[Search] [txt|pdf|bibtex] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 rfc3686                                     
IPsec Working Group                                          R. Housley
Internet Draft                                           Vigil Security
expires in six months                                          May 2003


                 Using AES Counter Mode With IPsec ESP
                 <draft-ietf-ipsec-ciph-aes-ctr-04.txt>

Status of this Memo

  This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with all
  provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

  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."

  The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
  http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt

  The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
  http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.

  This document is a submission to the IETF Internet Protocol Security
  (IPsec) Working Group. Please send comments on this document to the
  working group mailing list (ipsec@lists.tislabs.com).

  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

  This document describes the use of AES Counter Mode, with an explicit
  initialization vector, as an IPsec Encapsulating Security Payload
  confidentiality mechanism.












Housley                                                         [Page 1]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


Table of Contents

    1     Introduction ..............................................  3
    1.1   Conventions Used In This Document .........................  3
    2     AES Block Cipher ..........................................  3
    2.1   Counter Mode ..............................................  3
    2.2   Key Size and Rounds .......................................  5
    2.3   Block Size ................................................  6
    3     ESP Payload ...............................................  6
    3.1   Initialization Vector .....................................  6
    3.2   Encrypted Payload .........................................  7
    3.3   Authentication Data .......................................  7
    4     Counter Block Format ......................................  7
    5     IKE Conventions ...........................................  8
    5.1   Keying Material and Nonces ................................  8
    5.2   Phase 1 Identifier ........................................  9
    5.3   Phase 2 Identifier ........................................  9
    5.4   Key Length Attribute ......................................  9
    6     Test Vectors ..............................................  9
    7     Security Considerations ................................... 13
    8     Design Rationale .......................................... 15
    9     IANA Considerations ....................................... 16
   10     Acknowledgments ........................................... 17
   11     References ................................................ 17
   11.1   Normative References ...................................... 17
   11.2   Informative References .................................... 17
   12     Author's Address .......................................... 18
   13     Full Copyright Statement .................................. 19























Housley                                                         [Page 2]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


1. Introduction

   The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently
   selected the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) [AES], also known as
   Rijndael.  The AES is a block cipher, and it can be used in many
   different modes.  This document describes the use of AES Counter Mode
   (AES-CTR), with an explicit initialization vector (IV), as an IPsec
   Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) [ESP] confidentiality mechanism.

   This document does not provide an overview of IPsec.  However,
   information about how the various components of IPsec and the way in
   which they collectively provide security services is available in
   [ARCH] and [ROADMAP].

1.1. Conventions Used In This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [STDWORDS].

2. AES Block Cipher

   This section contains a brief description of the relevant
   characteristics of the AES block cipher.  Implementation requirements
   are also discussed.

2.1. Counter Mode

   NIST has defined five modes of operation for AES and other FIPS-
   approved block ciphers [MODES].  Each of these modes has different
   characteristics.  The five modes are: ECB (Electronic Code Book), CBC
   (Cipher Block Chaining), CFB (Cipher FeedBack), OFB (Output
   FeedBack), and CTR (Counter).

   Only AES Counter mode (AES-CTR) is discussed in this specification.
   AES-CTR requires the encryptor to generate a unique per-packet value,
   and communicate this value to the decryptor.  This specification
   calls this per-packet value an initialization vector (IV).  The same
   IV and key combination MUST NOT be used more than once.  The
   encryptor can generate the IV in any manner that ensures uniqueness.
   Common approaches to IV generation include incrementing a counter for
   each packet and linear feedback shift registers (LFSRs).

   This specification calls for the use of a nonce for additional
   protection against precomputation attacks.  The nonce value need not
   be secret.  However, the nonce MUST be unpredictable prior to the
   establishment of the IPsec security association that is making use of
   AES-CTR.



Housley                                                         [Page 3]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   AES-CTR has many properties that make it an attractive encryption
   algorithm for in high-speed networking.  AES-CTR uses the AES block
   cipher to create a stream cipher.  Data is encrypted and decrypted by
   XORing with the key stream produced by AES encrypting sequential
   counter block values.  AES-CTR is easy to implement, and AES-CTR can
   be pipelined and parallelized.  AES-CTR also supports key stream
   precomputation.

   Pipelining is possible because AES has multiple rounds (see section
   2.2).  A hardware implementation (and some software implementations)
   can create a pipeline by unwinding the loop implied by this round
   structure.  For example, after a 16-octet block has been input, one
   round later another 16-octet block can be input, and so on.  In AES-
   CTR, these inputs are the sequential counter block values used to
   generate the key stream.

