[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [WG] [Email] [Diff1] [Diff2] [Nits]

Versions: 01 02 03 04 RFC 4082

Internet Engineering Task Force                                    IETF MSEC
Internet Draft                         Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe
draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03.txt        CMU / IBM / CMU / UC Berkeley / BT
  August 2004
Expires: 1 February 2005

     TESLA: Multicast Source Authentication Transform Introduction


   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material
   or to cite them other than as "work in progress".

   To view the list Internet-Draft Shadow Directories, see


   Data authentication is an important component for many broadcast
   applications, for example audio and video Internet broadcasts, or
   data distribution by satellite. This document introduces TESLA,
   short for Timed Efficient Stream Loss-tolerant Authentication, a
   secure source authentication mechanism for multicast or broadcast
   data streams. This document provides an algorithmic description of
   TESLA for informational purposes, and in particular, is intended to
   assist in writing standardizable and secure specifications for
   protocols based on TESLA in different contexts.

   The main deterrents so far for a data authentication mechanism for
   multicast were the seemingly conflicting requirements: loss
   tolerance, efficiency, and no per-receiver state at the sender. The
   problem is particularly hard in settings with high packet loss
   rates and where lost packets are not retransmitted, and where the
   receivers want to authenticate each packet they do receive.

   TESLA provides authentication of individual data packets,
   regardless of loss rate. In addition, TESLA features low overhead
   for both sender and receiver, and does not require per-receiver
   state at the sender. TESLA is secure as long as the sender and
   receiver are loosely time synchronized.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 1]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

                           Table of Contents

1          Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
1.1        Notation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
2          Functionality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
2.1        Threat Model and Security Guarantee . . . . . . . . . . .   4
2.2        Assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
3          The Basic TESLA Protocol  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
3.1        Protocol sketch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
3.2        Sender Setup  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
3.3        Bootstrapping Receivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
3.3.1      Time Synchronization. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
3.4        Broadcasting Authenticated Messages . . . . . . . . . . .   8
3.5        Authentication at Receiver  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
3.6        Determining the Key Disclosure Delay  . . . . . . . . . .   9
3.7        An alternative delay description method . . . . . . . . .  10
3.8        Some extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
4          Layer placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
5          Security considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
6          IP statement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
7          Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
8          References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
A          Author Contact Information  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
B          Full Copyright Statement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14

1 Introduction

   In multicast, a single packet can reach millions of receivers. This
   unfortunately also introduces the danger that an attacker can
   potentially also reach millions of receivers with a malicious
   packet. Through source authentication, receivers can ensure that a
   received multicast packet originates from the correct source.

   In unicast communication, we can achieve data authentication
   through a simple mechanism: the sender and the receiver share a
   secret key to compute a message authentication code (MAC) of all
   communicated data. When a message with a correct MAC arrives, the
   receiver is assured that the sender generated that message.
   Standard mechanisms achieve unicast authentication this way, for
   example TLS or IPsec [1,2].

   The symmetric MAC authentication is not secure in a broadcast
   setting. Consider a sender that broadcasts authentic data to mutually
   untrusting receivers. The symmetric MAC is not secure: every receiver

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 2]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

   knows the MAC key, and hence could impersonate the sender and forge
   messages to other receivers. Intuitively, we need an asymmetric
   mechanism to achieve authenticated broadcast, such that every receiver
   can verify the authenticity of messages it receives, without being
   able to generate authentic messages. Achieving this in an efficient
   way is a challenging problem [3].

   The standard approach to achieve such asymmetry for authentication
   is to use asymmetric cryptography, e.g., a digital signature.
   Digital signatures have the required asymmetric property: the
   sender generates the signature with its private key, and all
   receivers can verify the signature with the sender's public key,
   but a receiver with the public key alone cannot generate a digital
   signature for a new message. A digital signature provides
   non-repudiation, a stronger property than authentication. However,
   digital signatures have a high cost: they have a high computation
   overhead for both the sender and the receiver, and most signatures
   also have a high bandwidth overhead. Since we assume broadcast
   settings where the sender does not retransmit lost packets, and the
   receiver still wants to immediately authenticate each packet it
   receives, we would need to attach a digital signature to each
   message. Because of the high overhead of asymmetric cryptography,
   this approach would restrict us to low-rate streams, and to senders
   and receivers with powerful workstations. We can try to amortize one
   digital signature over multiple messages.  However, such an
   approach is still expensive in contrast to symmetric cryptography,
   since symmetric cryptography is in general 3 to 5 orders of
   magnitude more efficient than asymmetric cryptography. In addition,
   the straight-forward amortization of one digital signature over
   multiple packets requires reliability, as the receiver needs to
   receive all packets to verify the signature. A number of schemes
   that follow this approach are [4,5,6,7,8]. See [9] for more

