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RFC 4189 - Requirements for End-to-Middle Security for the Sessi


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Network Working Group                                             K. Ono
Request for Comments: 4189                                  S. Tachimoto
Category: Informational                                  NTT Corporation
                                                            October 2005

              Requirements for End-to-Middle Security for
                 the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

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 (2005).

Abstract

   A Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) User Agent (UA) does not always
   trust all intermediaries in its request path to inspect its message
   bodies and/or headers contained in its message.  The UA might want to
   protect the message bodies and/or headers from intermediaries, except
   those that provide services based on its content.  This situation
   requires a mechanism called "end-to-middle security" to secure the
   information passed between the UA and intermediaries, which does not
   interfere with end-to-end security.  This document defines a set of
   requirements for a mechanism to achieve end-to-middle security.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
      1.1. Conventions Used in This Document ..........................2
   2. Use Cases .......................................................2
      2.1. Examples of Scenarios ......................................2
      2.2. Service Examples ...........................................4
   3. Scope of End-to-Middle Security .................................6
   4. Requirements for a Solution .....................................6
      4.1. General Requirements .......................................6
      4.2. Requirements for End-to-Middle Confidentiality .............7
      4.3. Requirements for End-to-Middle Integrity ...................7
   5. Security Considerations .........................................8
   6. Acknowledgments .................................................9
   7. References ......................................................9
      7.1. Normative References .......................................9
      7.2. Informative References .....................................9

1.  Introduction

   The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) [2] supports hop-by-hop
   security using Transport Layer Security (TLS) [3] and end-to-end
   security using Secure MIME (S/MIME) [4].  Use of TLS assumes that a
   SIP UA trusts all proxy servers along its request path to inspect the
   message bodies contained in the message, and use of S/MIME assumes
   that a SIP UA does not  trust any proxy servers to do so.

   However, there is a model in which trusted and partially-trusted
   proxy servers are mixed along a message path.  The partially-trusted
   proxy servers are only trusted to provide SIP routing, but these
   proxy servers are not trusted by users to inspect its data, except
   the routing headers.  A hop-by-hop confidentiality service using TLS
   is not suitable for this model.  An end-to-end confidentiality
   service using S/MIME is also not suitable when the intermediaries
   provide services based on reading the message bodies and/or headers.
   This problem is described in Section 23 of [2].

   In some cases, a UA might want to protect its message bodies and/or
   headers from proxy servers along its request path, except from those
   that provide services based on reading its message bodies and/or
   headers.  Conversely, a proxy server might want to view the message
   bodies and/or headers to sufficiently provide these services.  Such
   proxy servers are not always the first hop from the UA.  This
   situation requires a security mechanism to secure message bodies
   and/or headers between the UA and the proxy servers, while disclosing
   information to those that need it.  We call this "end-to-middle
   security".

1.1.  Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119 [1].

2.  Use Cases

2.1.  Examples of Scenarios

   We describe here examples of scenarios in which trusted and
   partially-trusted proxy servers both exist in a message path.  These
   situations demonstrate the reasons why end-to-middle security is
   required.

   In the following example, User #1 does not know the security policies
   or services provided by Proxy server #1 (Proxy#1).  User #1 sends a
   MESSAGE [5] request including S/MIME-encrypted message content for
   end-to-end security, as shown in Figure 1, while Proxy #1 rejects the
   request based on its strict security policy that prohibits the
   forwarding of unknown data.

               Home network
               +---------------------+
               | +-----+     +-----+ |   +-----+     +-----+
   User #1-----| |  C  |-----| [C] |-----| [C] |-----|  C  |-----User #2
               | +-----+     +-----+ |   +-----+     +-----+
               | UA #1      Proxy #1 |   Proxy #2     UA #2
               +---------------------+

   C:   Content that UA #1 allows the entity to inspect
   [C]: Content that UA #1 prevents the entity from inspecting

   Figure 1: Deployment example #1

   In the second example, Proxy server #1 is the home proxy server of
   User #1 using UA #1.  User #1 communicates with User #2 through Proxy
   #1 and Proxy #2, as shown in Figure 2.  Although User #1 already
   knows Proxy #1's security policy, which requires the inspection of
   the content of the MESSAGE request, User #1 does not know whether
   Proxy #2 is trustworthy, and thus wants to protect the message bodies
   in the request.  To accomplish this, UA #1 will need to be able to
   grant a trusted intermediary (Proxy #1) to inspect message bodies,
   while preserving their confidentiality from other intermediaries
   (Proxy #2).