   Multiple independent AES encrypt implementations can also be used to
   improve performance.  For example, one could use two AES encrypt
   implementations in parallel, to process a sequence of counter block
   values, doubling the effective throughput.

   The sender can precompute the key stream.  Since the key stream does
   not depend on any data in the packet, the key stream can be
   precomputed once the nonce and IV are assigned.  This precomputation
   can reduce packet latency.  The receiver cannot perform similar
   precomputation because the IV will not be known before the packet
   arrives.

   AES-CTR uses the only AES encrypt operation (for both encryption and
   decryption), making AES-CTR implementations smaller than
   implementations of many other AES modes.

   When used correctly, AES-CTR provides a high level of
   confidentiality.  Unfortunately, AES-CTR is easy to use incorrectly.
   Being a stream cipher, any reuse of the per-packet value, called the
   IV, with the same nonce and key is catastrophic.  An IV collision
   immediately leaks information about the plaintext in both packets.
   For this reason, it is inappropriate to use this mode of operation
   with static keys.  Extraordinary measures would be needed to prevent
   reuse of an IV value with the static key across power cycles.  To be
   safe, implementations MUST use fresh keys with AES-CTR.  The Internet
   Key Exchange (IKE) [IKE] protocol can be used to establish fresh
   keys.  IKE can also provide the nonce value.

   With AES-CTR, it is trivial to use a valid ciphertext to forge other
   (valid to the decryptor) ciphertexts.  Thus, it is equally
   catastrophic to use AES-CTR without a companion authentication
   function.  Implementations MUST use AES-CTR in conjunction with an



Housley                                                         [Page 4]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   authentication function, such as HMAC-SHA-1-96 [HMAC-SHA].

   To encrypt a payload with AES-CTR, the encryptor partitions the
   plaintext, PT, into 128-bit blocks.  The final block need not be 128
   bits; it can be less.

      PT = PT[1] PT[2] ... PT[n]

   Each PT block is XORed with a block of the key stream to generate the
   ciphertext, CT.  The AES encryption of each counter block results in
   128 bits of key stream.  The most significant 96 bits of the counter
   block are set to the nonce value followed by the per-packet IV value,
   and the least significant 32 bits of the counter block are initially
   set to one.  This counter value is incremented by one to generate
   subsequent counter blocks, each resulting in another 128 bits of key
   stream.  The encryption of n plaintext blocks can be summarized as:

      CTRBLK := NONCE || IV || ONE
      FOR i := 1 to n-1 DO
        CT[i] := PT[i] XOR AES(CTRBLK)
        CTRBLK := CTRBLK + 1
      END
      CT[n] := PT[n] XOR TRUNC(AES(CTRBLK))

   The AES() function performs AES encryption with the fresh key.

   The TRUNC() function truncates the output of the AES encrypt
   operation to the same length as the final plaintext block, returning
   the most significant bits.

   Decryption is similar.  The decryption of n ciphertext blocks can be
   summarized as:

      CTRBLK := NONCE || IV || ONE
      FOR i := 1 to n-1 DO
        PT[i] := CT[i] XOR AES(CTRBLK)
        CTRBLK := CTRBLK + 1
      END
      PT[n] := CT[n] XOR TRUNC(AES(CTRBLK))

2.2. Key Size and Rounds

   AES supports three key sizes: 128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits.  The
   default key size is 128 bits, and all implementations MUST support
   this key size.  Implementations MAY also support key sizes of 192
   bits and 256 bits.

   AES uses a different number of rounds for each of the defined key



Housley                                                         [Page 5]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   sizes.  When a 128-bit key is used, implementations MUST use 10
   rounds.  When a 192-bit key is used, implementations MUST use 12
   rounds.  When a 256-bit key is used, implementations MUST use 14
   rounds.

2.3. Block Size

   The AES has a block size of 128 bits (16 octets).  As such, when
   using AES-CTR, each AES encrypt operation generates 128 bits of key
   stream.  AES-CTR encryption is the XOR of the key stream with the
   plaintext.  AES-CTR decryption is the XOR of the key stream with the
   ciphertext.  If the generated key stream is longer than the plaintext
   or ciphertext, the extra key stream bits are simply discarded.  For
   this reason, AES-CTR does not require the plaintext to be padded to a
   multiple of the block size.  However, to provide limited traffic flow
   confidentiality, padding MAY be included, as specified in [ESP].

3. ESP Payload

   The ESP payload is comprised of the IV followed by the ciphertext.
   The payload field, as defined in [ESP], is structured as shown in
   Figure 1.

