Internet Engineering Task Force                              A. Malhotra
Internet-Draft                                         Boston University
Intended status: Informational                                A. Langley
Expires: March 2, 2021                                            Google
                                                                 W. Ladd
                                                         August 29, 2020



   This document specifies Roughtime - a protocol that aims to achieve
   rough time synchronization while detecting servers that provide
   inaccurate time and providing cryptographic proof of their

Status of This Memo

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

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 2, 2021.

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   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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   ( in effect on the date of
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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Protocol Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  The Guarantee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  Message Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     5.1.  Data Types  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       5.1.1.  int32 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       5.1.2.  uint32  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       5.1.3.  uint64  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       5.1.4.  Tag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
       5.1.5.  Timestamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     5.2.  Header  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   6.  Protocol  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     6.1.  Requests  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     6.2.  Responses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     6.3.  The Merkle Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
       6.3.1.  Root Value Validity Check Algorithm . . . . . . . . .  12
     6.4.  Validity of Response  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   7.  Integration into NTP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   8.  Cheater Detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   9.  Grease  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   10. Roughtime Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   11. Trust Anchors and Policies  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   12. Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   13. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     13.1.  Service Name and Transport Protocol Port Number Registry  15
     13.2.  Roughtime Version Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     13.3.  Roughtime Tag Registry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   14. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   15. Privacy Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   16. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     16.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     16.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   Appendix A.  Terms and Abbreviations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20

1.  Introduction

   Time synchronization is essential to Internet security as many
   security protocols and other applications require synchronization
   [RFC7384] [MCBG].  Unfortunately widely deployed protocols such as
   the Network Time Protocol (NTP) [RFC5905] lack essential security
   features, and even newer protocols like Network Time Security (NTS)

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   [I-D.ietf-ntp-using-nts-for-ntp] fail to ensure that the servers
   behave correctly.  Authenticating time servers prevents network
   adversaries from modifying time packets, but an authenticated time
   server still has full control over the contents of the time packet
   and may go rogue.  The Roughtime protocol provides cryptographic
   proof of malfeasance, enabling clients to detect and prove to a third
   party a server's attempts to influence the time a client computes.

   |   Protocol   | Authenticated Server | Server Malfeasance Evidence |
   | NTP, Chronos |          N           |              N              |
   |   NTP-MD5    |          Y*          |              N              |
   | NTP-Autokey  |         Y**          |              N              |
   |     NTS      |          Y           |              N              |
   |  Roughtime   |          Y           |              Y              |

                 Security Properties of current protocols

                                  Table 1

   Y* For security issues with symmetric-key based NTP-MD5
   authentication, please refer to RFC 8573 [RFC8573].

   Y** For security issues with Autokey Public Key Authentication, refer
   to [Autokey].

   More specifically,

   o  If a server's timestamps do not fit into the time context of other
      servers' responses, then a Roughtime client can cryptographically
      prove this misbehavior to third parties.  This helps detect "bad"

   o  A Roughtime client can roughly detect (with no absolute guarantee)
      a delay attack [DelayAttacks] but can not cryptographically prove
      this to a third party.  However, the absence of proof of
      malfeasance should not be considered a proof of absence of
      malfeasance.  So Roughtime should not be used as a witness that a
      server is overall "good".

   o  Note that delay attacks cannot be detected/stopped by any
      protocol.  Delay attacks can not, however, undermine the security
      guarantees provided by Roughtime.

   o  Although delay attacks cannot be prevented, they can be limited to
      a predetermined upper bound.  This can be done by defining a

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      maximal tolerable Round Trip Time (RTT) value, MAX-RTT, that a
      Roughtime client is willing to accept.  A Roughtime client can
      measure the RTT of every request-response handshake and compare it
      to MAX-RTT.  If the RTT exceeds MAX-RTT, the corresponding server
      is assumed to be a falseticker.  When this approach is used the
      maximal time error that can be caused by a delay attack is MAX-
      RTT/2.  It should be noted that this approach assumes that the
      nature of the system is known to the client, including reasonable
      upper bounds on the RTT value.

2.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

3.  Protocol Overview

   Roughtime is a protocol for rough time synchronization that enables
   clients to provide cryptographic proof of server malfeasance.  It
   does so by having responses from servers include a signature with a
   certificate rooted in a long-term public/private key pair over a
   value derived from a nonce provided by the client in its request.
   This provides cryptographic proof that the timestamp was issued after
   the server received the client's request.  The derived value included
   in the server's response is the root of a Merkle tree which includes
   the hash of the client's nonce as the value of one of its leaf nodes.
   This enables the server to amortize the relatively costly signing
   operation over a number of client requests.

