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RFC 5802 - Salted Challenge Response Authentication Mechanism (S


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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         C. Newman
Request for Comments: 5802                                        Oracle
Category: Standards Track                                   A. Menon-Sen
ISSN: 2070-1721                                   Oryx Mail Systems GmbH
                                                             A. Melnikov
                                                             Isode, Ltd.
                                                             N. Williams
                                                                  Oracle
                                                               July 2010

       Salted Challenge Response Authentication Mechanism (SCRAM)
                      SASL and GSS-API Mechanisms

Abstract

   The secure authentication mechanism most widely deployed and used by
   Internet application protocols is the transmission of clear-text
   passwords over a channel protected by Transport Layer Security (TLS).
   There are some significant security concerns with that mechanism,
   which could be addressed by the use of a challenge response
   authentication mechanism protected by TLS.  Unfortunately, the
   challenge response mechanisms presently on the standards track all
   fail to meet requirements necessary for widespread deployment, and
   have had success only in limited use.

   This specification describes a family of Simple Authentication and
   Security Layer (SASL; RFC 4422) authentication mechanisms called the
   Salted Challenge Response Authentication Mechanism (SCRAM), which
   addresses the security concerns and meets the deployability
   requirements.  When used in combination with TLS or an equivalent
   security layer, a mechanism from this family could improve the status
   quo for application protocol authentication and provide a suitable
   choice for a mandatory-to-implement mechanism for future application
   protocol standards.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5802.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 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
   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 ....................................................4
   2. Conventions Used in This Document ...............................5
      2.1. Terminology ................................................5
      2.2. Notation ...................................................6
   3. SCRAM Algorithm Overview ........................................7
   4. SCRAM Mechanism Names ...........................................8
   5. SCRAM Authentication Exchange ...................................9
      5.1. SCRAM Attributes ..........................................10
      5.2. Compliance with SASL Mechanism Requirements ...............13
   6. Channel Binding ................................................14
      6.1. Default Channel Binding ...................................15
   7. Formal Syntax ..................................................15
   8. SCRAM as a GSS-API Mechanism ...................................19
      8.1. GSS-API Principal Name Types for SCRAM ....................19
      8.2. GSS-API Per-Message Tokens for SCRAM ......................20
      8.3. GSS_Pseudo_random() for SCRAM .............................20
   9. Security Considerations ........................................20
   10. IANA Considerations ...........................................22
   11. Acknowledgements ..............................................23
   12. References ....................................................24
      12.1. Normative References .....................................24
      12.2. Normative References for GSS-API Implementors ............24
      12.3. Informative References ...................................25
   Appendix A. Other Authentication Mechanisms .......................27
   Appendix B. Design Motivations ....................................27

1.  Introduction

   This specification describes a family of authentication mechanisms
   called the Salted Challenge Response Authentication Mechanism (SCRAM)
   which addresses the requirements necessary to deploy a challenge-
   response mechanism more widely than past attempts (see Appendix A and
   Appendix B).  When used in combination with Transport Layer Security
   (TLS; see [RFC5246]) or an equivalent security layer, a mechanism
   from this family could improve the status quo for application
   protocol authentication and provide a suitable choice for a
   mandatory-to-implement mechanism for future application protocol
   standards.

   For simplicity, this family of mechanisms does not presently include
   negotiation of a security layer [RFC4422].  It is intended to be used
   with an external security layer such as that provided by TLS or SSH,
   with optional channel binding [RFC5056] to the external security
   layer.

   SCRAM is specified herein as a pure Simple Authentication and
   Security Layer (SASL) [RFC4422] mechanism, but it conforms to the new
   bridge between SASL and the Generic Security Service Application
   Program Interface (GSS-API) called "GS2" [RFC5801].  This means that
   this document defines both, a SASL mechanism and a GSS-API mechanism.

   SCRAM provides the following protocol features:

   o  The authentication information stored in the authentication
      database is not sufficient by itself to impersonate the client.
      The information is salted to prevent a pre-stored dictionary
      attack if the database is stolen.

   o  The server does not gain the ability to impersonate the client to
      other servers (with an exception for server-authorized proxies).

   o  The mechanism permits the use of a server-authorized proxy without
      requiring that proxy to have super-user rights with the back-end
      server.

   o  Mutual authentication is supported, but only the client is named
      (i.e., the server has no name).

   o  When used as a SASL mechanism, SCRAM is capable of transporting
      authorization identities (see [RFC4422], Section 2) from the
      client to the server.

   A separate document defines a standard LDAPv3 [RFC4510] attribute
   that enables storage of the SCRAM authentication information in LDAP.
   See [RFC5803].

   For an in-depth discussion of why other challenge response mechanisms
   are not considered sufficient, see Appendix A.  For more information
   about the motivations behind the design of this mechanism, see
   Appendix B.

2.  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 [RFC2119].

   Formal syntax is defined by [RFC5234] including the core rules
   defined in Appendix B of [RFC5234].

   Example lines prefaced by "C:" are sent by the client and ones
   prefaced by "S:" by the server.  If a single "C:" or "S:" label
   applies to multiple lines, then the line breaks between those lines
   are for editorial clarity only, and are not part of the actual
   protocol exchange.

2.1.  Terminology

   This document uses several terms defined in [RFC4949] ("Internet
   Security Glossary") including the following: authentication,
   authentication exchange, authentication information, brute force,
   challenge-response, cryptographic hash function, dictionary attack,
   eavesdropping, hash result, keyed hash, man-in-the-middle, nonce,
   one-way encryption function, password, replay attack, and salt.
   Readers not familiar with these terms should use that glossary as a
   reference.

