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Versions: 00 rfc2316                                                    
Network Working Group                                 Steven M. Bellovin
Internet Draft                                        AT&T Labs Research

Expiration Date: May 1998                                  November 1997

            Report of the IAB Security Architecture Workshop


1. Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  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-Drafts.

   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.''

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
   ``1id-abstracts.txt'' listing contained in the Internet-Drafts Shadow
   Directories on ftp.is.co.za (Africa), nic.nordu.net (Europe),
   munnari.oz.au (Pacific Rim), ds.internic.net (US East Coast), or
   ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast).

2. Abstract

   On 3-5 March 1997, the IAB held a security architecture workshop at
   Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ.  We identified the core security
   components of the architecture, and specified several documents that
   need to be written.  Most importantly, we agreed that security was
   not optional, and that it needed to be designed in from the

3. Motivations

   On 3-5 March 1997, the IAB held a security architecture workshop at
   Bell Labs in Murray Hill, NJ.  The ultimate goal was to design a
   security architecture for the Internet.  More concretely, we wished
   to understand what security tools and protocols exist or are being
   developed, where each is useful, and where we are missing adequate
   security tools.  Furthermore, we wanted to provide useful guidance to

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   protocol designers.  That is, if we wish to eliminate the phrase
   ``security issues are not discussed in this memo'' from future RFCs,
   we must provide guidance on acceptable analyses.

   There were twenty-four attendees (their names are listed in Appendix
   A).  Perhaps not surprisingly for such a group, the overwhelming
   majority used some form of cryptography when connecting back to their
   home site from the meeting room.  But the situation on the rest of
   the Internet is not nearly as good; few people use encryption, even
   when they should.

   The problem is that the rate of attacks is increasing.  Apart from
   the usual few elite hackers -- the ones who find the new holes --
   there are many canned exploit scripts around.  (``Click here to
   attack this system.'')  Furthermore, the attackers have gotten
   smarter; rather than going after random university machines, more and
   more are targeting the Internet infrastructure, such as routers,
   high-level name servers, and the like.

   The problem is compounded by organizational laziness.  Users and
   system administrators want ``magic security'' -- they want whatever
   they do to be secure, regardless of whether or not it is, or even can

4. General Philosophy

   We concluded that in general, end-to-end security is better.  Thus,
   one should use something like PGP or S/MIME for email, rather than
   relying on an IPsec layer.  In general, relying on the security of
   the infrastructure is a bad idea; it, too, is under attack.  Even
   firewall-protected intranets can be subverted.  At best, the
   infrastructure should provide availability; it is the responsibility
   of individual protocols not to make unreasonable demands on the
   infrastructure during an attack.

5. IETF Structure

   Our security problem is compounded by the IETF's inherent structure
   (or, in some cases, the lack thereof).  By intent, we are a volunteer
   organization.  Who should do the security work?  The other protocol
   designers?  Often, they have neither the time nor the interest nor
   the training to do it.  Security area members?  What if they are not
   interested in some subject area, or lack the time themselves?  We
   cannot order them to serve.

   To the extent that the IETF does have management, it is embodied in

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   the working group charters.  These are in essence contracts between
   the IESG and a working group, spelling out what is to be done and on
   what schedule.  Can the IESG unilaterally impose new requirements on
   existing working groups?  What if security cannot be added on without
   substantial changes to the fundamental structure of a protocol that
   has been reworked over several years?

   Finally, there is a perception problem:  that IPsec will somehow
   solve the security problem.  It won't; indeed, it can't.  IPsec
   provides excellent protection of packets in transit.  But it's hard
   to deploy on individual hosts, does not protect objects that may be
   retransmitted (i.e., email messages), does not address authorization
   issues, cannot block against excess resource consumption, etc.

6. Documents to be Written

   Collectively, we decided on several documents that need to be

      Taxonomy of Attacks
         In order to defend a protocol against attacks, one must, of
         course, know the kinds of attacks that are possible.  While the
         specifics differ from protocol to protocol, a number of general
         categories can be constructed.

      Implementation Hints and Pitfalls
         Even if a protocol is sound, a host running it can be
         vulnerable if the protocol is implemented improperly.  A
         variety of common errors can and do subvert the best designs.

      Firewall Issues
         Firewalls are both a common defense and a much-reviled wart on
         the Internet.  Regardless, they are unlikely to go away any
         time soon.  They have both strengths and weaknesses that must
         be considered when deploying them.  Furthermore, some protocols
         have characteristics that are unnecessarily firewall-hostile;
         such practices should be avoided.