   Even if UA #1's request message authorizes Proxy #1 to inspect the
   message bodies, UA #1 is unable to authorize the same proxy server to
   inspect the message bodies in subsequent MESSAGE requests from UA #2.

              Home network
              +---------------------+
              | +-----+     +-----+ |   +-----+     +-----+
  User #1-----| |  C  |-----|  C  |-----| [C] |-----|  C  |----- User #2
              | +-----+     +-----+ |   +-----+     +-----+
              | UA #1      Proxy #1 |   Proxy #2     UA #2
              +---------------------+

   C:   Content that UA #1 needs to disclose
   [C]: Content that UA #1 needs to protect

   Figure 2: Deployment example #2

   In the third example, User #1 connects UA #1 to a proxy server in a
   visited (potentially insecure) network, e.g., a hotspot service or a
   roaming service.  Since User #1 wants to utilize certain home network
   services, UA #1 connects to a home proxy server, Proxy #1.  However,
   UA #1 must connect to Proxy #1 via the proxy server of the visited
   network (Proxy A), because User #1 must follow the policy of that
   network.  Proxy A performs access control based on the destination
   addresses of calls.  User #1 only trusts Proxy A to route requests,
   not to inspect the message bodies the requests contain, as shown in
   Figure 3.  User #1 trusts Proxy #1 both to route the requests and to
   inspect the message bodies.

   The same problems as in the second example also exist here.

               Visited network
              +---------------------+
              | +-----+     +-----+ |   +-----+     +-----+     +-----+
   User #1 -- | |  C  |-----| [C] |-----|  C  |-----| [C] |-----|  C  |
              | +-----+     +-----+ |   +-----+     +-----+     +-----+
              | UA #1       Proxy A |   Proxy #1     Proxy #2    UA #2
              +---------------------+

   C:   Content that UA #1 needs to disclose
   [C]: Content that UA #1 needs to protect

   Figure 3: Deployment example #3

2.2.  Service Examples

   We describe here several services that require end-to-middle
   security.

2.2.1.  Logging Services for Instant Messages

   Logging Services are provided by the archiving function, which is
   located in the proxy server, that logs the message content exchanged
   between UAs.  The archiving function could be located at the
   originator network and/or the destination network.  When the content
   of an instant message contains private information, UACs (UA Clients)
   encrypt the content for the UASes (UA Servers).  The archiving
   function needs to log the content in a message body in bidirectional
   MESSAGE requests in such a way that the data is decipherable.  The
   archiving function also needs a way to verify the data integrity of
   the content before logging.

   This service might be deployed in financial networks, health care
   service provider's networks, as well as other networks in which
   archiving communication is required by their security policies.

2.2.2.  Non-emergency Call Routing Based on the Location Object

   The Location Object [6] includes a person's geographical location
   information that is privacy-sensitive.  Some proxy servers will have
   the ability to provide routing based on the geographical location
   information.  When UAs want to employ location-based routing in
   non-emergency situations, the UAs need to connect to the proxy
   servers with such a capability and disclose the geographical location
   information contained in the message body of the INVITE request,
   while protecting it from other proxy servers along the request path.
   The Location Object also needs to be verified for data integrity by
   the proxy servers before location-based routing is applied.
   Sometimes the UACs want to send the Location Object to the UASes.
   This is another good example that presents the need for UACs to
   simultaneously send secure data to a proxy server and to the UASes.

2.2.3.  User Authentication

2.2.3.1.  User Authentication Using the AIBs

   The Authenticated Identity Bodies (AIBs) [7] is a digitally-signed
   data that is used for identifying users.  Proxy servers that need to
   authenticate a user, verify the signature.  When the originator needs
   anonymity, the user identity in the AIB is encrypted before being
   signed.  Proxy servers that authenticate the user need to decrypt the
   body in order to view the user identity in the AIB.  Such proxy
   servers can be located adjacently and/or non-adjacently to the UA.

   The AIB could be included in all request/response messages.  The
   proxy server needs to view it in request messages in order to
   authenticate users.  Another proxy server sometimes needs to view it
   in response messages for user authentication.

2.2.3.2.  User Authentication in HTTP Digest Authentication

   User authentication data for HTTP Digest authentication [8] includes
   potentially private information, such as a user name.  The user
   authentication data can be set only in a SIP header of request
   messages.  This information needs to be transmitted securely to
   servers that authenticate users, located either adjacently and/or
   non-adjacently to the UA.