   Some clarifications and additional definitions follow:

   o  Authentication information: Information used to verify an identity
      claimed by a SCRAM client.  The authentication information for a
      SCRAM identity consists of salt, iteration count, "StoredKey" and
      "ServerKey" (as defined in the algorithm overview) for each
      supported cryptographic hash function.

   o  Authentication database: The database used to look up the
      authentication information associated with a particular identity.
      For application protocols, LDAPv3 (see [RFC4510]) is frequently

      used as the authentication database.  For network-level protocols
      such as PPP or 802.11x, the use of RADIUS [RFC2865] is more
      common.

   o  Base64: An encoding mechanism defined in [RFC4648] that converts
      an octet string input to a textual output string that can be
      easily displayed to a human.  The use of base64 in SCRAM is
      restricted to the canonical form with no whitespace.

   o  Octet: An 8-bit byte.

   o  Octet string: A sequence of 8-bit bytes.

   o  Salt: A random octet string that is combined with a password
      before applying a one-way encryption function.  This value is used
      to protect passwords that are stored in an authentication
      database.

2.2.  Notation

   The pseudocode description of the algorithm uses the following
   notations:

   o  ":=": The variable on the left-hand side represents the octet
      string resulting from the expression on the right-hand side.

   o  "+": Octet string concatenation.

   o  "[ ]": A portion of an expression enclosed in "[" and "]" may not
      be included in the result under some circumstances.  See the
      associated text for a description of those circumstances.

   o  Normalize(str): Apply the SASLprep profile [RFC4013] of the
      "stringprep" algorithm [RFC3454] as the normalization algorithm to
      a UTF-8 [RFC3629] encoded "str".  The resulting string is also in
      UTF-8.  When applying SASLprep, "str" is treated as a "stored
      strings", which means that unassigned Unicode codepoints are
      prohibited (see Section 7 of [RFC3454]).  Note that
      implementations MUST either implement SASLprep or disallow use of
      non US-ASCII Unicode codepoints in "str".

   o  HMAC(key, str): Apply the HMAC keyed hash algorithm (defined in
      [RFC2104]) using the octet string represented by "key" as the key
      and the octet string "str" as the input string.  The size of the
      result is the hash result size for the hash function in use.  For
      example, it is 20 octets for SHA-1 (see [RFC3174]).

   o  H(str): Apply the cryptographic hash function to the octet string
      "str", producing an octet string as a result.  The size of the
      result depends on the hash result size for the hash function in
      use.

   o  XOR: Apply the exclusive-or operation to combine the octet string
      on the left of this operator with the octet string on the right of
      this operator.  The length of the output and each of the two
      inputs will be the same for this use.

   o  Hi(str, salt, i):

     U1   := HMAC(str, salt + INT(1))
     U2   := HMAC(str, U1)
     ...
     Ui-1 := HMAC(str, Ui-2)
     Ui   := HMAC(str, Ui-1)

     Hi := U1 XOR U2 XOR ... XOR Ui

      where "i" is the iteration count, "+" is the string concatenation
      operator, and INT(g) is a 4-octet encoding of the integer g, most
      significant octet first.

      Hi() is, essentially, PBKDF2 [RFC2898] with HMAC() as the
      pseudorandom function (PRF) and with dkLen == output length of
      HMAC() == output length of H().

3.  SCRAM Algorithm Overview

   The following is a description of a full, uncompressed SASL SCRAM
   authentication exchange.  Nothing in SCRAM prevents either sending
   the client-first message with the SASL authentication request defined
   by an application protocol ("initial client response"), or sending
   the server-final message as additional data of the SASL outcome of
   authentication exchange defined by an application protocol.  See
   [RFC4422] for more details.

   Note that this section omits some details, such as client and server
   nonces.  See Section 5 for more details.

   To begin with, the SCRAM client is in possession of a username and
   password (*) (or a ClientKey/ServerKey, or SaltedPassword).  It sends
   the username to the server, which retrieves the corresponding
   authentication information, i.e., a salt, StoredKey, ServerKey, and
   the iteration count i.  (Note that a server implementation may choose

   to use the same iteration count for all accounts.)  The server sends
   the salt and the iteration count to the client, which then computes
   the following values and sends a ClientProof to the server:

   (*) Note that both the username and the password MUST be encoded in
   UTF-8 [RFC3629].

   Informative Note: Implementors are encouraged to create test cases
   that use both usernames and passwords with non-ASCII codepoints.  In
   particular, it's useful to test codepoints whose "Unicode
   Normalization Form C" and "Unicode Normalization Form KC" are
   different.  Some examples of such codepoints include Vulgar Fraction
   One Half (U+00BD) and Acute Accent (U+00B4).

     SaltedPassword  := Hi(Normalize(password), salt, i)
     ClientKey       := HMAC(SaltedPassword, "Client Key")
     StoredKey       := H(ClientKey)
     AuthMessage     := client-first-message-bare + "," +
                        server-first-message + "," +
                        client-final-message-without-proof
     ClientSignature := HMAC(StoredKey, AuthMessage)
     ClientProof     := ClientKey XOR ClientSignature
     ServerKey       := HMAC(SaltedPassword, "Server Key")
     ServerSignature := HMAC(ServerKey, AuthMessage)

   The server authenticates the client by computing the ClientSignature,
   exclusive-ORing that with the ClientProof to recover the ClientKey
   and verifying the correctness of the ClientKey by applying the hash
   function and comparing the result to the StoredKey.  If the ClientKey
   is correct, this proves that the client has access to the user's
   password.

   Similarly, the client authenticates the server by computing the
   ServerSignature and comparing it to the value sent by the server.  If
   the two are equal, it proves that the server had access to the user's
   ServerKey.

   The AuthMessage is computed by concatenating messages from the
   authentication exchange.  The format of these messages is defined in
   Section 7.

