A toxonomy of eavesdropping attacks
draft-richardson-saag-onpath-attacker-01

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Author Michael Richardson 
Last updated 2020-12-29
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anima Working Group                                        M. Richardson
Internet-Draft                                  Sandelman Software Works
Intended status: Standards Track                        29 December 2020
Expires: 2 July 2021

                  A toxonomy of eavesdropping attacks
                draft-richardson-saag-onpath-attacker-01

Abstract

   The terms on-path attacker and Man-in-the-Middle Attack have been
   used in a variety of ways, sometimes interchangeably, and sometimes
   meaning different things.

   This document offers an update on terminology for network attacks.  A
   consistent set of terminology is important in describing what kinds
   of attacks a particular protocol defends against, and which kinds the
   protocol does not.

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 2 July 2021.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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Internet-Draft                    MITM                     December 2020

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Three kinds of attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  First Kind of attack  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.2.  Second Kind of attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.3.  Second Kind of attack with bypass . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.4.  Third Kind of attack  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   3.  Three proposals on terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.1.  QUIC terms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.2.  Malory/Man in various places  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.3.  Council of Attackers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   6.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  Changelog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

1.  Introduction

   A number of terms have been used to describe attacks against
   networks.

   In the [dolevyao] paper, the attacker is assumed to be able to:

   *  view messages as they are transmitted

   *  selectively delete messages

   *  selectively insert or modify messages

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   Some authors refer to such an attacker as an "on-path" attack
   [reference], or a "Man-in-the-Middle" attack [reference].  In
   general, most authors form a clear consensus about this mode.  Some
   authors are not happy with the gender of the attack ("Man") being
   assumed, and have sought other terminology.

   Where opinions diverge is what to call other forms of attack or
   eavesdropping.

   The term "passive attack" has been used in many cases to describe
   situations where the attacker can only observe messages, but can not
   intersept, modify or delete any messages.

   There are situations where an eavesdropper has a better network
   connection than the actual corresponds, and so while no messages can
   be removed, such an attacker may be able to beat the original packet
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