   This document presents the Timed Efficient Stream Loss-tolerant
   Authentication protocol (TESLA). TESLA uses mainly symmetric
   cryptography, and uses time delayed key disclosure to achieve the
   required asymmetry property. However, TESLA requires loosely
   synchronized clocks between the sender and the receivers. See more
   details in Section 4. Other schemes that follow a similar approach
   to TESLA are [10,11,12].

1.1 Notation

   To denote the subscript or an index of a variable, we use the
   underscore between the variable name and the index, e.g., the key K
   with index i is K_i, the key K with index i+d is K_{i+d}. To write
   a superscript we use the caret, e.g., function F with the argument
   x executed i times is F^i(x).

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 3]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

2 Functionality

   TESLA provides delayed per-packet data authentication. The key idea
   to providing both efficiency and security is a delayed disclosure of
   keys. The delayed key disclosure results in an authentication delay.
   In practice, the delay is on the order of one RTT (round-trip-time).

   TESLA has the following properties:

     o Low computation overhead for generation and verification of
       authentication information

     o Low communication overhead

     o Limited buffering required for the sender and the receiver, hence
       timely authentication for each individual packet

     o Strong robustness to packet loss

     o Scales to a large number of receivers

     o Security is guaranteed as long as the sender and recipients are
       loosely time synchronized, where synchronization can take place
       at session set-up.

   TESLA can be used either in the network layer, or in the transport
   layer, or in the application layer. The delayed authentication,
   however, requires buffering of packets until authentication is
   completed. Certain applications intolerant of delay may be willing to
   process packets in parallel to being buffered awaiting authentication,
   as long as roll-back is possible if packets are later found to be
   unauthenticated. For instance, an interactive video may play-out
   packets still awaiting authentication, but if they are later found to
   be unauthenticated, it could stop further play-out and warn the viewer
   that the last x msec were unauthenticated and should be ignored.
   However, in the remainder of this document, for brevity, we will
   assume packets are not processed in parallel to buffering.

2.1 Threat Model and Security Guarantee

   We design TESLA to be secure against a powerful adversary with the
   following capabilities:

     o Full control over the network. The adversary can eavesdrop,
       capture, drop, resend, delay, and alter packets.

     o Access to a fast network with negligible delay.

     o The adversary's computational resources may be very large, but
       not unbounded. In particular, this means that the adversary can
       perform efficient computations, such as computing a reasonable
       number of pseudo-random function applications and MACs with
       negligible delay. Nonetheless, the adversary cannot find the key
       of a pseudorandom function (or distinguish it from a random
       function) with non-negligible probability.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 4]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

   The security property of TESLA guarantees that the receiver never
   accepts M_i as an authentic message unless the sender really sent
   M_i. A scheme that provides this guarantee is called a secure
   broadcast authentication scheme.

   Since TESLA expects the receiver to buffer packets before
   authentication, the receiver needs to protect itself from a
   potential denial-of-service (DOS) attack due to a flood of bogus

2.2 Assumptions

   TESLA makes the following assumptions in order to provide security:

     1.  The sender and the receiver must be be able to loosely
         synchronize. Specifically, each receiver must be able to
         compute an upper bound on the lag of the receiver clock
         relative to the sender clock. We denote this quantity by D_t.
         (That is, D_t = sender time - receiver time).  We note that
         an upper bound on D_t can be easily obtained via a simple
         two-message exchange. (Such an exchange can be piggybacked on
         any secure session initiation protocol. Alternatively, standard
         protocols such as as NTP [16] can be used.

     2.  TESLA MUST be bootstrapped at session set-up through a
         regular data authentication system. We recommend to use a
         digital signature algorithm for this purpose, in which case
         the receiver is required to have an authentic copy of either
         the sender's public key certificate or a root key certificate
         in case of a PKI (public-key infrastructure). Alternatively,
         this initialization step can be done using any secure session
         initiation protocol.

