EMC
                                                             M. Campagna
                                                                R. Dugal
                                                          Certicom Corp.
                                                           July 12, 2013

                   AES-CCM ECC Cipher Suites for TLS


   This memo describes the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
   in the Counter and CBC-MAC Mode (CCM) of operation within Transport
   Layer Security (TLS) to provide confidentiality and data origin
   authentication.  The AES-CCM algorithm is amenable to compact
   implementations, making it suitable for constrained environments.
   The ciphersuites defined in this document use Elliptic Curve
   Cryptography (ECC), and are advantageous in networks with limited

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
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 13, 2014.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2013 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents

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   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     1.1.  Conventions Used In This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

   2.  ECC based AES-CCM Cipher Suites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     2.1.  AEAD algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     2.2.  Requirements on Curves and Hashes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

   3.  TLS Versions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

   4.  History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     6.1.  Perfect Forward Secrecy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     6.2.  Counter Reuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

   7.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

   Appendix A.  Recommended Curves and Algorithms  . . . . . . . . . . 8

   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

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1.  Introduction

   This document describes the use of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
   [AES] in Counter with CBC-MAC Mode (CCM) [CCM] in several TLS
   ciphersuites.  AES-CCM provides both authentication and
   confidentiality and uses as its only primitive the AES encrypt
   operation (the AES decrypt operation is not needed).  This makes it
   amenable to compact implementations, which is advantageous in
   constrained environments.  Of course, adoption outside of constrained
   environments is necessary to enable interoperability, such as that
   between web clients and embedded servers, or between embedded clients
   and web servers.  The use of AES-CCM has been specified for IPsec ESP
   [RFC4309] and 802.15.4 wireless networks [IEEE802154].

   Authenticated encryption, in addition to providing confidentiality
   for the plaintext that is encrypted, provides a way to check its
   integrity and authenticity.  Authenticated Encryption with Associated
   Data, or AEAD [RFC5116], adds the ability to check the integrity and
   authenticity of some associated data that is not encrypted.  This
   memo utilizes the AEAD facility within TLS 1.2 [RFC5246] and the AES-
   CCM-based AEAD algorithms defined in [RFC5116] and [RFC6655] .  All
   of these algorithms use AES-CCM; some have shorter authentication
   tags, and are therefore more suitable for use across networks in
   which bandwidth is constrained and message sizes may be small.

   The ciphersuites defined in this document use Ephemeral Elliptic
   Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDHE) as their key establishment mechanism;
   these ciphersuites can be used with DTLS [RFC6347].

1.1.  Conventions Used In This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  ECC based AES-CCM Cipher Suites

   The ciphersuites defined in this document are based on the AES-CCM
   authenticated encryption with associated data (AEAD) algorithms
   AEAD_AES_128_CCM and AEAD_AES_256_CCM described in [RFC5116].  The
   following ciphersuites are defined:

      CipherSuite TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CCM = {TBD1,TBD1}
      CipherSuite TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CCM = {TBD2,TBD2}
      CipherSuite TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CCM_8 = {TBD3,TBD3}
      CipherSuite TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CCM_8 = {TBD4,TBD4}

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   These ciphersuites make use of the AEAD capability in TLS 1.2
   [RFC5246].  Note that each of these AEAD algorithms uses AES-CCM.
   Ciphersuites ending with "8" use eight-octet authentication tags; the
   other ciphersuites have 16 octet authentication tags.

   The HMAC truncation option described in Section 7 of [RFC6066] (which
   negotiates the "truncated_hmac" TLS extension) does not have an
   effect on the cipher suites defined in this note, because they do not
   use HMAC to protect TLS records.

   The "nonce" input to the AEAD algorithm is as defined in [RFC6655].

   In DTLS, the 64-bit seq_num field is the 16-bit DTLS epoch field
   concatenated with the 48-bit sequence_number field.  The epoch and
   sequence_number appear in the DTLS record layer.

   This construction allows the internal counter to be 32-bits long,
   which is a convenient size for use with CCM.

   These ciphersuites make use of the default TLS 1.2 Pseudorandom
   Function (PRF), which uses HMAC with the SHA-256 hash function.

