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RFC 2951 - TELNET Authentication Using KEA and SKIPJACK


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Network Working Group                                         R. Housley
Request for Comments: 2951                                    T. Horting
Category: Informational                                           P. Yee
                                                                  SPYRUS
                                                          September 2000

              TELNET Authentication Using KEA and SKIPJACK

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document defines a method to authenticate TELNET using the Key
   Exchange Algorithm (KEA), and encryption of the TELNET stream using
   SKIPJACK.  Two encryption modes are specified; one provides data
   integrity and the other does not.  The method relies on the TELNET
   Authentication Option.

1. Command Names and Codes

   AUTHENTICATION           37

     Authentication Commands:

       IS                       0
       SEND                     1
       REPLY                    2
       NAME                     3

     Authentication Types:

       KEA_SJ                  12
       KEA_SJ_INTEG            13

     Modifiers:

       AUTH_WHO_MASK            1
       AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER    0
       AUTH_SERVER_TO CLIENT    1

       AUTH_HOW_MASK            2
       AUTH_HOW_ONE_WAY         0
       AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL          2

       ENCRYPT_MASK            20
       ENCRYPT_OFF              0
       ENCRYPT_USING_TELOPT     4
       ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE  16
       ENCRYPT_RESERVED        20

       INI_CRED_FWD_MASK        8
       INI_CRED_FWD_OFF         0
       INI_CRED_FWD_ON          8

     Sub-option Commands:

       KEA_CERTA_RA             1
       KEA_CERTB_RB_IVB_NONCEB  2
       KEA_IVA_RESPONSEB_NONCEA 3
       KEA_RESPONSEA            4

2. TELNET Security Extensions

   TELNET, as a protocol, has no concept of security.  Without
   negotiated options, it merely passes characters back and forth
   between the NVTs represented by the two TELNET processes.  In its
   most common usage as a protocol for remote terminal access (TCP port
   23), TELNET normally connects to a server that requires user-level
   authentication through a user name and password in the clear.  The
   server does not authenticate itself to the user.

   The TELNET Authentication Option provides for:

     *  User authentication -- replacing or augmenting the normal host
        password mechanism;
     *  Server authentication -- normally done in conjunction with user
        authentication;
     *  Session parameter negotiation -- in particular, encryption key
        and attributes;
     *  Session protection -- primarily encryption of the data and
        embedded command stream, but the encryption algorithm may also
        provide data integrity.

   In order to support these security services, the two TELNET entities
   must first negotiate their willingness to support the TELNET
   Authentication Option.  Upon agreeing to support this option, the
   parties are then able to perform sub-option negotiations to determine

   the authentication protocol to be used, and possibly the remote user
   name to be used for authorization checking.  Encryption is negotiated
   along with the type of the authentication.

   Authentication and parameter negotiation occur within an unbounded
   series of exchanges.  The server proposes a preference-ordered list
   of authentication types (mechanisms) that it supports.  In addition
   to listing the mechanisms it supports, the server qualifies each
   mechanism with a modifier that specifies whether encryption of data
   is desired.  The client selects one mechanism from the list and
   responds to the server indicating its choice and the first set of
   authentication data needed for the selected authentication type.  The
   client may ignore a request to encrypt data and so indicate, but the
   server may also terminate the connection if the client refuses
   encryption.  The server and the client then proceed through whatever
   number of iterations is required to arrive at the requested
   authentication.

   Encryption is started immediately after the Authentication Option is
   completed.

3. Use of Key Exchange Algorithm (KEA)

   This paper specifies the method in which KEA is used to achieve
   TELNET Authentication.  KEA (in conjunction with SKIPJACK) [4]
   provides authentication and confidentiality.  Integrity may also be
   provided.

   TELNET entities may use KEA to provide mutual authentication and
   support for the setup of data encryption keys.  A simple token format
   and set of exchanges delivers these services.

   NonceA and NonceB used in this exchange are 64-bit bit strings.  The
   client generates NonceA, and the server generates NonceB.  The nonce
   value is selected randomly.  The nonce is sent in a big endian form.
   The encryption of the nonce will be done with the same mechanism that
   the session will use, detailed in the next section.

   Ra and Rb used in this exchange are 1024 bit strings and are defined
   by the KEA Algorithm [4].

   The IVa and IVb are 24 byte Initialization Vectors.  They are
   composed of "THIS IS NOT LEAF" followed by 8 random bytes.

   CertA is the client's certificate.  CertB is the server's
   certificate.  Both certificates are X.509 certificates [6] that
   contain KEA public keys [7].  The client must validate the server's
   certificate before using the KEA public key it contains.  Likewise,
   the server must validate the client's certificate before using the
   KEA public key it contains.

