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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 RFC 4261

     Internet Draft                                       Jesse Walker
     Expiration: June 2005                           Amol Kulkarni, Ed.
     File: draft-ietf-rap-cops-tls-10.txt                   Intel Corp.
                               COPS Over TLS
                         Last Updated: December 1, 2004
 Status of this Memo
    This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions
    of section 3 of RFC 3667 [RFC3667].  By submitting this Internet-
    Draft, each author represents that any applicable patent or other
    IPR claims of which he or she is aware have been or will be
    disclosed, and any of which he or she become aware will be
    disclosed, in accordance with RFC 3668.
    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
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    as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in
    The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
    The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
 Conventions used in this document
    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
    this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119
    This document describes how to use Transport Layer Security (TLS)
    to secure Common Open Policy Service (COPS) connections over the
    This document also updates RFC 2748 by modifying the contents of
    the Client-Accept message.
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 Table Of Contents
    1  Introduction...................................................3
    2  COPS Over TLS..................................................3
    3  Separate Ports versus Upward Negotiation.......................3
    4  COPS/TLS Objects and Error codes...............................4
    4.1 The TLS Message Integrity Object (Integrity-TLS)..............4
    4.2 Error Codes...................................................4
    5  COPS/TLS Secure Connection Initiation..........................5
    5.1 PEP Initiated Security Negotiation............................5
    5.2 PDP Initiated Security Negotiation............................6
    6  Connection Closure.............................................6
    6.1 PEP System Behavior...........................................7
    6.2 PDP System Behavior...........................................7
    7  Endpoint Identification and Access Control.....................7
    7.1 PDP Identity..................................................8
    7.2 PEP Identity..................................................9
    8  Backward Compatibility.........................................9
    9 IANA Considerations.............................................9
    10 Security Considerations.......................................10
    11 References....................................................10
    11.1 Normative References........................................10
    11.2 Informative References......................................10
    12  Author Addresses.............................................11
    13  IPR Disclosure Acknowledgement...............................11
    14  Disclaimer of Validity.......................................11
    15  Copyright Statement..........................................11
    16  Disclaimer...................................................12
    17  Acknowledgements.............................................12
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       COPS - Common Open Policy Service. See [RFC2748].
       COPS/TCP - A plain-vanilla implementation of COPS.
       COPS/TLS - A secure implementation of COPS using TLS.
       PDP - Policy Decision Point. Also referred to as the Policy
             Server. See [RFC2753].
       PEP - Policy Enforcement Point. Also referred to as the Policy
             Client. See [RFC2753].
 1  Introduction
    COPS [RFC2748] was designed to distribute clear-text policy
    information from a centralized Policy Decision Point (PDP) to a set
    of Policy Enforcement Points (PEP) in the Internet. COPS provides
    its own security mechanisms to protect the per-hop integrity of the
    deployed policy. However, the use of COPS for sensitive applications
    such as some types of security policy distribution requires
    additional security measures, such as data confidentiality. This is
    because some organizations find it necessary to hide some or all of
    their security policies, e.g., because policy distribution to
    devices such as mobile platforms can cross domain boundaries.
    TLS [RFC2246] was designed to provide channel-oriented security. TLS
    standardizes SSL and may be used with any connection-oriented
    service. TLS provides mechanisms for both one- and two-way
    authentication, dynamic session keying, and data stream privacy and
    This document describes how to use COPS over TLS. "COPS over TLS" is
    abbreviated COPS/TLS.
 2  COPS Over TLS
    COPS/TLS is very simple: use COPS over TLS similar to how you would
    use COPS over TCP (COPS/TCP). Apart from a specific procedure used
    to initialize the connection, there is no difference between
 3  Separate Ports versus Upward Negotiation
    There are two ways in which insecure and secure versions of the same
    protocol can be run simultaneously.
    In the first method, the secure version of the protocol is also
    allocated a well-known port. This strategy of having well-known port
    numbers for both, the secure and insecure versions, is known as
    'Separate Ports'. The clients requiring security can simply connect
    to the well-known secure port. This method is easy to implement,
    with no modifications needed to existing insecure implementations.