   The ECDHE_ECDSA key exchange is performed as defined in [RFC4492],
   with the following additional stipulations:

   o  Curves with a cofactor equal to one SHOULD be used; this
      simplifies their use.
   o  The uncompressed point format MUST be supported.  Other point
      formats MAY be used.
   o  The client SHOULD offer the elliptic_curves extension and the
      server SHOULD expect to receive it.
   o  The client MAY offer the ec_point_formats extension, but the
      server need not expect to receive it.
   o  [RFC6090] MAY be used as an implementation method.
   o  The server's certificate SHOULD contain a suitable ECC public key,
      SHOULD be signed with a suitable ECC public key, and the elliptic
      curve and hash function SHOULD be selected to ensure a uniform
      security level; guidance on acceptable choices of hashes and
      curves that can be used with each ciphersuite is detailed in
      Section 2.2.  The Signature Algorithms extension (Section of [RFC5246]) SHOULD be used to indicate support of
      those signature and hash algorithms.  If a client certificate is
      used, the same criteria SHOULD apply to it.

   Implementations of these ciphersuites will interoperate with
   [RFC4492], but can be more compact than a full implementation of that

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2.1.  AEAD algorithms

   The following AEAD algorithms are used:

      AEAD_AES_128_CCM is used in the TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CCM

      AEAD_AES_256_CCM is used in the TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CCM

      AEAD_AES_128_CCM_8 is used in the
      TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CCM_8 ciphersuite, and

      AEAD_AES_256_CCM_8 is used in the
      TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CCM_8 ciphersuite.

2.2.  Requirements on Curves and Hashes

   Implementations SHOULD select elliptic curves and hash functions so
   that AES-128 is used with a curve and a hash function supporting a
   128-bit security level, and AES-256 is used with a curve and a hash
   function supporting a 192-bit or 256-bit security level.  More
   detailed guidance on cryptographic parameter selection is given in
   [SP800-57] (see especially Tables 2 and 3).

   Appendix A describes suitable curves and hash functions that are
   widely available.

3.  TLS Versions

   These ciphersuites make use of the authenticated encryption with
   additional data defined in TLS 1.2 [RFC5288].  They MUST NOT be
   negotiated in older versions of TLS.  Clients MUST NOT offer these
   cipher suites if they do not offer TLS 1.2 or later.  Servers which
   select an earlier version of TLS MUST NOT select one of these cipher
   suites.  Earlier versions do not have support for AEAD; for instance,
   the TLSCiphertext structure does not have the "aead" option in TLS
   1.1.  Because TLS has no way for the client to indicate that it
   supports TLS 1.2 but not earlier, a non-compliant server might
   potentially negotiate TLS 1.1 or earlier and select one of the cipher
   suites in this document.  Clients MUST check the TLS version and
   generate a fatal "illegal_parameter" alert if they detect an
   incorrect version.

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4.  History

   The 07 version removed the mandatory-to-implement elliptic curves and
   hash functions, and replaced them with non-normative guidance, which
   is in Appendix A.

   The 06 version replaced obsoleted references with updated ones to
   RFC6066, RFC6655, RFC5246, fixes a boilerplate error, and corrects
   the section reference for the truncated HMAC RFC.  It also changes
   the mandatory-to-implement curves and hash algorithms to be less
   restrictive, so that the specification can potentially be used with
   curves other than secp256r1, secp384r1, and secp521r1.  A reference
   to SP 800-57 was added to provide guidance on parameter selection.

   The 05 version updated the IANA considerations.

   The 04 version changed the intended status to "Informational", and
   removed the redundant definition of the AEAD nonce and replaced it
   with a reference to draft-mcgrew-tls-aes-ccm, to avoid incompatible

   The 03 version removed materials that are redundant with
   draft-mcgrew-tls-aes-ccm, and replaced them with references to that
   draft.  That draft has been approved for RFC and will be a suitable
   stable normative reference.

   The 02 version removed the AEAD_AES_128_CCM_12 and
   AEAD_AES_256_CCM_12 AEAD algorithms, because they were not needed in
   any ciphersuites.  The AES-256 ciphersuites were retained, however,
   to provide a secure cipher for use with the higher security curves
   secp384r1 and secp521r1.

   This section is to be removed by the RFC editor upon publication.

5.  IANA Considerations

   IANA is requested to assign the values for the ciphersuites defined
   in Section Section 2 from the TLS and DTLS CipherSuite registries.
   IANA, please note that the DTLS-OK column should be marked as "Y" for
   each of these algorithms.

