UTA                                                           Y. Sheffer
Internet-Draft                                                  Porticor
Intended status: Best Current Practice                           R. Holz
Expires: May 15, 2015                                                TUM
                                                          P. Saint-Andre
                                                       November 11, 2014

             Recommendations for Secure Use of TLS and DTLS


   Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security
   (DTLS) are widely used to protect data exchanged over application
   protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, IMAP, POP, SIP, and XMPP.  Over the
   last few years, several serious attacks on TLS have emerged,
   including attacks on its most commonly used cipher suites and modes
   of operation.  This document provides recommendations for improving
   the security of deployed services that use TLS and DTLS.  The
   recommendations are applicable to the majority of use cases.

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
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   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."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 15, 2015.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 1]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  General Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.1.  Protocol Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
       3.1.1.  SSL/TLS Protocol Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
       3.1.2.  DTLS Protocol Versions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
       3.1.3.  Fallback to Lower Versions  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2.  Strict TLS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.3.  Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.4.  TLS Session Resumption  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     3.5.  TLS Renegotiation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     3.6.  Server Name Indication  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   4.  Recommendations: Cipher Suites  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     4.1.  General Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     4.2.  Recommended Cipher Suites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
       4.2.1.  Implementation Details  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     4.3.  Public Key Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     4.4.  Modular vs. Elliptic Curve DH Cipher Suites . . . . . . .  11
     4.5.  Truncated HMAC  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   5.  Applicability Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     5.1.  Security Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     5.2.  Unauthenticated TLS and Opportunistic Encryption  . . . .  13
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     7.1.  Host Name Validation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     7.2.  AES-GCM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     7.3.  Forward Secrecy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     7.4.  Diffie-Hellman Exponent Reuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     7.5.  Certificate Revocation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   8.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   Appendix A.  Change Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     A.1.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-07 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     A.2.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-06 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     A.3.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-05 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     A.4.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-04 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
     A.5.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-03 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 2]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

     A.6.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-02 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
     A.7.  draft-ietf-tls-bcp-01 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
     A.8.  draft-ietf-tls-bcp-00 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     A.9.  draft-sheffer-tls-bcp-02  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     A.10. draft-sheffer-tls-bcp-01  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     A.11. draft-sheffer-tls-bcp-00  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24

1.  Introduction

   Transport Layer Security (TLS) [RFC5246] and Datagram Transport
   Security Layer (DTLS) [RFC6347] are widely used to protect data
   exchanged over application protocols such as HTTP, SMTP, IMAP, POP,
   SIP, and XMPP.  Over the last few years, several serious attacks on
   TLS have emerged, including attacks on its most commonly used cipher
   suites and modes of operation.  For instance, both the AES-CBC
   [RFC3602] and RC4 [I-D.ietf-tls-prohibiting-rc4] encryption
   algorithms, which together are the most widely deployed ciphers, have
   been attacked in the context of TLS.  A companion document
   [I-D.ietf-uta-tls-attacks] provides detailed information about these

   Because of these attacks, those who implement and deploy TLS and DTLS
   need updated guidance on how TLS can be used securely.  This document
   provides guidance for deployed services as well as for software
   implementations, assuming the implementer expects his or her code to
   be deployed in environments defined in the following section.  In
   fact, this document calls for the deployment of algorithms that are
   widely implemented but not yet widely deployed.  Concerning
   deployment, this document targets a wide audience, namely all
   deployers who wish to add authentication (be it one-way only or
   mutual), confidentiality, and data integrity protection to their

   The recommendations herein take into consideration the security of
   various mechanisms, their technical maturity and interoperability,
   and their prevalence in implementations at the time of writing.
   Unless it is explicitly called out that a recommendation applies to
   TLS alone or to DTLS alone, each recommendation applies to both TLS
   and DTLS.

   It is expected that the TLS 1.3 specification will resolve many of
   the vulnerabilities listed in this document.  A system that deploys
   TLS 1.3 will have fewer vulnerabilities than TLS 1.2 or below.  This
   document is likely to be updated after TLS 1.3 gets noticeable

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 3]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   These are minimum recommendations for the use of TLS in the vast
   majority of implementation and deployment scenarios, with the
   exception of unauthenticated TLS (see Section 5).  Other
   specifications that reference this document can have stricter
   requirements related to one or more aspects of the protocol, based on
   their particular circumstances (e.g., for use with a particular
   application protocol); when that is the case, implementers are
   advised to adhere to those stricter requirements.

   Community knowledge about the strength of various algorithms and
   feasible attacks can change quickly, and experience shows that a
   security BCP is a point-in-time statement.  Readers are advised to
   seek out any errata or updates that apply to this document.

2.  Terminology

   A number of security-related terms in this document are used in the
   sense defined in [RFC4949].

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

3.  General Recommendations

   This section provides general recommendations on the secure use of
   TLS.  Recommendations related to cipher suites are discussed in the
   following section.

