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Version 5.13.0, 2015-03-25
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IP Security Maintenance and Extensions (ipsecme)

Name: IP Security Maintenance and Extensions
Area:Security Area (sec)
State: Active
Charter: charter-ietf-ipsecme-10 (Approved)
Chairs: Paul Hoffman <>
Yaron Sheffer <>
Area Director: Kathleen Moriarty <>
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Charter for Working Group

The IPsec suite of protocols includes IKEv1 (RFC 2409 and associated RFCs), IKEv2 (RFC 7296), and the IPsec security architecture (RFC 4301). IPsec is widely deployed in VPN gateways, VPN remote access clients, and as a substrate for host-to-host, host-to-network, and network-to-network security.

The IPsec Maintenance and Extensions Working Group continues the work of the earlier IPsec Working Group which was concluded in 2005. Its purpose is to maintain the IPsec standard and to facilitate discussion of clarifications, improvements, and extensions to IPsec, mostly to IKEv2. The working group also serves as a focus point for other IETF Working Groups who use IPsec in their own protocols.

The current work items include:

IKEv2 contains the cookie mechanism to protect against denial of service attacks. However this mechanism cannot protect an IKE end-point (typically, a large gateway) from "distributed denial of service", a coordinated attack by a large number of "bots". The working group will analyze the problem and propose a solution, by offering best practices and potentially by extending the protocol.

There is interest in adapting the IKE protocol for opportunistic use cases, by allowing one or both endpoints of the exchange to remain unauthenticated. The group will extend the protocol to support these use cases.

This charter will expire in December 2015 (a year from approval). If the charter is not updated before that time, the WG will be closed and any remaining documents revert back to individual Internet-Drafts.


Apr 2015
IETF Last Call on null authentication
Aug 2015
IETF Last Call on DDoS protection

+ 1 new milestone currently in Area Director review.