    The disadvantage, however, is that it doesn't scale well, with a new
    port required for each secure implementation. More problems with
    this approach have been listed in [RFC2595].
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    The second method is known as 'Upward Negotiation'. In this method,
    the secure and insecure versions of the protocol run on the same
    port. The client connects to the server, both discover each others'
    capabilities, and start security negotiations if desired. This
    method usually requires some changes to the protocol being secured.
    COPS/TLS uses the Upward Negotiation method to secure COPS messages.
 4  COPS/TLS Objects and Error codes
    This section describes the COPS objects and error codes needed to
    support COPS/TLS.
 4.1 The TLS Message Integrity Object (Integrity-TLS)
    The TLS Integrity object is used by the PDP and the PEP to start the
    TLS negotiation. This object should be included only in the Client-
    Open or Client-Accept messages. It MUST NOT be included in any other
    COPS message.
          0         1          2          3
    |   Length (Octets)   | C-Num=16 | C-Type=2 |
    |       ////////      |        Flags        |
    Note: //// implies the field is reserved, set to 0 and should be
          ignored on receipt.
    Flags: 16 bits
                0x01 = StartTLS
                This flag indicates that the sender of the message
    wishes to initiate a TLS handshake.
    The Client-Type of any message containing this object MUST be 0.
    Client-Type 0 is used to negotiate COPS connection level security
    and must only be used during the connection establishment phase.
    Please refer to section 4.1 of [RFC2748] for more details.
 4.2 Error Codes
    This section uses the error codes described in section 2.2.8 (Error
    Object) of [RFC2748].
    Error Code:                13= Unknown COPS Object:
    Sub-code (octet 2) contains the unknown object's C-Num and (octet 3)
    contains unknown object's C-Type. If the PEP or PDP does not support
    TLS, the C-Num specified will be 16 and the C-Type will be 2. This
    demonstrates that the TLS version of the Integrity object not known.
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    This error code should be used by either PEP or PDP to indicate a
    security-related connection closure if it cannot support a TLS
    connection for the COPS protocol.
    If the PDP wishes to negotiate a different security mechanism than
    requested by the PEP in the Client-Open, it should send the
    following error code:
    Error Code:                  15= Authentication Required
    Where the Sub-code (octet 2) contains the C-Num=16 value for the
    Integrity Object and (octet 3) will specify the PDP
    required/preferred Integrity object C-Type. If the server does not
    support any form of COPS-Security, it will set the Sub-code (octet
    2) to 16 and (octet 3) to zero instead, signifying that no type of
    the Integrity object is supported.
 5  COPS/TLS Secure Connection Initiation
    Security negotiation may be initiated either by the PDP or the PEP.
    The PEP can initiate a negotiation via a Client-Open message, while
    a PDP can initiate a negotiation via a Client-Accept message.
    Once the TLS connection is established, all COPS data MUST be sent
    as TLS "application data".
 5.1 PEP Initiated Security Negotiation
    A PEP MAY initiate a TLS security negotiation with a PDP using the
    Client-Open message. To do this, the Client-Open message MUST have a
    Client-Type of 0 and MUST include the Integrity-TLS object.
    Upon receiving the Client-Open message, the PDP SHOULD respond with
    a Client-Accept message containing the Integrity-TLS object.
    Note that in order to carry the Integrity-TLS object, the contents
    of the Client-Accept message defined in section 3.7 of [RFC2748]
    need not change, other than the C-Type of the integrity object
    contained there-in should now be C-Type=2. For Example:
    <Client-Accept> ::= <Common Header>
                        <KA Timer>
                        [<ACCT Timer>]
                        [<Integrity (C-Num=16, C-Type=2)>]
    Upon receiving the appropriate Client-Accept message, the PEP SHOULD
    initiate the TLS handshake.
