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Kerberos Cryptosystem Negotiation Extension

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 4537.
Authors Paul J. Leach , Karthik Jaganathan , Larry Zhu
Last updated 2013-03-02 (Latest revision 2005-10-24)
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd (None)
IESG IESG state RFC 4537 (Proposed Standard)
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Responsible AD Sam Hartman
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NETWORK WORKING GROUP                                             L. Zhu
Internet-Draft                                                  P. Leach
Updates: 4120 (if approved)                                K. Jaganathan
Expires: April 24, 2006                            Microsoft Corporation
                                                        October 21, 2005

              Kerberos Cryptosystem Negotiation Extension

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 24, 2006.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).


   This document specifies an extension to the Kerberos protocol where
   the client can send a list of supported encryption types in
   decreasing preference order, and the server then selects an
   encryption type that is supported by both the client and the server.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Conventions Used in This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  Negotiation Extension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   5.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   7.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements  . . . . . . . . . . 7

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1.  Introduction

   Under the current mechanism [RFC4120], the KDC must limit the ticket
   session key encryption type (enctype) chosen for a given server to
   one it believes is supported by both the client and the server.  If
   both the client and server understand a stronger enctype than the one
   selected by the KDC, they can not negotiate it.  As the result, the
   protection of application traffic is often weaker than necessary when
   the server can support different sets of enctypes depending on the
   server application software being used.

   This document specifies an extension to the Kerberos protocol to
   allow clients and servers to negotiate a different and possible
   stronger cryptosystem to be used in subsequent communication.

   This extension utilizes an authorization data element in the
   authenticator of the AP-REQ message [RFC4120].  The client sends the
   list of enctypes that it supports to the server, the server then
   informs the client its choice.  The negotiated subkey is sent in the
   AP-REP message [RFC4120].

2.  Conventions Used in This Document

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

3.  Negotiation Extension

   If the client prefers an enctype over that of the service ticket
   session key, then it SHOULD send a list of enctypes in decreasing
   preference order to the server.  Based on local policy, the client
   selects enctypes out of all the enctypes available locally to be
   included in this list and it SHOULD NOT include enctypes that are
   less preferable than that of the ticket session key in the service
   ticket.  In addition, the client SHOULD NOT include negative (local-
   use) enctype numbers unless it knows a-priori that the server has
   been configured to use the same negative enctype numbers for the same

   The client sends the enctype list via the authorization-data of the
   authenticator in the AP-REQ [RFC4120].  A new authorization data
   element type AD-ETYPE-NEGOTIATION is defined.

           AD-ETYPE-NEGOTIATION              129

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   This authorization data element itself is enclosed in the AD-IF-
   RELEVANT container, thus a correctly implemented server that does not
   understand this element should ignore it [RFC4120].  The value of
   this authorization element contains the DER [X680] [X690] encoding of
   the following ASN.1 type:

           EtypeList ::= SEQUENCE OF Int32
              -- Specifies the enctypes supported by the client.
              -- This enctype list is in decreasing preference order
              -- (favorite choice first).
              -- Int32 is defined in [RFC4120].

   If the EtypeList is present and the server prefers an enctype from
   the client's enctype list over that of the AP-REQ authenticator
   subkey (if that is present) or the service ticket session key, the
   server MUST create a subkey using that enctype.  This negotiated
   subkey is sent in the subkey field of AP-REP message and it is then
   used as the protocol key or base key [RFC3961] for subsequent

   If the enctype of the ticket session key is included in the enctype
   list sent by the client, it SHOULD be the last on the list; otherwise
   this enctype MUST NOT be negotiated if it was not included in the

   This negotiation extension SHOULD NOT be used when the client does
   not expect the subkey in the AP-REP message from the server.

   A note on key generation: The KDC has a strong Pseudo-Random Number
   Generator (PRNG), as such the client can take advantage of the
   randomness provided by the KDC by reusing the KDC key data when
   generating keys.  Implementations SHOULD use the service ticket
   session key value as a source of additional entropy when generating
   the negotiated subkey.  If the AP-REQ authenticator subkey is
   present, it MAY also be used as a source of entropy.

   The server MAY ignore the preference order indicated by the client.
   The policy by which the client or the server chooses an enctype
   (i.e., how the preference order for the supported enctypes is
   selected) is a local matter.

4.  Security Considerations

   The client's enctype list and the server's reply enctype are part of
   encrypted data, thus the security considerations are the same as
   those of the Kerberos encrypted data.

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   Both the EtypeList and the server's sub-session key are protected by
   the session key or sub-session key used for the AP-REQ, and as a
   result, if a key for a stronger enctype is negotiated underneath a
   key for a weaker enctype, an attacker capable of breaking the weaker
   enctype can also discover the key for the stronger enctype.  The
   advantage of this extension is to minimize the amount of cipher text
   encrypted under a weak enctype to which an attacker has access.

5.  Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank the following individuals for their
   comments and suggestions: Ken Raeburn, Luke Howard, Tom Yu, Love
   Hornquist Astrand, Sam Hartman and Martin Rex.

6.  IANA Considerations

   No IANA actions are required for this document.

7.  Normative References

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

   [RFC2743]  Linn, J., "Generic Security Service Application Program
              Interface Version 2, Update 1", RFC 2743, January 2000.

   [RFC3961]  Raeburn, K., "Encryption and Checksum Specifications for
              Kerberos 5", RFC 3961, February 2005.

   [RFC4120]  Neuman, C., Yu, T., Hartman, S., and K. Raeburn, "The
              Kerberos Network Authentication Service (V5)", RFC 4120,
              July 2005.

   [X680]     ITU-T Recommendation X.680 (2002) | ISO/IEC 8824-1:2002, 
              Information technology - Abstract Syntax Notation One 
              (ASN.1): Specification of basic notation.

   [X690]     ITU-T Recommendation X.690 (2002) | ISO/IEC 8825-1:2002, 
              Information technology - ASN.1 encoding Rules: Specification 
              of Basic Encoding Rules (BER), Canonical Encoding Rules 
              (CER) and Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER).  

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Authors' Addresses

   Larry Zhu
   Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA  98052


   Paul Leach
   Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA  98052


   Karthik Jaganathan
   Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA  98052


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Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).  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.


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
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