3.1.  Protocol Versions

3.1.1.  SSL/TLS Protocol Versions

   It is important both to stop using old, less secure versions of SSL/
   TLS and to start using modern, more secure versions; therefore, the
   following are the recommendations concerning TLS/SSL protocol

   o  Implementations MUST NOT negotiate SSL version 2.

      Rationale: Today, SSLv2 is considered insecure [RFC6176].

   o  Implementations MUST NOT negotiate SSL version 3.

      Rationale: SSLv3 [RFC6101] was an improvement over SSLv2 and
      plugged some significant security holes, but did not support
      strong cipher suites.  SSLv3 does not support TLS extensions, some
      of which (e.g., renegotiation_info) are security-critical.  In

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 4]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

      addition, with the emergence of the POODLE attack [POODLE], SSLv3
      is now widely recognized as fundamentally insecure.

   o  Implementations SHOULD NOT negotiate TLS version 1.0 [RFC2246].

      Rationale: TLS 1.0 (published in 1999) does not support many
      modern, strong cipher suites.

   o  Implementations MAY negotiate TLS version 1.1 [RFC4346].

      Rationale: TLS 1.1 (published in 2006) is a security improvement
      over TLS 1.0, but still does not support certain stronger cipher

   o  Implementations MUST support, and prefer to negotiate, TLS version
      1.2 [RFC5246].

      Rationale: Several stronger cipher suites are available only with
      TLS 1.2 (published in 2008).  In fact, the cipher suites
      recommended by this document (Section 4.2 below) are only
      available in TLS 1.2.

   This BCP applies to TLS 1.2.  It is not safe for readers to assume
   that the recommendations in this BCP apply to any future version of

3.1.2.  DTLS Protocol Versions

   DTLS, an adaptation of TLS for UDP datagrams, was introduced when TLS
   1.1 was published.  The following are the recommendations with
   respect to DTLS:

   o  Implementations MAY negotiate DTLS version 1.0 [RFC4347].

      Version 1.0 of DTLS correlates to version 1.1 of TLS (see above).

   o  Implementations MUST support, and prefer to negotiate, DTLS
      version 1.2 [RFC6347].

      Version 1.2 of DTLS correlates to Version 1.2 of TLS 1.2 (see
      above).  (There is no Version 1.1 of DTLS.)

3.1.3.  Fallback to Lower Versions

   Clients that "fallback" to lower versions of the protocol after the
   server rejects higher versions of the protocol MUST NOT fallback to

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 5]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   Rationale: Some client implementations revert to lower versions of
   TLS or even to SSLv3 if the server rejected higher versions of the
   protocol.  This fallback can be forced by a man in the middle (MITM)
   attacker.  TLS 1.0 and SSLv3 are significantly less secure than TLS
   1.2, the version recommended by this document.  While TLS 1.0-only
   servers are still quite common, IP scans show that SSLv3-only servers
   amount to only about 3% of the current Web server population.

3.2.  Strict TLS

   To prevent SSL Stripping:

   o  In cases where an application protocol allows implementations or
      deployments a choice between strict TLS configuration and dynamic
      upgrade from unencrypted to TLS-protected traffic (such as
      STARTTLS), clients and servers SHOULD prefer strict TLS

   o  In many application protocols, clients can be configured to use
      TLS no matter whether the server offers TLS during a protocol
      exchange or advertises support for TLS (e.g., through a flag
      indicating that TLS is required).  Application clients SHOULD use
      TLS by default, and disable this default only through explicit
      configuration by the user.

   o  HTTP client and server implementations MUST support the HTTP
      Strict Transport Security (HSTS) header [RFC6797], in order to
      allow Web servers to advertise that they are willing to accept
      TLS-only clients.

   o  When applicable, Web servers SHOULD use HSTS to indicate that they
      are willing to accept TLS-only clients.

   Rationale: Combining unprotected and TLS-protected communication
   opens the way to SSL Stripping and similar attacks, since an initial
   part of the communication is not integrity protected and therefore
   can be manipulated by an attacker whose goal is to keep the
   communication in the clear.

3.3.  Compression

   Implementations and deployments SHOULD disable TLS-level compression
   ([RFC5246], Section 6.2.2).

   Rationale: TLS compression has been subject to security attacks, such
   as the CRIME attack.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 6]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   Implementers should note that compression at higher protocol levels
   can allow an active attacker to extract cleartext information from
   the connection.  The BREACH attack is one such case.  These issues
   can only be mitigated outside of TLS and are thus out of scope of the
   current document.  See Section 2.5 of [I-D.ietf-uta-tls-attacks] for
   further details.

3.4.  TLS Session Resumption

   If TLS session resumption is used, care ought to be taken to do so
   safely.  In particular, when using session tickets [RFC5077], the
   resumption information MUST be authenticated and encrypted to prevent
   modification or eavesdropping by an attacker.  Further
   recommendations apply to session tickets:

   o  A strong cipher suite MUST be used when encrypting the ticket (as
      least as strong as the main TLS cipher suite).

   o  Ticket keys MUST be changed regularly, e.g., once every week, so
      as not to negate the benefits of forward secrecy (see Section 7.3
      for details on forward secrecy).

   o  Session ticket validity SHOULD be limited to a reasonable duration
      (e.g., 1 day), for similar reasons.