     3.  TESLA uses cryptographic MAC and PRF (pseudo-random functions).
         These MUST be cryptographically secure. Further details on
         the instantiation of the MAC and PRF are in Section 4.2.

     4.  We would like to emphasize that the security of TESLA does NOT
         rely on any assumptions on network propagation delay.

3 The Basic TESLA Protocol

   TESLA is described in several academic publications: A book on
   broadcast security [13], a journal paper [14], and two conference
   papers [8,15]. Please refer to these publications for an in-depth

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 5]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

3.1 Protocol sketch

   We first outline the main ideas behind TESLA.

   As we argue in the introduction, broadcast authentication requires
   a source of asymmetry. TESLA uses time for asymmetry. We first make
   sure that the sender and receivers are loosely time synchronized as
   described above. Next, the sender forms a one-way chain of keys,
   where each key in chain is associated with a time interval (say, a
   second). Here is the basic approach:

     o The sender attaches a MAC to each packet. The MAC is computed
       over the contents of the packet. For each packet, the sender
       uses the current key from the one-way chain as a cryptographic
       key to compute the MAC.

     o The sender discloses a key from the one-way chain after some
       pre-defined time delay. (e.g., the key used in time interval i
       is disclosed at time interval i+3.)

     o Each receiver receives the packet. Each receiver knows the
       schedule for disclosing keys and, since it has an upper bound
       on the local time at the sender, it can check that the key used
       to compute the MAC was not yet disclosed by the sender. If so,
       then the receiver buffers the packet. Otherwise the packet is
       dropped due to inability to authenticate.  Note that we do not
       know for sure whether a "late packet" is a bogus one or simply
       a delayed packet. We drop the packet since we are unable to
       authenticate it. (Ofcourse, an implementation may choose to
       not drop packets and use them unauthenticated.)

     o Each receiver checks that the disclosed key belongs to the
       hash-chain (by checking against previously released keys in the
       chain) and then checks the correctness of the MAC. If the MAC
       is correct, the receiver accepts the packet.

   Note that one-way chains have the property that if intermediate
   values of the one-way chain are lost, they can be recomputed using
   subsequent values in the chain . So, even if some key disclosures
   are lost, a receiver can recover the corresponding keys and check
   the correctness of earlier packets.

   We now describe the stages of the basic TESLA protocol in this
   order: sender setup, receiver bootstrap, sender transmission of
   authenticated broadcast messages, and receiver authentication of
   broadcast messages.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 6]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

3.2 Sender Setup

   The sender divides the time into uniform intervals of duration T_int.
   The sender assigns one key from the one-way chain to each time
   interval in sequence.

   The sender determines the length N of the one-way chain K_0, K_1,
   ..., K_N, and this length limits the maximum transmission duration
   before a new one-way chain must be created. The sender picks a
   random value for K_N. Using a pseudo-random function (PRF) f, the
   sender constructs the one-way function F: F(k) = f_k(0). The rest
   of the chain is computed recursively using K_i = F(K_{i+1}). Note
   that this gives us K_i = F^{N-i}(K_N), so the receiver can compute
   any value in the key chain from K_N even if is does not have
   intermediate values.  The key K_i will be used to authenticate
   packets sent in time interval i.

   Jakobsson [21], and Coppersmith and Jakobsson [22] present a storage
   and computation efficient mechanism for one-way chains. For a chain
   of length N, storage is about log(N) elements, and the computation
   overhead to reconstruct each element is also about log(N).

   The sender determines the duration of a time interval, T_int, and the
   key disclodure delay, d. (T_int is measured in time units, say
   millieconds, and d is measured in number of time intervals. That is,
   a key that is used for time interval i will be desclosed in time
   interval i+d.) It is stressed that the scheme remains secure for any
   values of T_int and d.  Still, correct choice of T_int and d is
   crucial for the usability of the scheme. The choice is influenced by
   the estimated network delay, the length of the transmission, and the
   tolerable delay at the receiver. T_int that is too short will cause
   the keys to run out too soon. T_int that is too long will cause
   excessive delay in authentication for some of the packets (those that
   were sent at the beginning of a time period). Delay d that is too
   short will cause to many packets to be unverifiable by the receiver.
   Delay d that is too long will cause excessive delay in authentication.

   If the sender estimates that the average network delay is m
   milliseconds, and the sender expects to send a packet every n
   milliseconds, then a reasonable value for T_int is max(n,m) and
   a reasonable value for d is ceil(2m/T_int). If the application can
   tolerate higher authentication delay then T_int can be made
   appropriately larger.