4.  SCRAM Mechanism Names

   A SCRAM mechanism name is a string "SCRAM-" followed by the
   uppercased name of the underlying hash function taken from the IANA
   "Hash Function Textual Names" registry (see http://www.iana.org),
   optionally followed by the suffix "-PLUS" (see below).  Note that
   SASL mechanism names are limited to 20 octets, which means that only

   hash function names with lengths shorter or equal to 9 octets
   (20-length("SCRAM-")-length("-PLUS") can be used.  For cases when the
   underlying hash function name is longer than 9 octets, an alternative
   9-octet (or shorter) name can be used to construct the corresponding
   SCRAM mechanism name, as long as this alternative name doesn't
   conflict with any other hash function name from the IANA "Hash
   Function Textual Names" registry.  In order to prevent future
   conflict, such alternative names SHOULD be registered in the IANA
   "Hash Function Textual Names" registry.

   For interoperability, all SCRAM clients and servers MUST implement
   the SCRAM-SHA-1 authentication mechanism, i.e., an authentication
   mechanism from the SCRAM family that uses the SHA-1 hash function as
   defined in [RFC3174].

   The "-PLUS" suffix is used only when the server supports channel
   binding to the external channel.  If the server supports channel
   binding, it will advertise both the "bare" and "plus" versions of
   whatever mechanisms it supports (e.g., if the server supports only
   SCRAM with SHA-1, then it will advertise support for both SCRAM-SHA-1
   and SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS).  If the server does not support channel
   binding, then it will advertise only the "bare" version of the
   mechanism (e.g., only SCRAM-SHA-1).  The "-PLUS" exists to allow
   negotiation of the use of channel binding.  See Section 6.

5.  SCRAM Authentication Exchange

   SCRAM is a SASL mechanism whose client response and server challenge
   messages are text-based messages containing one or more attribute-
   value pairs separated by commas.  Each attribute has a one-letter
   name.  The messages and their attributes are described in
   Section 5.1, and defined in Section 7.

   SCRAM is a client-first SASL mechanism (see [RFC4422], Section 5,
   item 2a), and returns additional data together with a server's
   indication of a successful outcome.

   This is a simple example of a SCRAM-SHA-1 authentication exchange
   when the client doesn't support channel bindings (username 'user' and
   password 'pencil' are used):

   C: n,,n=user,r=fyko+d2lbbFgONRv9qkxdawL
   S: r=fyko+d2lbbFgONRv9qkxdawL3rfcNHYJY1ZVvWVs7j,s=QSXCR+Q6sek8bf92,
      i=4096
   C: c=biws,r=fyko+d2lbbFgONRv9qkxdawL3rfcNHYJY1ZVvWVs7j,
      p=v0X8v3Bz2T0CJGbJQyF0X+HI4Ts=
   S: v=rmF9pqV8S7suAoZWja4dJRkFsKQ=

   First, the client sends the "client-first-message" containing:

   o  a GS2 header consisting of a flag indicating whether channel
      binding is supported-but-not-used, not supported, or used, and an
      optional SASL authorization identity;

   o  SCRAM username and a random, unique nonce attributes.

   Note that the client's first message will always start with "n", "y",
   or "p"; otherwise, the message is invalid and authentication MUST
   fail.  This is important, as it allows for GS2 extensibility (e.g.,
   to add support for security layers).

   In response, the server sends a "server-first-message" containing the
   user's iteration count i and the user's salt, and appends its own
   nonce to the client-specified one.

   The client then responds by sending a "client-final-message" with the
   same nonce and a ClientProof computed using the selected hash
   function as explained earlier.

   The server verifies the nonce and the proof, verifies that the
   authorization identity (if supplied by the client in the first
   message) is authorized to act as the authentication identity, and,
   finally, it responds with a "server-final-message", concluding the
   authentication exchange.

   The client then authenticates the server by computing the
   ServerSignature and comparing it to the value sent by the server.  If
   the two are different, the client MUST consider the authentication
   exchange to be unsuccessful, and it might have to drop the
   connection.

5.1.  SCRAM Attributes

   This section describes the permissible attributes, their use, and the
   format of their values.  All attribute names are single US-ASCII
   letters and are case-sensitive.

   Note that the order of attributes in client or server messages is
   fixed, with the exception of extension attributes (described by the
   "extensions" ABNF production), which can appear in any order in the
   designated positions.  See Section 7 for authoritative reference.

   o  a: This is an optional attribute, and is part of the GS2 [RFC5801]
      bridge between the GSS-API and SASL.  This attribute specifies an
      authorization identity.  A client may include it in its first
      message to the server if it wants to authenticate as one user, but

      subsequently act as a different user.  This is typically used by
      an administrator to perform some management task on behalf of
      another user, or by a proxy in some situations.

         Upon the receipt of this value the server verifies its
         correctness according to the used SASL protocol profile.
         Failed verification results in failed authentication exchange.

         If this attribute is omitted (as it normally would be), the
         authorization identity is assumed to be derived from the
         username specified with the (required) "n" attribute.

         The server always authenticates the user specified by the "n"
         attribute.  If the "a" attribute specifies a different user,
         the server associates that identity with the connection after
         successful authentication and authorization checks.

         The syntax of this field is the same as that of the "n" field
         with respect to quoting of '=' and ','.

   o  n: This attribute specifies the name of the user whose password is
      used for authentication (a.k.a. "authentication identity"
      [RFC4422]).  A client MUST include it in its first message to the
      server.  If the "a" attribute is not specified (which would
      normally be the case), this username is also the identity that
      will be associated with the connection subsequent to
      authentication and authorization.

         Before sending the username to the server, the client SHOULD
         prepare the username using the "SASLprep" profile [RFC4013] of
         the "stringprep" algorithm [RFC3454] treating it as a query
         string (i.e., unassigned Unicode code points are allowed).  If
         the preparation of the username fails or results in an empty
         string, the client SHOULD abort the authentication exchange
         (*).