   Rationale: session resumption is another kind of TLS handshake, and
   therefore must be as secure as the initial handshake.  This document
   (Section 4) recommends the use of cipher suites that provide forward
   secrecy, i.e. that prevent an attacker who gains momentary access to
   the TLS endpoint (either client or server) and its secrets from
   reading either past or future communication.  The tickets must be
   managed so as not to negate this security property.

3.5.  TLS Renegotiation

   Where handshake renegotiation is implemented, both clients and
   servers MUST implement the renegotiation_info extension, as defined
   in [RFC5746].

   To counter the Triple Handshake attack, we adopt the recommendation
   from [triple-handshake]: TLS clients SHOULD ensure that all
   certificates received over a connection are valid for the current
   server endpoint, and abort the handshake if they are not.  In some
   usages, it may be simplest to refuse any change of certificates
   during renegotiation.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 7]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

3.6.  Server Name Indication

   TLS implementations MUST support the Server Name Indication (SNI)
   extension for those higher level protocols which would benefit from
   it, including HTTPS.  However, unlike implementation, the use of SNI
   in particular circumstances is a matter of local policy.

   Rationale: SNI supports deployment of multiple TLS-protected virtual
   servers on a single address, and therefore enables fine-grained
   security for these virtual servers, by allowing each one to have its
   own certificate.

4.  Recommendations: Cipher Suites

   TLS and its implementations provide considerable flexibility in the
   selection of cipher suites.  Unfortunately, some available cipher
   suites are insecure, some do not provide the targeted security
   services, and some no longer provide enough security.  Incorrectly
   configuring a server leads to no or reduced security.  This section
   includes recommendations on the selection and negotiation of cipher

4.1.  General Guidelines

   Cryptographic algorithms weaken over time as cryptanalysis improves.
   In other words, as time progresses, algorithms that were once
   considered strong but are now weak, need to be phased out over time
   and replaced with more secure cipher suites to ensure that desired
   security properties still hold.  SSL/TLS has been in existence for
   almost 20 years at this point and this section provides some much
   needed recommendations concerning cipher suite selection:

   o  Implementations MUST NOT negotiate the cipher suites with NULL

      Rationale: The NULL cipher suites do not encrypt traffic and so
      provide no confidentiality services.  Any entity in the network
      with access to the connection can view the plaintext of contents
      being exchanged by the client and server.

   o  Implementations MUST NOT negotiate RC4 cipher suites.

      Rationale: The RC4 stream cipher has a variety of cryptographic
      weaknesses, as documented in [I-D.ietf-tls-prohibiting-rc4].  We
      note that this guideline does not apply to DTLS, which
      specifically forbids the use of RC4.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 8]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   o  Implementations MUST NOT negotiate cipher suites offering less
      than 112 bits of security, including the so-called "export-level"
      encryption (which provide 40 or 56 bits of security).

      Rationale: Based on [RFC3766], at least 112 bits of security is
      needed.  40-bit and 56-bit security are considered insecure today.
      TLS 1.1 and 1.2 never negotiate 40-bit or 56-bit export ciphers.

   o  Implementations SHOULD NOT negotiate cipher suites that use
      algorithms offering less than 128 bits of security.

      Rationale: Cipher suites that offer between 112-bits and 128-bits
      of security are not considered weak at this time, however it is
      expected that their useful lifespan is short enough to justify
      supporting stronger cipher suites at this time.  128-bit ciphers
      are expected to remain secure for at least several years, and
      256-bit ciphers "until the next fundamental technology
      breakthrough".  Note that some legacy cipher suites (e.g., 168-bit
      3DES) have an effective key length which is smaller than their
      nominal key length (112 bits in the case of 3DES).  Such cipher
      suites should be evaluated according to their effective key

   o  Implementations MUST support, and SHOULD prefer to negotiate,
      cipher suites offering forward secrecy, such as those in the
      Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman and Elliptic Curve Ephemeral Diffie-
      Hellman ("DHE" and "ECDHE") families.

      Rationale: Forward secrecy (sometimes called "perfect forward
      secrecy") prevents the recovery of information that was encrypted
      with older session keys, thus limiting the amount of time during
      which attacks can be successful.  See Section 7.3 for a detailed

4.2.  Recommended Cipher Suites

   Given the foregoing considerations, implementation and deployment of
   the following cipher suites is RECOMMENDED:





Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                  [Page 9]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   These cipher suites are supported only in TLS 1.2 since they are
   authenticated encryption (AEAD) algorithms [RFC5116].

   Typically, in order to prefer these suites, the order of suites needs
   to be explicitly configured in server software.

4.2.1.  Implementation Details

   Clients SHOULD include TLS_ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 as the
   first proposal to any server, unless they have prior knowledge that
   the server cannot respond to a TLS 1.2 client_hello message.

   Servers SHOULD prefer this cipher suite whenever it is proposed, even
   if it is not the first proposal.