       0                   1                   2                   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
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                     Initialization Vector                     |
      |                            (8 octets)                         |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                                                               |
      ~                  Encrypted Payload (variable)                 ~
      |                                                               |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                                                               |
      ~                 Authentication Data (variable)                ~
      |                                                               |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

               Figure 1.  ESP Payload Encrypted with AES-CTR

3.1. Initialization Vector

   The AES-CTR IV field MUST be eight octets.  The IV MUST be chosen by
   the encryptor in a manner that ensures that the same IV value is used
   only once for a given key.  The encryptor can generate the IV in any
   manner that ensures uniqueness.  Common approaches to IV generation
   include incrementing a counter for each packet and linear feedback
   shift registers (LFSRs).



Housley                                                         [Page 6]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   Including the IV in each packet ensures that the decryptor can
   generate the key stream needed for decryption, even when some packets
   are lost or reordered.

3.2. Encrypted Payload

   The encrypted payload contains the ciphertext.

   AES-CTR mode does not require plaintext padding.  However, ESP does
   require padding to 32-bit word-align the authentication data.  The
   padding, Pad Length, and the Next Header MUST be concatenated with
   the plaintext before performing encryption, as described in [ESP].

3.3. Authentication Data

   Since it is trivial to construct a forgery AES-CTR ciphertext from a
   valid AES-CTR ciphertext, AES-CTR implementations MUST employ a non-
   NULL ESP authentication method.  HMAC-SHA-1-96 [HMAC-SHA] is a likely
   choice.

4. Counter Block Format

   Each packet conveys the IV that is necessary to construct the
   sequence of counter blocks used to generate the key stream necessary
   to decrypt the payload.  The AES counter block cipher block is 128
   bits.  Figure 2 shows the format of the counter block.

       0                   1                   2                   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
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                            Nonce                              |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                  Initialization Vector (IV)                   |
      |                                                               |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
      |                         Block Counter                         |
      +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                      Figure 2.  Counter Block Format

   The components of the counter block are as follows:

      Nonce
         The Nonce field is 32 bits.  As the name implies, the nonce is
         a single use value.  It MUST be assigned at the beginning of
         the security association.  The nonce value need not be secret,
         but it MUST be unpredictable prior to the beginning of the
         security association.



Housley                                                         [Page 7]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


      Initialization Vector
         The IV field is 64 bits.  As described in section 3.1, the IV
         MUST be chosen by the encryptor in a manner that ensures that
         the same IV value is used only once for a given key.

      Block Counter
         The block counter field is the least significant 32 bits of the
         counter block.  The block counter begins with the value of one,
         and it is incremented to generate subsequent portions of the
         key stream.  The block counter is a 32-bit big-endian integer
         value.

   Using the encryption process described in section 2.1, this
   construction permits each packet to consist of up to:

         (2^32)-1 blocks  =  4,294,967,295 blocks
                          = 68,719,476,720 octets

   This construction can produce enough key stream for each packet
   sufficient to handle any IPv6 jumbogram [JUMBO].

5. IKE Conventions

   This section describes the conventions used to generate keying
   material and nonces for use with AES-CTR using the Internet Key
   Exchange (IKE) [IKE] protocol.  The identifiers and attributes needed
   to negotiate a security association which uses AES-CTR are also
   defined.

5.1. Keying Material and Nonces

   As described in section 2.1, implementations MUST use fresh keys with
   AES-CTR.  IKE can be used to establish fresh keys.  This section
   describes the conventions for obtaining the unpredictable nonce value
   from IKE.  Note that this convention provides a nonce value that is
   secret as well as unpredictable.

   IKE makes use of a pseudo-random function (PRF) to derive keying
   material.  The PRF is used iteratively to derive keying material of
   arbitrary size.  Keying material is extracted from the output string
   without regard to boundaries.

   IKE uses the PRF to generate an output stream that parsed into five
   keys: SK_d, SK_ai, SK_ar, SK_ei, and SK_er.  SK_d is used to derive
   new keys for the child security associations.  SK_ai and SK_ar are
   the authentication keys for the initiator and the responder,
   respectively.  SK_ei and SK_er are the encryption keys for the
   initiator and the responder, respectively.



Housley                                                         [Page 8]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   SK_ai and SK_ei are used to protect traffic from the initiator to the
   responder. SK_ar and SK_er are used to protect traffic from the
   responder to the initiator.

   The size of SK_ei and SK_er are each four octets longer than is
   needed by the associated AES key.  The keying material is used as
   follows:

      AES-CTR with a 128 bit key
         SK_ei and SK_er are each 20 octets.  The first 16 octets are
         the 128-bit AES key, and the remaining four octets are used as
         the nonce value in the counter block.

      AES-CTR with a 192 bit key
         SK_ei and SK_er are each 28 octets.  The first 24 octets are
         the 192-bit AES key, and the remaining four octets are used as
         the nonce value in the counter block.