2.2.4.  Media-related Services

   Firewall traversal is an example of services based on media
   information in a message body, such as the Session Description
   Protocol (SDP) [9].  A firewall entity that supports the SIP
   protocol, or a midcom [10] agent co-located with a proxy server,

   controls a firewall based on the address and port information of
   media streams in the SDP offer/answer.  The address and port
   information in the SDP needs to be transmitted securely to recipient
   UAs and the proxy server operating as a midcom agent.  Therefore,
   there is a need for a proxy server to be able to decrypt the SDP, as
   well as to verify the integrity of the SDP.

   When the SDP includes key parameters for Secure RTP (SRTP) [11], the
   key parameters need to be encrypted only for end-to-end
   confidentiality.

3.  Scope of End-to-Middle Security

   End-to-middle security consists of user authentication, data
   integrity, and data confidentiality.  Providing data integrity
   requires authenticating peer who creates the data.  However, this
   document only describes requirements for data confidentiality and
   data integrity, since end-to-middle authentication is covered by
   existing mechanisms such as HTTP Digest authentication, S/MIME
   Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) SignedData body [12], or an AIB.

   As for data integrity, the CMS SignedData body can be used for
   verification of the data integrity and authentication of the signer
   by any entities.  The CMS SignedData body can be used for end-to-
   middle security and end-to-end security simultaneously.  However, a
   proxy server generally does not verify the data integrity using the
   CMS SignedData body, and there is no way for a UA to request the
   proxy server to verify the message.  Therefore, some new mechanisms
   are needed to achieve data integrity for end-to-middle security.

   This document mainly discusses requirements for data confidentiality
   and the integrity of end-to-middle security.

4.  Requirements for a Solution

   We describe here requirements for a solution.  The requirements are
   mainly applied during the phase of a dialog creation or sending a
   MESSAGE request.

4.1.  General Requirements

   The following are general requirements for end-to-middle
   confidentiality and integrity.

   REQ-GEN-1: The solution SHOULD have little impact on the way a UA
              handles S/MIME-secured messages.

   REQ-GEN-2: It SHOULD NOT have an impact on proxy servers that do not
              provide services based on S/MIME-secured bodies in terms
              of handling the existing SIP headers.

   REQ-GEN-3: It SHOULD NOT violate the standardized mechanism of proxy
              servers in terms of handling message bodies.

   REQ-GEN-4: It SHOULD allow a UA to discover security policies of
              proxy servers.  Security policies imply what data is
              needed to disclose and/or verify in a message.

                 This requirement is necessary when the UA does not know
                 statically which proxy servers or domains need
                 disclosing data and/or verification.

4.2.  Requirements for End-to-Middle Confidentiality

   REQ-CONF-1: The solution MUST allow encrypted data to be shared with
               the recipient UA and a proxy server, when a UA wants.

   REQ-CONF-2: It MUST NOT violate end-to-end encryption when the
               encrypted data does not need to be shared with any proxy
               servers.

   REQ-CONF-3: It SHOULD allow a UA to request a proxy server to view
               specific message bodies.  The request itself SHOULD be
               secure; namely it SHOULD be authenticated for the UA and
               verified for the data integrity.

   REQ-CONF-4: It MAY allow a UA to request that the recipient UA
               disclose information to the proxy server to which the
               requesting UA is initially disclosing information.  The
               request itself SHOULD be secure; namely it SHOULD be
               authenticated for the UA and verified for the data
               integrity.

                  This requirement is necessary when a provider
                  operating the proxy server allows its security
                  policies to be revealed to the provider serving the
                  recipient UA.

4.3.  Requirements for End-to-Middle Integrity

   This section enumerates the requirements for the end-to-middle
   integrity.  Verifying the data integrity requires checking that the
   data is created by the authenticated user and not forged by a
   malicious user.  Therefore, verification of the data integrity
   requires the user authentication.

   REQ-INT-1: The solution SHOULD work even when the SIP end-to-end
              authentication and integrity services are enabled.

   REQ-INT-2: It SHOULD allow a UA to request a proxy server to verify
              specific message bodies and authenticate the user.  The
              request itself SHOULD be secure; namely it SHOULD be
              authenticated for the UA and verified for the data
              integrity.