   Clients are of course free to offer stronger cipher suites, e.g.,
   using AES-256; when they do, the server SHOULD prefer the stronger
   cipher suite unless there are compelling reasons (e.g., seriously
   degraded performance) to choose otherwise.

   This document is not an application profile standard, in the sense of
   Section 9 of [RFC5246].  As a result, clients and servers are still
   REQUIRED to support the mandatory TLS cipher suite,

   Note that some profiles of TLS 1.2 use different cipher suites.  For
   example, [RFC6460] defines a profile that uses the
   TLS_ECDHE_ECDSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384 cipher suites.

   [RFC4492] allows clients and servers to negotiate ECDH parameters
   (curves).  Both clients and servers SHOULD include the "Supported
   Elliptic Curves" extension [RFC4492].  For interoperability, clients
   and servers SHOULD support the NIST P-256 (secp256r1) curve
   [RFC4492].  In addition, clients SHOULD send an ec_point_formats
   extension with a single element, "uncompressed".

4.3.  Public Key Length

   When using the cipher suites recommended in this document, two public
   keys are normally used in the TLS handshake: one for the Diffie-
   Hellman key agreement and one for server authentication.  Where a
   client certificate is used, a third public key is added.

   With a key exchange based on modular Diffie-Hellman ("DHE" cipher
   suites), DH key lengths of at least 2048 bits are RECOMMENDED.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 10]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   Rationale: For various reasons, in practice DH keys are typically
   generated in lengths that are powers of two (e.g., 2^10 = 1024 bits,
   2^11 = 2048 bits, 2^12 = 4096 bits).  Because a DH key of 1228 bits
   would be roughly equivalent to only an 80-bit symmetric key
   [RFC3766], it is better to use keys longer than that for the "DHE"
   family of cipher suites.  A DH key of 1926 bits would be roughly
   equivalent to a 100-bit symmetric key [RFC3766] and a DH key of 2048
   bits might be sufficient for at least the next 10 years.  See
   Section 4.4 for additional information on the use of modular Diffie-
   Hellman in TLS.

   As noted in [RFC3766], correcting for the emergence of a TWIRL
   machine would imply that 1024-bit DH keys yield about 65 bits of
   equivalent strength and that a 2048-bit DH key would yield about 92
   bits of equivalent strength.

   Servers SHOULD authenticate using at least 2048-bit certificates.  In
   addition, the use of SHA-256 fingerprints is RECOMMENDED (see
   [CAB-Baseline] for more details).  Clients SHOULD indicate to servers
   that they request SHA-256, by using the "Signature Algorithms"
   extension defined in TLS 1.2.

4.4.  Modular vs. Elliptic Curve DH Cipher Suites

   Not all TLS implementations support both modular and EC Diffie-
   Hellman groups, as required by Section 4.2.  Some implementations are
   severely limited in the length of DH values.  When such
   implementations need to be accommodated, we recommend using (in
   priority order):

   1.  Elliptic Curve DHE with negotiated parameters [RFC5289]

   2.  TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256 [RFC5288], with 2048-bit
       Diffie-Hellman parameters

   3.  TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256, with 1024-bit parameters.

   Rationale: Elliptic Curve Cryptography is not universally deployed
   for several reasons, including its complexity compared to modular
   arithmetic and longstanding perceptions of IPR concerns (which, for
   the most part, have now been resolved [RFC6090]).  On the other hand,
   there are two related issues hindering effective use of modular
   Diffie-Hellman cipher suites in TLS:

   o  There are no protocol mechanisms to negotiate the DH groups or
      parameter lengths supported by client and server.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 11]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   o  There are widely deployed client implementations that reject
      received DH parameters if they are longer than 1024 bits.

   We note that with DHE and ECDHE cipher suites, the TLS master key
   only depends on the Diffie-Hellman parameters and not on the strength
   of the RSA certificate; moreover, 1024 bit modular DH parameters are
   generally considered insufficient at this time.

   With modular ephemeral DH, deployers SHOULD carefully evaluate
   interoperability vs. security considerations when configuring their
   TLS endpoints.

4.5.  Truncated HMAC

   Implementations MUST NOT use the Truncated HMAC extension, defined in
   Section 7 of [RFC6066].

   Rationale: the extension does not apply to the AEAD cipher suites
   recommended above.  However it does apply to most other TLS cipher
   suites.  Its use has been shown to be insecure in [PatersonRS11].

5.  Applicability Statement

   The deployment recommendations of this document address the operators
   of application layer services that are most commonly used on the
   Internet, including, but not limited to:

   o  Operators of web servers that wish to protect HTTP with TLS.

   o  Operators of email servers who wish to protect the application-
      layer protocols with TLS (e.g., IMAP, POP3 or SMTP).

   o  Operators of instant-messaging services who wish to protect their
      application-layer protocols with TLS (e.g., XMPP or IRC).

