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RFC 5876 - Updates to Asserted Identity in the Session Initiatio


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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         J. Elwell
Request for Comments: 5876             Siemens Enterprise Communications
Updates: 3325                                                 April 2010
Category: Informational
ISSN: 2070-1721

 Updates to Asserted Identity in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)

Abstract

   The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has a mechanism for conveying
   the identity of the originator of a request by means of the
   P-Asserted-Identity and P-Preferred-Identity header fields.  These
   header fields are specified for use in requests using a number of SIP
   methods, in particular the INVITE method.  However, RFC 3325 does not
   specify the insertion of the P-Asserted-Identity header field by a
   trusted User Agent Client (UAC), does not specify the use of
   P-Asserted-Identity and P-Preferred-Identity header fields with
   certain SIP methods such as UPDATE, REGISTER, MESSAGE, and PUBLISH,
   and does not specify how to handle an unexpected number of URIs or
   unexpected URI schemes in these header fields.  This document extends
   RFC 3325 to cover these situations.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   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).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see 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/rfc5876.

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 ....................................................2
   2. Terminology .....................................................4
   3. Discussion ......................................................4
      3.1. Inclusion of P-Asserted-Identity by a UAC ..................4
      3.2. Inclusion of P-Asserted-Identity in Any Request ............5
      3.3. Dialog Implications ........................................6
   4. Behaviour .......................................................6
      4.1. UAC Behaviour ..............................................7
      4.2. Proxy Behaviour ............................................7
      4.3. Registrar Behaviour ........................................7
      4.4. UAS Behaviour ..............................................8
      4.5. General Handling ...........................................8
   5. Security Considerations .........................................9
   6. Acknowledgements ...............................................10
   7. References .....................................................10
      7.1. Normative References ......................................10
      7.2. Informative References ....................................11

1.  Introduction

   The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is specified in RFC 3261
   [RFC3261].  RFC 3325 [RFC3325] specifies a mechanism for conveying
   the asserted identity of the originator of a SIP request within a
   Trust Domain.  This is achieved by means of the P-Asserted-Identity
   header field, which is specified for use in requests using a number
   of SIP methods, in particular the INVITE method.  In addition, the
   P-Preferred-Identity header field can be used to indicate a
   preference for which identity should be asserted when there is a
   choice.

   RFC 3325 does not specify the insertion of the P-Asserted-Identity
   header field by a User Agent Client (UAC) in the same Trust Domain as
   the first proxy.  Also, RFC 3325 does not specify the use of the
   P-Asserted-Identity and P-Preferred-Identity header fields with
   certain SIP methods such as UPDATE [RFC3311], REGISTER, MESSAGE
   [RFC3428], and PUBLISH [RFC3903].  This document extends RFC 3325 by
   allowing inclusion of the P-Asserted-Identity header field by a UAC
   in the same Trust Domain as the first proxy and allowing use of
   P-Asserted-Identity and P-Preferred-Identity header fields in any
   request except ACK and CANCEL.  The reason for these two exceptions
   is that ACK and CANCEL requests cannot be challenged for digest
   authentication.

   RFC 3325 allows the P-Asserted-Identity and P-Preferred-Identity
   header fields each to contain at most two URIs, where one is a SIP or
   SIPS URI [RFC3261] and the other is a TEL URI [RFC3966].  This may be
   unduly restrictive in the future, for example, if there is a need to
   allow other URI schemes, if there is a need to allow both a SIP and a
   SIPS URI, or if there is a need to allow more than one URI with the
   same scheme (e.g., a SIP URI based on a telephone number and a SIP
   URI that is not based on a telephone number).  This document
   therefore provides forwards compatibility by mandating tolerance to
   the receipt of unexpected URIs.

   This document does not alter the fact that the asserted identity
   mechanism has limited applicability, i.e., within a Trust Domain.
   For general applicability, including operation outside a Trust Domain
   (e.g., over the public Internet) or between different Trust Domains,
   a different mechanism is needed.  RFC 4474 [RFC4474] specifies the
   Identity header field, in conjunction with the From header field, to
   provide authenticated identity in such circumstances.  RFC 4916
   [RFC4916] specifies the use of RFC 4474 in mid-dialog requests, in
   particular, in requests in the reverse direction to the dialog-
   forming request as a means of providing authenticated connected
   identity.

   RFC 3325 is unclear on the use of P-Asserted-Identity in responses.
   In contrast to requests, there is no means in SIP to challenge a User
   Agent Server (UAS) to provide SIP digest authentication in a
   response.  As a result, there is currently no standardised mechanism
   whereby a proxy can authenticate a UAS.  Since authenticating the
   source of a message is a prerequisite for asserting an identity, this
   document does not specify the use of the P-Asserted-Identity header
   field in responses.  This may be the subject of a future update to
   RFC 3325.  Also, this document does not specify the use of the
   P-Preferred-Identity header field in responses, as this would serve
   no purpose in the absence of the ability for a proxy to insert the
   P-Asserted-Identity header field.