   Finally, the sender needs to allow each receiver to synchronize
   its time with the sender. See more details on how this can be done in
   section 3.3. (It is stressed that estimating the network delay is a
   separate task than the time synchronization between the sender and
   the receivers.)

3.3 Bootstrapping Receivers

   Before a receiver can authenticate messages with TESLA, it needs to

     o An upper bound D_t on the lag of its own clock with respect to
       the clock of the sender. (That is, if the local time reading is
       t, the current time reading at the sender is at most t+D_t.).

     o One authenticated key of the one-way key chain. (Typically,
       this will be the last key in the chain, i.e. K_0, this key will
       be signed by the sender, and all receivers will verify the
       signature against the public key of the signer.

     o The disclosure schedule of keys:

         - T_int, the interval duration.
         - T_0, the start time of interval 1.
         - N, the length of the one-way key chain.
         - d, the key disclosure delay d (in number of intervals).

   The receiver can perform the time synchronization and getting the
   authenticated TESLA parameters in a two-round message exchange,
   as described below. We stress again that time synchronization can
   be performed as part of the registration protocol between the receiver
   and sender, or between the receiver and a group controller.

3.3.1 Time Synchronization

   Various approaches exist for time synchronization [16,17,18,19].
   TESLA only requires the receiver to know an upper bound on the
   delay of its local clock with respect to the sender's clock, so a
   simple algorithm is sufficient. TESLA can be used with direct,

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 7]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

   indirect, and delayed synchronization as three default options.
   The specific synchronization method will be part of each
   instantiation of TESLA.

   For completeness, we sketch a simple method for direct
   synchronization between the sender and a receiver:
     o The receiver sends a (sync t_r) message to the sender and
       records its local time t_r.

     o Upon receipt of the (sync t_r) message, the sender records its
       local time t_s and sends (synch, t_r,t_s) to the receiver.

     o Upon receiving (synch,t_r,t_s), the receiver sets D_t = t_s -
       t_r + S, where S is an estimated bound on the clock drift
       throughout the duration of the session.

     o Assuming that the messages are authentic (i.e., the message
       received the receiver was actually sent by the sender), and
       assuming that the clock drift is at most S, then at any point
       throughout the session we have that T_s < T_r + D_t, where T_s
       is the current time at the sender and T_r is the current time
       at the receiver.

     o The exchange of sync messages needs to be authenticated. This
       can be done in a number of ways, for instance a secure NTP
       protocol, or in conjunction with a session set-up protocol.

   For indirect time synchronization (eg, synchronization via a group
   controller), the sender and the controller engage in a protocol for
   finding the value D^0_t between the sender and the controller. Next,
   each receiver R interacts with the group controller (say, when
   registering to the group) and finds the value D^R_t between the group
   controller and R. The overall value of D_t within R is set to the sum
   D_t = D^R_t + D^0_t.

3.4 Broadcasting Authenticated Messages

   Each key in the one-way key chain corresponds to a time interval.
   Every time a sender broadcasts a message, it appends a MAC to the
   message, using the key corresponding to the current time interval.
   The key remains secret for the next d-1 intervals, so messages a
   sender broadcasts in interval j effectively disclose key K_j-d. We
   call d the key disclosure delay.

   We do not want to use the same key multiple times in different
   cryptographic operations, that is, to use key K_j to derive the
   previous key of the one-way key chain K_{j-1}, and to use the same
   key K_j as the key to compute the MACs in time interval j may
   potentially lead to a cryptographic weakness. Using a pseudo-random
   function (PRF) f', we construct the one-way function F': F'(k) =
   f'_k(1). We use F' to derive the key to compute the MAC of messages
   in each interval.  The sender derives the MAC key as follows: K'_i
   = F'(K_i). Figure 1 depicts the one-way key chain construction and
   MAC key derivation. To broadcast message M_j in interval i the
   sender constructs the packet

                P_j = {M_j || i || MAC(K'_i,M_j) || K_{i-d}}

   where || denotes concatenation.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 8]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

                    F(K_i)     F(K_{i+1})      F(K_{i+2})
          K_{i-1} <------- K_i <--------- Ki+1 <-------   Ki+2

              |             |              |
              | F'(K_{i-1}) | F'(K_i)      | F'(K_{i+1})
              |             |              |
              V             V              V

             K'_{i-1}      K'_i          K'_{i+1}

   Figure 1: At the top of the figure, we  see  the  one-way  key  chain
   (derived  using  the  one-way  function  F), and the derived MAC keys
   (derived using the one-way function F').