   Single server mode: At its most basic level, Roughtime is a one round
   protocol in which a completely fresh client requests the current time
   and the server sends a signed response.  The response includes a
   timestamp and a radius used to indicate the server's certainty about
   the reported time.  For example, a radius of 1,000,000 microseconds
   means the server is absolutely confident that the true time is within
   one second of the reported time.

   The server proves freshness of its response as follows: The client's
   request contains a nonce.  The server incorporates the nonce into its
   signed response so that the client can verify the server's signatures
   covering the nonce issued by the client.  Provided that the nonce has
   sufficient entropy, this proves that the signed response could only
   have been generated after the nonce.

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   Chaining multiple servers: For subsequent requests, the client
   generates a new nonce by hashing the reply from the previous server
   with a random value (a blind).  This proves that the nonce was
   created after the reply from the previous server.  It sends the new
   nonce in a request to the next server and receives a response that
   includes a signature covering the nonce.

   Cryptographic proof of misbehavior: If the time from the second
   server is before the first, then the client has proof that at least
   one of the servers is misbehaving; the reply from the second server
   implicitly shows that it was created later because of the way that
   the client constructed the nonce.  If the time from the second server
   is too far in the future, the client can contact the first server
   again with a new nonce generated from the second server's response
   and get a signature that was provably created afterwards, but with an
   earlier timestamp.

   With only two servers, the client can end up with proof that
   something is wrong, but no idea what the correct time is.  But with
   half a dozen or more independent servers, the client will end up with
   chain of proof of any server's misbehavior, signed by several others,
   and (presumably) enough accurate replies to establish what the
   correct time is.  Furthermore, this proof may be validated by third
   parties ultimately leading to a revocation of trust in the
   misbehaving server.

4.  The Guarantee

   A Roughtime server guarantees that a response to a query sent at t_1,
   received at t_2, and with timestamp t_3 has been created between the
   transmission of the query and its reception.  If t_3 is not within
   that interval, a server inconsistency may be detected and used to
   impeach the server.  The propagation of such a guarantee and its use
   of type synchronization is discussed in Section 7.  No delay attacker
   may affect this: they may only expand the interval between t_1 and
   t_2, or of course stop the measurement in the first place.

5.  Message Format

   Roughtime messages are maps consisting of one or more (tag, value)
   pairs.  They start with a header, which contains the number of pairs,
   the tags, and value offsets.  The header is followed by a message
   values section which contains the values associated with the tags in
   the header.  Messages MUST be formatted according to Figure 1 as
   described in the following sections.

   Messages may be recursive, i.e. the value of a tag can itself be a
   Roughtime message.

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    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
   |                   Number of pairs (uint32)                    |
   |                                                               |
   .                                                               .
   .                     N-1 offsets (uint32)                      .
   .                                                               .
   |                                                               |
   |                                                               |
   .                                                               .
   .                        N tags (uint32)                        .
   .                                                               .
   |                                                               |
   |                                                               |
   .                                                               .
   .                            Values                             .
   .                                                               .
   |                                                               |

                    Figure 1: Roughtime Message Format

5.1.  Data Types

5.1.1.  int32

   An int32 is a 32 bit signed integer.  It is serialized in sign-
   magitude representation with the sign bit in the most significant
   bit.  It is serialized least significant byte first.  The negative
   zero value (0x80000000) MUST NOT be used.

5.1.2.  uint32

   A uint32 is a 32 bit unsigned integer.  It is serialized with the
   least significant byte first.

5.1.3.  uint64

   A uint64 is a 64 bit unsigned integer.  It is serialized with the
   least significant byte first.

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5.1.4.  Tag

   Tags are used to identify values in Roughtime messages.  A tag is a
   uint32 but may also be listed as a sequence of up to four ASCII
   characters [RFC0020].  ASCII strings shorter than four characters can
   be unambiguously converted to tags by padding them with zero bytes.
   For example, the ASCII string "NONC" would correspond to the tag
   0x434e4f4e and "PAD" would correspond to 0x00444150.