2.  Terminology

   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].

   This document uses the concepts of Trust Domain and Spec(T), as
   specified in section 2.3 of RFC 3324 [RFC3324].

3.  Discussion

3.1.  Inclusion of P-Asserted-Identity by a UAC

   RFC 3325 does not include procedures for a UAC to include the
   P-Asserted-Identity header field in a request.  This can be
   meaningful if the UAC is in the same Trust Domain as the first
   downstream SIP entity.  Examples of types of UACs that are often
   suitable for inclusion in a Trust Domain are:

   o  Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) gateways;

   o  media servers;

   o  application servers (or Back-to-Back User Agents (B2BUAs)) that
      act as URI list servers [RFC5363];

   o  application servers (or B2BUAs) that perform third party call
      control.

   In the particular case of a PSTN gateway, the PSTN gateway might be
   able to assert an identity received from the PSTN, the proxy itself
   having no means to authenticate such an identity.  Likewise, in the
   case of certain application server or B2BUA arrangements, the
   application server or B2BUA may be in a position to assert an
   identity of a user on the other side of that application server or
   B2BUA.

   In accordance with RFC 3325, nodes within a Trust Domain must behave
   in accordance with a Spec(T), and this principle needs to be applied
   between a UAC and its proxy as part of the condition to consider the
   UAC to be within the same Trust Domain.  The normal proxy procedures
   of RFC 3325 ensure that the header field is removed or replaced if
   the first proxy considers the UAC to be outside the Trust Domain.

   This update to RFC 3325 clarifies that a UAC may include a
   P-Asserted-Identity header field in a request in certain
   circumstances.

3.2.  Inclusion of P-Asserted-Identity in Any Request

   There are several use cases that would benefit from the use of the
   P-Asserted-Identity header field in an UPDATE request.  These use
   cases apply within a Trust Domain where the use of asserted identity
   is appropriate (see RFC 3325).

   In one example, an established call passes through a gateway to the
   PSTN.  The gateway becomes aware that the remote party in the PSTN
   has changed, e.g., due to call transfer.  By including the
   P-Asserted-Identity header field in an UPDATE request, the gateway
   can convey the identity of the new remote party to the peer SIP User
   Agent (UA).

      Note that the (re-)INVITE method could be used in this situation.
      However, this forces an offer-answer exchange, which typically is
      not required in this situation.  Also, it involves three messages
      rather than two.

   In another example, a B2BUA that provides third party call control
   (3PCC) [RFC3725] wishes to join two calls together, one of which is
   still waiting to be answered and potentially is forked to different
   UAs.  At this point in time, it is not possible to trigger the normal
   offer-answer exchange between the two joined parties, because of the
   mismatch between a single dialog on the one side and potentially
   multiple early dialogs on the other side, so this action must wait
   until one of the called UAs answers.  However, it would be useful to
   give an early indication to each user concerned of the identity of
   the user to which they will become connected when the call is
   answered.  In other words, it would provide the new calling UA with
   the identity of the new called user and provide the new called UA(s)
   with the identity of the new calling user.  This can be achieved by
   the B2BUA sending an UPDATE request with a P-Asserted-Identity header
   field on the dialogs concerned.

   Within a Trust Domain, a P-Asserted-Identity header field could
   advantageously be used in a REGISTER request between an edge proxy
   that has authenticated the source of the request and the registrar.

   Within a Trust Domain, a P-Asserted-Identity header field could
   advantageously be used in a MESSAGE request to assert the source of a
   page-mode instant message.  This would complement its use in an
   INVITE request to assert the source of an instant-message session or
   any other form of session.  Similarly, between a UAC and first proxy
   that are not within the same Trust Domain, a P-Preferred-Identity
   header field could be used in a MESSAGE request to express a
   preference when the user has several identities.

   Within a Trust Domain, a P-Asserted-Identity header field could
   advantageously be used in a PUBLISH request to assert the source of
   published state information.  This would complement its use in
   SUBSCRIBE and NOTIFY requests.  Similarly, between a UAC and first
   proxy that are not within the same Trust Domain, a P-Preferred-
   Identity header field could be used in a PUBLISH request to express a
   preference when the user has several identities.

   Thus, there are several examples where P-Asserted-Identity could be
   used in requests with methods for which there is no provision in RFC
   3325.  This leaves a few methods for which use cases are less
   obvious, but the inclusion of P-Asserted-Identity would not cause any
   harm.  In any requests, the header field would simply assert the
   source of that request, whether or not this is of any use to the UAS.
   Inclusion of P-Asserted-Identity in a request requires that the
   original asserter of an identity be able to authenticate the source
   of the request.  This implies the ability to challenge a request for
   SIP digest authentication, which is not possible with ACK and CANCEL
   requests.  Therefore, ACK and CANCEL requests need to be excluded.

