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RIPv2 Cryptographic Authentication

The information below is for an old version of the document that is already published as an RFC.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 4822.
Authors Ran Atkinson , M Fanto
Last updated 2015-10-14 (Latest revision 2006-10-17)
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status Proposed Standard
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd (None)
IESG IESG state Became RFC 4822 (Proposed Standard)
Action Holders
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Russ Housley
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                      R. Atkinson, Extreme Networks
INTERNET-DRAFT                                            M. Fanto, NIST
Obsoletes: RFC-2082 (once approved)                       7 October 2006
Updates: RFC-2453 (once approved)            draft-rja-ripv2-auth-06.txt
                                                  Expires:  7 April 2007

                   RIPv2 Cryptographic Authentication

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  time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
  material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

  The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at:

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  This memo is a contribution to the IETF and is intended for future
  standards-track publication to update RFC-2082 and RFC-2453.  This
  memo is not the product of any IETF working group.

  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


     This note describes a revision to the RIPv2 Cryptographic
  Authentication mechanism originally specified in RFC-2082.  This
  document obsoletes RFC-2082. This document updates RFC-2453.  This
  document adds details of how the SHA family of hash algorithms can be
  used with RIPv2 Cryptographic Authentication, whereas the original
  document only specified the use of Keyed-MD5.  Also, this document
  clarifies a potential issue with an active attack on this mechanism
  and adds significant text to the Security Considerations section.


  Growth in the Internet has made us aware of the need for improved
  authentication of routing information.  RIPv2 provides for
  unauthenticated service (as in classical RIP), or password
  authentication.  Both are vulnerable to passive attacks currently
  widespread in the Internet.  Well-understood security issues exist in
  routing protocols [Bell89].  Clear text passwords, originally
  specified for use with RIPv2, are widely understood to be vulnerable
  to easily deployed passive attacks [HA94].

  The original RIPv2 cryptographic authentication specification [AB97]
  used the Keyed-MD5 cryptographic mechanism.  While there are no openly
  published attacks on that mechanism, some reports [Dobb96a, Dobb96b]
  create concern about the ultimate strength of the MD5 cryptographic
  hash function.  Further, some end users, particularly several
  different governments, require the use of the SHA hash function family
  rather than any other such function for policy reasons.  Finally, the
  original specification uses a hashing construction widely believed to

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  be weaker than the HMAC construction used with the algorithms added in
  this revision of the specification.

  This document obsoletes the original specification, RFC-2082 [AB97].
  This specification differs from RFC-2082 by adding support for the SHA
  family of hash algorithms and the HMAC technique, while retaining the
  original Keyed-MD5 algorithm and mode.  As the original RIPv2
  Cryptographic Authentication mechanism was algorithm-independent,
  backwards compatibility is retained.  This requirement for backwards
  compatibility precludes making significant protocol changes.  So this
  document limits changes to the addition of support for an additional
  family of cryptographic algorithms.  The original specification has
  been very widely implemented, is known to be widely interoperable,
  and is also widely deployed.

  The authors do NOT believe that this specification is the final
  answer to RIPv2 authentication and encourage the reader to consult
  the SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS section of this document for more

  If RIPv2 authentication is disabled, then only simple
  misconfigurations are detected.  The original RIPv2 authentication
  mechanism relied upon reused cleartext passwords.  Use of cleartext
  password authentication can protect against accidential
  misconfigurations if that were the only concern, but is not helpful
  from a security perspective.  By simply capturing information on the
  wire - straightforward even in a remote environment - a hostile
  entity can read the cleartext RIPv2 password and use that knowledge
  to inject false information into the routing system via the RIPv2
  routing protocol.

  This mechanism is intended to reduce the risk of a successful passive
  attack upon RIPv2 deployments.  That is, deployment of this mechanism
  greatly reduces the vulnerability of the RIPv2-based routing system
  from a passive attack.  When cryptographic authentication is enabled,
  we transmit the output of a keyed cryptographic one-way function in
  the authentication field of the RIPv2 packet, instead of sending a
  cleartext reusable password in the RIPv2 packet.  The RIPv2
  Authentication Key is known only to the authorised parties of the
  RIPv2 session.  The RIPv2 Authentication Key is never sent over the
  network in the clear.

  In this way, protection is afforded against forgery or message
  modification.  While it is possible to replay a message until the
  sequence number changes, a sequence number can be used to reduce
  replay risks.  The mechanism does not provide confidentiality,
  since messages stay in the clear.  Since the objective of a
  routing protocol is to advertise the routing topology,

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  confidentiality is not normally required for routing protocols.