3.5 Authentication at Receiver

   Once a sender discloses a key, we must assume that all parties might
   have access to that key. An adversary could create a bogus message
   and forge a MAC using the disclosed key. So whenever a packet
   arrives, the receiver must verify that the MAC is based on a safe
   key; a safe key is one that is still secret (only known by the
   sender). We define a safe packet or safe message to be one with a MAC
   that is computed with a safe key.

   If the packet is not safe, the receiver must discard that packet,
   because the authenticity is not assured any more.

   We now explain the TESLA authentication in more detail. When the
   receiver receives packet P_j which carries an interval index i, the
   receiver first records local time T in which the packet arrived. It
   then computes an upper bound t_j on the sender's clock at the time
   where the packet arrived: t_j = T + D_t. To test whether the packet
   is safe, the receiver then computes the highest interval x the
   sender could possibly be in, namely x = floor((t_j - T_0) / T_int).
   The receiver verifies that x < i + d (where i is the interval index),
   which implies that the sender is not yet in the interval during which
   it discloses the key K_i. If the condition fails then the receiver
   considers the packet unauthenticated.

   The receiver cannot yet verify the authenticity of packets sent in
   interval i without key K_i. Instead, it adds the triplet ( i, M_j,
   MAC( K'_i, M_j) ) to a buffer, and verifies the authenticity after it
   learns K'_i.

   What does a receiver do when it receives the disclosed key K_i?
   First, it checks whether it already knows K_i or a later key K_j
   with j>i. Then the receiver checks the legitimacy of K_i by verifying,
   for some earlier key K_v (v<i) that K_v = F^{i-v}(K_i). The receiver
   then computes K'_i = F'(K_i) and verifies the authenticity of packets
   of interval i.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                         [Page 9]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

   Using a disclosed key, we can calculate all previous disclosed keys,
   so even if packets are lost, we will still be able to verify
   buffered, safe packets from earlier time intervals. Thus, if i-v>1,
   the receiver can also verify the authenticity of the stored packets
   of intervals v+1 ... i-1.

3.6 Determining the Key Disclosure Delay

   An important TESLA parameter is the key disclosure delay d. Although
   the choice of the disclosure delay does not affect the security of
   the system, it is an important performance factor. A short disclosure
   delay will cause packets to lose their safety property, so receivers
   will discard them; but a long disclosure delay leads to a long

   authentication delay for receivers. We recommend determining the
   disclosure delay as follows: in direct time synchronization let
   the RTT be a reasonable upper bound on the round trip time between the
   sender and the receiver; then choose d = ceil( RTT / T_int) + 1. Note
   that rounding up the quotient ensures that d >= 2. Also note that a
   disclosure delay of one time interval (d=1) does not work. Consider
   packets sent close to the boundary of the time interval: after the
   network propagation delay and the receiver time synchronization
   error, a receiver will need to discard the packet, because the sender
   will already be in the next time interval, when it discloses the
   corresponding key.

   We stress that the security of TESLA does not rely on any assumptions on
   network propagation delay: If the delay is longer than expected then
   authentic packets may be considered unauthenticated. Still,
   no unauthentic packet will be accepted as authentic.

3.7 An alternative delay description method

   The above description instructs the sender to include the time interval
   i in each packet. The receiver then uses i to determine the time at which
   the key authenticating the packet is disclosed. This method limits the
   the sender to a pre-determined schedule of disclosing keys.

   Alternatively, the sender may directly include in each packet the time t_p
   at which it is going to disclose the key for this packet. This way, the
   receiver does not need to know the duration of intervals or the delay
   factor d. All the receiver needs to know is the bound D_t on the clock
   skew and T_0, the sender's local time at the initiation of the session.
   Then the receiver records the local time T when the packet has arrived,
   and verifies that
                           T <= T_0 + D_t + t_p.

   Else the packet is considered aunauthenticated.