5.1.5.  Timestamp

   A timestamp is a uint64 interpreted in the following way.  The most
   significant 3 bytes contain the integer part of a Modified Julian
   Date (MJD).  The least significant 5 bytes is a count of the number
   of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) microseconds [ITU-R_TF.460-6]
   since midnight on that day.

   The MJD is the number of UTC days since 17 November 1858
   [ITU-R_TF.457-2].  It is useful to note that 1 January 1970 is 40,587
   days after 17 November 1858.

   Note that, unlike NTP, this representation does not use the full
   number of bits in the fractional part and that days with leap seconds
   will have more or fewer than the nominal 86,400,000,000 microseconds.

5.2.  Header

   All Roughtime messages start with a header.  The first four bytes of
   the header is the uint32 number of tags N, and hence of (tag, value)
   pairs.  The following 4*(N-1) bytes are offsets, each a uint32.  The
   last 4*N bytes in the header are tags.

   Offsets refer to the positions of the values in the message values
   section.  All offsets MUST be multiples of four and placed in
   increasing order.  The first post-header byte is at offset 0.  The
   offset array is considered to have a not explicitly encoded value of
   0 as its zeroth entry.  The value associated with the ith tag begins
   at offset[i] and ends at offset[i+1]-1, with the exception of the
   last value which ends at the end of the message.  Values may have
   zero length.

   Tags MUST be listed in the same order as the offsets of their values.
   A tag MUST NOT appear more than once in a header.  Tags MUST also be
   sorted by numeric value.

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6.  Protocol

   As described in Section 3, clients initiate time synchronization by
   sending requests containing a nonce to servers who send signed time
   responses in return.  Roughtime packets can be sent between clients
   and servers either as UDP datagrams or via TCP streams.  Servers
   SHOULD support the UDP transport mode, while TCP transport is

   A Roughtime packet MUST be formatted according to Figure 2 and as
   described here.  The first field is a uint64 with the value
   0x4d49544847554f52 ("ROUGHTIM" in ASCII).  The second field is a
   uint32 and contains the length of the third field.  The third and
   last field contains a Roughtime message as specified in Section 5.1.

    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
   |                  0x4d49544847554f52 (uint64)                  |
   |                        ("ROUGHTIM")                           |
   |                    Message length (uint32)                    |
   |                                                               |
   .                                                               .
   .                      Roughtime message                        .
   .                                                               .
   |                                                               |

                     Figure 2: Roughtime Packet Format

   Roughtime request and response packets MUST be transmitted in a
   single datagram when the UDP transport mode is used.  Setting the
   packet's don't fragment bit [RFC0791] is OPTIONAL in IPv4 networks.

   Multiple requests and responses can be exchanged over an established
   TCP connection.  Clients MAY send multiple requests at once and
   servers MAY send responses out of order.  The connection SHOULD be
   closed by the client when it has no more requests to send and has
   received all expected responses.  Either side SHOULD close the
   connection in response to synchronization, format, implementation-
   defined timeouts, or other errors.

   All requests and responses MUST contain the VER tag.  It contains a
   list of one or more uint32 version numbers.  The version of Roughtime
   specified by this memo has version number 1.

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   For testing drafts of this memo, a version number of 0x80000000 plus
   the draft number is used.

6.1.  Requests

   A request is a Roughtime message with the tags NONC and VER.  Over a
   UDP connection the size of the request message SHOULD be at least
   1024 bytes.  To attain this size the PAD tag SHOULD be added to the
   message.  Tags other than NONC and VER SHOULD be ignored by the
   server.  Responding to requests shorter than 1024 bytes is OPTIONAL
   and servers MUST NOT send responses larger than the requests they are
   replying to.

   The value of the NONC tag is a 64 byte nonce.  It SHOULD be generated
   by hashing a previous Roughtime response message together with a
   blind as described in Section 8.  If no previous responses are
   avaiable to the client, the nonce SHOULD be generated at random.

   In a request, the VER tag contains a list of versions.  The VER tag
   MUST include at least one Roughtime version supported by the client.
   The client MUST ensure that the version numbers and tags included in
   the request are not incompatible with each other or the packet

   The PAD tag SHOULD be used by clients to ensure their request
   messages are at least 1024 bytes in size.  Its value SHOULD be all

6.2.  Responses

   A response MUST contain the tags CERT, INDX, NONC, PATH, SIG, SREP,
   and VER.

   The SIG tag is a signature over the SREP value using the public key
   contained in CERT, as explained below.