  Other relevant rationales for the approach are that MD5 and SHA-1
  are both being used for other purposes and are therefore generally
  already present in IP routers, as is some form of password

1.1 Terminology

  In this document, the words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL",
  RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" are to be interpreted as described
  in [BCP14] [RFC-2119] and indicate requirement levels for compliant
  or conformant implementations.

2.  Implementation Approach

  Implementation requires use of a special packet format, special
  authentication procedures, and also management controls.  Implementers
  need to remember that the SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS section is an
  integral part of this specification and contains important parts of
  this specification.

2.1.  RIPv2 PDU Format

  The basic RIPv2 message format provides for an 8 octet header with an
  array of 20 octet records as its data content.  When RIPv2
  Cryptographic Authentication is enabled, the same header and content
  are used as with the original RIPv2 specification, but the 16 octet
  "Authentication" password field of the original RIPv2 specification
  is reused to contain a packet offset to the Authentication Data, a
  Key Identifier, the Authentication Data Length, and a non-decreasing
  Sequence Number.

            The "Authentication Type" is Cryptographic Hash Function,
      which is indicated by the value 3.

           An unsigned 16 bit offset from the start of the RIPv2 header
      to the end of the regular RIPv2 packet (not including the authentication

           An unsigned 8-bit field that contains the Key Identifier or

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      Key-ID.  This, in combination with the network interface, identifies
      the RIPv2 Security Association in use for this packet.  The RIPv2
      Security association, which is defined in Section 2.2 below, includes
      the Authentication Key that was used to create the Authentication Data
      for this RIPv2 message and other parameters.  In implementations
      supporting more than one authentication algorithm, the RIPv2 Security
      Association also includes information about which authentication
      algorithm in use for this message.  A RIPv2 Security Association is
      always associated with an interface, rather than with a router.  The
      actual cryptographic key is part of a RIPv2 Security Association.

           An unsigned 8-bit field that contains the length in octets of
      the trailing Authentication Data field.  The presence of this field
      helps provide cryptographic algorithm independence.

           This field contains the cryptographic Authentication Data
      used to validate this packet.  The length of this field is stored
      in the AUTHENTICATION DATA LENGTH field above.

           An unsigned 32 bit sequence number.  The sequence number MUST
      be non-decreasing for all messages sent from a given source router
      with a given Key ID value.

  The authentication trailer contains the Authentication Data, which
  is the output of the keyed cryptographic hash function.  See later
  subsections of this section for details on computing this field.

      0                   1                   2                   3 3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1

     |  Command (1)  | Version (1)   |        Routing Domain (2)     |
     |             0xFFFF            |  Authentication Type==0x0003  |
     |     RIPv2 Packet Length       |   Key ID      | Auth Data Len |
     |               Sequence Number (non-decreasing)                |
     |                      reserved must be zero                    |
     |                      reserved must be zero                    |

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     |            (RIPv2 Packet Length - 24) bytes of Data           |
     |             0xFFFF            |            0x0001             |
     | Authentication Data (variable length; 20 bytes with HMAC-SHA1)|

2.2 RIPv2 Security Association

  Understanding the RIPv2 Security Association concept is central to
  understanding this specification.  A RIPv2 Security Association
  contains the set of shared authentication configuration parameters
  needed by the legitimate sender or any legitimate receiver.

  An implementation MUST be able to support at least 2 concurrent RIPv2
  Security Associations on each RIP interface.  This is a functional
  requirement for supporting key rollover.  Support for key rollover is

  The RIPv2 Security Association, defined below, is selected by the
  sender based on the outgoing router interface. Each RIPv2 Security
  Association has a lifetime and other configuration parameters
  associated with it.  In normal operation, a RIPv2 Security Association
  is never used outside its lifetime.  Certain abnormal cases are
  discussed later in this document.

  The minimum data items in a RIPv2 Security Association are as follows:


            The unsigned 8-bit KEY-ID value is used to identify the RIPv2
      Security Association in use for this packet.
            The receiver uses the combination of the interface the packet
      was received upon and the KEY-ID value to uniquely identify the
      appropriate Security Association.
            The sender selects which RIPv2 Security Association to use based
      on the outbound interface for this RIPv2 packet and then places the
      correct KEY-ID value into that packet.  If multiple valid and active
      RIPv2 Security Associations exist for a given outbound interface at
      the time a RIPv2 packet is sent, the sender may use any of those
      security associations to protect the packet.

           This specifies the cryptographic algorithm and algorithm
      mode used with the RIPv2 Security Association.  This information

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      is never sent in clear-text over the wire.  Because this information
      is not sent on the wire, the implementer chooses an implementation
      specific representation for this information.  At present, the
      following values are possible:
           KEYED-MD5, HMAC-SHA-1, HMAC-SHA-256, HMAC-SHA-384,
           and HMAC-SHA-512.