5.1.  Security Services

   This document provides recommendations for an audience that wishes to
   secure their communication with TLS to achieve the following:

   o  Confidentiality: all application-layer communication is encrypted
      with the goal that no party should be able to decrypt it except
      the intended receiver.

   o  Data integrity: any changes made to the communication in transit
      are detectable by the receiver.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 12]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   o  Authentication: an end-point of the TLS communication is
      authenticated as the intended entity to communicate with.

   With regard to authentication, TLS enables authentication of one or
   both end-points in the communication.  Although some TLS usage
   scenarios do not require authentication, those scenarios are not in
   scope for this document (a rationale for this decision is provided
   under Section 5.2).

   If deployers deviate from the recommendations given in this document,
   they MUST verify that they do not need one of the foregoing security

   This document applies only to environments where confidentiality is
   required.  It recommends algorithms and configuration options that
   enforce secrecy of the data-in-transit.

   This document also assumes that data integrity protection is always
   one of the goals of a deployment.  In cases where integrity is not
   required, it does not make sense to employ TLS in the first place.
   There are attacks against confidentiality-only protection that
   utilize the lack of integrity to also break confidentiality (see for
   instance [DegabrieleP07] in the context of IPsec).

   The intended audience covers those services that are most commonly
   used on the Internet.  Typically, all communication between TLS
   clients and TLS servers requires all three of the above security
   services.  This is particularly true where TLS clients are user
   agents like Web browsers or email software.

   This document does not address the rarer deployment scenarios where
   one of the above three properties is not desired, such as the use
   case described under Section 5.2 below.  Another example of an
   audience not needing confidentiality is the following: a monitored
   network where the authorities in charge of the respective traffic
   domain require full access to unencrypted (plaintext) traffic, and
   where users collaborate and send their traffic in the clear.

5.2.  Unauthenticated TLS and Opportunistic Encryption

   Several important applications use TLS to protect data between a TLS
   client and a TLS server, but do so without the TLS client necessarily
   verifying the server's certificate.  This practice is often called
   "unauthenticated TLS".  The reader is referred to
   [I-D.ietf-dane-smtp-with-dane] for an example and an explanation of
   why this less secure practice will likely remain common in the
   context of SMTP (especially for MTA-to-MTA communications).  The
   practice is also encountered in similar contexts such as server-to-

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 13]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   server traffic on the XMPP network (where multi-tenant hosting
   environments make it difficult for operators to obtain proper
   certificates for all of the domains they service).

   Furthermore, in some scenarios the use of TLS itself is optional,
   i.e. the client decides dynamically ("opportunistically") whether to
   use TLS with a particular server or to connect in the clear.  This
   practice, often called "opportunistic encryption", and is described
   at length in Section 2 of [I-D.farrelll-mpls-opportunistic-encrypt].

   It can be argued that the recommendations provided in this document
   ought to apply equally to unauthenticated TLS as well as
   authenticated TLS.  That would keep TLS implementations and
   deployments in sync, which is a desirable property given that servers
   can be used simultaneously for unauthenticated TLS and for
   authenticated TLS (indeed, a server cannot know whether a client
   might attempt authenticated or unauthenticated TLS).  On the other
   hand, it has been argued that some of the recommendations in this
   document might be too strict for unauthenticated scenarios and that
   any security is better than no security at all (i.e., sending traffic
   in the clear), even if it means deploying outdated protocol versions
   and ciphers in unauthenticated scenarios.  The sense of the UTA
   Working Group was to complete work on this document about
   authenticated TLS and to initiate work on a separate document about
   unauthenticated TLS.

   In summary: this document does not apply to unauthenticated TLS use

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document requests no actions of IANA.  [Note to RFC Editor:
   please remove this whole section before publication.]

7.  Security Considerations

   This entire document discusses the security practices directly
   affecting applications using the TLS protocol.  This section contains
   broader security considerations related to technologies used in
   conjunction with or by TLS.

7.1.  Host Name Validation

   Application authors should take note that TLS implementations
   frequently do not validate host names and must therefore determine if
   the TLS implementation they are using does and, if not, write their
   own validation code or consider changing the TLS implementation.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 14]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   It is noted that the requirements regarding host name validation (and
   in general, binding between the TLS layer and the protocol that runs
   above it) vary between different protocols.  For HTTPS, these
   requirements are defined by Section 3 of [RFC2818].

   Readers are referred to [RFC6125] for further details regarding
   generic host name validation in the TLS context.  In addition, the
   RFC contains a long list of example protocols, some of which
   implement a policy very different from HTTPS.

   If the host name is discovered indirectly and in an insecure manner
   (e.g., by an insecure DNS query for an MX or SRV record), it SHOULD
   NOT be used as a reference identifier [RFC6125] even when it matches
   the presented certificate.  This proviso does not apply if the host
   name is discovered securely (for further discussion, see for example
   [I-D.ietf-dane-srv] and [I-D.ietf-dane-smtp-with-dane]).

   Host name validation typically applies only to the leaf "end entity"
   certificate.  Naturally, in order to ensure proper authentication in
   the context of the PKI, application clients need to verify the entire
   certification path in accordance with [RFC5280] (see also [RFC6125]).