         (*) An interactive client can request a repeated entry of the
         username value.

         Upon receipt of the username by the server, the server MUST
         either prepare it using the "SASLprep" profile [RFC4013] of the
         "stringprep" algorithm [RFC3454] treating it as a query string
         (i.e., unassigned Unicode codepoints are allowed) or otherwise
         be prepared to do SASLprep-aware string comparisons and/or
         index lookups.  If the preparation of the username fails or
         results in an empty string, the server SHOULD abort the

         authentication exchange.  Whether or not the server prepares
         the username using "SASLprep", it MUST use it as received in
         hash calculations.

         The characters ',' or '=' in usernames are sent as '=2C' and
         '=3D' respectively.  If the server receives a username that
         contains '=' not followed by either '2C' or '3D', then the
         server MUST fail the authentication.

   o  m: This attribute is reserved for future extensibility.  In this
      version of SCRAM, its presence in a client or a server message
      MUST cause authentication failure when the attribute is parsed by
      the other end.

   o  r: This attribute specifies a sequence of random printable ASCII
      characters excluding ',' (which forms the nonce used as input to
      the hash function).  No quoting is applied to this string.  As
      described earlier, the client supplies an initial value in its
      first message, and the server augments that value with its own
      nonce in its first response.  It is important that this value be
      different for each authentication (see [RFC4086] for more details
      on how to achieve this).  The client MUST verify that the initial
      part of the nonce used in subsequent messages is the same as the
      nonce it initially specified.  The server MUST verify that the
      nonce sent by the client in the second message is the same as the
      one sent by the server in its first message.

   o  c: This REQUIRED attribute specifies the base64-encoded GS2 header
      and channel binding data.  It is sent by the client in its second
      authentication message.  The attribute data consist of:

      *  the GS2 header from the client's first message (recall that the
         GS2 header contains a channel binding flag and an optional
         authzid).  This header is going to include channel binding type
         prefix (see [RFC5056]), if and only if the client is using
         channel binding;

      *  followed by the external channel's channel binding data, if and
         only if the client is using channel binding.

   o  s: This attribute specifies the base64-encoded salt used by the
      server for this user.  It is sent by the server in its first
      message to the client.

   o  i: This attribute specifies an iteration count for the selected
      hash function and user, and MUST be sent by the server along with
      the user's salt.

         For the SCRAM-SHA-1/SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS SASL mechanism, servers
         SHOULD announce a hash iteration-count of at least 4096.  Note
         that a client implementation MAY cache ClientKey&ServerKey (or
         just SaltedPassword) for later reauthentication to the same
         service, as it is likely that the server is going to advertise
         the same salt value upon reauthentication.  This might be
         useful for mobile clients where CPU usage is a concern.

   o  p: This attribute specifies a base64-encoded ClientProof.  The
      client computes this value as described in the overview and sends
      it to the server.

   o  v: This attribute specifies a base64-encoded ServerSignature.  It
      is sent by the server in its final message, and is used by the
      client to verify that the server has access to the user's
      authentication information.  This value is computed as explained
      in the overview.

   o  e: This attribute specifies an error that occurred during
      authentication exchange.  It is sent by the server in its final
      message and can help diagnose the reason for the authentication
      exchange failure.  On failed authentication, the entire server-
      final-message is OPTIONAL; specifically, a server implementation
      MAY conclude the SASL exchange with a failure without sending the
      server-final-message.  This results in an application-level error
      response without an extra round-trip.  If the server-final-message
      is sent on authentication failure, then the "e" attribute MUST be
      included.

   o  As-yet unspecified mandatory and optional extensions.  Mandatory
      extensions are encoded as values of the 'm' attribute (see ABNF
      for reserved-mext in section 7).  Optional extensions use as-yet
      unassigned attribute names.

      Mandatory extensions sent by one peer but not understood by the
      other MUST cause authentication failure (the server SHOULD send
      the "extensions-not-supported" server-error-value).

      Unknown optional extensions MUST be ignored upon receipt.

5.2.  Compliance with SASL Mechanism Requirements

   This section describes compliance with SASL mechanism requirements
   specified in Section 5 of [RFC4422].

   1)  "SCRAM-SHA-1" and "SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS".

   2a) SCRAM is a client-first mechanism.

   2b) SCRAM sends additional data with success.

   3)  SCRAM is capable of transferring authorization identities from
       the client to the server.

   4)  SCRAM does not offer any security layers (SCRAM offers channel
       binding instead).

   5)  SCRAM has a hash protecting the authorization identity.

6.  Channel Binding

   SCRAM supports channel binding to external secure channels, such as
   TLS.  Clients and servers may or may not support channel binding,
   therefore the use of channel binding is negotiable.  SCRAM does not
   provide security layers, however, therefore it is imperative that
   SCRAM provide integrity protection for the negotiation of channel
   binding.

   Use of channel binding is negotiated as follows:

   o  Servers that support the use of channel binding SHOULD advertise
      both the non-PLUS (SCRAM-<hash-function>) and PLUS-variant (SCRAM-
      <hash-function>-PLUS) mechanism name.  If the server cannot
      support channel binding, it SHOULD advertise only the non-PLUS-
      variant.  If the server would never succeed in the authentication
      of the non-PLUS-variant due to policy reasons, it MUST advertise
      only the PLUS-variant.

   o  If the client supports channel binding and the server does not
      appear to (i.e., the client did not see the -PLUS name advertised
      by the server), then the client MUST NOT use an "n" gs2-cbind-
      flag.

   o  Clients that support mechanism negotiation and channel binding
      MUST use a "p" gs2-cbind-flag when the server offers the PLUS-
      variant of the desired GS2 mechanism.

   o  If the client does not support channel binding, then it MUST use
      an "n" gs2-cbind-flag.  Conversely, if the client requires the use
      of channel binding then it MUST use a "p" gs2-cbind-flag.  Clients
      that do not support mechanism negotiation never use a "y" gs2-
      cbind-flag, they use either "p" or "n" according to whether they
      require and support the use of channel binding or whether they do
      not, respectively.

   o  Upon receipt of the client-first message, the server checks the
      channel binding flag (gs2-cbind-flag).