      AES-CTR with a 256 bit key
         SK_ei and SK_er are each 36 octets.  The first 32 octets are
         the 256-bit AES key, and the remaining four octets are used as
         the nonce value in the counter block.

5.2. Phase 1 Identifier

   This document does not specify the conventions for using AES-CTR for
   IKE Phase 1 negotiations.  For AES-CTR to be used in this manner, a
   separate specification is needed, and an Encryption Algorithm
   Identifier needs to be assigned.

5.3. Phase 2 Identifier

   For IKE Phase 2 negotiations, IANA has assigned an ESP Transform
   Identifier of <TBD> for AES-CTR with an explicit IV.

5.4. Key Length Attribute

   Since the AES supports three key lengths, the Key Length attribute
   MUST be specified in the IKE Phase 2 exchange [DOI].  The Key Length
   attribute MUST have a value of 128, 192, or 256.

6. Test Vectors

   This section contains nine test vectors, which can be used to confirm
   that an implementation has correctly implemented AES-CTR.  The first
   three test vectors use AES with a 128 bit key; the next three test
   vectors use AES with a 192 bit key; and the last three test vectors
   use AES with a 256 bit key.



Housley                                                         [Page 9]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   Test Vector #1: Encrypting 16 octets using AES-CTR with 128-bit key
   AES Key          : AE 68 52 F8 12 10 67 CC 4B F7 A5 76 55 77 F3 9E
   AES-CTR IV       : 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
   Nonce            : 00 00 00 30
   Plaintext String : 'Single block msg'
   Plaintext        : 53 69 6E 67 6C 65 20 62 6C 6F 63 6B 20 6D 73 67
   Counter Block (1): 00 00 00 30 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): B7 60 33 28 DB C2 93 1B 41 0E 16 C8 06 7E 62 DF
   Ciphertext       : E4 09 5D 4F B7 A7 B3 79 2D 61 75 A3 26 13 11 B8

   Test Vector #2: Encrypting 32 octets using AES-CTR with 128-bit key
   AES Key          : 7E 24 06 78 17 FA E0 D7 43 D6 CE 1F 32 53 91 63
   AES-CTR IV       : C0 54 3B 59 DA 48 D9 0B
   Nonce            : 00 6C B6 DB
   Plaintext        : 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
                    : 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F
   Counter Block (1): 00 6C B6 DB C0 54 3B 59 DA 48 D9 0B 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): 51 05 A3 05 12 8F 74 DE 71 04 4B E5 82 D7 DD 87
   Counter Block (2): 00 6C B6 DB C0 54 3B 59 DA 48 D9 0B 00 00 00 02
   Key Stream    (2): FB 3F 0C EF 52 CF 41 DF E4 FF 2A C4 8D 5C A0 37
   Ciphertext       : 51 04 A1 06 16 8A 72 D9 79 0D 41 EE 8E DA D3 88
                    : EB 2E 1E FC 46 DA 57 C8 FC E6 30 DF 91 41 BE 28

   Test Vector #3: Encrypting 36 octets using AES-CTR with 128-bit key
   AES Key          : 76 91 BE 03 5E 50 20 A8 AC 6E 61 85 29 F9 A0 DC
   AES-CTR IV       : 27 77 7F 3F  4A 17 86 F0
   Nonce            : 00 E0 01 7B
   Plaintext        : 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
                    : 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F
                    : 20 21 22 23
   Counter Block (1): 00 E0 01 7B 27 77 7F 3F 4A 17 86 F0 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): C1 CE 4A AB 9B 2A FB DE C7 4F 58 E2 E3 D6 7C D8
   Counter Block (2): 00 E0 01 7B 27 77 7F 3F 4A 17 86 F0 00 00 00 02
   Key Stream    (2): 55 51 B6 38 CA 78 6E 21 CD 83 46 F1 B2 EE 0E 4C
   Counter Block (3): 00 E0 01 7B 27 77 7F 3F 4A 17 86 F0 00 00 00 03
   Key Stream    (3): 05 93 25 0C 17 55 36 00 A6 3D FE CF 56 23 87 E9
   Ciphertext       : C1 CF 48 A8 9F 2F FD D9 CF 46 52 E9 EF DB 72 D7
                    : 45 40 A4 2B DE 6D 78 36 D5 9A 5C EA AE F3 10 53
                    : 25 B2 07 2F