           This is the value of the cryptographic authentication key
      used with the associated Authentication Algorithm.  It MUST NOT
      ever be sent over the network in clear-text via any protocol.
      The length of this key will depend on the Authentication Algorithm
      in use. Operators should take care to select unpredictable and
      strong keys, avoiding any keys known to be weak for the algorithm
      in use. [ECS94] contains helpful information both on key
      generation techniques and on cryptographic randomness.

         This is an unsigned 32-bit number.  For a given KEY-ID value and
      sender, this number MUST NOT decrease.  In normal operation, the
      operator should rekey the RIPv2 session prior to reaching the maximum
      value.  The initial value used in the sequence number is arbitrary.
      Receivers SHOULD keep track of the most recent sequence number
      received from a given sender.

           This is a local representation of the day and time that
      this Security Association first becomes valid.

           This is a local representation of the day and time that this
      Security Association becomes invalid (i.e. when it expires).  It is
      permitted, but not recommended, for an operator to configure this to
      be "never expire".  The "never expire" value is not recommended
      operational practice because it reduces security as compared with
      periodic rekeying.  Normally, a RIPv2 Security Association is deleted
      at its STOP TIME.  However, there are certain pathological cases,
      which are discussed in Section 5.1.

        The authentication trailer consists of the Authentication Data, which
        is the output of the keyed cryptographic hash function.  See later
        subsections of this section for details on computing this field.

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2.3 Basic Authentication Processing

  When the authentication type is "Cryptographic Hash Function", message
  processing is changed in message creation and reception as compared
  with the original RIPv2 specification in [Mal94].

  This section describes the message processing generically.  Additional
  algorithm-dependent processing that is required is described in
  separate, subsequent sections of this document.  As of this writing,
  there are 2 kinds of algorithm-dependent processing.  One covers the
  "Keyed-MD5" algorithm.  The other covers the "HMAC-SHA1" family of

2.3.1.  Message Generation

  The RIPv2 Packet is created as usual, with these exceptions:

      (1) The UDP checksum SHOULD be calculated, but MAY be set
          to zero because any of the cryptographic authentication
          mechanisms in this specification will provider stronger
          integrity protection than the standard UDP checksum.

      (2) The authentication type field indicates Cryptographic
          Authentication (3).

      (3) The authentication "password" field is reused to store a
          packet offset to the Authentication Data, a Key Identifier,
          the Authentication Data Length, and a non-decreasing
          sequence number.

  See also Section 2.2 above on RIPv2 Security Association for
  other important background information.

  When creating the RIPv2 Packet, the follow process is followed:

      (1)  The packet length field of the RIPv2 header indicates the
           size of the main body of the RIPv2 packet.

      (2)  An appropriate RIPv2 Security Association is selected for
           use with this packet, based on the outbound interface for
           the packet.  Any valid RIPv2 Security Association for that
           outbound interface may be used.  The Authentication Data Offset,
           Key Identifier, and Authentication Data size fields are
           filled in appropriately.

      (3)  Algorithm-dependent processing occurs now, either for the

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           "Keyed-MD5" algorithm or for the "HMAC-SHA1" algorithm family.
           See the respective sub-sections (below) for details of this
           algorithm-dependent processing.

      (4)  The resulting Authentication Data value is written into the
           Authentication Data field. The trailing pad (if any) is not
           actually transmitted, as it is entirely predictable from the
           message length and Authentication Algorithm in use.

2.3.2.  Message Reception

  When the message is received, the process is reversed:

  (1)  The received Authentication Data is set aside and stored
       for later use,

  (2) The appropriate RIPv2 Security Association is determined
      from the value of the Key Identifier field and the interface
      the packet was received on.  If there is no valid RIPv2
      Security Association for the received Key Identifier on
      the interface that the packet was received on, then
      (a) all processing of the incoming packet ceases,
      (b) a security event SHOULD be logged by the RIPv2 subsystem
      of the receiving system.  That security event should indicate
      at least the day/time that the bad packet was received, the
      Source IP Address of the received RIPv2 packet, the Key-ID
      field value, the interface the bad packet arrived upon, and
      the fact that no valid RIPv2 Security Association was found
      for that interface and Key-ID combination.

  (3)  Algorithm-dependent processing is performed, using the
       algorithm specified by the appropriate RIPv2 Security
       Association for this packet.  This results in calculation
       of the Authentication Data based on the information in the
       received RIPv2 packet and information from the appropriate
       RIPv2 Security Association for that packet.

  (4) The calculated Authentication Data result is compared with
      the received Authentication Data.