      *  If the flag is set to "y" and the server supports channel
         binding, the server MUST fail authentication.  This is because
         if the client sets the channel binding flag to "y", then the
         client must have believed that the server did not support
         channel binding -- if the server did in fact support channel
         binding, then this is an indication that there has been a
         downgrade attack (e.g., an attacker changed the server's
         mechanism list to exclude the -PLUS suffixed SCRAM mechanism
         name(s)).

      *  If the channel binding flag was "p" and the server does not
         support the indicated channel binding type, then the server
         MUST fail authentication.

   The server MUST always validate the client's "c=" field.  The server
   does this by constructing the value of the "c=" attribute and then
   checking that it matches the client's c= attribute value.

   For more discussions of channel bindings, and the syntax of channel
   binding data for various security protocols, see [RFC5056].

6.1.  Default Channel Binding

   A default channel binding type agreement process for all SASL
   application protocols that do not provide their own channel binding
   type agreement is provided as follows.

   'tls-unique' is the default channel binding type for any application
   that doesn't specify one.

   Servers MUST implement the "tls-unique" [RFC5929] channel binding
   type, if they implement any channel binding.  Clients SHOULD
   implement the "tls-unique" [RFC5929] channel binding type, if they
   implement any channel binding.  Clients and servers SHOULD choose the
   highest-layer/innermost end-to-end TLS channel as the channel to
   which to bind.

   Servers MUST choose the channel binding type indicated by the client,
   or fail authentication if they don't support it.

7.  Formal Syntax

   The following syntax specification uses the Augmented Backus-Naur
   form (ABNF) notation as specified in [RFC5234].  "UTF8-2", "UTF8-3",
   and "UTF8-4" non-terminal are defined in [RFC3629].

   ALPHA = <as defined in RFC 5234 appendix B.1>
   DIGIT = <as defined in RFC 5234 appendix B.1>
   UTF8-2 = <as defined in RFC 3629 (STD 63)>
   UTF8-3 = <as defined in RFC 3629 (STD 63)>
   UTF8-4 = <as defined in RFC 3629 (STD 63)>

   attr-val        = ALPHA "=" value
                     ;; Generic syntax of any attribute sent
                     ;; by server or client

   value           = 1*value-char

   value-safe-char = %x01-2B / %x2D-3C / %x3E-7F /
                     UTF8-2 / UTF8-3 / UTF8-4
                     ;; UTF8-char except NUL, "=", and ",".

   value-char      = value-safe-char / "="

   printable       = %x21-2B / %x2D-7E
                     ;; Printable ASCII except ",".
                     ;; Note that any "printable" is also
                     ;; a valid "value".

   base64-char     = ALPHA / DIGIT / "/" / "+"

   base64-4        = 4base64-char

   base64-3        = 3base64-char "="

   base64-2        = 2base64-char "=="

   base64          = *base64-4 [base64-3 / base64-2]

   posit-number = %x31-39 *DIGIT
                     ;; A positive number.

   saslname        = 1*(value-safe-char / "=2C" / "=3D")
                     ;; Conforms to <value>.

   authzid         = "a=" saslname
                     ;; Protocol specific.

   cb-name         = 1*(ALPHA / DIGIT / "." / "-")
                      ;; See RFC 5056, Section 7.
                      ;; E.g., "tls-server-end-point" or
                      ;; "tls-unique".

   gs2-cbind-flag  = ("p=" cb-name) / "n" / "y"
                     ;; "n" -> client doesn't support channel binding.
                     ;; "y" -> client does support channel binding
                     ;;        but thinks the server does not.
                     ;; "p" -> client requires channel binding.
                     ;; The selected channel binding follows "p=".

   gs2-header      = gs2-cbind-flag "," [ authzid ] ","
                     ;; GS2 header for SCRAM
                     ;; (the actual GS2 header includes an optional
                     ;; flag to indicate that the GSS mechanism is not
                     ;; "standard", but since SCRAM is "standard", we
                     ;; don't include that flag).

   username        = "n=" saslname
                     ;; Usernames are prepared using SASLprep.

   reserved-mext  = "m=" 1*(value-char)
                     ;; Reserved for signaling mandatory extensions.
                     ;; The exact syntax will be defined in
                     ;; the future.

   channel-binding = "c=" base64
                     ;; base64 encoding of cbind-input.

   proof           = "p=" base64

   nonce           = "r=" c-nonce [s-nonce]
                     ;; Second part provided by server.

   c-nonce         = printable

   s-nonce         = printable

   salt            = "s=" base64

   verifier        = "v=" base64
                     ;; base-64 encoded ServerSignature.

   iteration-count = "i=" posit-number
                     ;; A positive number.

