IP Security Protocol Working Group (IPSEC)                    T. Kivinen
INTERNET-DRAFT                               SSH Communications Security
draft-ietf-ipsec-nat-t-ike-05.txt                             B. Swander
Expires: 4 June 2003                                           Microsoft
                                                             A. Huttunen
                                                    F-Secure Corporation
                                                                V. Volpe
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                          4 January 2003

                Negotiation of NAT-Traversal in the IKE

Status of This Memo

This document is a submission to the IETF IP Security Protocol
(IPSEC) Working Group.  Comments are solicited and should be
addressed to the working group mailing list (ipsec@lists.tislabs.com)
or to the editor.

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 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 document describes how to detect one or more network address trans-
lation devices (NATs) between IPsec hosts, and how to negotiate the use
of UDP encapsulation of the IPsec packets through the NAT boxes in
Internet Key Exchange (IKE).

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 1]

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Table of Contents

1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
2.  Specification of Requirements   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
3.  Phase 1   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
  3.1.  Detecting support of Nat-Traversal  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
  3.2.  Detecting presence of NAT   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
4.  Changing to the new ports   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
5.  Quick Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
  5.1.  Negotiation of the NAT-Traversal encapsulation  . . . . . . .  7
  5.2.  Sending the original source and destination addresses   . . .  7
6.  Initial contact notifications   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
7.  Recovering from the expiring NAT mappings   . . . . . . . . . . .  9
8.  Security Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
9.  IANA Considerations   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
10.  Intellectual property rights   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
11.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
12.  Normative References   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
13.  Non-Normative References   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
14.  Authors' Addresses   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

1.  Introduction

This document is split in two parts. The first part describes what is
needed in the IKE phase 1 for the NAT-Traversal support. This includes
detecting if the other end supports NAT-Traversal, and detecting if
there is one or more NAT along the path from host to host.

The second part describes how to negotiate the use of UDP encapsulated
IPsec packets in the IKE Quick Mode. It also describes how to transmit
the original source and destination addresses to the other end if
needed. The original source and destination addresses are used in
transport mode to incrementally update the TCP/IP checksums so that they
will match after the NAT transform (The NAT cannot do this, because the
TCP/IP checksum is inside the UDP encapsulated IPsec packet).

The document [Hutt02] describes the details of the UDP encapsulation and
[Aboba02] provides background information and motivation of the NAT-
Traversal in general. This document in combination with [Hutt02]
represent an "unconditionally compliant" solution to the requirements as
defined by [Aboba02].

2.  Specification of Requirements

This document shall use the keywords "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",
"OPTIONAL" to describe requirements. They are to be interpreted as
described in [RFC-2119] document.

3.  Phase 1

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 2]

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The detection of the support for the NAT-Traversal and detection of the
NAT along the path happens in the IKE [RFC-2409] phase 1.
The NAT may change the IKE UDP source port, and recipients MUST be able
to process IKE packets whose source port is different than 500.  There
are cases where the NAT does not have to change the source port:

o  only one IPsec host behind the NAT

o  for the first IPsec host the NAT can keep the port 500, and change
   only specified IPsec host IP addresses

Recipients MUST reply back to the source address from the packet. This
also means that when the original responder is doing rekeying, or
sending notifications etc. to the original initiator it MUST send the
packets from the same set of port and IP numbers that was used when the
IKE SA was last time used (i.e the source and destination port and IP
numbers must be same).

For example, when the initiator sends a packet having source and
destination port 500, the NAT may change that to a packet which has
source port 12312 and destination port 500. The responder must be able
to process the packet whose source port is that 12312. It must reply
back with a packet whose source port is 500 and destination port 12312.
The NAT will then translate this packet to have source port 500 and
destination port 500.

3.1.  Detecting support of Nat-Traversal

The NAT-Traversal capability of the remote host is determined by an
exchange of vendor strings; in Phase 1 two first messages, the vendor id
payload for this specification of NAT-Traversal (MD5 hash of "RFC XXXX"
(and it MUST be received by both sides) for the NAT-Traversal probe to

3.2.  Detecting presence of NAT

The purpose of the NAT-D payload is twofold, It not only detects the
presence of NAT between two IKE peers, it also detects where the NAT is.
The location of the NAT device is important in that the keepalives need
to initiate from the peer "behind" the NAT.

To detect the NAT between the two hosts, we need to detect if the IP
address or the port changes along the path. This is done by sending the
hashes of IP address and port of both source and destination addresses
from each end to another. When both ends calculate those hashes and get
same result they know there is no NAT between. If the hashes do not
match, somebody translated the address or port between, meaning we need
to do NAT-Traversal to get IPsec packet through.