   The SREP tag contains a time response.  Its value is a Roughtime
   message with the tags ROOT, MIDP, and RADI.  The server MAY include
   any of the tags DUT1, DTAI and LEAP in the contents of the SREP tag.

   The NONC tag contains the nonce of the message being responded to.

   The ROOT tag contains a 32 byte value of a Merkle tree root as
   described in Section 6.3.

   The MIDP tag value is a timestamp of the moment of processing.

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   The RADI tag value is a uint32 representing the server's estimate of
   the accuracy of MIDP in microseconds.  Servers MUST ensure that the
   true time is within (MIDP-RADI, MIDP+RADI) at the time they compose
   the response message.

   The DUT1 tag value is an int32 indicating the predicted difference
   between UT1 and UTC (UT1 - UTC) in milliseconds as given by the
   International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS).

   The DTAI tag value is an int32 indicating the current difference
   between International Atomic Time (TAI) and UTC (TAI - UTC) in
   milliseconds as published in the International Bureau of Weights and
   Measures' (BIPM) Circular T.

   The LEAP tag contains zero or more int32 values.  Each value
   represents the MJD of a past or future leap second event.  Positive
   values represent the addition of a second at the indicated date and
   negative values represent the removal of a second at the indicated
   (negative) date.  The first item in the list MUST be the last (past
   or future) leap second event that the server knows about.  The leap
   second events MUST be sorted in reverse chronological order.  A leap
   tag with zero int32 values indicates that the server does not hold
   any updated leap second information.

   The SIG tag value is a 64 byte Ed25519 signature [RFC8032] over a
   signature context concatenated with the entire value of a DELE or
   SREP tag.  Signatures of DELE tags MUST use the ASCII string
   "RoughTime v1 delegation signature--" and signatures of SREP tags
   MUST use the ASCII string "RoughTime v1 response signature" as
   signature context.  Both strings MUST include a terminating zero

   The CERT tag contains a public-key certificate signed with the
   server's long-term key.  Its value is a Roughtime message with the
   tags DELE and SIG, where SIG is a signature over the DELE value.

   The DELE tag contains a delegated public-key certificate used by the
   server to sign the SREP tag.  Its value is a Roughtime message with
   the tags MINT, MAXT, and PUBK.  The purpose of the DELE tag is to
   enable separation of a long-term public key from keys on devices
   exposed to the public Internet.

   The MINT tag is the minimum timestamp for which the key in PUBK is
   trusted to sign responses.  MIDP MUST be more than or equal to MINT
   for a response to be considered valid.

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   The MAXT tag is the maximum timestamp for which the key in PUBK is
   trusted to sign responses.  MIDP MUST be less than or equal to MAXT
   for a response to be considered valid.

   The PUBK tag contains a temporary 32 byte Ed25519 public key which is
   used to sign the SREP tag.

   The INDX tag value is a uint32 determining the position of NONC in
   the Merkle tree used to generate the ROOT value as described in
   Section 6.3.

   The PATH tag value is a multiple of 32 bytes long and represents a
   path of 32 byte hash values in the Merkle tree used to generate the
   ROOT value as described in Section 6.3.  In the case where a response
   is prepared for a single request and the Merkle tree contains only
   the root node, the size of PATH is zero.

   In a response, the VER tag MUST contain a single version number.  It
   SHOULD be one of the version numbers supplied by the client in its
   request.  The server MUST ensure that the version number corresponds
   with the rest of the packet contents.

6.3.  The Merkle Tree

   A Merkle tree is a binary tree where the value of each non-leaf node
   is a hash value derived from its two children.  The root of the tree
   is thus dependent on all leaf nodes.

   In Roughtime, each leaf node in the Merkle tree represents the nonce
   of one request that a response message is sent in reply to.  Leaf
   nodes are indexed left to right, beginning with zero.

   The values of all nodes are calculated from the leaf nodes and up
   towards the root node using the first 32 bytes of the output of the
   SHA-512 hash algorithm [SHS].  For leaf nodes, the byte 0x00 is
   prepended to the nonce before applying the hash function.  For all
   other nodes, the byte 0x01 is concatenated with first the left and
   then the right child node value before applying the hash function.

   The value of the Merkle tree's root node is included in the ROOT tag
   of the response.

   The index of a request's nonce node is included in the INDX tag of
   the response.