    The message exchange is as follows:
    C: Client-Open   (Client-Type = 0, Integrity-TLS)
    S: Client-Accept (Client-Type = 0, Integrity-TLS)
    <TLS handshake>
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    C/S: <...further messages...>
    In case the PDP does not wish to open a secure connection with the
    PEP, it MUST reply with a Client-Close message and close the
    connection. The Client-Close message MUST include the error code
    15=Authentication required, with the Sub-code (octet 2) set to 16
    for the Integrity object's C-Num and (octet 3) set to the C-Type
    corresponding to the server's preferred Integrity type or zero for
    no security.
    A PEP requiring the Integrity-TLS object in a Client-Accept message
    MUST close the connection if the Integrity-TLS object is missing. It
    MUST include the error code 15= Authentication required, with the
    Sub-code (octet 2) containing the required Integrity object's C-
    Num=16 and (octet 3) containing the required Integrity object's C-
    Type=2, in the ensuing Client-Close message.
 5.2 PDP Initiated Security Negotiation
    The PEP initially opens a TCP connection with the PDP on the
    standard COPS port and sends a Client-Open message. This Client-Open
    message MUST have a Client-Type of 0.
    The PDP SHOULD then reply with a Client-Accept message. In order to
    signal the PEP to start the TLS handshake, the PDP MUST include the
    Integrity-TLS object in the Client-Accept message.
    Upon receiving the Client-Accept message with the Integrity-TLS
    object, the PEP SHOULD initiate the TLS handshake. If for any reason
    the PEP cannot initiate the handshake, it MUST close the connection.
    The message exchange is as follows:
    C: Client-Open   (Client-Type = 0)
    S: Client-Accept (Client-Type = 0, Integrity-TLS)
    <TLS handshake>
    C/S: <...further messages...>
    After receiving the Client-Accept, the PEP MUST NOT send any
    messages until the TLS handshake is complete. Upon receiving any
    message from the PEP before the TLS handshake starts, the PDP MUST
    issue a Client-Close message with an error code 15= Authentication
    A PDP wishing to negotiate security with a PEP having an existing
    non-secure connection MUST send a Client-Close with the error code
    15= Authentication required, with the Sub-code (octet 2) containing
    the required Integrity object's C-Num=16 and (octet 3) containing
    the required Integrity object's C-Type=2 and wait for the PEP to
    reconnect. Upon receiving the Client-Open message, it SHOULD use the
    Client-Accept message to initiate security negotiation.
 6  Connection Closure
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    TLS provides facilities to securely close its connections. Reception
    of a valid closure alert assures an implementation that no further
    data will arrive on that connection. The TLS specification requires
    TLS implementations to initiate a closure alert exchange before
    closing a connection. It also permits TLS implementations to close
    connections without waiting to receive closure alerts from the peer,
    provided they send their own first. A connection closed in this way
    is known as an "incomplete close". TLS allows implementations to
    reuse the session in this case, but COPS/TLS makes no use of this
    A connection closed without first sending a closure alert is known
    as a "premature close". Note that a premature close does not call
    into question the security of the data already received, but simply
    indicates that subsequent data might have been truncated. Because
    TLS is oblivious to COPS message boundaries, it is necessary to
    examine the COPS data itself (specifically the Message header) to
    determine whether truncation occurred.
 6.1 PEP System Behavior
    PEP implementations MUST treat premature closes as errors and any
    data received as potentially truncated. The COPS protocol allows the
    PEP system to find out whether truncation took place. A PEP system
    detecting an incomplete close SHOULD recover gracefully.
    PEP systems MUST send a closure alert before closing the connection.
    PEPs unprepared to receive any more data MAY choose not to wait for
    the PDP system's closure alert and simply close the connection, thus
    generating an incomplete close on the PDP side.
 6.2 PDP System Behavior
    COPS permits a PEP to close the connection at any time, and requires
    PDPs to recover gracefully. In particular, PDPs SHOULD be prepared
    to receive an incomplete close from the PEP, since a PEP often shuts
    down for operational reasons unrelated to the transfer of policy
    information between the PEP and PDP.
        Implementation note: The PDP ordinarily expects to be able to
        signal end of data by closing the connection. However, the PEP
        may have already sent the closure alert and dropped the
    PDP systems MUST attempt to initiate an exchange of closure alerts
    with the PEP system before closing the connection. PDP systems MAY
    close the connection after sending the closure alert, thus
    generating an incomplete close on the PEP side.