If the sender of the packet does not know his own IP address (in case of
multiple interfaces, and implementation don't know which is used to
route the packet out), he can include multiple local hashes to the

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 3]

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packet (as separate NAT-D payloads). In this case the NAT is detected if
and only if none of the hashes match.

The hashes are sent as a series of NAT-D (NAT discovery) payloads.  Each
payload contains one hash, so in case of multiple hashes, multiple NAT-D
payloads are sent. In normal case there is only two NAT-D payloads.

The NAT-D payloads are included in the third and fourth packet in the
main mode and second and third packet in the aggressive mode.

The format of the NAT-D packet is

      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
     | Next Payload  |    RESERVED   |        Payload length         |
     ~               HASH of the address and port                    ~

The payload type for the NAT discovery payload is 15.

The HASH is calculated as follows:

        HASH = HASH(CKY-I | CKY-R | IP | Port)

using the negotiated HASH algorithm. All data inside the HASH is in the
network byte-order. The IP is 4 octets for the IPv4 address and 16
octets for the IPv6 address. The port number is encoded as 2 octet
number in network byte-order. The first NAT-D payload contains the
remote ends IP address and port (i.e the destination address of the UDP
packet). The rest of the NAT-D payloads contain possible local end IP
addresses and ports (i.e all possible source addresses of the UDP

If there is no NAT between then the first NAT-D payload should match one
of the local NAT-D packet (i.e the local NAT-D payloads this host is
sending out), and the one of the other NAT-D payloads must match the
remote ends IP address and port. If the first check fails (i.e first
NAT-D payload does not match any of the local IP addresses and ports),
then it means that there is dynamic NAT between, and this end should
start sending keepalives as defined in the [Hutt02].

The CKY-I and CKY-R are the initiator and responder cookies, and they
are added to the hash to make precomputation attacks for the IP address
and port impossible.

An example of phase 1 exchange using NAT-Traversal in main mode
(authentication with signatures) is:

         Initiator                       Responder
        ------------                    ------------
        HDR, SA, VID                 -->
                                     <-- HDR, SA, VID

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 4]

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        HDR, KE, Ni, NAT-D, NAT-D    -->
                                     <-- HDR, KE, Nr, NAT-D, NAT-D
        HDR*#, IDii, [CERT, ] SIG_I   -->
                                     <-- HDR*#, IDir, [ CERT, ], SIG_R

An example of phase 1 exchange using NAT-Traversal in aggressive mode
(authentication with signatures) is:

         Initiator                       Responder
        ------------                    ------------
        HDR, SA, KE, Ni, IDii, VID   -->
                                     <-- HDR, SA, KE, Nr, IDir,
                                         [CERT, ], VID, NAT-D,
                                         NAT-D, SIG_R
        HDR*#, [CERT, ], NAT-D, NAT-D,
          SIG_I                      -->

The '#' sign identifies that those packets are sent to the changed port
if NAT is detected.

4.  Changing to the new ports

IPsec-aware NATs can cause problems. Some NATs will not change IKE
source port 500 even if there are multiple clients behind the NAT.  They
can also map IKE cookies to demultiplex traffic instead of using the
source port. Both of these are problematic for generic NAT transparency
since it is difficult for IKE to discover the capabilities of the NAT.
The best approach is to simply move the IKE traffic off port 500 as soon
as possible to avoid any IPsec-aware NAT special casing.

Take the common case of the initiator behind the NAT. The initiator must
quickly change to 4500 once the NAT has been detected to minimize the
window of IPsec-aware NAT problems.

In main mode, the initiator MUST change ports when sending the ID
payload if there is NAT between the hosts. The initiator MUST set both
UDP source and destination ports to 4500. All subsequent packets sent to
this peer (including informational notifications) MUST be sent on 4500.
In addition, the IKE data MUST be prepended with a non-ESP marker
allowing for demultiplexing of traffic as defined in [Hutt02].

Thus, the IKE packet now looks like:

        IP UDP(4500,4500) <non-ESP marker> HDR*, IDii, [CERT, ] SIG_I

assuming authentication using signatures. The 4 bytes of non-ESP marker
is defined in the [Hutt02].

When the responder gets this packet he performs the usual decryption and
processing of the various payloads. If this is successful, he MUST
update local state so that all subsequent packets (including
informational notifications) to the peer use the new port, and possibly
new IP address obtained from the incoming valid packet. The port will

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 5]

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generally be different since the NAT will map UDP(500,500) to
UDP(X,500), and UDP(4500,4500) to UDP(Y,4500). The IP address will
seldom be different from the pre-change IP address. The responder MUST
respond with all subsequent IKE packets to this peer using UDP(4500,Y).