   On completing these exchanges, the parties have a common SKIPJACK
   key.  Mutual authentication is provided by verification of the
   certificates used to establish the SKIPJACK encryption key and
   successful use of the derived SKIPJACK session key.  To protect
   against active attacks, encryption will take place after successful
   authentication.  There will be no way to turn off encryption and
   safely turn it back on; repeating the entire authentication is the
   only safe way to restart it.  If the user does not want to use
   encryption, he may disable encryption after the session is
   established.

3.1.  SKIPJACK Modes

   There are two distinct modes for encrypting TELNET streams; one
   provides integrity and the other does not.  Because TELNET is
   normally operated in a character-by-character mode, the SKIPJACK with
   stream integrity mechanism requires the transmission of 4 bytes for
   every TELNET data byte.  However, a simplified mode SKIPJACK without
   integrity mechanism will only require the transmission of one byte
   for every TELNET data byte.

   The cryptographic mode for SKIPJACK with stream integrity is Cipher
   Feedback on 32 bits of data (CFB-32) and the mode of SKIPJACK is
   Cipher Feedback on 8 bits of data (CFB-8).

3.1.1.  SKIPJACK without stream integrity

   The first and least complicated mode uses SKIPJACK CFB-8.  This mode
   provides no stream integrity.

   For SKIPJACK without stream integrity, the two-octet authentication
   type pair is KEA_SJ AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER | AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
   ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE | INI_CRED_FWD_OFF.  This indicates that the
   SKIPJACK without integrity mechanism will be used for mutual
   authentication and TELNET stream encryption.  Figure 1 illustrates
   the authentication mechanism of KEA followed by SKIPJACK without
   stream integrity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
 Client (Party A)                   Server (Party B)

                                    <-- IAC DO AUTHENTICATION

 IAC WILL AUTHENTICATION        -->

                                    <-- IAC SB AUTHENTICATION SEND
                                        <list of authentication options>
                                        IAC SE

 IAC SB AUTHENTICATION
 NAME <user name>               -->

 IAC SB AUTHENTICATION IS
 KEA_SJ
 AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
     AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
     ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
     INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
 KEA_CERTA_RA
 CertA||Ra IAC SE               -->

                                    <-- IAC SB AUTHENTICATION REPLY
                                        KEA_SJ
                                        AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
                                            AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
                                            ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
                                            INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
                                        IVA_RESPONSEB_NONCEA
                                        KEA_CERTB_RB_IVB_NONCEB
                                        CertB||Rb||IVb||
                                            Encrypt( NonceB )
                                        IAC SE

 IAC SB AUTHENTICATION IS
 KEA_SJ
 AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
     AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
     ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
     INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
 KEA_IVA_RESPONSEB_NONCEA
 IVa||Encrypt( (NonceB XOR 0x0C12)||NonceA )
 IAC SE                         -->

 Client (Party A)                   Server (Party B)

 <client begins encryption>
                                    <-- IAC SB AUTHENTICATION REPLY
                                        KEA_SJ
                                        AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
                                            AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
                                            ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
                                            INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
                                        KEA_RESPONSEA
                                        Encrypt( NonceA XOR 0x0C12 )
                                        IAC SE

                                        <server begins encryption>
---------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Figure 1.

3.1.2.  SKIPJACK with stream integrity

   SKIPJACK with stream integrity is more complicated.  It uses the
   SHA-1 [3] one-way hash function to provide integrity of the
   encryption stream as follows:

       Set H0 to be the SHA-1 hash of a zero-length string.
       Cn is the nth character in the TELNET stream.
       Hn = SHA-1( Hn-1||Cn ), where Hn is the hash value
            associated with the nth character in the stream.
       ICVn is set to the three most significant bytes of Hn.
       Transmit Encrypt( Cn||ICVn ).

   The ciphertext that is transmitted is the SKIPJACK CFB-32 encryption
   of ( Cn||ICVn ).  The receiving end of the TELNET link reverses the
   process, first decrypting the ciphertext, separating Cn and ICVn,
   recalculating Hn, recalculating ICVn, and then comparing the received
   ICVn with the recalculated ICVn.  Integrity is indicated if the
   comparison succeeds, and Cn can then be processed normally as part of
   the TELNET stream.  Failure of the comparison indicates some loss of
   integrity, whether due to active manipulation or loss of
   cryptographic synchronization.  In either case, the only recourse is
   to drop the TELNET connection and start over.