7.2.  AES-GCM

   Section 4.2 above recommends the use of the AES-GCM authenticated
   encryption algorithm.  Please refer to [RFC5246], Section 11 for
   general security considerations when using TLS 1.2, and to [RFC5288],
   Section 6 for security considerations that apply specifically to AES-
   GCM when used with TLS.

7.3.  Forward Secrecy

   Forward secrecy (also often called Perfect Forward Secrecy or "PFS"
   and defined in [RFC4949]) is a defense against an attacker who
   records encrypted conversations where the session keys are only
   encrypted with the communicating parties' long-term keys.  Should the
   attacker be able to obtain these long-term keys at some point later
   in time, he will be able to decrypt the session keys and thus the
   entire conversation.  In the context of TLS and DTLS, such compromise
   of long-term keys is not entirely implausible.  It can happen, for
   example, due to:

   o  A client or server being attacked by some other attack vector, and
      the private key retrieved.

   o  A long-term key retrieved from a device that has been sold or
      otherwise decommissioned without prior wiping.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 15]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   o  A long-term key used on a device as a default key [Heninger2012].

   o  A key generated by a Trusted Third Party like a CA, and later
      retrieved from it either by extortion or compromise

   o  A cryptographic break-through, or the use of asymmetric keys with
      insufficient length [Kleinjung2010].

   Forward secrecy ensures in such cases that the session keys cannot be
   determined even by an attacker who obtains the long-term keys some
   time after the conversation.  It also protects against an attacker
   who is in possession of the long-term keys, but remains passive
   during the conversation.

   Forward secrecy is generally achieved by using the Diffie-Hellman
   scheme to derive session keys.  The Diffie-Hellman scheme has both
   parties maintain private secrets and send parameters over the network
   as modular powers over certain cyclic groups.  The properties of the
   so-called Discrete Logarithm Problem (DLP) allow to derive the
   session keys without an eavesdropper being able to do so.  There is
   currently no known attack against DLP if sufficiently large
   parameters are chosen.  A variant of the Diffie-Hellman scheme uses
   Elliptic Curves instead of the originally proposed modular

   Unfortunately, many TLS/DTLS cipher suites were defined that do not
   feature forward secrecy, e.g., TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256.  We
   thus advocate strict use of forward-secrecy-only ciphers.

7.4.  Diffie-Hellman Exponent Reuse

   For performance reasons, many TLS implementations reuse Diffie-
   Hellman and Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman exponents across multiple
   connections.  Such reuse can result in major security issues:

   o  If exponents are reused for a long time (e.g., more than a few
      hours), an attacker who gains access to the host can decrypt
      previous connections.  In other words, exponent reuse negates the
      effects of forward secrecy.

   o  TLS implementations that reuse exponents should test the DH public
      key they receive for group membership, in order to avoid some
      known attacks.  These tests are not standardized in TLS at the
      time of writing.  See [RFC6989] for recipient tests required of
      IKEv2 implementations that reuse DH exponents.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 16]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

7.5.  Certificate Revocation

   Unfortunately, no mechanism exists at this time that we can recommend
   as a complete and efficient solution for the problem of checking the
   revocation status of common public key certificates (a.k.a. PKIX
   certificates, [RFC5280]).  The current state of the art is as

   o  Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs) are not scalable and therefore
      rarely used.

   o  The On-Line Certification Status Protocol (OCSP) presents both
      scaling and privacy issues when used for heavy traffic Web
      servers.  In addition, clients typically "soft-fail", meaning they
      do not abort the TLS connection if the OCSP server does not

   o  OCSP stapling (Section 8 of [RFC6066]) resolves the operational
      issues with OCSP, but is still ineffective in the presence of a
      MITM attacker because the attacker can simply ignore the client's
      request for a stapled OCSP response.

   o  OCSP stapling as defined in [RFC6066] does not extend to
      intermediate certificates used in a certificate chain.  [RFC6961]
      addresses this shortcoming, but is a recent addition without much

   o  Proprietary mechanisms that embed revocation lists in the Web
      browser's configuration database cannot scale beyond a small
      number of the most heavily used Web servers.

   With regard to PKIX certificates, servers SHOULD support OCSP and
   OCSP stapling, including the OCSP stapling extension defined in
   [RFC6961], as a best practice given the current state of the art and
   as a foundation for a possible future solution.

   The foregoing considerations do not apply to scenarios where the
   DANE-TLSA resource record [RFC6698] is used to signal to a client
   which certificate a server considers valid and good to use for TLS

8.  Acknowledgments

   We would like to thank Uri Blumenthal, Viktor Dukhovni, Stephen
   Farrell, Paul Hoffman, Simon Josefsson, Watson Ladd, Orit Levin,
   Ilari Liusvaara, Johannes Merkle, Bodo Moeller, Yoav Nir, Kenny
   Paterson, Patrick Pelletier, Tom Ritter, Rich Salz, Sean Turner, and
   Aaron Zauner for their feedback and suggested improvements.  Thanks

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 17]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   to Brian Smith, whose "browser cipher suites" page is a great
   resource.  Finally, thanks to all others who commented on the TLS,
   UTA, and other discussion lists but who are not mentioned here by

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC2818]  Rescorla, E., "HTTP Over TLS", RFC 2818, May 2000.