      Workshop Report
         This document.

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7. Working Group Charters

   The actual text in the working group charter is likely to be
   something fairly simple, like

      Protocols developed by this working group will be analyzed for
      potential sources of security breach. Identified threats will be
      removed from the protocol if possible, and documented and guarded
      against in other cases.

   The actual charter text represents a policy enjoined and enforced by
   the IESG, and may change from time to time and from charter to
   charter. However, it essentially references and asks for text in
   documents conforming to the following, which may be very appropriate
   to include in the RFC.

8. Guidelines on writing Security Considerations in an RFC

   A "threat" is, by definition, a vulnerability available to a
   motivated and capable adversary. CERT advisories are quite
   predictable given a knowledge of the target of the threat; they
   therefore represent an existence proof, but not a threat analysis.
   The point is to determine what attacks are possible ("capabilities"
   of a potential attacker) and formulate a defense against the attacks,
   or convincingly argue that the attack is not realistic in some
   environment and restrict use of the protocol to that environment.

   Recommended guidelines:

      - All RFCs must meaningfully address security in the protocol or
      procedure it specifies. It must consider that it is giving its
      data to "the enemy" and asking it to be delivered to its friends
      and used in the manner it intended. Consideration must be given to
      the ramifications of the inherent danger of the situation.

      - Must do "due diligence" to list the threats to which the
      protocol is vulnerable. Use of legal term does not imply legal
      liability, but level of responsibility expected to be applied to
      the analysis. This discussion might occur throughout the document
      or in the Security Considerations section; if it occurs
      throughout, it should be summarized and referenced in the Security
      Considerations section.

      - Must discuss which of those threats are
         * Ameliorated by protocol mechanisms (example: SYN attack is
         ameliorated by clever code that drops sessions randomly when
         under SYN attack)

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         * Ameliorated by reliance on external mechanisms (example: TCP
         data confidentiality provided by IPSEC ESP)

         * Irrelevant ("In most cases, MIBs are not themselves security
         risks; If SNMP Security is operating as intended, the use of a
         MIB to change the configuration of a system is a tool, not a
         threat. For a threat analysis of SNMP Security, see RFC ZZZZ.")

         * Not addressed by the protocol; results in applicability
         statement.  ("This protocol should not be used in an
         environment subject to this attack")

9. Core Security Mechanisms

   A variety of security mechanisms exist today.  Not all are well-
   designed; not all are suitable for all purposes.  The members of the
   workshop designated a number of protocols as ``core''.  Such
   protocols should be used preferentially, if one of them has
   properties that match your protocol.  The following were designated
   as core:

      IPsec [RFC 1825] is the basic host-to-host security mechanism.  It
         is appropriate for use any time address-based protection would
         have been used, including with such programs as rsh and rlogin.
         If and when platforms support user-based keying, this scope may
         be expanded.

         One particular technique used by IPsec, HMAC [RFC 2104], is
         more generally useful.  If cryptographic authentication but not
         secrecy is needed, and IPsec is not applicable, HMAC should be

      ISAKMP/Oakley [ISAKMP drafts] is the basic key negotiation
         protocol for IPsec.  As such, it should be deployed when IPsec
         is used.  With the appropriate ``domain of interpretation''
         document, it should be used to negotiate pairwise keys for
         other protocols.

      DNSsec [RFC 2065] is not only crucial for protecting the DNS --
         cache contamination is the easiest way to launch active attacks
         -- it's also needed in many situations when IPsec is used.

      Security/Multipart [RFC 1847] is the preferred way to add secured
         sections to MIME-encapsulated email.

      Signed keys in the DNS.  There is, as noted, widespread agreement
         that DNS records themselves must be protected.  There was less

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         agreement that the key records should be signed themselves,
         making them in effect certificates.  Still, this is one
         promising avenue for Internet certificates.

      X.509v3 is the other obvious choice for a certificate
         infrastructure.  Again, though, there was no strong consensus
         on this point.

      TLS [TLS draft] was seen by some as the preferred choice for
         transport-layer security, though there was no consensus on this
         point.  TLS is less intrusive to the operating system than
         IPsec; additionally, it is easier to provide fine-grained
         protection this way.