Similarly, if the responder needs to rekey the phase 1 SA, then he MUST
start the negotiation using UDP(4500,Y). Any implementation that
supports NAT traversal, MUST support negotiations that begin on port
4500. If a negotiation starts on 4500, then it doesn't need to change
anywhere else in the exchange.

Once port change has occurred, if a packet is received on 500, that
packet is old. If the packet is an informational, it MAY be processed if
local policy allows. If the packet is a main mode or aggressive mode
packet, it SHOULD be discarded.

Here is an example of phase 1 exchange using NAT-Traversal in main mode
(authentication with signatures) with changing port:

         Initiator                       Responder
        ------------                    ------------
        UDP(500,500) HDR, SA, VID    -->
                                     <-- UDP(500,X) HDR, SA, VID
        UDP(500,500) HDR, KE, Ni,
                     NAT-D, NAT-D    -->
                                     <-- UDP(500,X) HDR, KE, Nr,
                                                    NAT-D, NAT-D
        UDP(4500,4500) HDR*#, IDii,
                      [CERT, ]SIG_I  -->
                                     <-- UDP(4500,Y) HDR*#, IDir,
                                                   [ CERT, ], SIG_R

The algorithm for aggressive mode is very similar. After the NAT has
been detected, the initiator sends: IP UDP(4500,4500) <4 bytes of non-
ESP marker> HDR*, [CERT, ], NAT-D, NAT-D, SIG_I The responder does
similar processing to the above, and if successful, MUST update his
internal IKE ports. The responder MUST respond with all subsequent IKE
packets to this peer using UDP(4500,Y).

         Initiator                              Responder
        ------------                          ------------

        UDP(500,500) HDR, SA, KE,
                     Ni, IDii, VID   -->
                                     <-- UDP(500,X) HDR, SA, KE,
                                                    Nr, IDir, [CERT, ],
                                                    VID, NAT-D, NAT-D,
        UDP(4500,4500) HDR*#, [CERT, ],
                       NAT-D, NAT-D,
                       SIG_I         -->

                                             <-- UDP(4500, Y) HDR*#, ...

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 6]

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While changing ports, the port in the ID payload in Main Mode/Aggressive
Mode MUST be 0.

The most common case for the responder behind the NAT is if the NAT is
simply doing 1-1 address translation. In this case, the initiator still
changes both ports to 4500. The responder uses the identical algorithm
as above, although in this case, Y will equal 4500, since no port
translation is happening.

A different port change case involves out-of-band discovery of the ports
to use. For instance, if the responder is behind a port translating NAT,
and the initiator needs to contact it first, then the initiator will
need to determine which ports to use, usually by contacting some other
server. Once the initiator knows which ports to use to traverse the NAT,
generally something like UDP(Z,4500), he initiates using these ports.
This is similar to the responder rekey case above in that the ports to
use are already known upfront, and no additional change need take place.

Also the first keepalive timer starts after change to new port, no
keepalives are sent to the port 500.

5.  Quick Mode

After the Phase 1 both ends know if there is a NAT present between.  The
final decision of using the NAT-Traversal is left to the quick mode. The
use of NAT-Traversal is negotiated inside the SA payloads of the quick
mode. In the quick mode both ends can also send the original addresses
of the IPsec packets (in case of the transport mode) to the other, end
so the other end has possibility to fix the TCP/IP checksum field after
the NAT transform.

5.1.  Negotiation of the NAT-Traversal encapsulation

The negotiation of the NAT-Traversal happens by adding two new
encapsulation modes. These encapsulation modes are:

UDP-Encapsulated-Tunnel         3
UDP-Encapsulated-Transport      4

It is not normally useful to propose both normal tunnel or transport
mode and UDP-Encapsulated modes. If there is a NAT box between normal
tunnel or transport encapsulations may not work, and if there is no NAT
box between, there is no point of wasting bandwidth by adding UDP
encapsulation of packets. Because of this initiator SHOULD NOT include
both normal tunnel or transport mode and UDP-Encapsulated-Tunnel or UDP-
Encapsulated-Transport in its proposals.

5.2.  Sending the original source and destination addresses

In order to perform incremental TCP checksum fix ups, both peers may
need to know the original IP addresses used by their peer when that peer
constructed the packet. On the initiator, the original Initiator address
is defined to be the Initiator's IP address. The original Responder

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 7]

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address is defined to be the perceived peer's IP address. On the
responder, the original Initiator address is defined to be the perceived
peer's address. The original Responder address is defined to be the
Responder's IP address.