Housley                                                        [Page 10]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   Test Vector #4: Encrypting 16 octets using AES-CTR with 192-bit key
   AES Key          : 16 AF 5B 14 5F C9 F5 79 C1 75 F9 3E 3B FB 0E ED
                    : 86 3D 06 CC FD B7 85 15
   AES-CTR IV       : 36 73 3C 14 7D 6D 93 CB
   Nonce            : 00 00 00 48
   Plaintext String : 'Single block msg'
   Plaintext        : 53 69 6E 67 6C 65 20 62 6C 6F 63 6B 20 6D 73 67
   Counter Block (1): 00 00 00 48 36 73 3C 14 7D 6D 93 CB 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): 18 3C 56 28 8E 3C E9 AA 22 16 56 CB 23 A6 9A 4F
   Ciphertext       : 4B 55 38 4F E2 59 C9 C8 4E 79 35 A0 03 CB E9 28


   Test Vector #5: Encrypting 32 octets using AES-CTR with 192-bit key
   AES Key          : 7C 5C B2 40 1B 3D C3 3C 19 E7 34 08 19 E0 F6 9C
                    : 67 8C 3D B8 E6 F6 A9 1A
   AES-CTR IV       : 02 0C 6E AD C2 CB 50 0D
   Nonce            : 00 96 B0 3B
   Plaintext        : 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
                    : 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F
   Counter Block (1): 00 96 B0 3B 02 0C 6E AD C2 CB 50 0D 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): 45 33 41 FF 64 9E 25 35 76 D6 A0 F1 7D 3C C3 90
   Counter Block (2): 00 96 B0 3B 02 0C 6E AD C2 CB 50 0D 00 00 00 02
   Key Stream    (2): 94 81 62 0F 4E C1 B1 8B E4 06 FA E4 5E E9 E5 1F
   Ciphertext       : 45 32 43 FC 60 9B 23 32 7E DF AA FA 71 31 CD 9F
                    : 84 90 70 1C 5A D4 A7 9C FC 1F E0 FF 42 F4 FB 00

   Test Vector #6: Encrypting 36 octets using AES-CTR with 192-bit key
   AES Key          : 02 BF 39 1E E8 EC B1 59 B9 59 61 7B 09 65 27 9B
                    : F5 9B 60 A7 86 D3 E0 FE
   AES-CTR IV       : 5C BD 60 27 8D CC 09 12
   Nonce            : 00 07 BD FD
   Plaintext        : 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
                    : 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F
                    : 20 21 22 23
   Counter Block (1): 00 07 BD FD 5C BD 60 27 8D CC 09 12 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): 96 88 3D C6 5A 59 74 28 5C 02 77 DA D1 FA E9 57
   Counter Block (2): 00 07 BD FD 5C BD 60 27 8D CC 09 12 00 00 00 02
   Key Stream    (2): C2 99 AE 86 D2 84 73 9F 5D 2F D2 0A 7A 32 3F 97
   Counter Block (3): 00 07 BD FD 5C BD 60 27 8D CC 09 12 00 00 00 03
   Key Stream    (3): 8B CF 2B 16 39 99 B2 26 15 B4 9C D4 FE 57 39 98
   Ciphertext       : 96 89 3F C5 5E 5C 72 2F 54 0B 7D D1 DD F7 E7 58
                    : D2 88 BC 95 C6 91 65 88 45 36 C8 11 66 2F 21 88
                    : AB EE 09 35








Housley                                                        [Page 11]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   Test Vector #7: Encrypting 16 octets using AES-CTR with 256-bit key
   AES Key          : 77 6B EF F2 85 1D B0 6F 4C 8A 05 42 C8 69 6F 6C
                    : 6A 81 AF 1E EC 96 B4 D3 7F C1 D6 89 E6 C1 C1 04
   AES-CTR IV       : DB 56 72 C9 7A A8 F0 B2
   Nonce            : 00 00 00 60
   Plaintext String : 'Single block msg'
   Plaintext        : 53 69 6E 67 6C 65 20 62 6C 6F 63 6B 20 6D 73 67
   Counter Block (1): 00 00 00 60 DB 56 72 C9 7A A8 F0 B2 00 00 00 01
   Key Stream    (1): 47 33 BE 7A D3 E7 6E A5 3A 67 00 B7 51 8E 93 A7
   Ciphertext       : 14 5A D0 1D BF 82 4E C7 56 08 63 DC 71 E3 E0 C0

