DHCP Keys via 802.1X

Versions: 00                                                            
Network Working Group                                        DeKok, Alan
INTERNET-DRAFT                                       Network RADIUS SARL
Category: Standards Track
24 October 2016

                          DHCP Keys via 802.1X


   While RFC 3118 made provisions for securing DHCP, it made no
   provisions for creating or distributing authentication keys.  This
   specification describes how in some cases, DHCP keys can be
   automatically derived from 802.1X authentication.  The pros and cons
   of this approach are also discussed

Status of this Memo

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

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   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."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 24, 2017.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 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
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info/) in effect on the date of

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 1]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

   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.

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 2]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

Table of Contents

1.  Introduction .............................................    4
   1.1.  Problem Statement ...................................    4
   1.2.  Proposed Solution ...................................    4
   1.3.  Requirements Language ...............................    4
2.  Generating Keying Material ...............................    5
   2.1.  Implementation Considerations .......................    6
   2.2.  What does the Signature mean? .......................    6
   2.3.  Open Questions ......................................    6
3.  Security Considerations ..................................    7
4.  IANA Considerations ......................................    7
5.  References ...............................................    8
   5.1.  Normative References ................................    8
   5.2.  Informative References ..............................    8

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 3]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

1.  Introduction

   There has been increased interest in, and awareness of, securing
   basic networking protocols such as DHCP [RFC2131].  While provisions
   were made in [RFC3118] for securing the protocol via secret keys,
   there is little discussion on how the secret keys are created or
   managed.  This specification addresses that issue, for the limited
   case of DHCP which occurs after 802.1X authentication.

1.1.  Problem Statement

   This document addresses the situation where a client machine connects
   to the network via 802.1X / EAP, and where keying material is derived
   as part of the EAP conversation.  Once the client machine
   authenticated to the network, it requests an IP address via DHCP.

   However, there is essentially no communication or interaction between
   the AAA server which authenticates the client machine, and the DHCP
   server which allocates IP addresses.  This lack of communication
   means that it is possible to attack the systems independent.  That
   is, the two systems do not work together to increase security.

1.2.  Proposed Solution

   Have the AAA server derive a shared secret key for signing DHCP
   packets.  And then use that key to sign DHCP packets.

1.3.  Requirements Language

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

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 4]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

2.  Generating Keying Material

   The algorithm used to generate the keying material is similar to that
   used for EAP methods, such as EAP-TLS ([RFC5216] Section 2.3), and
   TTLS ([RFC7542] Secton 8).

   Upon successful conclusion of an EAP-TTLS negotiation, 128 octets of
   keying material are generated and exported for use in securing the
   data connection between client and access point.  The first 4 octets
   of the keying material constitute the secret ID, the last 124 octets
   constitute the DHCP shared secret key.

   The keying material is generated using the TLS PRF function
   [RFC5246], with inputs consisting of the TLS master secret, the
   ASCII-encoded constant string "dhcp keying material", the TLS client
   random, and the TLS server random.  The constant string is not null-

      Keying Material = PRF-128(SecurityParameters.master_secret, "dhcp
                keying material", SecurityParameters.client_random +

      Secret ID = Keying Material [0..3]

      DHCP Shared secret key = Keying Material [4..127]

   We perhaps don't want to use the keying material directly in the
   Secret ID.  Instead, maybe use the last 4 octets of the keying
   material?  Which should give less information than the first 4
   octets.  Or, derive the secret ID from a different PRF?  Or set it to
   a fixed ID, which indicates that the client is using this method for
   signing packets?

   The lifetime of the key is the lifetime of the underlying
   authentication session.  If the client machine re-authenticates, a
   new DHCP shared secret key is derived.

   The lifetime of the key MUST be no longer than the lifetime of the
   underlying authentication session.  That is, once the authentication
   session has expired, the client MUST discard the key along with the
   corresponding secret ID.

   We chould also do something useful with the RDM / Reply Detection

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 5]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

2.1.  Implementation Considerations

   There has historically been little communication between DHCP servers
   and AAA servers.  As such, there is no clear way for the AAA server
   to share the derived key with the DHCP server.  We leave that problem
   for implementors to solve.