  (5) If the calculated authentication data result does not match the
      received Authentication Data field, then:
      (a) the message MUST be discarded without being processed,
      (b) a security event SHOULD be logged by the RIPv2 subsystem
      of the receiving system.  That security event SHOULD indicate

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      at least the day/time that the bad packet was received, the
      Source IP Address of the received RIPv2 packet, the Key-ID
      field value, the interface the bad packet arrived upon, and
      the fact that RIPv2 Authentication failed upon receipt of the

  (6) If the neighbor has been heard from recently enough to have viable
      routes in the local routing table, and the received sequence number
      is less than the last sequence number received, then the message
      MUST be discarded unprocessed.  If the received sequence number
      is less than the last sequence number received, that fact SHOULD
      be logged as a security event.  This logged security event SHOULD
      indicate at least the day/time that the bad packet was received,
      the Source IP Address of the received RIPv2 packet, the Key-ID
      field value, and the fact that an out of order RIPv2 Sequence
      Number was received.

      When connectivity to the neighbor has been lost, the receiver
      SHOULD be ready to accept either:
           - a message with a sequence number of zero.
           - a message with a higher sequence number than
             the last received sequence number.

  (7) Acceptable messages are now truncated to the RIPv2 message itself,
      minus the authentication trailer, and are processed normally
      (i.e. in accordance with the RIPv2 base specification in RFC-2453
      [Mal98]).  The last received Sequence Number for this RIPv2
      Security Association and sender is also updated.

       A router that has forgotten its current sequence number but
  remembers its Security Association MUST send its first packet with a
  sequence number of zero.  This leaves a small opening for a replay
  attack.  To reduce the risk of such attacks by precluding the situation
  where a router has forgotten its current sequence number, implementers
  SHOULD provide non-volatile storage for all components of a RIPv2
  Security Association and receiving systems SHOULD provide non-volatile
  storage for the last received Sequence Number from each sender.
  See also the SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS section of this document.

2.4 Keyed-MD5 Algorithm-dependent Processing

       This section describes the algorithm-dependent processing
  steps applicable when the "Keyed-MD5" authentication algorithm is
  in use.  The RIPv2 Authentication Key is always 16 octets when
  "Keyed-MD5" is in use.

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      (1) The RIPv2 Authentication Key is appended to the RIPv2 packet
          in memory.
      (2) The Trailing Pad for MD5 and message length fields are added
          in memory.  The diagram below shows how these additions appear
          when appended in memory:

    |                       Authentication Key                      |
    /                        (16 octets long)                       /
    |                                                               |
    |         zero or more pad octets (as defined by RFC-1321)      |
    |                     64 bit message length MSW                 |
    |                     64 bit message length LSW                 |

      (3) The Authentication Data is then calculated according to the
          MD5 algorithm defined by RFC-1321 [Rivest92].

2.5  HMAC-SHA1 Algorithm-dependent Processing

       This section describes the processing steps for HMAC
  Authentication.  While HMAC was originally documented in [KMC97],
  for this specification the terminology used in [FIPS-198] is used.
  While the current specification only provides full details for HMAC
  Authentication using the NIST SHA-1 algorithm (and its direct
  derivatives), this same basic process could be used with other
  cryptographic hash functions in future.  Because the RIPv2 packet
  is only hashed once, the overhead of the double hashing in this
  process is negligible.

       The US NIST Secure Hash Standard (SHA-1), defined by
  [FIPS-180-2], includes specifications for SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-384,
  and SHA-512.  This specification defines processing for each of these.

       The output of the cryptographic computations (e.g. HMAC-SHA1)
  is NOT truncated for RIPv2 Cryptographic Authentication.

       The Authentication Data length is equal to the Message Digest
  Size for the hash algorithm in use.

       Any key value known to be weak with SHA-1 MUST NOT be used with

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  this specification.  US NIST is the authoritative source for public
  information on weak keys for SHA-1.

       In the algorithm description below, the following nomenclature,
  which is consistent with [FIPS-198] is used:
          H   is the specific hashing algorithm,
                 for example SHA-1 or SHA-256.
          Ko  is the cryptographic key used with the hash algorithm.
          B   is the block-size of H, measured in octets not bits.
                  Note that B is the internal block size,
                  not the hash size.
                  For SHA-1   and SHA-256:  B == 64.
                  For SHA-384 and SHA-512:  B == 128
          L    is the length of the hash, measured in octets,
                  not bits.  For example, with SHA-1, L == 20.
          XOR  is the exclusive-or operation.
          Opad is the hexadecimal value 0x5c repeated B times.
          Ipad is the hexadecimal value 0x36 repeated B times.
          Apad is the hexadecimal value 0x878FE1F3 repeated (L/4) times.

        In this application, Ko is always L octets long.

         If the Authentication Key is L octets long, then Ko is set equal
      to the Authentication Key.  If the Authentication Key is more
      than L octets long, then Ko is set to H(Authentication Key).  If
      the Authentication Key is less than L octets long, then Ko is set
      to the Authentication Key with zeros appended to the end of the
      Authentication Key such that Ko is L octets long.