 7  Endpoint Identification and Access Control
    All PEP implementations of COPS/TLS MUST support an access control
    mechanism to identify authorized PDPs. This requirement provides a
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    level of assurance that the policy arriving at the PEP is actually
    valid. PEP deployments SHOULD require the use of this access control
    mechanism for operation of COPS over TLS. When access control is
    enabled, the PEP implementation MUST NOT initiate COPS/TLS
    connections to systems not authorized as PDPs by the access control
    Similarly, PDP COPS/TLS implementations MUST support an access
    control mechanism permitting them to restrict their services to
    authorized PEP systems only. However, deployments MAY choose not to
    use an access control mechanism at the PDP, as organizations might
    not consider the types of policy being deployed as sensitive, and
    therefore do not need to incur the expense of managing credentials
    for the PEP systems. If access controls are used, however, the PDP
    implementation MUST terminate COPS/TLS connections from unauthorized
    PEP systems and log an error if an auditable logging mechanism is
    Implementations of COPS/TLS MUST use X.509 v3 certificates
    conforming to [RFC3280] to identify PDP and PEP systems. COPS/TLS
    systems MUST perform certificate verification processing conforming
    to [RFC3280].
    If a subjectAltName extension of type dNSName or iPAddress is
    present in the PDP's certificate, it MUST be used as the PDP
    identity. If both types are present, dNSName SHOULD be used as the
    PDP identity. If neither of the types is present, the most specific
    Common Name field in the Subject field of the certificate SHOULD be
    Matching is performed using the matching rules specified by
    [RFC3280]. If more than one identity of a given type is present in
    the certificate (e.g. more than one dNSName name in the
    subjectAltName certificate extension), a match in any one of the
    provided identities is acceptable. Generally, the COPS system uses
    the first name for matching, except as noted below in the IP
    address checking requirements.
 7.1 PDP Identity
    Generally, COPS/TLS requests are generated by the PEP consulting
    bootstrap policy information that identifies PDPs that the PEP is
    authorized to connect to. This policy provides the PEP with the
    hostname or IP address of the PDP. How this bootstrap policy
    information arrives at the PEP is outside the scope of this
    document. However, all PEP implementations MUST provide a mechanism
    to securely deliver or configure the bootstrap policy.
    All PEP implementations MUST be able to securely acquire the trust
    anchor for each authorized Certification Authority (CA) that issues
    PDP certificates. Also, the PEPs MUST support a mechanism to
    securely acquire an access control list or filter identifying the
    set of authorized PDPs associated with each CA.
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    PEP deployments that participate in multiple domains, such as those
    on mobile platforms, MAY use different CAs and access control lists
    in each domain.
    If the PDP hostname or IP address is available via the bootstrap
    policy, the PEP MUST check it against the PDP's identity as
    presented in the PDP's TLS Certificate message.
    In some cases the bootstrap policy will identify the authorized PDP
    only by an IP address of the PDP system. In this case, the
    subjectAltName MUST be present in the certificate, and it MUST
    include an iPAdress format matching the expected name of the policy
    If the hostname of the PDP does not match the identity in the
    certificate, a PEP on a user oriented system MUST either notify the
    user (PEP systems MAY afford the user the opportunity to continue
    with the connection in any case) or terminate the connection with a
    bad certificate error. PEPs on unattended systems MUST log the error
    to an appropriate audit log (if available) and MUST terminate the
    connection with a bad certificate error. Unattended PEP systems MAY
    provide a configuration setting that disables this check, but then
    MUST provide a setting which enables it.
 7.2 PEP Identity
    When PEP systems are not access controlled, the PDP need have no
    external knowledge of what the PEP's identity ought to be and so
    checks are neither possible nor necessary. In this case, there is no
    requirement for PEP systems to register with a certificate
    authority, and COPS over TLS uses one-way authentication, of the PDP
    to the PEP.