   Test Vector #8: Encrypting 32 octets using AES-CTR with 256-bit key
   AES Key          : F6 D6 6D 6B D5 2D 59 BB 07 96 36 58 79 EF F8 86
                    : C6 6D D5 1A 5B 6A 99 74 4B 50 59 0C 87 A2 38 84
   AES-CTR IV       : C1 58 5E F1 5A 43 D8 75
   Nonce            : 00 FA AC 24
   Plaintext        : 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
                    : 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F
   Counter block (1): 00 FA AC 24 C1 58 5E F1 5A 43 D8 75 00 00 00 01
   Key stream    (1): F0 5F 21 18 3C 91 67 2B 41 E7 0A 00 8C 43 BC A6
   Counter block (2): 00 FA AC 24 C1 58 5E F1 5A 43 D8 75 00 00 00 02
   Key stream    (2): A8 21 79 43 9B 96 8B 7D 4D 29 99 06 8F 59 B1 03
   Ciphertext       : F0 5E 23 1B 38 94 61 2C 49 EE 00 0B 80 4E B2 A9
                    : B8 30 6B 50 8F 83 9D 6A 55 30 83 1D 93 44 AF 1C

   Test Vector #9: Encrypting 36 octets using AES-CTR with 256-bit key
   AES Key          : FF 7A 61 7C E6 91 48 E4 F1 72 6E 2F 43 58 1D E2
                    : AA 62 D9 F8 05 53 2E DF F1 EE D6 87 FB 54 15 3D
   AES-CTR IV       : 51 A5 1D 70 A1 C1 11 48
   Nonce            : 00 1C C5 B7
   Plaintext        : 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F
                    : 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 1A 1B 1C 1D 1E 1F
                    : 20 21 22 23
   Counter block (1): 00 1C C5 B7 51 A5 1D 70 A1 C1 11 48 00 00 00 01
   Key stream    (1): EB 6D 50 81 19 0E BD F0 C6 7C 9E 4D 26 C7 41 A5
   Counter block (2): 00 1C C5 B7 51 A5 1D 70 A1 C1 11 48 00 00 00 02
   Key stream    (2): A4 16 CD 95 71 7C EB 10 EC 95 DA AE 9F CB 19 00
   Counter block (3): 00 1C C5 B7 51 A5 1D 70 A1 C1 11 48 00 00 00 03
   Key stream    (3): 3E E1 C4 9B C6 B9 CA 21 3F 6E E2 71 D0 A9 33 39
   Ciphertext       : EB 6C 52 82 1D 0B BB F7 CE 75 94 46 2A CA 4F AA
                    : B4 07 DF 86 65 69 FD 07 F4 8C C0 B5 83 D6 07 1F
                    : 1E C0 E6 B8









Housley                                                        [Page 12]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


7. Security Considerations

   When used properly, AES-CTR mode provides strong confidentiality.
   Bellare, Desai, Jokipii, Rogaway show in [BDJR] that the privacy
   guarantees provided by counter mode are at least as strong as those
   for CBC mode when using the same block cipher.

   Unfortunately, it is very easy to misuse this counter mode.  If
   counter block values are ever used for more that one packet with the
   same key, then the same key stream will be used to encrypt both
   packets, and the confidentiality guarantees are voided.

   What happens if the encryptor XORs the same key stream with two
   different plaintexts?  Suppose two plaintext byte sequences P1, P2,
   P3 and Q1, Q2, Q3 are both encrypted with key stream K1, K2, K3.  The
   two corresponding ciphertexts are:

      (P1 XOR K1), (P2 XOR K2), (P3 XOR K3)

      (Q1 XOR K1), (Q2 XOR K2), (Q3 XOR K3)

   If both of these two ciphertext streams are exposed to an attacker,
   then a catastrophic failure of confidentiality results, since:

      (P1 XOR K1) XOR (Q1 XOR K1) = P1 XOR Q1
      (P2 XOR K2) XOR (Q2 XOR K2) = P2 XOR Q2
      (P3 XOR K3) XOR (Q3 XOR K3) = P3 XOR Q3

   Once the attacker obtains the two plaintexts XORed together, it is
   relatively straightforward to separate them.  Thus, using any stream
   cipher, including AES-CTR, to encrypt two plaintexts under the same
   key stream leaks the plaintext.

   Therefore, stream ciphers, including AES-CTR, should not be used with
   static keys.  It is inappropriate to use AES-CTR with static keys.
   Extraordinary measures would be needed to prevent reuse of a counter
   block value with the static key across power cycles.  To be safe, ESP
   implementations MUST use fresh keys with AES-CTR.  The Internet Key
   Exchange (IKE) protocol [IKE] can be used to establish fresh keys.
   IKE can also be used to establish the nonce at the beginning of the
   security association.

   When IKE is used to establish fresh keys between two peer entities,
   separate keys are established for the two traffic flows.  When a
   mechanism other than IKE is used to establish fresh keys, and that
   mechanism establishes only a single key to encrypt packets, then
   there is a high probability that the peers will select the same IV
   values for some packets.  Thus, to avoid counter block collisions,



Housley                                                        [Page 13]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   ESP implementations that permit use of the same key for encrypting
   outbound traffic and decrypting incoming traffic with the same peer
   MUST ensure that the two peers assign different Nonce values to the
   security association.

