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Versions: (RFC 2222) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 RFC 4422

Network Working Group                                        A. Melnikov
Internet Draft                                                  May 2003
Document: draft-ietf-sasl-rfc2222bis-00.txt
                                                   Expires in six months


            Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL)

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC 2026.

   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
   Drafts. Internet Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of
   six months.  Internet Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted
   by other documents at any time.  It is not appropriate to use
   Internet Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as
   ``work in progress''.

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.

   A revised version of this draft document will be submitted to the RFC
   editor as a Draft Standard for the Internet Community.  Discussion
   and suggestions for improvement are requested.  Distribution of this
   draft is unlimited.



















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1.    Abstract

   SASL provides a method for adding authentication support with an
   optional security layer to connection-based protocols.  It also
   describes a structure for authentication mechanisms.  The result is
   an abstraction layer between protocols and authentication mechanisms
   such that any SASL-compatible authentication mechanism can be used
   with any SASL-compatible protocol.

   This document describes how a SASL authentication mechanism is
   structured, how a protocol adds support for SASL, defines the
   protocol for carrying a security layer over a connection, and defines
   the EXTERNAL SASL authentication mechanism.

2.    Organization of this document

2.1.  How to read this document

   This document is written to serve two different audiences, protocol
   designers using this specification to support authentication in their
   protocol, and implementors of clients or servers for those protocols
   using this specification.

   The sections "Overview", "Authentication Mechanisms", "Protocol
   Profile Requirements", "Specific Issues", and "Security
   Considerations" cover issues that protocol designers need to
   understand and address in profiling this specification for use in a
   specific protocol.

   Implementors of a protocol using this specification need the
   protocol-specific profiling information in addition to the
   information in this document.

2.2.  Conventions used in this document

   In examples, "C:" and "S:" indicate lines sent by the client and
   server respectively.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", and "MAY"
   in this document are to be interpreted as defined in "Key words for
   use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels" [KEYWORDS].

3.    Overview

   The Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) is a method for
   adding authentication support to connection-based protocols.

   The SASL specification has three layers, as indicated in the diagram



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   below.  At the top, a protocol definition using SASL specifies a
   profile, including a command for identifying and authenticating a
   user to a server and for optionally negotiating a security layer for
   subsequent protocol interactions.  At the bottom, a SASL mechanism
   definition specifies an authentication mechanism.  The SASL
   framework, specified by this document, constrains the behavior of
   protocol profiles and mechanisms, separating protocol from mechanism
   and defining how they interact.

                SMTP Protocol     LDAP Protocol          Etc
                   Profile           Profile            . . .
                          \-----        |       -----/
                                \       |      /
                                 SASL framework
                                /       |      \
                          /-----        |       -----\
                   EXTERNAL         DIGEST-MD5           Etc
                SASL mechanism    SASL mechanism        . . .

   This separation between the definition of protocols and the
   definition of authentication mechanisms is crucial.  It permits an
   authentication mechanism to be defined once, making it usable by any
   SASL protocol profiles.  In many implementations, the same SASL
   mechanism code is used for multiple protocols.

4.    Authentication mechanisms

   SASL mechanisms are named by strings, from 1 to 20 characters in
   length, consisting of upper-case letters, digits, hyphens, and/or
   underscores.  SASL mechanism names must be registered with the IANA.
   IETF Standards Track documents may override this registration
   requirement by reserving a portion of the SASL mechanism namespace
   for their own use; the GSSAPI mechanism specification [SASL-GSSAPI]
   does this.  Procedures for registering new SASL mechanisms are given
   in the section "Registration procedures".

   The "sasl-mech" rule below defines the syntax of a SASL mechanism
   name.  This uses the augmented Backus-Naur Form (BNF) notation as
   specified in [ABNF] and the ABNF core rules as specified in Appendix
   A of the ABNF specification [ABNF].

   sasl-mech    = 1*20mech-char
   mech-char    = %x41-5A / DIGIT / "-" / "_"
                  ; mech names restricted to uppercase letters,
                  ; digits, "-" and "_"






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4.1.  Authentication protocol exchange

   A SASL mechanism is responsible for conducting an authentication
   protocol exchange.  This consists of a series of server challenges
   and client responses, the contents of which are specific to and
   defined by the mechanism.  To the protocol, the challenges and
   responses are opaque binary tokens of arbitrary length.  The
   protocol's profile then specifies how these binary tokens are then
   encoded for transfer over the connection.