        First, the RIPv2 packet's Authentication Data field is filled
      with the value Apad.

        Then, a first hash, also known as the inner hash, is computed
      as follows:
           First-Hash = H(Ko XOR Ipad, (RIPv2 Packet))

         Then a second hash, also known as the outer hash, is computed
      as follows:
           Second-Hash = H(Ko XOR Opad, First-Hash)

  (4) RESULT
         The result Second-Hash becomes the Authentication Data that is
      sent in the Authentication Data field of the RIPv2 packet.   The
      length of the Authentication Data field is always identical to
      the message digest size of the hash function H that is being used.

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         This also implies that use of hash functions with larger output
      sizes will also increase the size of the packet as transmitted on
      the wire.

3.  Management Procedures

  Key management is an important component of this mechanism and
  proper implementation is central to providing the intended level
  of risk reduction.

3.1.  Key Management Requirements

  It is strongly desirable that a hypothetical security breach in
  one Internet protocol not automatically compromise other Internet
  protocols.  The Authentication Key of this specification SHOULD NOT
  be configured or stored using protocols (e.g. RADIUS) or cryptographic
  algorithms that have known flaws.

  Implementations MUST support the storage of more than one key at the
  same time, although it is recognized that only one key will normally
  be active on an interface.  Implementations MUST associate a specific
  Security Association lifetime (i.e., date/time first valid and
  date/time no longer valid) and a key identifier with each key.
  Implementations also MUST support manual key distribution.  An
  example of manual key distribution is having the privileged user
  typing in the key, key lifetime, and key identifier on the router
  console.  An operator may configure the Security Association lifetime
  to infinite, which means that the session is never rekeyed.  However,
  instead, it is strongly recommended that operators rekey regularly,
  using a moderately short Security Association lifetime (e.g. 24 hours).

  This specification requires support for at least two authentication
  algorithms, so the implementation MUST require that the authentication
  algorithm be specified for each key when the other key information
  is entered.  Manual deletion of active Security Associations MUST
  be supported.

  It is likely that the IETF will define a standard key management
  protocol for use with routing protocols.  It is strongly desirable to
  use an IETF standards-track key management protocol to distribute
  RIPv2 Authentication Keys among communicating RIPv2 implementations.
  Such a protocol would provide scalability and significantly reduce the
  human administrative burden.  The Key-ID field can be used as a hook
  between RIPv2 and such a future protocol.

  Key management protocols have a long history of subtle flaws that are

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  often discovered long after the protocol was first described in
  public.  To avoid having to change all RIPv2 implementations should
  such a flaw be discovered, integrated key management protocol
  techniques were deliberately omitted from this specification.

3.2.  Key Management Procedures

  As with all security methods using keys, it is necessary to change
  the RIPv2 Authentication Key on a regular basis.  To maintain
  routing stability during such changes, implementations MUST be able
  to store and use more than one RIPv2 Authentication Key on a
  given interface at the same time.

  Each key will have its own Key Identifier (KEY-ID), which is stored
  locally.  The combination of the Key Identifier and the interface
  associated with the message uniquely identifies the Authentication
  Algorithm and RIPv2 Authentication Key in use.

  As noted above in Section 2.3.1, the party creating the RIPv2 message
  will select a valid RIPv2 Security Association from the set of valid
  RIPv2 Security Associations for that interface.  The receiver MUST use
  the Key Identifier and receiving interface to determine which RIPv2
  Security Association to use for authentication of the received
  message.  More than one RIPv2 Security Association MAY be associated
  with an interface at the same time.  The receiver MUST NOT simply try
  all RIPv2 Security Associations (i.e. keys) that might be configured
  for RIPv2 on the receiving interface, as that creates an easily
  exploited denial-of-service attack on the RIP subsystem of the
  receiver.  (At least one widely used implementation of the previous
  version of this specification violates these requirements as of the
  publication date of this document and has consequent security

  Hence it is possible to have fairly smooth RIPv2 Security Association
  (i.e. key) rollovers, without losing legitimate RIPv2 messages due to
  an invalid shared key and without requiring people to change all the
  keys at once.  To ensure a smooth rollover, each communicating RIPv2
  system must be updated with the new RIPv2 Security Association
  (including the new key) several minutes before the current RIPv2
  Security Association will expire and several minutes before the new
  RIPv2 Security Association lifetime begins.  Also, the new RIPv2
  Security Association should have a lifetime that starts several
  minutes before the old RIPv2 Security Association expires.  This gives
  time for each system to learn of the new security association before
  that security association will be used.  It also ensures that the new
  security association will begin use and the current security
  association will go out of use before the current security

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  association's lifetime expires.  For the duration of the overlap in
  security association lifetimes, a system may receive messages
  corresponding to either security association and successfully
  authenticate the message. The Key-ID in the received message is used
  to select the appropriate security association (i.e. key) to be used
  for authentication.