    When PEP systems are access controlled, PEPs MUST be the subjects
    of end entity certificates [RFC3280]. In this case, COPS over TLS
    uses two-way authentication, and the PDP MUST perform the same
    identity checks for the PEPs as described above for the PDP.
    When access controls are in effect at the PDP, PDP implementations
    MUST have a mechanism to securely acquire the trust anchor for each
    authorized Certification Authority (CA) that issues certificates to
    supported PEPs.
 8  Backward Compatibility
    The PEP and PDP SHOULD be backward compatible with peers that have
    not been modified to support COPS/TLS. They SHOULD handle errors
    generated in response to the Integrity-TLS object.
 9 IANA Considerations
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    For the Integrity-TLS object for Client-Type 0, the IANA shall add
    the following Flags value:
    0x01 = StartTLS
    Further values for the Flags field and the reserved field can only
    be assigned by IETF Consensus rule as defined in [RFC2434].
 10 Security Considerations
    A COPS PDP and PEP MUST check the results of the TLS negotiation to
    see whether an acceptable degree of authentication and privacy have
    been achieved. If the negotiation has resulted in unacceptable
    algorithms or key lengths, either side MAY choose to terminate the
    A man-in-the-middle attack can be launched by deleting the
    Integrity-TLS object or altering the Client-Open or Client-Accept
    messages. If security is required, the PEP and PDP bootstrap policy
    must specify this, and PEP and PDP implementations should reject
    Client-Open or Client-Accept messages that fail to include an
    Integrity-TLS object.
 11 References
 11.1 Normative References
       [RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process - Revision
       3", RFC 2026, October 1996
       [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key Words for use in RFCs to indicate
       Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, March 1997.
       [RFC2748] Durham, D., Boyle, J., Cohen, R., Herzog, R., Rajan,
       R., Sastry, A., "The COPS (Common Open Policy Service) Protocol",
       RFC 2748, January 2000.
       [RFC3280] Housley, R., Ford, W., Polk, W., Solo, D., "Internet
       X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate
       Revocation List (CRL) Profile ", RFC 3280, April 2002.
       [RFC2246] Dierks, T., Allen, C., "The TLS Protocol", RFC 2246,
       January 1999.
 11.2 Informative References
       [RFC2818] Rescorla, E., "HTTP Over TLS", RFC 2818, May 2000.
       [RFC2595] Newman, C., "Using TLS with IMAP, POP3 and ACAP", RFC
       2595, June 1999.
       [RFC3207] Hoffman, P., "SMTP Service Extension for Secure SMTP
       over Transport Layer Security", RFC 3207, February 2002.
       [RFC2434] Alvestrand, H., Narten, T., "Guidelines for writing an
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       IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 2434, October
 12  Author Addresses
       Amol Kulkarni
       Intel Corporation
       2111 N.E. 25th Avenue
       Hillsboro, OR  97214
       Jesse R. Walker
       Intel Corporation
       2111 N.E. 25th Avenue
       Hillsboro, OR  97214
 13  IPR Disclosure Acknowledgement
    By submitting this Internet-Draft, we certify that any applicable
    patent or other IPR claims of which we are aware have been
    disclosed, and any of which we become aware will be disclosed, in
    accordance with RFC 3668.
 14  Disclaimer of Validity
    The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
    Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed
    to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described
    in this document or the extent to which any license under such
    rights might or might not be available; nor does it represent that
    it has made any independent effort to identify any such rights.
    Information on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC
    documents can be found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.
    Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
    assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
    attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use
    of such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
    specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository
    at http://www.ietf.org/ipr.
    The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
    copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
    rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
    this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at ietf-
 15  Copyright Statement
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    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  This document is subject
    to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
    except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.
 16  Disclaimer
    This document and the information contained herein are provided on
 17  Acknowledgements
    This document freely plagiarizes and adapts Eric Rescorla's similar
    document [RFC2818] that specifies how HTTP runs over TLS.
    Discussions with David Durham, Scott Hahn and Ylian Sainte-Hillaire
    also lead to improvements in this document.
    The authors wish to thank Uri Blumenthal for doing a thorough
    security review of the document.
    Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
    Internet Society.
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