   For SKIPJACK with stream integrity, the two-octet authentication type
   pair is KEA_SJ_INTEG AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER | AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
   ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE | INI_CRED_FWD_OFF.  This indicates that the
   KEA SKIPJACK with integrity mechanism will be used for mutual
   authentication and TELNET stream encryption.  Figure 2 illustrates
   the authentication mechanism of KEA SKIPJACK with stream integrity.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
 Client (Party A)                   Server (Party B)

                                    <-- IAC DO AUTHENTICATION

 IAC WILL AUTHENTICATION        -->

                                    <-- IAC SB AUTHENTICATION SEND
                                        <list of authentication options>
                                        IAC SE

 IAC SB AUTHENTICATION
 NAME <user name>               -->

 IAC SB AUTHENTICATION IS
 KEA_SJ_INTEG
 AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
     AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
     ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
     INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
 KEA_CERTA_RA
 CertA||Ra IAC SE               -->

                                    <-- IAC SB AUTHENTICATION REPLY
                                        KEA_SJ_INTEG
                                        AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
                                            AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
                                            ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
                                            INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
                                        IVA_RESPONSEB_NONCEA
                                        KEA_CERTB_RB_IVB_NONCEB
                                        CertB||Rb||IVb||
                                            Encrypt( NonceB )
                                        IAC SE

 IAC SB AUTHENTICATION IS
 KEA_SJ_INTEG
 AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
     AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
     ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
     INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
 KEA_IVA_RESPONSEB_NONCEA
 IVa||Encrypt( (NonceB XOR 0x0D12)||NonceA )
 IAC SE                         -->

 Client (Party A)                   Server (Party B)

 <client begins encryption>
                                    <-- IAC SB AUTHENTICATION REPLY
                                        KEA_SJ_INTEG
                                        AUTH_CLIENT_TO_SERVER |
                                            AUTH_HOW_MUTUAL |
                                            ENCRYPT_AFTER_EXCHANGE |
                                            INI_CRED_FWD_OFF
                                        KEA_RESPONSEA
                                        Encrypt( NonceA XOR 0x0D12 )
                                        IAC SE

                                        <server begins encryption>
---------------------------------------------------------------------
                              Figure 2

4.0.  Security Considerations

   This entire memo is about security mechanisms.  For KEA to provide
   the authentication discussed, the implementation must protect the
   private key from disclosure.  Likewise, the SKIPJACK keys must be
   protected from disclosure.

   Implementations must randomly generate KEA private keys,
   initialization vectors (IVs), and nonces.  The use of inadequate
   pseudo-random number generators (PRNGs) to generate cryptographic
   keys can result in little or no security.  An attacker may find it
   much easier to reproduce the PRNG environment that produced the keys,
   searching the resulting small set of possibilities, rather than brute
   force searching the whole key space.  The generation of quality
   random numbers is difficult.  RFC 1750 [8] offers important guidance
   in this area, and Appendix 3 of FIPS Pub 186 [9] provides one quality
   PRNG technique.

   By linking the enabling of encryption as a side effect of successful
   authentication, protection is provided against an active attacker.
   If encryption were enabled as a separate negotiation, it would
   provide a window of vulnerability from when the authentication
   completes, up to and including the negotiation to turn on encryption.
   The only safe way to restart encryption, if it is turned off, is to
   repeat the entire authentication process.

5. IANA Considerations

   The authentication types KEA_SJ and KEA_SJ_INTEG and their associated
   suboption values are registered with IANA.  Any suboption values used
   to extend the protocol as described in this document must be
   registered with IANA before use.  IANA is instructed not to issue new
   suboption values without submission of documentation of their use.

6.0.  Acknowledgements

   We would like to thank William Nace for support during implementation
   of this specification.

7.0.  References

   [1] Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "TELNET Protocol Specification", ASTD
       8, RFC 854, May 1983.

   [2] Ts'o, T. and J. Altman, "Telnet Authentication Option", RFC 2941,
       September 2000.

   [3] Secure Hash Standard. FIPS Pub 180-1. April 17, 1995.

   [4] "SKIPJACK and KEA Algorithm Specification", Version 2.0, May 29,
       1998. Available from http://csrc.nist.gov/encryption/skipjack-
       kea.htm

   [5] Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "TELNET Option Specifications", STD
       8, RFC 855, May 1983.

   [6] Housley, R., Ford, W., Polk, W. and D. Solo, "Internet X.509
       Public Key Infrastructure: X.509 Certificate and CRL Profile",
       RFC 2459, January 1999.

   [7] Housley, R. and W. Polk, "Internet X.509 Public Key
       Infrastructure - Representation of Key Exchange Algorithm (KEA)
       Keys in Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificates",
       RFC 2528, March 1999.

   [8] Eastlake, D., Crocker, S. and J. Schiller, "Randomness
       Recommendations for Security", RFC 1750, December 1994.

   [9) National Institute of Standards and Technology.  FIPS Pub 186:
       Digital Signature Standard.  19 May 1994.

8.0.  Authors' Addresses

   Russell Housley
   SPYRUS
   381 Elden Street, Suite 1120
   Herndon, VA 20170
   USA

   EMail: housley@spyrus.com

   Todd Horting
   SPYRUS
   381 Elden Street, Suite 1120
   Herndon, VA 20170
   USA

   EMail: thorting@spyrus.com

   Peter Yee
   SPYRUS
   5303 Betsy Ross Drive
   Santa Clara, CA 95054
   USA

   EMail: yee@spyrus.com

9.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
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   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
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   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
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Acknowledgement

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

 

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