   Data forgery is trivial with CTR mode.  The demonstration of this
   attack is similar to the key stream reuse discussion above.  If a
   known plaintext byte sequence P1, P2, P3 is encrypted with key stream
   K1, K2, K3, then the attacker can replace the plaintext with one of
   his own choosing.  The ciphertext is:

      (P1 XOR K1), (P2 XOR K2), (P3 XOR K3)

   The attacker simply XORs a selected sequence Q1, Q2, Q3 with the
   ciphertext to obtain:

      (Q1 XOR (P1 XOR K1)), (Q2 XOR (P2 XOR K2)), (Q3 XOR (P3 XOR K3))

   Which is the same as:

      ((Q1 XOR P1) XOR K1), ((Q2 XOR P2) XOR K2), ((Q3 XOR P3) XOR K3)

   Decryption of the attacker-generated ciphertext will yield exactly
   what the attacker intended:

      (Q1 XOR P1), (Q2 XOR P2), (Q3 XOR P3)

   Accordingly, ESP implementations MUST use of AES-CTR in conjunction
   with ESP authentication.

   Additionally, since AES has a 128-bit block size, regardless of the
   mode employed, the ciphertext generated by AES encryption becomes
   distinguishable from random values after 2^64 blocks are encrypted
   with a single key.  Since ESP with Enhanced Sequence Numbers allows
   for up to 2^64 packets in a single security association, there is
   real potential for more than 2^64 blocks to be encrypted with one
   key.  Therefore, implementations SHOULD generate a fresh key before
   2^64 blocks are encrypted with the same key.  Note that ESP with
   32-bit Sequence Numbers will not exceed 2^64 blocks even if all of
   the packets are maximum-length IPv6 jumbograms [JUMBO].

   There are fairly generic precomputation attacks against all block
   cipher modes that allow a meet-in-the-middle attack against the key.
   These attacks require the creation and searching of huge tables of
   ciphertext associated with known plaintext and known keys.  Assuming
   that the memory and processor resources are available for a
   precomputation attack, then the theoretical strength of AES-CTR (and
   any other block cipher mode) is limited to 2^(n/2) bits, where n is



Housley                                                        [Page 14]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   the number of bits in the key.  The use of long keys is the best
   countermeasure to precomputation attacks.  Therefore, implementations
   that employ 128-bit AES keys should take precautions to make the
   precomputation attacks more difficult.  The unpredictable nonce value
   in the counter block significantly increases the size of the table
   that the attacker must compute to mount a successful attack.

8. Design Rationale

   In the development of this specification, the use of the ESP sequence
   number field instead of an explicit IV field was considered.  This
   selection is not a cryptographic security issue, as either approach
   will prevent counter block collisions.

   In a very conservative model of encryption security, at most 2^64
   blocks ought to be encrypted with AES-CTR under a single key.  Under
   this constraint, no more than 64 bits are needed to identify each
   packet within a security association.  Since the ESP extended
   sequence number is 64 bits, it is an obvious candidate for use as an
   implicit IV.  This would dictate a single method for the assignment
   of per-packet value in the counter block.  The use of an explicit IV
   does not dictate such a method, which is desirable for several
   reasons.

      1.  Only the encryptor can ensure that the value is not used for
      more than one packet, so there is no advantage to selecting a
      mechanism that allows the decryptor to determine whether counter
      block values collide.  Damage from the collision is done, whether
      the decryptor detects it or not.

      2.  Allows adders, LFSRs, and any other technique that meets the
      time budget of the encryptor, so long as the technique results in
      a unique value for each packet.  Adders are simple and
      straightforward to implement, but due to carries, they do not
      execute in constant time.  LSFRs offer an alternative that
      executes in constant time.

      3.  Complexity is in control of the implementer.  Further, the
      decision made by the implementer of the encryptor does not make
      the decryptor more (or less) complex.

      4.  When the encryptor has more than one cryptographic hardware
      device, an IV prefix can be assigned to each device, ensuring that
      collisions will not occur.  Yet, since the decryptor does not need
      to examine IV structure, the decryptor is unaffected by the IV
      structure selected by the encryptor.  One cannot make use of the
      same technique with the ESP sequence numbers, because the
      semantics for them require sequential value generation.



Housley                                                        [Page 15]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


      5.  Assurance boundaries are very important to implementations
      that will be evaluated against the FIPS Pub 140-1 or FIPS Pub
      140-2 [SECRQMTS].  The assignment of the per-packet counter block
      value needs to be inside the assurance boundary.  Some
      implementations assign the sequence number inside the assurance
      boundary, but others do not.  A sequence number collision does not
      have the dire consequences, but, as described in section 6, a
      collision in counter block values has disastrous consequences.