   client-first-message-bare =
                     [reserved-mext ","]
                     username "," nonce ["," extensions]

   client-first-message =
                     gs2-header client-first-message-bare

   server-first-message =
                     [reserved-mext ","] nonce "," salt ","
                     iteration-count ["," extensions]

   client-final-message-without-proof =
                     channel-binding "," nonce [","
                     extensions]

   client-final-message =
                     client-final-message-without-proof "," proof

   server-error = "e=" server-error-value

   server-error-value = "invalid-encoding" /
                  "extensions-not-supported" /  ; unrecognized 'm' value
                  "invalid-proof" /
                  "channel-bindings-dont-match" /
                  "server-does-support-channel-binding" /
                    ; server does not support channel binding
                  "channel-binding-not-supported" /
                  "unsupported-channel-binding-type" /
                  "unknown-user" /
                  "invalid-username-encoding" /
                    ; invalid username encoding (invalid UTF-8 or
                    ; SASLprep failed)
                  "no-resources" /
                  "other-error" /
                  server-error-value-ext
           ; Unrecognized errors should be treated as "other-error".
           ; In order to prevent information disclosure, the server
           ; may substitute the real reason with "other-error".

   server-error-value-ext = value
           ; Additional error reasons added by extensions
           ; to this document.

   server-final-message = (server-error / verifier)
                     ["," extensions]

   extensions = attr-val *("," attr-val)
                     ;; All extensions are optional,
                     ;; i.e., unrecognized attributes
                     ;; not defined in this document
                     ;; MUST be ignored.

   cbind-data    = 1*OCTET

   cbind-input   = gs2-header [ cbind-data ]
                     ;; cbind-data MUST be present for
                     ;; gs2-cbind-flag of "p" and MUST be absent
                     ;; for "y" or "n".

8.  SCRAM as a GSS-API Mechanism

   This section and its sub-sections and all normative references of it
   not referenced elsewhere in this document are INFORMATIONAL for SASL
   implementors, but they are NORMATIVE for GSS-API implementors.

   SCRAM is actually also a GSS-API mechanism.  The messages are the
   same, but a) the GS2 header on the client's first message and channel
   binding data is excluded when SCRAM is used as a GSS-API mechanism,
   and b) the RFC2743 section 3.1 initial context token header is
   prefixed to the client's first authentication message (context
   token).

   The GSS-API mechanism OID for SCRAM-SHA-1 is 1.3.6.1.5.5.14 (see
   Section 10).

   SCRAM security contexts always have the mutual_state flag
   (GSS_C_MUTUAL_FLAG) set to TRUE.  SCRAM does not support credential
   delegation, therefore SCRAM security contexts alway have the
   deleg_state flag (GSS_C_DELEG_FLAG) set to FALSE.

8.1.  GSS-API Principal Name Types for SCRAM

   SCRAM does not explicitly name acceptor principals.  However, the use
   of acceptor principal names to find or prompt for passwords is
   useful.  Therefore, SCRAM supports standard generic name syntaxes for
   acceptors such as GSS_C_NT_HOSTBASED_SERVICE (see [RFC2743], Section
   4.1).  Implementations should use the target name passed to
   GSS_Init_sec_context(), if any, to help retrieve or prompt for SCRAM
   passwords.

   SCRAM supports only a single name type for initiators:
   GSS_C_NT_USER_NAME.  GSS_C_NT_USER_NAME is the default name type for
   SCRAM.

   There is no name canonicalization procedure for SCRAM beyond applying
   SASLprep as described in Section 5.1.

   The query, display, and exported name syntaxes for SCRAM principal
   names are all the same.  There are no SCRAM-specific name syntaxes
   (SCRAM initiator principal names are free-form); -- applications
   should use generic GSS-API name types such as GSS_C_NT_USER_NAME and

   GSS_C_NT_HOSTBASED_SERVICE (see [RFC2743], Section 4).  The exported
   name token does, of course, conform to [RFC2743], Section 3.2, but
   the "NAME" part of the token is just a SCRAM user name.

8.2.  GSS-API Per-Message Tokens for SCRAM

   The per-message tokens for SCRAM as a GSS-API mechanism SHALL be the
   same as those for the Kerberos V GSS-API mechanism [RFC4121] (see
   Section 4.2 and sub-sections), using the Kerberos V "aes128-cts-hmac-
   sha1-96" enctype [RFC3962].

   The replay_det_state (GSS_C_REPLAY_FLAG), sequence_state
   (GSS_C_SEQUENCE_FLAG), conf_avail (GSS_C_CONF_FLAG) and integ_avail
   (GSS_C_CONF_FLAG) security context flags are always set to TRUE.

   The 128-bit session "protocol key" SHALL be derived by using the
   least significant (right-most) 128 bits of HMAC(StoredKey, "GSS-API
   session key" || ClientKey || AuthMessage).  "Specific keys" are then
   derived as usual as described in Section 2 of [RFC4121], [RFC3961],
   and [RFC3962].

   The terms "protocol key" and "specific key" are Kerberos V5 terms
   [RFC3961].

   SCRAM does support PROT_READY, and is PROT_READY on the initiator
   side first upon receipt of the server's reply to the initial security
   context token.

8.3.  GSS_Pseudo_random() for SCRAM

   The GSS_Pseudo_random() [RFC4401] for SCRAM SHALL be the same as for
   the Kerberos V GSS-API mechanism [RFC4402].  There is no acceptor-
   asserted sub-session key for SCRAM, thus GSS_C_PRF_KEY_FULL and
   GSS_C_PRF_KEY_PARTIAL are equivalent for SCRAM's GSS_Pseudo_random().
   The protocol key to be used for the GSS_Pseudo_random() SHALL be the
   same as the key defined in Section 8.2.

9.  Security Considerations

   If the authentication exchange is performed without a strong security
   layer (such as TLS with data confidentiality), then a passive
   eavesdropper can gain sufficient information to mount an offline
   dictionary or brute-force attack that can be used to recover the
   user's password.  The amount of time necessary for this attack
   depends on the cryptographic hash function selected, the strength of
   the password, and the iteration count supplied by the server.  An
   external security layer with strong encryption will prevent this
   attack.