4.  Conformance Requirements

  For this specification, the term "conformance" has identical meaning
  to the phrase "full compliance".

  The Keyed MD5 authentication algorithm and the HMAC-SHA1 algorithm
  MUST be implemented by all conforming implementations. In addition,
  the HMAC-SHA-256, HMAC-SHA-384, and HMAC-SHA-512 algorithms SHOULD be
  implemented.  MD5 is defined in [Rivest92].  SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-384,
  and SHA-512 have been defined by the (US) National Institute of
  Standards & Technology (NIST) in [FIPS-180-2].

  A conforming implementation MAY also support additional authentication
  algorithms, provided those additional algorithms are publicly and
  openly specified.

  Manual key distribution as described above MUST be supported by all
  conforming implementations. All implementations MUST support the
  smooth key rollover described under "Key Management Procedures".  This
  also means that implementations MUST support at least 2 concurrent
  RIPv2 Security Associations.

  The user documentation provided with the implementation ought to
  contain clear instructions on how to configure the implementation such
  that smooth key rollover occurs successfully.

  Implementations SHOULD support a standard key management protocol
  for secure distribution of RIPv2 Authentication Keys once such a
  key management protocol is standardized by the IETF.

  The Security Considerations section of this document is an integral
  part of the specification, not just a discussion of the protocol.

5.  Security Considerations

  This entire memo describes and specifies an authentication mechanism
  for the RIPv2 routing protocol that is believed to be secure against
  passive attacks.  The term "passive attack" is defined in
  RFC-1704. [HA94] The analysis contained in RFC-1704 motivated this

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  work.  Passive attacks are clearly widespread in the Internet at

  Protection against active attacks is incomplete in this current
  specification.  The main issue relative to active attacks lies in the
  need to support the case where another router has recently rebooted
  and that router lacks the non-volatile storage needed to remember the
  RIPv2 Security Association(s) and last received RIPv2 sequence
  number(s) across that reboot.

5.1 Known Pathological Cases

  Two known pathological cases exist which MUST be handled by
  implementations.  Both of these are failures of the network manager.
  Each of these should be exceedingly rare in normal operation.

    (1) During key rollover, devices might exist which have not yet been
    successfully configured with the new key. Therefore, routers SHOULD
    implement an algorithm that detects the set of RIPv2 Security
    Associations being used by its neighbors, and transmits its messages
    using both the new and old RIPv2 Security Associations (i.e. keys)
    until all of the neighbors are using the new security association or
    the lifetime of the old security association expires.  Under normal
    circumstances, this elevated transmission rate will exist for a
    single RIP update interval.

    (2) In the event that the last RIPv2 Security Association of an
    interface expires, it is unacceptable to revert to an
    unauthenticated condition, and not advisable to disrupt routing.
    Therefore, the router MUST send a "last RIPv2 Security Association
    expiration" notification to the network manager (e.g. via SYSLOG,
    SNMP, and/or other means) and SHOULD treat that last Security
    Association as having an infinite lifetime until the lifetime
    is extended, the Security Association is deleted by network
    management, or a new security association is configured.

In some circumstances, the practice described in (2) can leave an
opening to an active attack on the RIPv2 routing subsystem.
Therefore, any actual occurance of a RIPv2 Security Association
expiration MUST cause a security event to be logged by the
implementation.  This log item MUST include at least note that the
RIPv2 Authentication Key expired, the RIP routing protocol instance(s)
affected, the routing interfaces affected, the Key-ID that is
affected, and the current date/time.  Operators are encouraged to
check such logs as an operational security practice to help detect

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active attacks on the RIPv2 routing subsystem.  Further,
implementations SHOULD provide a configuration knob ("fail secure") to
let a network operator prefer to have the RIPv2 routing fail when the
last key expires, rather than continue using RIPv2 in an insecure

5.2 Network Management Considerations

       Also, the use of SNMP, even SNMPv3 with cryptographic
  authentication and cryptographic confidentiality enabled, to modify or
  configure the RIPv2 Security Associations, or any component of the
  security association (for example the cryptographic key), is NOT
  RECOMMENDED.  This practice would create a potential for a cascading
  vulnerability, whereby a compromise in the SNMP security
  implementation would necessarily lead to a compromise not only of the
  local routing table (which could be accessed via SNMP) but also of all
  other routers that receive RIPv2 packets (directly or indirectly) from
  the compromised router.