   Some protocols were designated as ``useful but not core''.  These
   were insufficiently general, too new, or were substantially
   duplicative of core protocols.  These include AFT/SOCKS, RADIUS,
   firewalls, GSS-API, PGP, Kerberos, PGP-MIME, PKIX-3, the various
   forms of per-hop authentication (OSPF, RSVP, RIPv2), *POP, OTP,
   S/MIME, SSH, PFKey, IPsec API, SASL, and CRAM/CHAP.  Obviously,
   entries on this list may move in either direction.

   A few protocols were considered ``not useful''.  Primarily, these are
   ones that have failed to catch on, even though they've been available
   for some time.  These include PEM [RFC 1421, 1422, 1423, 1424] and
   MOSS [mossrfc].

   One security mechanism was deemed to be unacceptable:  plaintext
   passwords.  That is, no protocol that relies on passwords sent over
   unencrypted channels is acceptable.

10. Missing Pieces

   Participants in the workshop identified three significant missing
   pieces: object security, secure email, and route security.

   Object security refers to protection for individual data objects,
   independent of transport.  We have one such already -- DNSsec -- but
   we need a more general scheme.  One special case is email, where the
   previous IETF standard (PEM) has failed in the marketplace.  Finally,
   we need a way to secure the routing system.  This task is complex
   because the neither the originator of the route nor the immediate
   neighbor of the questioning system have sufficient ability to sign or
   validate the route ultimately received.

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11. Security Considerations

   Security is not and cannot be a cookie cutter process.  There is no
   magic pixie dust that can be sprinkled over a protocol to make it
   secure.  Each protocol must be analyzed individually to determine
   what vulnerabilities exist, what risks they may lead to, what
   palliative measures can be taken, and what the residual risks are.

12. Acknowledgments

   This RFC is largely based on the minutes compiled by Thomas Narten,
   whose work in turn was partly based on notes by Erik Huizer, John
   Richardson, and Bob Blakely.

13. References

      [RFC 1825] Security Architecture for the Internet Protocol. R.
         Atkinson.  August 1995.

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

      [ISAKMP drafts]

      [RFC 2065] Domain Name System Security Extensions. D. Eastlake,
         3rd, C.  Kaufman. January 1997.

      [RFC 1847] Security Multiparts for MIME: Multipart/Signed and
              Multipart/Encrypted. J. Galvin, S. Murphy, S. Crocker & N.
              October 1995.

      [TLS draft]

      [RFC 1421] Privacy Enhancement for Internet Electronic Mail: Part
         I: Message Encryption and Authentication Procedures. J. Linn.
         February 1993.

      [RFC 1422] Privacy Enhancement for Internet Electronic Mail: Part
         II: Certificate-Based Key Management. S. Kent. February 1993.

      [RFC 1423] Privacy Enhancement for Internet Electronic Mail: Part
         III: Algorithms, Modes, and Identifiers. D. Balenson. February

      [RFC 1424] Privacy Enhancement for Internet Electronic Mail: Part

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         IV: Key Certification and Related Services. B. Kaliski.
         February 1993.


Appendix A. Attendees
     Ran Atkinson      rja@inet.org
     Fred Baker        fred@cisco.com
     Steve Bellovin    bellovin@acm.org
     Bob Blakley       blakley@vnet.ibm.com
     Matt Blaze        mab@research.att.com
     Brian Carpenter   brian@hursley.ibm.com
     Jim Ellis         jte@cert.org
     James Galvin      galvin@commerce.net
     Tim Howes         howes@netscape.com
     Erik Huizer       Erik.Huizer@sec.nl
     Charlie Kaufman   charlie_kaufman@iris.com
     Steve Kent        kent@bbn.com
     Paul Krumviede    paul@mci.net
     Marcus Leech      mleech@nortel.ca
     Perry Metzger     perry@piermont.com
     Keith Moore       moore@cs.utk.edu
     Robert Moskowitz  rgm3@chrysler.com
     John Myers        jgm@CMU.EDU
     Thomas Narten     narten@raleigh.ibm.com
     Radia Perlman     radia.perlman@sun.com
     John Richardson   jwr@ibeam.jf.intel.com
     Allyn Romanow     allyn@Eng.Sun.COM
     Jeff Schiller     jis@mit.edu
     Ted T'So          tytso@mit.edu

Appendix B. Author Information

Steven M. Bellovin
AT&T Labs Research
180 Park Avenue
Florham Park, NJ  07932
Phone: (973) 360-8656

email: bellovin@acm.org

Bellovin                                                        [Page 8]