   If the external security layer used to protect the SCRAM exchange
   uses an anonymous key exchange, then the SCRAM channel binding
   mechanism can be used to detect a man-in-the-middle attack on the
   security layer and cause the authentication to fail as a result.
   However, the man-in-the-middle attacker will have gained sufficient
   information to mount an offline dictionary or brute-force attack.
   For this reason, SCRAM allows to increase the iteration count over
   time.  (Note that a server that is only in possession of "StoredKey"
   and "ServerKey" can't automatically increase the iteration count upon
   successful authentication.  Such an increase would require resetting
   the user's password.)

   If the authentication information is stolen from the authentication
   database, then an offline dictionary or brute-force attack can be
   used to recover the user's password.  The use of salt mitigates this
   attack somewhat by requiring a separate attack on each password.
   Authentication mechanisms that protect against this attack are
   available (e.g., the EKE class of mechanisms).  RFC 2945 [RFC2945] is
   an example of such technology.  The WG elected not to use EKE like
   mechanisms as a basis for SCRAM.

   If an attacker obtains the authentication information from the
   authentication repository and either eavesdrops on one authentication
   exchange or impersonates a server, the attacker gains the ability to
   impersonate that user to all servers providing SCRAM access using the
   same hash function, password, iteration count, and salt.  For this
   reason, it is important to use randomly generated salt values.

   SCRAM does not negotiate a hash function to use.  Hash function
   negotiation is left to the SASL mechanism negotiation.  It is
   important that clients be able to sort a locally available list of
   mechanisms by preference so that the client may pick the appropriate
   mechanism to use from a server's advertised mechanism list.  This
   preference order is not specified here as it is a local matter.  The
   preference order should include objective and subjective notions of
   mechanism cryptographic strength (e.g., SCRAM with a successor to
   SHA-1 may be preferred over SCRAM with SHA-1).

   Note that to protect the SASL mechanism negotiation applications
   normally must list the server mechanisms twice: once before and once
   after authentication, the latter using security layers.  Since SCRAM
   does not provide security layers, the only ways to protect the
   mechanism negotiation are a) use channel binding to an external
   channel, or b) use an external channel that authenticates a user-
   provided server name.

   SCRAM does not protect against downgrade attacks of channel binding
   types.  The complexities of negotiating a channel binding type, and
   handling down-grade attacks in that negotiation, were intentionally
   left out of scope for this document.

   A hostile server can perform a computational denial-of-service attack
   on clients by sending a big iteration count value.

   See [RFC4086] for more information about generating randomness.

10.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has added the following family of SASL mechanisms to the SASL
   Mechanism registry established by [RFC4422]:

   To: iana@iana.org
   Subject: Registration of a new SASL family SCRAM

   SASL mechanism name (or prefix for the family): SCRAM-*
   Security considerations: Section 7 of [RFC5802]
   Published specification (optional, recommended): [RFC5802]
   Person & email address to contact for further information:
   IETF SASL WG <sasl@ietf.org>
   Intended usage: COMMON
   Owner/Change controller: IESG <iesg@ietf.org>
   Note: Members of this family MUST be explicitly registered
   using the "IETF Review" [RFC5226] registration procedure.
   Reviews MUST be requested on the SASL mailing list
   <sasl@ietf.org> (or a successor designated by the responsible
   Security AD).

   Note to future SCRAM-mechanism designers: each new SCRAM-SASL
   mechanism MUST be explicitly registered with IANA and MUST comply
   with SCRAM-mechanism naming convention defined in Section 4 of this
   document.

   IANA has added the following entries to the SASL Mechanism registry
   established by [RFC4422]:

   To: iana@iana.org
   Subject: Registration of a new SASL mechanism SCRAM-SHA-1

   SASL mechanism name (or prefix for the family): SCRAM-SHA-1
   Security considerations: Section 7 of [RFC5802]
   Published specification (optional, recommended): [RFC5802]
   Person & email address to contact for further information:
   IETF SASL WG <sasl@ietf.org>
   Intended usage: COMMON
   Owner/Change controller: IESG <iesg@ietf.org>
   Note:

   To: iana@iana.org
   Subject: Registration of a new SASL mechanism SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS

   SASL mechanism name (or prefix for the family): SCRAM-SHA-1-PLUS
   Security considerations: Section 7 of [RFC5802]
   Published specification (optional, recommended): [RFC5802]
   Person & email address to contact for further information:
   IETF SASL WG <sasl@ietf.org>
   Intended usage: COMMON
   Owner/Change controller: IESG <iesg@ietf.org>
   Note:

   Per this document, IANA has assigned a GSS-API mechanism OID for
   SCRAM-SHA-1 from the iso.org.dod.internet.security.mechanisms prefix
   (see "SMI Security for Mechanism Codes" registry).

11.  Acknowledgements

   This document benefited from discussions on the SASL WG mailing list.
   The authors would like to specially thank Dave Cridland, Simon
   Josefsson, Jeffrey Hutzelman, Kurt Zeilenga, Pasi Eronen, Ben
   Campbell, Peter Saint-Andre, and Tobias Markmann for their
   contributions to this document.  A special thank you to Simon
   Josefsson for shepherding this document and for doing one of the
   first implementations of this specification.

12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2104]  Krawczyk, H., Bellare, M., and R. Canetti, "HMAC: Keyed-
              Hashing for Message Authentication", RFC 2104,
              February 1997.

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

   [RFC3174]  Eastlake, D. and P. Jones, "US Secure Hash Algorithm 1
              (SHA1)", RFC 3174, September 2001.

   [RFC3454]  Hoffman, P. and M. Blanchet, "Preparation of
              Internationalized Strings ("stringprep")", RFC 3454,
              December 2002.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, November 2003.

   [RFC4013]  Zeilenga, K., "SASLprep: Stringprep Profile for User Names
              and Passwords", RFC 4013, February 2005.