   The DHCP server could receive a packet, and request the corresponding
   key from the AAA server.  Or, it may hand the packet to the AAA
   server for verification and/or signing.  Or, it may retrive the key
   from a secure co-located database.  Or, the AAA server may pro-
   actively inform the DHCP server that a key exists, along with the
   keys value.

   All of these scenarios are possible, and it is difficult to recommend
   any one in particular.  We can, however make general security

   The keys are highly secret information.  As such, any exchange of
   keys MUST be done in a secure manner.  Keys MUST NOT be visible to
   any entity other than the DHCP server and AAA server.  If keys are
   stored in a database, they MUST be encrypted with an encryption key
   known only to the DHCP server and AAA server.

2.2.  What does the Signature mean?

   While it is nice to sign a DHCP packet for security, it is not at all
   clear what is meant by the signature.  The minimum we can say is that
   the signature means that the DHCP server has communicated with the
   AAA server, and obtained a copy of the key.

   There is no way to know if the DHCP server is the correct one, or
   malicious, or under the control of an attacker.  Though if that is
   true, there is no need for the DHCP server to obtain the key.  It can
   just hand out any addresses it wants.  And if you can compromise a
   DHCP server on the network, or run a rogue DHCP server, having signed
   packets is probably the least of your worries.

   We suggest that the signature means (in the expected case), that the
   DHCP server is known to the AAA server, and is likely known to the
   network administrators, and is likely the correct DHCP server for the
   client to communicate with.

2.3.  Open Questions

   Q: Does this add security?

   A: Perhaps.  A larger discussion and analysis is necessary.  It does

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 6]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

   not appear to reduce security.  i.e. forging the key is difficult to
   impossible.  The most that can be done is to disable this mechanism,
   which reduces DHCP to it's current level of security.

   Q: How does the AAA server indicate to the DHCP client that it has
   this capability?

   A: There is no way for it to do so.  The DHCP client can just sign
   packets speculatively.

   Q: How does the DHCP server know to use the key?

   A: RFC3118 has provisions for the client signalling that it has a

   Q: What does a DHCP server do when it receives a message from the
   client indicating that the client has a key, but the DHCP server does
   not have the key?

   A: RFC 3118 is silent on this topic.  The likeliest response is for
   the DHCP server to ignore the signature.

   Q: How many networks are technically capable of using 802.1X?

   A: It's 2016, pretty much all of them.

   Q: How many networks are administratively capable of using 802.1X?

   A: Some.  Not so much for home networks, WiFi hot spots, etc.  Most
   enterprises, telcos (3G), and WiFI systems with Hotspot 2.0 should be

   Q: What is the cost of implementing this?

   A: Unknown.  Some modifications to AAA / DHCP servers.  And
   communication between them via some method to be determined.

3.  Security Considerations

   This specification is concerned entirely with security.  As such,
   additional security discussion is not necessary.

4.  IANA Considerations

   There are no IANA considerations for this document.

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 7]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

5.  References

5.1.  Normative References

     Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
     Levels", RFC 2119, March 1997.

     Droms, R., "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol", RFC 2131, March

     Rigney, C., Willens, S., Rubens, A. and W. Simpson, "Remote
     Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)", RFC 2865, June 2000.

     Droms R. (Ed) and Arbaugh W. (Ed), "Authentication for DHCP
     Messages", RFC 3118, June 2001.

5.2.  Informative References

     Simon, D., Aboba, B., and Hurst, R, "The EAP-TLS Authentication
     Protocol", RFC 5216, March 2008.

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

     Funk, P, and Blake-Wilson, S., "Extensible Authentication Protocol
     Tunneled Transport Layer Security Authenticated Protocol Version 0
     (EAP-TTLSv0)", RFC 5281, August 2008

     DeKok, A., "The Network Access Identifier", RFC 7542, May 2015.


   None at this time.

Authors' Addresses

   Alan DeKok
   Network RADIUS SARL
   100 Centrepointe Drive
   Suite 200

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 8]

INTERNET-DRAFT            DHCP Keys via 802.1X           24 October 2016

   Ottawa, ON
   K2G 6B1

   Email: aland@networkradius.com

DeKok, Alan                  Standards Track                    [Page 9]