   Similarly, there are examples where P-Preferred-Identity could be
   used in requests with methods for which there is no provision in RFC
   3325 or any other RFC (with the exception of ACK and CANCEL).

   This update to RFC 3325 allows a P-Asserted-Identity or P-Preferred-
   Identity header field to be included in any request except ACK and
   CANCEL.

3.3.  Dialog Implications

   A P-Asserted-Identity header field in a received request asserts the
   identity of the source of that request and says nothing about the
   source of subsequent received requests claiming to relate to the same
   dialog.  The recipient can make its own deductions about the source
   of subsequent requests not containing a P-Asserted-Identity header
   field.  This document does not change RFC 3325 in this respect.

4.  Behaviour

   This document updates RFC 3325 by allowing a P-Asserted-Identity
   header field to be included by a UAC within the same Trust Domain and
   by allowing a P-Asserted-Identity or P-Preferred-Identity header
   field to appear in any request except ACK or CANCEL.

4.1.  UAC Behaviour

   A UAC MAY include a P-Asserted-Identity header field in any request
   except ACK and CANCEL to report the identity of the user on behalf of
   which the UAC is acting and whose identity the UAC is in a position
   to assert.  A UAC SHOULD do so only in cases where it believes it is
   in the same Trust Domain as the SIP entity to which it sends the
   request and where it is connected to that SIP entity in accordance
   with the security requirements of RFC 3325.  A UAC SHOULD NOT do so
   in other circumstances and might instead use the P-Preferred-Identity
   header field.  A UAC MUST NOT include both header fields.

   A UAC MAY include a P-Preferred-Identity header field in any request
   except ACK or CANCEL.

   Inclusion of a P-Asserted-Identity or P-Preferred-Identity header
   field in a request is not limited to the methods allowed in RFC 3325.

4.2.  Proxy Behaviour

   If a proxy receives a request containing a P-Asserted-Identity header
   field from a UAC within the Trust Domain, it MUST behave as it would
   for a request from any other node within the Trust Domain, in
   accordance with the rules of RFC 3325 for a proxy.

      Note that this implies that the proxy must have authenticated the
      sender of the request in accordance with the Spec(T) in force for
      the Trust Domain and determined that the sender is indeed part of
      the Trust Domain.

   If a proxy receives a request (other than ACK or CANCEL) containing a
   P-Asserted-Identity or P-Preferred-Identity header field, it MUST
   behave in accordance with the rules of RFC 3325 for a proxy, even if
   the method is not one for which RFC 3325 specifies use of that header
   field.

4.3.  Registrar Behaviour

   If a registrar receives a REGISTER request containing a P-Asserted-
   Identity header field, it MUST disregard the asserted identity unless
   it is received from a node within the Trust Domain.  If the node is
   within the Trust Domain (the node having been authenticated by some
   means), the registrar MAY use this as evidence that the registering
   UA has been authenticated and is represented by the identity asserted
   in the header field.

4.4.  UAS Behaviour

   If a UAS receives any request (other than ACK or CANCEL) containing a
   P-Asserted-Identity header field, it MUST behave in accordance with
   the rules of RFC 3325 for a UAS, even if the method is not one for
   which RFC 3325 specifies use of that header field.

4.5.  General Handling

   An entity receiving a P-Asserted-Identity or P-Preferred-Identity
   header field can expect the number of URIs and the combination of URI
   schemes in the header field to be in accordance with RFC 3325, any
   updates to RFC 3325, or any Spec(T) that states otherwise.  If an
   entity receives a request containing a P-Asserted-Identity or
   P-Preferred-Identity header field containing an unexpected number of
   URIs or unexpected URI schemes, it MUST act as follows:

   o  ignore any URI with an unexpected URI scheme;

   o  ignore any URI for which the expected maximum number of URIs with
      the same scheme occurred earlier in the header field; and

   o  ignore any URI whose scheme is not expected to occur in
      combination with a scheme that occurred earlier in the header
      field.

   In the absence of a Spec(T) determining otherwise, this document does
   not change the RFC 3325 requirement that allows each of these header
   fields to contain at most two URIs, where one is a SIP or SIPS URI
   and the other is a TEL URI, but future updates to this document may
   relax that requirement.  In the absence of such a relaxation or a
   Spec(T) determining otherwise, the RFC 3325 requirement means that an
   entity receiving a request containing a P-Asserted-Identity or
   P-Preferred-Identity header field must act as follows:

   o  ignore any URI with a scheme other than SIP, SIPS, or TEL;

   o  ignore a second or subsequent SIP URI, a second or subsequent SIPS
      URI, or a second or subsequent TEL URI; and

   o  ignore a SIP URI if a SIPS URI occurred earlier in the header
      field and vice versa.