       Similarly, the use of protocols not designed and evaluated for
  use in key management (e.g. RADIUS, Diameter) to configure the
  security association is also NOT RECOMMENDED.  Reading the Security
  Associations via SNMP is allowed, but the information is to be treated
  as security-sensitive and protected by using the priv mode.

       Also, the use of SNMP to configure which form of RIPv2
  authentication is in use is also NOT RECOMMENDED because of a similar
  cascading failure issue.  Any future revision of the RIPv2 Management
  Information Base (MIB) [MB94] should consider making the
  rip2IfConfAuthType object read-only.  Further, this object would need a
  new enum value to accomodate the RIPv2 cryptographic authentication
  type.  In addition, the compliance statement for this MIB does not
  have a MIN-ACCESS for this object.  At a minimum, if the MIB is
  updated, a new compliance statement SHOULD be written for this object
  that allows this object to be implemented as read-only.  For the
  rip2ifConfAuthKey object, since this object always returns ''H when
  read, the object's MIN-ACCESS in any revised compliance statement
  SHOULD be not-accessible if the MIB is updated.

       Further, for similar reasons, any future revisions to the
  RIPv2 Management Information Base (MIB) SHOULD deprecate or omit
  any objects that would permit the writing of any RIPv2 Security
  Association or of any RIPv2 Security Association component
  (e.g. the cryptographic key).

       Also, it is RECOMMENDED that any future revisions to the RIPv2
  Management Information Base (MIB) consider adding MIB objects to hold

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  information about any RIPv2 security events that might have occurred
  and MIB objects that could be used to read the set of security events
  that have been logged by the RIPv2 subsystem.  For each security event
  mentioned in this document, it is also RECOMMENDED that appropriate
  notifications be included, with a MAX-ACCESS of Accessible-for-notify,
  in any future versions of the RIPv2 MIB module.

5.3 Key Management Considerations

        For the past several years, manual configuration (e.g. via a
   console) has been commonly used to create and modify RIPv2 Security
   Associations.  There are a number of large-scale RIP deployments today
   that successfully use manual configuration of RIPv2 Security
   Associations.  There are also sites that use scripts (e.g. combining
   Tcl/Expect, PERL, and SSHv2) with a site-specific configuration
   database and secure console connections to dynamically manage all
   aspects of their router configurations, including their RIPv2 Security
   Associations.  This last approach is similar to the current IETF
   approach to Network Configuration (NetConf) standards.

        Recent IETF Multicast Security Working Group (MSec) efforts
   into multicast key manaagement appear promising.  Several large RIPv2
   deployments happen to also have deployed the Kerberos authentication
   system.  Recent IETF work into the use of Kerberos for Internet Key
   Negotiation (KINK) also seems relevant; one might use Kerberos to
   support RIPv2 key management functions for use at sites that have
   already deployed Kerberos.  It is hoped that in future the IETF will
   standardise a key management protocol suitable for managing RIPv2
   Security Associations.

5.4 Assurance Considerations

       Users need to understand that the quality of the security
  provided by this mechanism depends completely on the strength of the
  implemented authentication algorithms, the strength of the key being
  used, and the correct implementation of the security mechanism in all
  communicating RIPv2 implementations. This mechanism also depends on
  the RIPv2 Authentication Key being kept confidential by all parties.
  If any of these incorrect or insufficiently secure, then no real
  security will be provided to the users of this mechanism.

       Use of high assurance development methods is RECOMMENDED for
  implementations of this specification, in order to reduce the risk of
  subtle implementation flaws that might adversely impact the
  operational risk reduction that this specification seeks to provide.

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5.5 Confidentiality & Traffic Analysis Considerations

       Confidentiality is not provided by this mechanism.  It is
  generally considered that an IP routing protocol does not require
  confidentiality, as the purpose of any routing protocols is to
  disseminate information about the topology of the network.

       Protection against traffic analysis is also not provided.
  Mechanisms such as bulk link encryption SHOULD be used when protection
  against traffic analysis is required. [CKHD89]

5.6 Other Security Considerations

       Separately, the receipt of a RIPv2 packet using cryptographic
  authentication but containing an invalid or unknown Key-ID value might
  indicate an active attack on the RIP routing subsystem and is a
  significant security event.  Therefore, any actual receipt of a RIPv2
  packet using cryptographic authentication and containing an unknown,
  expired, or otherwise invalid KEY-ID value SHOULD cause a security
  event to be logged by the implementation.  This log item SHOULD
  include at least the fact that the invalid KEY-ID was received, the
  source IP address of the packet containing the invalid KEY-ID, the
  interface(s) the packet was received on, the KEY-ID received, and the
  current date/time.