6.  Security Considerations

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6.1.  Perfect Forward Secrecy

   The perfect forward secrecy properties of ephemeral Diffie-Hellman
   ciphersuites are discussed in the security analysis of [RFC5246].
   This analysis applies to the ECDHE ciphersuites.

6.2.  Counter Reuse

   AES-CCM security requires that the counter is never reused.  The IV
   construction in Section 2 is designed to prevent counter reuse.

7.  Acknowledgements

   This draft borrows heavily from [RFC5288].  Thanks are due to Robert
   Cragie for his great help in making this work complete, correct, and
   useful, and to Peter Dettman for his review.

   This draft is motivated by the considerations raised in the Zigbee
   Smart Energy 2.0 working group.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [AES]      National Institute of Standards and Technology,
              "Specification for the Advanced Encryption Standard
              (AES)", FIPS 197, November 2001.

   [CCM]      National Institute of Standards and Technology,
              "Recommendation for Block Cipher Modes of Operation: The
              CCM Mode for Authentication and Confidentiality", SP 800-
              38C, May 2004.

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

   [RFC4492]  Blake-Wilson, S., Bolyard, N., Gupta, V., Hawk, C., and B.
              Moeller, "Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Cipher Suites
              for Transport Layer Security (TLS)", RFC 4492, May 2006.

   [RFC5116]  McGrew, D., "An Interface and Algorithms for Authenticated
              Encryption", RFC 5116, January 2008.

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

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   [RFC5288]  Salowey, J., Choudhury, A., and D. McGrew, "AES Galois
              Counter Mode (GCM) Cipher Suites for TLS", RFC 5288,
              August 2008.

   [RFC5639]  Lochter, M. and J. Merkle, "Elliptic Curve Cryptography
              (ECC) Brainpool Standard Curves and Curve Generation",
              RFC 5639, March 2010.

   [RFC6066]  Eastlake, D., "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Extensions:
              Extension Definitions", RFC 6066, January 2011.

   [RFC6090]  McGrew, D., Igoe, K., and M. Salter, "Fundamental Elliptic
              Curve Cryptography Algorithms", RFC 6090, February 2011.

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

   [RFC6655]  McGrew, D. and D. Bailey, "AES-CCM Cipher Suites for
              Transport Layer Security (TLS)", RFC 6655, July 2012.

              National Institute of Standards and Technology,
              "Recommendation for Key Management - Part 1: General
              (Revision 3)", SP 800-57 Part 1, July 2012.

8.2.  Informative References

              Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
              "Wireless Personal Area Networks", IEEE Standard 802.15.4-
              2006, 2006.

   [RFC4309]  Housley, R., "Using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) CCM
              Mode with IPsec Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)",
              RFC 4309, December 2005.

Appendix A.  Recommended Curves and Algorithms

   This memo does not mandate any particular elliptic curves or
   cryptographic algorithms, for the sake of flexibility.  However,
   since the main motivation for the AES-CCM-ECC ciphersuites is their
   suitability for constrained environments, it is valuable to identify
   a particular suitable set of curves and algorithms.

   This appendix identifies a set of elliptic curves and cryptographic
   algorithms that meet the requirements of this note, which are widely
   supported and believed to be secure.

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   The curves and hash algorithms recommended for each ciphersuite are:

      An implementation that includes either
      TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_128_CCM_8 MUST support the secp256r1
      curve and the SHA-256 hash function.
      An implementation that includes either
      TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_CCM_8 MUST support the secp384r1
      curve and the SHA-384 hash function, and MAY support the secp521r1
      curve and the SHA-512 hash function.

   More information about the secp256r1, secp384r1, and secp521r1 curves
   is available in Appendix A of [RFC4492].

   It is not necessary to implement the above curves and hash functions
   in order to conform to this specification.  Other elliptic curves,
   such as the Brainpool curves [RFC5639] for example, meet the criteria
   laid out in this memo.

Authors' Addresses

   David McGrew
   Cisco Systems
   13600 Dulles Technology Drive
   Herndon, VA  20171


   Daniel V. Bailey
   174 Middlesex Tpke.
   Bedford, MA  01463


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   Matthew Campagna
   Certicom Corp.
   5520 Explorer Drive #400
   Mississauga, Ontario  L4W 5L1


   Robert Dugal
   Certicom Corp.
   5520 Explorer Drive #400
   Mississauga, Ontario  L4W 5L1


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