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Concluded WG Simple Authentication and Security Layer (sasl)

Note: The data for concluded WGs is occasionally incorrect.

WG Name Simple Authentication and Security Layer
Acronym sasl
Area Security Area (sec)
State Concluded
Charter charter-ietf-sasl-06 Approved
Document dependencies
Additional resources Issue tracker, Wiki
Personnel Chairs Kurt Zeilenga, Taylor Yu
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Final Charter for Working Group

The Simple Authentication and Security Layer [RFC4422] provides key
security services to a number of application protocols including BEEP,
IMAP, LDAP, POP, and SMTP. The purpose of this working group is to
shepherd SASL, including select SASL mechanisms, through the Internet
Standards process.

This group will work to progress the SASL Technical Specification
toward Draft Standard.

The group has determined that DIGEST-MD5 [RFC2831] is not suitable for
progression on the Standards Track due to interoperability,
internationalization, and security concerns. The group will deliver a
technical specification for a suitable password-based challenge/
response replacement mechanism for Standard Track consideration.

The replacement mechanism is expected to be "better than" DIGEST-MD5
from a number of perspectives including interoperability,
internationalization, and security. The replacement mechanism is not
expected to (but may) provide a security layer itself, instead relying
on security services provided at a lower layer (e.g., TLS) and channel
bindings. The WG is expected to strike a consensus-supported balance
between the many qualities desired in the replacement. Desired
qualities include (but are not limited to) negotiated key hardening
iteration count, downgrade attack protection, and mutual authentication.
The group intends to consider a number of approaches, including
draft-newman-auth-scram and draft-josefsson-password-auth, as input.
Additionally, the WG will deliver a document summarizing its
DIGEST-MD5 concerns and requesting RFC 2831 be moved to Historic
status. This document will be based upon draft-ietf-sasl-digest-to-

This group will deliver a revised Technical Specification suitable for
publication as Proposed Standard for the GSS-API family of SASL
mechanisms. This work will be based upon draft-ietf-sasl-gs2.

The group will produce a successor document for the CRAM-MD5
specification, RFC 2195. The outcome can be a Standards Track
specification replacing RFC 2195, an Informational document moving RFC
2195 to Historic, or an Informational document that documents existing
implementation practice.

The following areas are not within the scope of work of this WG:

  • new features,

  • SASL Mechanisms not specifically mentioned above, and

  • SASL "profiles".

However, the SASL WG is an acceptable forum for review of SASL-related
submissions produced by others as long as such review does not impede
progress on the WG objectives listed above.


Date Milestone Associated documents
Jan 2009 WGLC GS2 I-D
Jan 2009 WGLC DIGEST-MD5 replacement I-D
Dec 2008 WGLC RFC4422bis and implementation report I-D
Nov 2008 Initial RFC4422bis implementation report
Nov 2008 Reach consensus on CRAM-MD5 successor approach (and update milestones accordingly)

Done milestones

Date Milestone Associated documents
Done Initial DIGEST-MD5 replacement I-D
Done WGLC I-D for DIGEST-MD5 to Historic
Done Initial I-D for DIGEST-MD5 to Historic
Done Initial GS2 I-D
Done Initial I-D for RFC4422bis
Done Submit GSSAPI to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard
Done Submit SASL (+ EXTERNAL) to the IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard
Done Submit revised SASL (+ EXTERNAL) I-D
Done Submit revised SASL PLAIN I-D
Done Submit revised SASL ANONYMOUS I-D
Done Submit revised SASL GSSAPI I-D
Done Submit revised SASL DIGEST-MD5 I-D
Done Submit revised SASL CRAM-MD5 I-D