       A subtle user-interface consideration also should be noted.
  If a user-interface only permits the entry of human-readable text
  (e.g. a password in US-ASCII format) for use as a cryptographic key,
  significant numbers of bits of the cryptographic key in use become
  predictable, thereby reducing the strength of the key in this context.
  For this reason, implementations of this specification SHOULD support
  the entry of RIPv2 cryptographic authentication keys in hexadecimal

5.7 Future Security Directions

       Specification and deployment of a standards-track key
  management protocol that supporting this RIPv2 cryptographic
  authentication mechanism would be a significant next step in
  operational risk reduction and might actually increase the ease of
  deployment and operation of this mechanism.  Such specification is
  beyond the scope of this document.  Recent IETF work in MSEC and KINK
  appears promising in this regard.  Recent IETF work in NetConf towards
  standardising methods for secure configuration management of routers
  is also relevant.

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       Finally, we observe that this mechanism is not the final word
  on RIPv2 authentication.  Rather, it is believed that this particular
  mechanism represents a significant risk reduction over previous
  methods (e.g. plain-text passwords), while remaining straight-forward
  to implement correctly and also straight-forward to deploy.

       User communities that believe this mechanism is not adequate
  to their needs are encouraged to consider using digital signatures
  with RIPv2.  [MBW97] specifies the use of OSPF with Digital
  Signatures; that document might be a starting point for creating such
  a specification for the RIPv2 protocol.  Digital signatures are
  significantly more expensive computationally and are also
  significantly more difficult to deploy operationally, as compared with
  the mechanism specified here.  However, it appears likely that the
  much of the mechanism in this document could be reused with digital

6. IANA Considerations

  No IANA protocol parameter registries are created or modified
  by this specification.


  Fred Baker was co-author of the earlier RIPv2 MD5 Authentication
  document.  [AB97] This document is a direct derivative of that earlier
  document, though it has been significantly reworked.  The current
  authors would like to thank Bill Burr, Tim Polk, John Kelsey, and
  Morris Dworkin of (US) NIST for review of drafts of this document.

Informative References

  [AB97]      Atkinson, R. & F. Baker, "RIPv2 MD5 Authentication",
              RFC-2082, January 1997.

  [Bell89]    S. Bellovin, "Security Problems in the TCP/IP Protocol
              Suite", ACM Computer Communications Review, Volume 19,
              Number 2, pp. 32-48, April 1989.

  [CKHD89]    Cole Jr, Raymond, Donald Kallgren, Richard Hale, &
              John R. Davis, "Multilevel Secure Mixed-Media
              Communication Networks", Proceedings of the IEEE Military
              Communications Conference (MILCOM '89), IEEE, 1989.

  [Dobb96a]   Dobbertin, H., "Cryptanalysis of MD5 Compress", Technical
              Report, 2 May 1996.  (Presented at Rump Session of

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              EuroCrypt 1996.)

  [Dobb96b]   Dobbertin, H., "The Status of MD5 After a Recent Attack",
              CryptoBytes, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer 1996.

  [ECS94]     Eastlake 3rd, D, S. Crocker, & J. Schiller, "Randomness
              Recommendations for Security", RFC-1750, December 1994.

  [HA94]      N. Haller & R. Atkinson, "On Internet Authentication",
              RFC-1704, October 1994.

  [KMC97]     H. Krawczyk, M. Bellare, & R. Canetti, "Keyed-Hashing for
              Message Authentication", RFC-2104, February 1997.

  [Mal94]     Malkin, G, "RIP version 2 - Carrying Additional
              Information", RFC-1723, November 1994.

  [MB94]      Malkin, G., and F. Baker, "RIP Version 2 MIB Extension",
              RFC-1724, November 1994.

  [MBW97]     Murphy, S., M. Badger, and B. Wellington, "OSPF with
              Digital Signatures", RFC-2154, June 1997.

  [Rivest92]  Rivest, R., "The MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm",
              RFC-1321, April 1992.

Normative References

[Mal98]  Malkin, G., "RIP Version 2", RFC-2453, November 1998.

[FIPS-180-2] US National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST),
        "Secure Hash Specification", US Federal Information Processing
        Standard 180-2, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD,   USA, 1 August 2002.

[FIPS-198] US National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST),
        "The Keyed-Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC)",
        US Federal Information Processing Standard 198, NIST,
        Gaithersburg, MD, USA, 6 March 2002.


  Copyright (C) The Internet Society 2006.  This document is subject to
  the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and except
  as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.

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  This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Authors' Addresses

   R. Atkinson
   Extreme Networks
   3585 Monroe Street
   Santa Clara, CA
   USA 95051

   Phone: +1 (408) 579-2800

   M. Fanto
   (US) National Institute of Standards and Technology
   Gaithersburg, MD
   USA 20878

   Phone: +1 (301) 975-2000

Filename:  draft-rja-ripv2-auth-06.txt
Expires:   7 APR 2007

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