   Another advantage of this method is that the sender is able to
   change the duration of intervals and the key disclosure delay
   dynamically throughout the session. It is stressed, however, that the
   interval index i must still be included in the packet, to allow the
   receiver to know which key K_i should be used to verify the packet.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                        [Page 10]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

3.8 Some extensions

   Let us mention two salient extensions of the basic TESLA scheme. A
   first extension allows having multiple TESLA authentication chains
   for a single stream, where each chain uses a different delay for
   disclosing the keys. This extension is typically used to deal with
   heterogeneous network delays within a single multicast
   transmission. A second extension allows having most of the
   buffering of packets at the sender side (rather than at the
   receiver side). Both extensions are described in [15].

   The requirement in TESLA to receive a key in a later packet for
   authentication prevents a receiver from authenticating the last
   part of a message. Thus, to enable authentication of the last part
   of a message or of the last message before a transmission
   suspension, the sender needs to send an empty message with the key
   to enable authentication.

4 Layer placement

   The TESLA authentication can be performed at any layer in the
   networking stack. Three natural places are in the network, transport,
   or the application layer. We list some considerations regarding the
   choice of layer:

     o Performing TESLA in the network layer has the advantage that the
       transport or application layer only receives authenticated data,
       potentially aiding a reliability protocol and preventing denial
       of service attacks. (Indeed, reliable multicast tools based on
       forward error correction are highly susceptible to denial of
       service due to bogus packets.)

     o Performing TESLA in either the transport or the application layer
       has the advantage that the network layer remains unchanged; but it
       has the drawback that packets are obtained by the application layer
       only after being processed by the transport layer. Consequently,
       if TCP is used then this may introduce additional and unpredictable
       delays on top of the unavoidable network delays. (However, if UDP
       is used then this is not a problem.)

     o It should be kept in mind that, since TESLA relies upon timing
       of packets, deploying TESLA on top of a protocol or layer which
       aggressively buffers packets and hides the true packet arrival
       time (e.g., TCP) will significantly reduce the perormance of TESLA.

5. Security Considerations

   See the academic publications on TESLA [8,14,20] for several
   security analyses. Regarding the security of implementations, by
   far the most delicate point is the verification of the timing
   conditions. Care should be taken to to make sure that: (a) the
   value bound D_t on the clock skew is calculated according to the
   spec at session set-up; (b) the receiver records the arrival time
   of the packet as soon as possible after the packet's arrival, and
   computes the safety condition correctly.

   It is important to note that, unless appropriate measures are taken,
   TESLA increases the susceptibility of receivers to denial of service
   (DoS) attacks. Specifically, an attacker can flood a victim receiver
   with bogus packets that need to be buffered for delayed authentication.
   There are several measures against such attacks. Here we mention
   some of the known mechanisms to reduce this susceptibility:

   o Limit the size of buffers at the receiver side.

   o Add an external MAC that is computed using either (a) a key that
     is constant for the session and known to all receivers, or (b)
     the key that is disclosed in the current packet. Both mechanisms
     prevent simple flooding attacks but are still susceptible to
     more sophisticated attacks that have some "inside" information
     on the session.

   o Move the buffering of packets to the sender side, and allow
     receivers to authenticate packets immediately upon receipt.
     This method is described in [14].

   Finally, in common with all authentication schemes, if verification
   is located separately from the ultimate destination application (e.g.
   an IPSec tunnel end point), a trusted channel must be present between
   verification and the application. For instance, the interface between
   the verifier and the application might simply assume that packets
   received by the application must have been verified by the verifier
   (because otherwise they would have been dropped). The application is
   then vulnerable to reception of packets that have managed to bypass
   the verifier.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                        [Page 11]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

6 IP Statement

   The authors are not aware of any patents that encumber the free
   use of TESLA.

7 Acknowledgments

   We would like to thank Mike Luby for his feedback and support.

8 References

All references are informative.

   [1] T. Dierks and C. Allen, "The TLS protocol version 1.0." Internet
   Request for Comments RFC 2246, January 1999. Proposed standard.

   [2] IPsec, "IP Security Protocol, IETF working group."

   [3] D. Boneh, G. Durfee, and M. Franklin, "Lower bounds for multicast
   message authentication," in Advances in Cryptology -- EUROCRYPT '2001
   (B. Pfitzmann, ed.), vol. 2045 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science ,
   (Innsbruck, Austria), pp. 434--450, Springer-Verlag, Berlin Germany,

   [4] R. Gennaro and P. Rohatgi, "How to Sign Digital Streams," tech.
   rep., IBM T.J.Watson Research Center, 1997.