   [RFC4422]  Melnikov, A. and K. Zeilenga, "Simple Authentication and
              Security Layer (SASL)", RFC 4422, June 2006.

   [RFC4648]  Josefsson, S., "The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data
              Encodings", RFC 4648, October 2006.

   [RFC5056]  Williams, N., "On the Use of Channel Bindings to Secure
              Channels", RFC 5056, November 2007.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008.

   [RFC5929]  Altman, J., Williams, N., and L. Zhu, "Channel Bindings
              for TLS", RFC 5929, July 2010.

12.2.  Normative References for GSS-API Implementors

   [RFC2743]  Linn, J., "Generic Security Service Application Program
              Interface Version 2, Update 1", RFC 2743, January 2000.

   [RFC3961]  Raeburn, K., "Encryption and Checksum Specifications for
              Kerberos 5", RFC 3961, February 2005.

   [RFC3962]  Raeburn, K., "Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
              Encryption for Kerberos 5", RFC 3962, February 2005.

   [RFC4121]  Zhu, L., Jaganathan, K., and S. Hartman, "The Kerberos
              Version 5 Generic Security Service Application Program
              Interface (GSS-API) Mechanism: Version 2", RFC 4121,
              July 2005.

   [RFC4401]  Williams, N., "A Pseudo-Random Function (PRF) API
              Extension for the Generic Security Service Application
              Program Interface (GSS-API)", RFC 4401, February 2006.

   [RFC4402]  Williams, N., "A Pseudo-Random Function (PRF) for the
              Kerberos V Generic Security Service Application Program
              Interface (GSS-API) Mechanism", RFC 4402, February 2006.

   [RFC5801]  Josefsson, S. and N. Williams, "Using Generic Security
              Service Application Program Interface (GSS-API) Mechanisms
              in Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL): The
              GS2 Mechanism Family", RFC 5801, July 2010.

12.3.  Informative References

   [CRAMHISTORIC]
              Zeilenga, K., "CRAM-MD5 to Historic", Work in Progress,
              November 2008.

   [DIGESTHISTORIC]
              Melnikov, A., "Moving DIGEST-MD5 to Historic", Work
              in Progress, July 2008.

   [RFC2865]  Rigney, C., Willens, S., Rubens, A., and W. Simpson,
              "Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)",
              RFC 2865, June 2000.

   [RFC2898]  Kaliski, B., "PKCS #5: Password-Based Cryptography
              Specification Version 2.0", RFC 2898, September 2000.

   [RFC2945]  Wu, T., "The SRP Authentication and Key Exchange System",
              RFC 2945, September 2000.

   [RFC4086]  Eastlake, D., Schiller, J., and S. Crocker, "Randomness
              Requirements for Security", BCP 106, RFC 4086, June 2005.

   [RFC4510]  Zeilenga, K., "Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
              (LDAP): Technical Specification Road Map", RFC 4510,
              June 2006.

   [RFC4616]  Zeilenga, K., "The PLAIN Simple Authentication and
              Security Layer (SASL) Mechanism", RFC 4616, August 2006.

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

   [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226,
              May 2008.

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

   [RFC5803]  Melnikov, A., "Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
              (LDAP) Schema for Storing Salted Challenge Response
              Authentication Mechanism (SCRAM) Secrets", RFC 5803,
              July 2010.

   [tls-server-end-point]
              IANA, "Registration of TLS server end-point channel
              bindings", available from http://www.iana.org, June 2008.

Appendix A.  Other Authentication Mechanisms

   The DIGEST-MD5 [DIGESTHISTORIC] mechanism has proved to be too
   complex to implement and test, and thus has poor interoperability.
   The security layer is often not implemented, and almost never used;
   everyone uses TLS instead.  For a more complete list of problems with
   DIGEST-MD5 that led to the creation of SCRAM, see [DIGESTHISTORIC].

   The CRAM-MD5 SASL mechanism, while widely deployed, also has some
   problems.  In particular, it is missing some modern SASL features
   such as support for internationalized usernames and passwords,
   support for passing of authorization identity, and support for
   channel bindings.  It also doesn't support server authentication.
   For a more complete list of problems with CRAM-MD5, see
   [CRAMHISTORIC].

   The PLAIN [RFC4616] SASL mechanism allows a malicious server or
   eavesdropper to impersonate the authenticating user to any other
   server for which the user has the same password.  It also sends the
   password in the clear over the network, unless TLS is used.  Server
   authentication is not supported.

Appendix B.  Design Motivations

   The following design goals shaped this document.  Note that some of
   the goals have changed since the initial version of the document.

   o  The SASL mechanism has all modern SASL features: support for
      internationalized usernames and passwords, support for passing of
      authorization identity, and support for channel bindings.

   o  The protocol supports mutual authentication.

   o  The authentication information stored in the authentication
      database is not sufficient by itself to impersonate the client.

   o  The server does not gain the ability to impersonate the client to
      other servers (with an exception for server-authorized proxies),
      unless such other servers allow SCRAM authentication and use the
      same salt and iteration count for the user.

   o  The mechanism is extensible, but (hopefully) not over-engineered
      in this respect.

   o  The mechanism is easier to implement than DIGEST-MD5 in both
      clients and servers.

Authors' Addresses

   Chris Newman
   Oracle
   800 Royal Oaks
   Monrovia, CA  91016
   USA

   EMail: chris.newman@oracle.com

   Abhijit Menon-Sen
   Oryx Mail Systems GmbH

   EMail: ams@toroid.org

   Alexey Melnikov
   Isode, Ltd.

   EMail: Alexey.Melnikov@isode.com

   Nicolas Williams
   Oracle
   5300 Riata Trace Ct
   Austin, TX  78727
   USA

   EMail: Nicolas.Williams@oracle.com

 

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