   The values of all sibling nodes in the path between a request's nonce
   node and the root node is stored in the PATH tag so that the client

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   can reconstruct and validate the value in the ROOT tag using its

6.3.1.  Root Value Validity Check Algorithm

   One starts by computing the hash of the NONC value from the request,
   with 0x00 prepended.  Then one walks from the least significant bit
   of INDX to the most significant bit, and also walks towards the end
   of PATH.

   If PATH ends then the remaining bits of the INDX MUST be all zero.
   This indicates the termination of the walk, and the current value
   MUST equal ROOT if the response is valid.

   If the current bit is 0, one hashes 0x01, the current hash, and the
   value from PATH to derive the next current value.

   If the current bit is 1 one hashes 0x01, the value from PATH, and the
   current hash to derive the next current value.

6.4.  Validity of Response

   A client MUST check the following properties when it receives a
   response.  We assume the long-term server public key is known to the
   client through other means.

   o  The signature in CERT was made with the long-term key of the

   o  The DELE timestamps and the MIDP value are consistent.

   o  The INDX and PATH values prove NONC was included in the Merkle
      tree with value ROOT using the algorithm in Section 6.3.1.

   o  The signature of SREP in SIG validates with the public key in

   A response that passes these checks is said to be valid.  Validity of
   a response does not prove the time is correct, but merely that the
   server signed it, and thus guarantees that it began to compute the
   signature at a time in the interval (MIDP-RADI, MIDP+RADI).

7.  Integration into NTP

   We assume that there is a bound PHI on the frequency error in the
   clock on the machine.  Given a measurement taken at a local time t1,
   we know the true time is in [ t1-delta-sigma, t1-delta+sigma ].
   After d seconds have elapsed we know the true time is within [ t1-

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   delta-sigma-d*PHI, t1-delta+sigma+d*PHI].  A simple and effective way
   to mix with NTP or PTP discipline of the clock is to trim the
   observed intervals in NTP to fit entirely within this window or
   reject measurements that fall to far outside.  This assumes time has
   not been stepped.  If the NTP process decides to step the time, it
   MUST use Roughtime to ensure the new truetime estimate that will be
   stepped to is consistent with the true time.

   Should this window become too large, another Roughtime measurement is
   called for.  The definition of "too large" is implementation defined.

   Implementations MAY use other, more sophisticated means of adjusting
   the clock respecting Roughtime information.

8.  Cheater Detection

   A chain of responses is a series of responses where the SHA-512/256
   hash of the preceding response H, is concatenated with a 64 byte
   blind X, and then SHA-512/256(H, X) is the nonce used in the
   subsequent response.  These may be represented as an array of objects
   in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format [RFC8259] where each
   object may have keys "blind" and "response_packet".  Packet has the
   Base64 [RFC4648] encoded bytes of the packet and blind is the Base64
   encoded blind used for the next nonce.  The last packet needs no

   A pair of responses (r_1, r_2) is invalid if MIDP_1-RADI_1 >
   MIDP_2+RADI_2.  A chain of longer length is invalid if for any i, j
   such that i < j, (r_i, r_j) is an invalid pair.

   Invalidity of a chain is proof that causality has been violated if
   all servers were reporting correct time.  An invalid chain where all
   individual responses are valid is cryptographic proof of malfeasance
   of at least one server: if all servers had the correct time in the
   chain, causality would imply that MIDP_1-RADI_1 < MIDP_2+RADI_2.

   In conducting the comparison of timestamps one must know the length
   of a day and hence have historical leap second data for the days in
   question.  However if violations are greater then a second the loss
   of leap second data doesn't impede their detection.

9.  Grease

   Servers MAY send back a fraction of responses that are syntactically
   invalid or contain invalid signatures as well as incorrect times.
   Clients MUST properly reject such responses.  Servers MUST NOT send
   back responses with incorrect times and valid signatures.  Either
   signature MAY be invalid for this application.