   A proxy MUST NOT forward a URI when forwarding a request if that URI
   is to be ignored in accordance with the requirement above.

   When a UAC or a proxy sends a request containing a P-Asserted-
   Identity header field to another node in the Trust Domain, if that
   other node complies with RFC 3325 but not with this specification,
   and if the method is not one for which RFC 3325 specifies use of the
   P-Asserted-Identity header field, and if the request also contains a
   Privacy header field with value 'id', as specified in RFC 3325, the
   other node might not handle the Privacy header field correctly.  To
   prevent incorrect handling of the Privacy header field with value
   'id', the Spec(T) in force for the Trust Domain SHOULD require all
   nodes to comply with this specification.  If this is not the case, a
   UAC or a proxy SHOULD NOT include a P-Asserted-Identity header field
   in a request if the method is not one for which RFC 3325 specifies
   use of the P-Asserted-Identity header field and if the request also
   contains a Privacy header field with value 'id'.

5.  Security Considerations

   The use of asserted identity raises a number of security
   considerations, which are discussed fully in [RFC3325].  This
   document raises the following additional security considerations.

   When adding a P-Asserted-Identity header field to a message, an
   entity must have authenticated the source of the message by some
   means.  One means is to challenge the sender of a message to provide
   SIP digest authentication.  Responses cannot be challenged, and also
   ACK and CANCEL requests cannot be challenged.  Therefore, this
   document limits the use of P-Asserted-Identity to requests other than
   ACK and CANCEL.

   When sending a request containing the P-Asserted-Identity header
   field and also the Privacy header field with value 'id' to a node
   within the Trust Domain, special considerations apply if that node
   does not support this specification.  Section 4.5 makes a special
   provision for this case.

   When receiving a request containing a P-Asserted-Identity header
   field, a proxy will trust the assertion only if the source is known
   to be within the Trust Domain and behaves in accordance with a
   Spec(T), which defines the security requirements.  This applies
   regardless of the nature of the resource (UA or proxy).  One example
   where a trusted source might be a UA is a PSTN gateway.  In this
   case, the UA can assert an identity received from the PSTN, the proxy
   itself having no means to authenticate such an identity.  A SIP
   entity must not trust an identity asserted by a source outside the
   Trust Domain.  Typically, a UA under the control of an individual
   user (such as a desk phone or mobile phone) should not be considered
   part of a Trust Domain.

   When receiving a response from a node outside the Trust Domain, a
   proxy has no standardised SIP means to authenticate the source of the
   response.  For this reason, this document does not specify the use of
   P-Asserted-Identity or P-Preferred-Identity in responses.

6.  Acknowledgements

   Useful comments were received from Francois Audet, John-Luc Bakker,
   Jeroen van Bemmel, Hans Erik van Elburg, Vijay Gurbani, Cullen
   Jennings, Hadriel Kaplan, Paul Kyzivat, Jonathan Rosenberg, Thomas
   Stach, and Brett Tate during drafting and review.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC3261]  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.

   [RFC3311]  Rosenberg, J., "The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
              UPDATE Method", RFC 3311, October 2002.

   [RFC3324]  Watson, M., "Short Term Requirements for Network Asserted
              Identity", RFC 3324, November 2002.

   [RFC3325]  Jennings, C., Peterson, J., and M. Watson, "Private
              Extensions to the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for
              Asserted Identity within Trusted Networks", RFC 3325,
              November 2002.

   [RFC3428]  Campbell, B., Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Huitema, C.,
              and D. Gurle, "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Extension
              for Instant Messaging", RFC 3428, December 2002.

   [RFC3903]  Niemi, A., "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Extension
              for Event State Publication", RFC 3903, October 2004.

   [RFC3966]  Schulzrinne, H., "The tel URI for Telephone Numbers",
              RFC 3966, December 2004.

7.2.  Informative References

   [RFC3725]  Rosenberg, J., Peterson, J., Schulzrinne, H., and G.
              Camarillo, "Best Current Practices for Third Party Call
              Control (3pcc) in the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)",
              BCP 85, RFC 3725, April 2004.

   [RFC4474]  Peterson, J. and C. Jennings, "Enhancements for
              Authenticated Identity Management in the Session
              Initiation Protocol (SIP)", RFC 4474, August 2006.

   [RFC4916]  Elwell, J., "Connected Identity in the Session Initiation
              Protocol (SIP)", RFC 4916, June 2007.

   [RFC5363]  Camarillo, G. and A. Roach, "Framework and Security
              Considerations for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) URI-
              List Services", RFC 5363, October 2008.

Author's Address

   John Elwell
   Siemens Enterprise Communications

   Phone: +44 115 943 4989
   EMail: john.elwell@siemens-enterprise.com

 

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