   REQ-INT-3: It SHOULD allow a UA to request the recipient UA to send
              the verification data of the same information that the
              requesting UA is providing to the proxy server.  The
              request itself SHOULD be secure; namely it SHOULD be
              authenticated for the UA and verified for the data
              integrity.

                 This requirement is necessary when a provider operating
                 the proxy server allows its security policies to be
                 revealed to the provider serving the recipient UA.

5.  Security Considerations

   This document describes the requirements for confidentiality and
   integrity between a UA and a proxy server.  Although this document
   does not cover any requirements for authentication, verifying the
   data integrity requires peer authentication.  Also, peer
   authentication is important in order to prevent attacks from
   malicious users and servers.

   The end-to-middle security requires additional processing on message
   bodies, such as unpacking MIME structure, data decryption, and/or
   signature verification to proxy servers.  Therefore, the proxy
   servers that enable end-to-middle security are vulnerable to a
   Denial-of-Services attack.  A threat model is where a malicious user
   sends many complicated-MIME-structure messages to a proxy server,
   containing user authentication data obtained by eavesdropping.
   Another threat model is where a malicious proxy server sends many
   complicated-MIME-structure messages to a proxy server, containing the
   source IP address and the Via header of an adjacent proxy server.
   These attacks will slow down the overall performance of target proxy
   servers.

   To prevent these attacks, user and server authentication mechanisms
   need to be protected against replay attacks, or the user and server
   authentication always need to be executed simultaneously with
   protection of data integrity.  In order to prevent these attacks, the
   following requirements should be met.

   o  The solution MUST support mutual authentication, data
      confidentiality, and data integrity protection between a UA and a
      proxy server.

   o  It SHOULD support protection against a replay attack for user
      authentication.

   o  It SHOULD simultaneously support user authentication and data
      integrity protection.

         These last two requirements are met by HTTP Digest
         authentication.

   o  It MUST support mutual authentication, data confidentiality, and
      data integrity protection between proxy servers.

   o  It SHOULD support protection against a replay attack for server
      authentication.

   o  It SHOULD simultaneously support server authentication and data
      integrity protection.

         These last three requirements are met by TLS.

6.  Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank to Rohan Mahy and Cullen Jennings for
   their initial support of this concept, and to Jon Peterson, Gonzalo
   Camarillo, Sean Olson, Mark Baugher, Mary Barnes, and others for
   their reviews and constructive comments.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

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

   [2]  Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston, A.,
        Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E. Schooler, "SIP:
        Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261, June 2002.

7.2.  Informative References

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

   [4]  Ramsdell, B., "Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
        (S/MIME) Version 3.1 Certificate Handling", RFC 3850, July 2004.

   [5]  Campbell, B., Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Huitema, C., and
        D. Gurle, "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Extension for
        Instant Messaging", RFC 3428, December 2002.

   [6]  Peterson, J., "A Presence-based GEOPRIV Location Object Format",
        RFC 4119, October 2005.

   [7]  Peterson, J., "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Authenticated
        Identity Body (AIB) Format", RFC 3893, September 2004.

   [8]  Franks, J., Hallam-Baker, P., Hostetler, J., Lawrence, S.,
        Leach, P., Luotonen, A., and L. Stewart, "HTTP Authentication:
        Basic and Digest Access Authentication", RFC 2617, June 1999.

   [9]  Handley, M. and V. Jacobson, "SDP: Session Description
        Protocol", RFC 2327, April 1998.

   [10] Srisuresh, P., Kuthan, J., Rosenberg, J., Molitor, A., and A.
        Rayhan, "Middlebox communication architecture and framework",
        RFC 3303, August 2002.

   [11] Baugher, M., McGrew, D., Naslund, M., Carrara, E., and K.
        Norrman, "The Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP)", RFC
        3711, March 2004.

   [12] Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)", RFC 3852,
        July 2004.

Authors' Addresses

   Kumiko Ono
   Network Service Systems Laboratories
   NTT Corporation
   9-11, Midori-Cho 3-Chome
   Musashino-shi, Tokyo  180-8585
   Japan

   EMail: ono.kumiko@lab.ntt.co.jp, kumiko@cs.columbia.edu

   Shinya Tachimoto
   Network Service Systems Laboratories
   NTT Corporation
   9-11, Midori-Cho 3-Chome
   Musashino-shi, Tokyo  180-8585
   Japan

   EMail: tachimoto.shinya@lab.ntt.co.jp

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