   [5] P. Rohatgi, "A compact and fast hybrid signature scheme for mul-
   ticast packet authentication," in 6th ACM Conference on Computer and
   Communications Security , November 1999.

   [6] P. Rohatgi, "A hybrid signature scheme for multicast source
   authentication," Internet Draft, Internet Engineering Task Force,
   June 1999. Work in progress.

   [7] C. K. Wong and S. S. Lam, "Digital signatures for flows and mul-
   ticasts," in Proc. IEEE ICNP `98 , 1998.

   [8] A. Perrig, R. Canetti, J. Tygar, and D. X. Song, "Efficient
   authentication and signing of multicast streams over lossy channels,"
   in IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy , May 2000.

   [9] R. Canetti, J. Garay, G. Itkis, D. Micciancio, M. Naor, and B.
   Pinkas, "Multicast security: A taxonomy and some efficient construc-
   tions," in Infocom '99 , 1999.

   [10] S. Cheung, "An efficient message authentication scheme for link
   state routing," in 13th Annual Computer Security Applications Confer-
   ence , 1997.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                        [Page 12]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

   [11] F. Bergadano, D. Cavagnino, and B. Crispo, "Chained stream
   authentication," in Selected Areas in Cryptography 2000 , (Waterloo,
   Canada), August 2000. A talk describing this scheme was given at IBM
   Watson in August 1998.

   [12] F. Bergadano, D. Cavalino, and B. Crispo, "Individual single
   source authentication on the mbone," in ICME 2000 , Aug 2000. A talk
   containing this work was given at IBM Watson, August 1998.

   [13] A. Perrig and J. D. Tygar, Secure Broadcast Communication in
   Wired and Wireless Networks Kluwer Academic Publishers, Oct. 2002.
   ISBN 0792376501.

   [14] A. Perrig, R. Canetti, J. D. Tygar, and D. Song, "The tesla
   broadcast authentication protocol," RSA CryptoBytes , vol. 5, no.
   Summer, 2002.

   [15] A. Perrig, R. Canetti, D. Song, and J. D. Tygar, "Efficient and
   secure source authentication for multicast," in Network and Dis-
   tributed System Security Symposium, NDSS '01 , pp. 35--46, February

   [16] D. L. Mills, "Network Time Protocol (Version 3) Specification,
   Implementation and Analysis." Internet Request for Comments, March
   1992. RFC 1305.

   [17] B. Simons, J. Lundelius-Welch, and N. Lynch, "An overview of
   clock synchronization," in Fault-Tolerant Distributed Computing (B.
   Simons and A. Spector, eds.), no. 448 in LNCS, pp. 84--96, Springer-
   Verlag, Berlin Germany, 1990.

   [18] D. Mills, "Improved algorithms for synchronizing computer net-
   work clocks," in Proceedings of the conference on Communications
   architectures, protocols and applications, SIGCOMM 94 , (London,
   England), pp. 317--327, 1994.

   [19] L. Lamport and P. Melliar-Smith, "Synchronizing clocks in the
   presence of faults," J. ACM , vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 52--78, 1985.

   [20] Philippa Broadfoot and Gavin Lowe, "Analysing a Stream
   Authentication Protocol using Model Checking. In Proceedings of the
   7th European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS),

   [21] M. Jakobsson, "Fractal hash sequence representation and traver¡
   sal."  Cryptology ePrint Archive, http://eprint.iacr.org/2002/001/,
   Jan. 2002.

   [22] D. Coppersmith and M. Jakobsson, "Almost optimal hash sequence
   traversal," in Proceedings of the Sixth International Financial Cryp¡
   tography Conference (FC '02) , March 2002.

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                        [Page 13]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

A Author Contact Information

Adrian Perrig
ECE Department
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Ran Canetti
IBM Research
30 Saw Mill River Rd
Hawthorne, NY 10532

Dawn Song
ECE Department
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Doug Tygar
UC Berkeley
102 South Hall, 4600
Berkeley, CA 94720-4600

Bob Briscoe
BT Research
B54/77, BT Labs
Martlesham Heath
Ipswich, IP5 3RE

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                        [Page 12]

Internet Draft        draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-03        August 2004

B Full Copyright Statement

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

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this doc-
   ument itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the
   copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of develop-
   ing Internet standards in which case the procedures for copyrights
   defined in the Internet languages other than English.

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

Perrig, Canetti, Song, Tygar, Briscoe                        [Page 13]

Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.107, available from http://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/