The original addresses are sent using NAT-OA (NAT Original Address)

The Initiator NAT-OA payload is first. The Responder NAT-OA payload is

Example 1:

        Initiator <---------> NAT <---------> Responder
                  ^               ^         ^
                Iaddr           NatPub      Raddr

The initiator is behind a NAT talking to the publicly available
responder. Initiator and Responder have IP addresses Iaddr, and Raddr.
NAT has public IP address NatPub.

        NAT-OAi = Iaddr
        NAT-OAr = Raddr

        NAT-OAi = NATPub
        NAT-OAr = Raddr

Example 2:

        Initiator <------> NAT1 <---------> NAT2 <-------> Responder
                  ^             ^         ^              ^
                Iaddr         Nat1Pub   Nat2Pub        Raddr

Here, NAT2 "publishes" Nat2Pub for Responder and forwards all traffic to
that address to Responder.

        NAT-OAi = Iaddr
        NAT-OAr = Nat2Pub

        NAT-OAi = Nat1Pub
        NAT-OAr = Raddr

In case of transport mode both ends MUST send the both original
Initiator and Responder addresses to the other end. For the tunnel mode
both ends SHOULD NOT send original addresses to the other end.

The NAT-OA payloads are sent inside the first and second packets of the
quick mode. The initiator MUST send the payloads if it proposes any UDP-
Encapsulated-Transport mode and the responder MUST send the payload only

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 8]

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if it selected UDP-Encapsulated-Transport mode. I.e it is possible that
the initiator send the NAT-OA payload, but proposes both UDP-
Encapsulated transport and tunnel mode. Then the responder selects the
UDP-Encapsulated tunnel mode and does not send the NAT-OA payload back.

The format of the NAT-OA packet is

      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
     | Next Payload  |    RESERVED   |        Payload length         |
     |    ID Type    |    RESERVED   |           RESERVED            |
     |         IPv4 (4 octets) or IPv6 address (16 octets)           |

The payload type for the NAT original address payload is 16.

The ID type is defined in the [RFC-2407]. Only ID_IPV4_ADDR and
ID_IPV6_ADDR types are allowed. The two reserved fields after the ID
Type must be zero.

An example of quick mode using NAT-OA payloads is:

         Initiator                       Responder
        ------------                    ------------
        HDR*, HASH(1), SA, Ni, [, KE]
          [, IDci, IDcr ]
          [, NAT-OAi, NAT-OAr] -->
                                     <-- HDR*, HASH(2), SA, Nr, [, KE]
                                          [, IDci, IDcr ]
                                          [, NAT-OAi, NAT-OAr]
        HDR*, HASH(3)

6.  Initial contact notifications

The source IP and port address of the INITIAL-CONTACT notification for
the host behind NAT are not meaningful, so the IP and port numbers MUST
NOT be used for the determine which IKE/IPsec SAs to remove. The ID
payload sent from the other SHOULD be used instead. I.e when INITIAL-
CONTACT notification is received from the other end, the receiving end
SHOULD remove all the SAs associated with the same ID payload.

7.  Recovering from the expiring NAT mappings

There are cases where NAT box decides to remove mappings that are still
alive (for example, the keepalive interval is too long, or the NAT box
is rebooted). To recover from those ends which are NOT behind NAT SHOULD
use the last valid authenticated packet from the other end to determine
which IP and port addresses should be used. The host behind dynamic NAT
MUST NOT do this as otherwise it opens DoS attack possibility, and there
is no need for that, because the IP address or port of other host will
not change (it is not behind NAT).

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                             [page 9]

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Keepalives cannot be used for this purposes as they are not
authenticated, but any IKE authenticated IKE packet or ESP packet can be
used to detect that the IP address or the port has changed.

8.  Security Considerations

Whenever changes to some fundamental parts of a security protocol are
proposed, the examination of security implications cannot be skipped.
Therefore, here are some observations on the effects, and whether or not
these effects matter.

o  IKE probe reveals NAT-Traversal support to everyone. This should not
   be an issue.

o  The value of authentication mechanisms based on IP addresses
   disappears once NATs are in the picture. That is not necessarily a
   bad thing (for any real security, other authentication measures than
   IP addresses should be used). This means that pre-shared-keys
   authentication cannot be used with the main mode without group shared
   keys for everybody behind the NAT box, which is huge security risk.
   Use of group shared keys is NOT RECOMMENDED.