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10.  Roughtime Servers

   The below list contains a list of servers with their public keys in
   Base64 format.  These servers may implement older versions of this

   port:          2002
   long-term key: gD63hSj3ScS+wuOeGrubXlq35N1c5Lby/S+T7MNTjxo=

   port:          2002
   long-term key: AW5uAoTSTDfG5NfY1bTh08GUnOqlRb+HVhbJ3ODJvsE=

   port:          2002
   long-term key: etPaaIxcBMY1oUeGpwvPMCJMwlRVNxv51KK/tktoJTQ=

   port:          2002
   long-term key: S3AzfZJ5CjSdkJ21ZJGbxqdYP/SoE8fXKY0+aicsehI=

11.  Trust Anchors and Policies

   A trust anchor is any distributor of a list of trusted servers.  It
   is RECOMMENDED that trust anchors subscribe to a common public forum
   where evidence of malfeasance may be shared and discussed.  Trust
   anchors SHOULD subscribe to a zero-tolerance policy: any generation
   of incorrect timestamps will result in removal.  To enable this trust
   anchors SHOULD list a wide variety of servers so the removal of a
   server does not result in operational issues for clients.  Clients
   SHOULD attempt to detect malfeasance and have a way to report it to
   trust anchors.

   Because only a single Roughtime server is required for successful
   synchronization, Roughtime does not have the incentive problems that
   have prevented effective enforcement of discipline on the web PKI.
   We expect that some clients will aggressively monitor server

12.  Acknowledgements

   Marcus Dansarie contributed many fruitful ideas.  Thomas Peterson
   corrected multiple nits.  Peter Loethberg (Lothberg), Tal Mizrahi,
   Ragnar Sundblad, Kristof Teichel, and the other members of the NTP
   working group contributed comments and suggestions.

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13.  IANA Considerations

13.1.  Service Name and Transport Protocol Port Number Registry

   IANA is requested to allocate the following entry in the Service Name
   and Transport Protocol Port Number Registry [RFC6335]:

      Service Name: Roughtime

      Transport Protocol: tcp,udp

      Assignee: IESG <>

      Contact: IETF Chair <>

      Description: Roughtime time synchronization

      Reference: [[this memo]]

      Port Number: [[TBD1]], selected by IANA from the User Port range

13.2.  Roughtime Version Registry

   IANA is requested to create a new registry entitled " Roughtime
   Version Registry " Entries shall have the following fields:

      Version (REQUIRED): a 32-bit unsigned integer

      Reference (REQUIRED): the description of the version

   The policy for allocation of new entries SHOULD be IETF consensus.
   Versions with the high bit set are reserved.

   The initial contents of this registry shall be as follows:

                        | Version | Reference     |
                        | 1       | [[this memo]] |

13.3.  Roughtime Tag Registry

   IANA is requested to create a new registry entitled "Roughtime Tag
   Registry".  Entries SHALL have the following fields:

      Tag (REQUIRED): A 32-bit unsigned integer in hexadecimal format.

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      ASCII Representation (OPTIONAL): The ASCII representation of the
      tag in accordance with Section 5.1.4 of this memo, if applicable.

      Reference (REQUIRED): A reference to a relevant specification

   The policy for allocation of new entries in this registry SHOULD be:
   Specification Required.

   The initial contents of this registry SHALL be as follows:

           | Tag        | ASCII Representation | Reference     |
           | 0x00444150 | PAD                  | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x00474953 | SIG                  | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x00524556 | VER                  | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x31545544 | DUT1                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x434e4f48 | NONC                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x454c4544 | DELE                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x48544150 | PATH                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x49415444 | DTAI                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x49444152 | RADI                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x4b425550 | PUBK                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x5041454c | LEAP                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x5044494d | MIDP                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x50455253 | SREP                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x544e494d | MINT                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x544f4f52 | ROOT                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x54524543 | CERT                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x5458414d | MAXT                 | [[this memo]] |
           | 0x58444e49 | INDX                 | [[this memo]] |

14.  Security Considerations

   Since the only supported signature scheme, Ed25519, is not quantum
   resistant, this protocol will not survive the advent of quantum

   Maintaining a list of trusted servers and adjudicating violations of
   the rules by servers is not discussed in this document and is
   essential for security.  Roughtime clients MUST update their view of
   which servers are trustworthy in order to benefit from the detection
   of misbehavior.

   Validating timestamps made on different dates requires knowledge of
   leap seconds in order to calculate time intervals correctly.

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   Servers carry out a significant amount of computation in response to
   clients, and thus may experience vulnerability to denial of service

   This protocol does not provide any confidentiality, and given the
   nature of timestamps such impact is minor.

   The compromise of a PUBK's private key, even past MAXT, is a problem
   as the private key can be used to sign invalid times that are in the
   range MINT to MAXT, and thus violate the good behavior guarantee of
   the server.

   Servers MUST NOT send response packets larger than the request
   packets sent by clients, in order to prevent amplification attacks.