      6.  Coupling with the sequence number is possible in those
      architectures where the sequence number assignment is performed
      within the assurance boundary.  In this situation, the sequence
      number and the IV field will contain the same value.

      7.  Decoupling from the sequence number is possible in those
      architectures where the sequence number assignment is performed
      outside the assurance boundary.

   The use of an explicit IV field directly follows from the decoupling
   of the sequence number and the per-packet counter block value.  The
   overhead associated with 64 bits for the IV field is acceptable.
   This overhead is significantly less than the overhead associated with
   Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) mode.  As normally employed, CBC requires
   a full block for the IV and, on average, half of a block for padding.
   AES-CTR with an explicit IV has about one-third of the overhead as
   AES-CBC, and the overhead is constant for each packet.

   The inclusion of the nonce provides a weak countermeasure against
   precomputation attacks.  For this countermeasure to be effective, the
   attacker must not be able to predict the value of the nonce well in
   advance of security association establishment.  The use of long keys
   provides a strong countermeasure to precomputation attacks, and AES
   offers key sizes that thwart these attacks for many decades to come.

   A 28-bit block counter value is sufficient for the generation of a
   key stream to encrypt the largest possible IPv6 jumbogram [JUMBO];
   however, a 32-bit field is used.  This size is convenient for both
   hardware and software implementations.

9. IANA Considerations

   IANA has assigned <TBD> as the ESP transform number for AES-CTR with
   an explicit IV.








Housley                                                        [Page 16]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


10. Acknowledgements

   This document is the result of extensive discussions and compromises.
   While not all of the participants are completely satisfied with the
   outcome, the document is better for their contributions.

   The author thanks the members of the IPsec working group for their
   contributions to the design, with special mention of the efforts of
   (in alphabetical order) Steve Bellovin, David Black, Niels Ferguson,
   Charlie Kaufman, Steve Kent, Paul Koning, David McGrew, Robert
   Moskowitz, Jesse Walker, and Doug Whiting.

   The author thanks and Alireza Hodjat, John Viega, and Doug Whiting
   for assistance with the test vectors.

11. References

   This section provides normative and informative references.

11.1. Normative References

   [AES]       NIST, FIPS PUB 197, "Advanced Encryption Standard
               (AES)," November 2001.

   [DOI]       Piper, D., "The Internet IP Security Domain of
               Interpretation for ISAKMP," RFC 2407, November 1998.

   [ESP]       Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "IP Encapsulating Security
               Payload (ESP)," RFC 2406, November 1998.

   [MODES]     Dworkin, M., "Recommendation for Block Cipher Modes
               of Operation: Methods and Techniques," NIST Special
               Publication 800-38A, December 2001.

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

11.2. Informative References

   [ARCH]      Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "Security Architecture for
               the Internet Protocol," RFC 2401, November 1998.

   [BDJR]      Bellare, M, Desai, A., Jokipii, E., and P. Rogaway,
               "A Concrete Security Treatment of Symmetric Encryption:
               Analysis of the DES Modes of Operation", Proceedings
               38th Annual Symposium on Foundations of Computer
               Science, 1997.




Housley                                                        [Page 17]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


   [HMAC-SHA]  Madson, C. and R. Glenn, "The Use of HMAC-SHA-1-96
               within ESP and AH," RFC 2404, November 1998.

   [IKE]       Harkins, D. and D. Carrel, "The Internet Key Exchange
               (IKE)," RFC 2409, November 1998.

   [JUMBO]     Borman, D., Deering, S., and R. Hinden, "IPv6
               Jumbograms," RFC 2675, August 1999.

   [ROADMAP]   Thayer, R., N. Doraswamy and R. Glenn, "IP Security
               Document Roadmap," RFC 2411, November 1998.

   [SECRQMTS]  National Institute of Standards and Technology.
               FIPS Pub 140-1: Security Requirements for Cryptographic
               Modules.  11 January 1994.

               National Institute of Standards and Technology.
               FIPS Pub 140-2: Security Requirements for Cryptographic
               Modules.  25 May 2001. [Supercedes FIPS Pub 140-1]

12. Author's Address

   Russell Housley
   Vigil Security, LLC
   918 Spring Knoll Drive
   Herndon, VA 20170
   USA
   housley@vigilsec.com























Housley                                                        [Page 18]


INTERNET DRAFT                                                  May 2003


13. Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society 2003.  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
   English.

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
   BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
   MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
























Housley                                                        [Page 19]