o  As the internal address space is only 32 bits, and it is usually very
   sparse, it might be possible for the attacker to find out the
   internal address used behind the NAT box by trying all possible IP-
   addresses and trying to find the matching hash. The port numbers are
   normally fixed to 500, and the cookies can be extracted from the
   packet. This limits the hash calculations down to 2^32. If educated
   guess of use of private address space is done, then the number of
   hash calculations needed to find out the internal IP address goes
   down to the 2^24 + 2 * (2^16).

o  Neither NAT-D payloads or Vendor ID payloads are authenticated at all
   in the main mode nor in the aggressive mode. This means that attacker
   can remove those payloads, modify them or add them. By removing or
   adding them the attacker can cause Denial Of Service attacks. By
   modifying the NAT-D packets the attacker can cause both ends to use
   UDP-Encapsulated modes instead of directly using tunnel or transport
   mode, thus wasting some bandwidth.

o  The sending of the original source address in the Quick Mode reveals
   the internal IP address behind the NAT to the other end. In this case
   we have already authenticated the other end, and sending of the
   original source address is only needed in transport mode.

o  Updating the IKE SA / ESP UDP encapsulation IP addresses and ports
   for each valid authenticated packet can cause DoS in case we have
   attacker who can listen all traffic in the network, and can change
   the order of the packet and inject new packets before the packet he
   has already seen. I.e attacker can take the authenticated packet from
   the host behind NAT, change the packet UDP source or destination
   ports or IP addresses and sent it out to the other end before the
   real packet reaches there. The host not behind the NAT will update

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                            [page 10]

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   its IP address and port mapping and sends further traffic to wrong
   host or port. This situation is fixed immediately when the attacker
   stops modifying the packets as the first real packet will fix the
   situation back to normal. Implementations SHOULD AUDIT the event
   every time the mapping is changed, as in normal case it should not
   happen that often.

9.  IANA Considerations

This documents contains two new "magic numbers" which are allocated from
the existing IANA registry for IPsec. This document also renames
existing registered port 4500. This document also defines 2 new payload
types for IKE, and there is no registry for those in the IANA.

New items to be added in the "Internet Security Association and Key
Management Protocol (ISAKMP) Identifiers" Encapsulation Mode registry:

        Name                            Value           Reference
        ----                            -----           ---------
        UDP-Encapsulated-Tunnel         3               [RFC XXXX]
        UDP-Encapsulated-Transport      4               [RFC XXXX]

Change in the registered port registry:

        Keyword      Decimal    Description             Reference
        -------      -------    -----------             ---------
        ipsec-nat-t  4500/tcp   IPsec NAT-Traversal     [RFC XXXX]
        ipsec-nat-t  4500/udp   IPsec NAT-Traversal     [RFC XXXX]

New IKE payload numbers are (There is no IANA registry related to this,
and no need to create new one, but if one is added these should be added
to there):

        NAT-D           15      NAT Discovery Payload
        NAT-OA          16      NAT Original Address Payload

10.  Intellectual property rights

The IETF has been notified of intellectual property rights claimed in
regard to some or all of the specification contained in this document.
For more information consult the online list of claimed rights.

SSH Communications Security Corp has notified the working group of one
or more patents or patent applications that may be relevant to this
document. SSH Communications Security Corp has already given a license
for those patents to the IETF. For more information consult the online
list of claimed rights.

11.  Acknowledgments

Thanks to Markus Stenberg, Larry DiBurro and William Dixon who
contributed actively to this document.

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                            [page 11]

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Thanks to Tatu Ylonen, Santeri Paavolainen, and Joern Sierwald who
contributed to the document used as base for this document.

12.  Normative References

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

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

[Hutt02] Huttunen, A. et. al., "UDP Encapsulation of IPsec Packets",
draft-ietf-ipsec-udp-encaps-05.txt, December 2002

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

13.  Non-Normative References

[Aboba02] Aboba, B. et. al., "IPsec-NAT Compatibility Requirements",
draft-ietf-ipsec-nat-reqts-02.txt, August 2002.

14.  Authors' Addresses

    Tero Kivinen
    SSH Communications Security Corp
    Fredrikinkatu 42
    FIN-00100 HELSINKI
    E-mail: kivinen@ssh.fi

    Ari Huttunen
    F-Secure Corporation
    Tammasaarenkatu 7,
    FIN-00181 HELSINKI
    E-mail: Ari.Huttunen@F-Secure.com

    Brian Swander
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond WA 98052
    E-mail: briansw@microsoft.com

    Victor Volpe
    Cisco Systems
    124 Grove Street
    Suite 205
    Franklin, MA 02038
    E-mail: vvolpe@cisco.com

T. Kivinen, et. al.                                            [page 12]