15.  Privacy Considerations

   This protocol is designed to obscure all client identifiers.  Servers
   necessarily have persistent long-term identities essential to
   enforcing correct behavior.  Generating nonces from previous
   responses without using a blind can enable tracking of clients as
   they move between networks.

16.  References

16.1.  Normative References

              ITU-R, "Use of the Modified Julian Date by the Standard-
              Frequency and Time-Signal Services", ITU-R
              Recommendation TF.457-2, October 1997.

              ITU-R, "Standard-Frequency and Time-Signal Emissions",
              ITU-R Recommendation TF.460-6, February 2002.

   [RFC0020]  Cerf, V., "ASCII format for network interchange", STD 80,
              RFC 20, DOI 10.17487/RFC0020, October 1969,

   [RFC4648]  Josefsson, S., "The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data
              Encodings", RFC 4648, DOI 10.17487/RFC4648, October 2006,

   [RFC6234]  Eastlake 3rd, D. and T. Hansen, "US Secure Hash Algorithms
              (SHA and SHA-based HMAC and HKDF)", RFC 6234,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6234, May 2011,

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   [RFC6335]  Cotton, M., Eggert, L., Touch, J., Westerlund, M., and S.
              Cheshire, "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
              Procedures for the Management of the Service Name and
              Transport Protocol Port Number Registry", BCP 165,
              RFC 6335, DOI 10.17487/RFC6335, August 2011,

   [RFC8032]  Josefsson, S. and I. Liusvaara, "Edwards-Curve Digital
              Signature Algorithm (EdDSA)", RFC 8032,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8032, January 2017,

   [RFC8259]  Bray, T., Ed., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data
              Interchange Format", STD 90, RFC 8259,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8259, December 2017,

   [SHS]      NIST, "Secure Hash Standard", FIPS 180-4, August 2015.

16.2.  Informative References

   [Autokey]  Rottger, S., "Analysis of the NTP Autokey Procedures",
              2012, <>.

              Mizrahi, T., "A Game Theoretic Analysis of Delay Attacks
              Against Time Synchronization Protocols",
              DOI 10.1109/ISPCS.2012.6336612, 2012,

              Franke, D., Sibold, D., Teichel, K., Dansarie, M., and R.
              Sundblad, "Network Time Security for the Network Time
              Protocol", draft-ietf-ntp-using-nts-for-ntp-25 (work in
              progress), March 2020.

   [MCBG]     Malhotra, A., Cohen, I., Brakke, E., and S. Goldberg,
              "Attacking the Network Time Protocol", 2015,

   [RFC0768]  Postel, J., "User Datagram Protocol", STD 6, RFC 768,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0768, August 1980,

   [RFC0791]  Postel, J., "Internet Protocol", STD 5, RFC 791,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0791, September 1981,

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   [RFC0793]  Postel, J., "Transmission Control Protocol", STD 7,
              RFC 793, DOI 10.17487/RFC0793, September 1981,

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC5905]  Mills, D., Martin, J., Ed., Burbank, J., and W. Kasch,
              "Network Time Protocol Version 4: Protocol and Algorithms
              Specification", RFC 5905, DOI 10.17487/RFC5905, June 2010,

   [RFC7384]  Mizrahi, T., "Security Requirements of Time Protocols in
              Packet Switched Networks", RFC 7384, DOI 10.17487/RFC7384,
              October 2014, <>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <>.

   [RFC8573]  Malhotra, A. and S. Goldberg, "Message Authentication Code
              for the Network Time Protocol", RFC 8573,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8573, June 2019,

Appendix A.  Terms and Abbreviations

   ASCII   American Standard Code for Information Interchange

   IANA    Internet Assigned Numbers Authority

   JSON    JavaScript Object Notation [RFC8259]

   MJD     Modified Julian Date

   NTP     Network Time Protocol [RFC5905]

   NTS     Network Time Security [I-D.ietf-ntp-using-nts-for-ntp]

   TAI     International Atomic Time (Temps Atomique International)

   TCP     Transmission Control Protocol [RFC0793]

   UDP     User Datagram Protocol [RFC0768]

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   UT      Universal Time [ITU-R_TF.460-6]

   UTC     Coordinated Universal Time [ITU-R_TF.460-6]

Authors' Addresses

   Aanchal Malhotra
   Boston University
   111 Cummington Mall
   Boston  02215


   Adam Langley


   Watson Ladd
   101 Townsend St
   San Francisco


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