   [RFC3766]  Orman, H. and P. Hoffman, "Determining Strengths For
              Public Keys Used For Exchanging Symmetric Keys", BCP 86,
              RFC 3766, April 2004.

   [RFC4492]  Blake-Wilson, S., Bolyard, N., Gupta, V., Hawk, C., and B.
              Moeller, "Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Cipher Suites
              for Transport Layer Security (TLS)", RFC 4492, May 2006.

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246, August 2008.

   [RFC5288]  Salowey, J., Choudhury, A., and D. McGrew, "AES Galois
              Counter Mode (GCM) Cipher Suites for TLS", RFC 5288,
              August 2008.

   [RFC5289]  Rescorla, E., "TLS Elliptic Curve Cipher Suites with
              SHA-256/384 and AES Galois Counter Mode (GCM)", RFC 5289,
              August 2008.

   [RFC5746]  Rescorla, E., Ray, M., Dispensa, S., and N. Oskov,
              "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Renegotiation Indication
              Extension", RFC 5746, February 2010.

   [RFC6125]  Saint-Andre, P. and J. Hodges, "Representation and
              Verification of Domain-Based Application Service Identity
              within Internet Public Key Infrastructure Using X.509
              (PKIX) Certificates in the Context of Transport Layer
              Security (TLS)", RFC 6125, March 2011.

   [RFC6176]  Turner, S. and T. Polk, "Prohibiting Secure Sockets Layer
              (SSL) Version 2.0", RFC 6176, March 2011.

   [RFC6347]  Rescorla, E. and N. Modadugu, "Datagram Transport Layer
              Security Version 1.2", RFC 6347, January 2012.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 18]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

9.2.  Informative References

              CA/Browser Forum, , "Baseline Requirements for the
              Issuance and Management of Publicly-Trusted Certificates
              Version 1.1.6", 2013, <https://www.cabforum.org/

              Degabriele, J. and K. Paterson, "Attacking the IPsec
              standards in encryption-only configurations", 2007,

              Heninger, N., Durumeric, Z., Wustrow, E., and J.
              Halderman, "Mining Your Ps and Qs: Detection of Widespread
              Weak Keys in Network Devices", Usenix Security Symposium
              2012, 2012.

              Farrel, A. and S. Farrell, "Opportunistic Encryption in
              MPLS Networks", draft-farrelll-mpls-opportunistic-
              encrypt-02 (work in progress), February 2014.

              Dukhovni, V. and W. Hardaker, "SMTP security via
              opportunistic DANE TLS", draft-ietf-dane-smtp-with-dane-10
              (work in progress), May 2014.

              Finch, T., Miller, M., and P. Saint-Andre, "Using DNS-
              Based Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) TLSA Records
              with SRV Records", draft-ietf-dane-srv-06 (work in
              progress), June 2014.

              Popov, A., "Prohibiting RC4 Cipher Suites", draft-ietf-
              tls-prohibiting-rc4-01 (work in progress), October 2014.

              Sheffer, Y., Holz, R., and P. Saint-Andre, "Summarizing
              Current Attacks on TLS and DTLS", draft-ietf-uta-tls-
              attacks-04 (work in progress), September 2014.

              Kleinjung, T., "Factorization of a 768-Bit RSA Modulus",
              CRYPTO 10, 2010, <https://eprint.iacr.org/2010/006.pdf>.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 19]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   [POODLE]   Moeller, B., Duong, T., and K. Kotowicz, "This POODLE
              Bites: Exploiting the SSL 3.0 Fallback", 2014, <https://

              Paterson, K., Ristenpart, T., and T. Shrimpton, "Tag size
              does matter: attacks and proofs for the TLS record
              protocol", 2011,

   [RFC2246]  Dierks, T. and C. Allen, "The TLS Protocol Version 1.0",
              RFC 2246, January 1999.

   [RFC3602]  Frankel, S., Glenn, R., and S. Kelly, "The AES-CBC Cipher
              Algorithm and Its Use with IPsec", RFC 3602, September

   [RFC4346]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.1", RFC 4346, April 2006.

   [RFC4347]  Rescorla, E. and N. Modadugu, "Datagram Transport Layer
              Security", RFC 4347, April 2006.

   [RFC4949]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2", RFC
              4949, August 2007.

   [RFC5077]  Salowey, J., Zhou, H., Eronen, P., and H. Tschofenig,
              "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Session Resumption without
              Server-Side State", RFC 5077, January 2008.

   [RFC5116]  McGrew, D., "An Interface and Algorithms for Authenticated
              Encryption", RFC 5116, January 2008.

   [RFC5280]  Cooper, D., Santesson, S., Farrell, S., Boeyen, S.,
              Housley, R., and W. Polk, "Internet X.509 Public Key
              Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation List
              (CRL) Profile", RFC 5280, May 2008.

   [RFC6066]  Eastlake, D., "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Extensions:
              Extension Definitions", RFC 6066, January 2011.

   [RFC6090]  McGrew, D., Igoe, K., and M. Salter, "Fundamental Elliptic
              Curve Cryptography Algorithms", RFC 6090, February 2011.

   [RFC6101]  Freier, A., Karlton, P., and P. Kocher, "The Secure
              Sockets Layer (SSL) Protocol Version 3.0", RFC 6101,
              August 2011.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 20]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   [RFC6460]  Salter, M. and R. Housley, "Suite B Profile for Transport
              Layer Security (TLS)", RFC 6460, January 2012.

   [RFC6698]  Hoffman, P. and J. Schlyter, "The DNS-Based Authentication
              of Named Entities (DANE) Transport Layer Security (TLS)
              Protocol: TLSA", RFC 6698, August 2012.

   [RFC6797]  Hodges, J., Jackson, C., and A. Barth, "HTTP Strict
              Transport Security (HSTS)", RFC 6797, November 2012.

   [RFC6961]  Pettersen, Y., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS)
              Multiple Certificate Status Request Extension", RFC 6961,
              June 2013.

   [RFC6989]  Sheffer, Y. and S. Fluhrer, "Additional Diffie-Hellman
              Tests for the Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2
              (IKEv2)", RFC 6989, July 2013.

              Soghoian, C. and S. Stamm, "Certified lies: Detecting and
              defeating government interception attacks against SSL.",
              Proc. 15th Int. Conf. Financial Cryptography and Data
              Security , 2011.

              Delignat-Lavaud, A., Bhargavan, K., and A. Pironti,
              "Triple Handshakes Considered Harmful: Breaking and Fixing
              Authentication over TLS", 2014, <https://secure-

Appendix A.  Change Log

   Note to RFC Editor: please remove this section before publication.

A.1.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-07

   o  WGLC feedback.

A.2.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-06

   o  Undo unauthenticated TLS, following another long thread on the

A.3.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-05

   o  Lots of comments by Sean Turner.

   o  Unauthenticated TLS, following a long thread on the list.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 21]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

A.4.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-04

   o  Some cleanup, and input from TLS WG discussion on applicability.

A.5.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-03

   o  Disallow truncated HMAC.

   o  Applicability to DTLS.

   o  Some more text restructuring.

   o  Host name validation is sometimes irrelevant.

   o  HSTS: MUST implement, SHOULD deploy.

   o  Session identities are not protected, only tickets are.

   o  Clarified the target audience.

A.6.  draft-ietf-uta-tls-bcp-02

   o  Rearranged some sections for clarity and re-styled the text so
      that normative text is followed by rationale where possible.

   o  Removed the recommendation to use Brainpool curves.

   o  Triple Handshake mitigation.

   o  MUST NOT negotiate algorithms lower than 112 bits of security.

   o  MUST implement SNI, but use per local policy.

   o  Changed SHOULD NOT negotiate or fall back to SSLv3 to MUST NOT.

   o  Added hostname validation.

   o  Non-normative discussion of DH exponent reuse.

A.7.  draft-ietf-tls-bcp-01

   o  Clarified that specific TLS-using protocols may have stricter

   o  Changed TLS 1.0 from MAY to SHOULD NOT.

   o  Added discussion of "optional TLS" and HSTS.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 22]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

   o  Recommended use of the Signature Algorithm and Renegotiation Info

   o  Use of a strong cipher for a resumption ticket: changed SHOULD to

   o  Added an informational discussion of certificate revocation, but
      no recommendations.

A.8.  draft-ietf-tls-bcp-00

   o  Initial WG version, with only updated references.

A.9.  draft-sheffer-tls-bcp-02

   o  Reorganized the content to focus on recommendations.

   o  Moved description of attacks to a separate document (draft-

   o  Strengthened recommendations regarding session resumption.

A.10.  draft-sheffer-tls-bcp-01

   o  Clarified our motivation in the introduction.

   o  Added a section justifying the need for forward secrecy.

   o  Added recommendations for RSA and DH parameter lengths.  Moved
      from DHE to ECDHE, with a discussion on whether/when DHE is

   o  Recommendation to avoid fallback to SSLv3.

   o  Initial information about browser support - more still needed!

   o  More clarity on compression.

   o  Client can offer stronger cipher suites.

   o  Discussion of the regular TLS mandatory cipher suite.

A.11.  draft-sheffer-tls-bcp-00

   o  Initial version.

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 23]

Internet-Draft             TLS Recommendations             November 2014

Authors' Addresses

   Yaron Sheffer
   29 HaHarash St.
   Hod HaSharon  4501303

   Email: yaronf.ietf@gmail.com

   Ralph Holz
   Technische Universitaet Muenchen
   Boltzmannstr. 3
   Garching  85748

   Email: ralph.ietf@gmail.com

   Peter Saint-Andre

   Email: peter@andyet.com
   URI:   https://andyet.com/

Sheffer, et al.           Expires May 15, 2015                 [Page 24]