   After receiving an authentication command or any client response, a
   server mechanism may issue a challenge, indicate failure, or indicate
   completion.  The server mechanism MAY return additional data with a
   completion indication.  The protocol's profile specifies how each of
   these is then represented over the connection.

   After receiving a challenge, a client mechanism may issue a response
   or abort the exchange.  The protocol's profile specifies how each of
   these is then represented over the connection.

   During the authentication protocol exchange, the mechanism performs
   authentication, transmits an authorization identity (frequently known
   as a userid) from the client to server, and negotiates the use of a
   mechanism-specific security layer.  If the use of a security layer is
   agreed upon, then the mechanism must also define or negotiate the
   maximum security layer buffer size that each side is able to receive.

4.2.  Authorization identities and proxy authentication

   An authorization identity is a string of zero or more ISO 10646
   [ISO-10646] coded characters.  The NUL (U+0000) character is not
   permitted in authorization identities. The meaning of an
   authorization identity of the empty string (zero lenght) is defined
   below in this section. The authorization identity is used by the
   server as the primary identity for making access policy decisions.

   The character encoding scheme used for transmitting an authorization
   identity over protocol is specified in each authentication mechanism
   (with the authentication mechanism's blob being further
   restricted/encoded by the protocol profile). Per IETF character set
   policy [CHARSET-POLICY], authentication mechanisms SHOULD encode
   these and other strings in UTF-8 [UTF-8]. While some legacy
   mechanisms are incapable of transmitting an authoriation identity
   other than the empty string, newly defined mechanisms are expected to
   be capable of carrying the entire repertoire of Unicode Normalization
   form KC [UNICODE-NORMALIZATION] (with the exception of the NUL
   character).




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   The identity derived from the client's authentication credentials is
   known as the "authentication identity".  With any mechanism,
   transmitting an authorization identity of the empty string directs
   the server to derive an authorization identity from the client's
   authentication identity.

   If the authorization identity transmitted during the authentication
   protocol exchange is not the empty string, this is typically referred
   to as "proxy authentication".  This feature permits agents such as
   proxy servers to authenticate using their own credentials, yet
   request the access privileges of the identity for which they are
   proxying.

   The server makes an implementation defined policy decision as to
   whether the authentication identity is permitted to have the access
   privileges of the authorization identity and whether the
   authorization identity is permitted to receive service.  If it is
   not, the server indicates failure of the authentication protocol
   exchange.

   As a client might not have the same information as the server,
   clients SHOULD NOT themselves try to derive authorization identities
   from authentication identities when clients could instead transmit an
   authorization identity of the empty string.

   <<Is transmitting an empty authorization id is the same as not
   transmitting it at all? Why would we encourage two ways to do the
   same thing?>>

   The server SHOULD verify the correctness of a received authorization
   identity. For example, an IMAP [RFC 3501] server will prepare the
   received authorization identity using the "SASLPrep" profile
   [SASLPrep] of the "stringprep" algorithm [StringPrep]. If the
   preparation of the authorization identity fails or results in an
   empty string, the server MUST fail the authentication exchange. The
   only exception to this rule is when the received authorization
   identity is the empty string.

4.3.  Security layers

   If use of a security layer is negotiated by the authentication
   protocol exchange, the security layer is applied to all subsequent
   data sent over the connection.  The security layer takes effect
   immediately following the last response of the authentication
   exchange for data sent by the client and the completion indication
   for data sent by the server.

   Once the security layer is in effect, the protocol stream is



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   processed by the security layer into buffers of security encoded
   data.  Each buffer of security encoded data is transferred over the
   connection as a stream of octets prepended with a four octet field in
   network byte order that represents the length of the following
   buffer.  The length of the security encoded data buffer MUST be no
   larger than the maximum size that was either defined in the mechanism
   specification or negotiated by the other side during the
   authentication protocol exchange.  Upon the receipt of a data buffer
   which is larger than the defined/negotiated maximal buffer size, the
   receiver SHOULD close the connection.  This might be a sign of an
   attack or a buggy implementation.

4.4.  Character string issues

   Per IETF character set policy [CHARSET-POLICY], authentication
   mechanisms SHOULD encode character strings in UTF-8 [UTF-8].  In
   order to avoid noninteroperability due to differing normalizations,
   when a mechanism specifies that a string authentication identity or
   password used as input to a cryptographic function (or used for
   comparison) it SHOULD specify that the string first be prepared using
   the "SASLPrep" profile [SASLPrep], of the "stringprep" algorithm
   [StringPrep].  This should be done by both the client (upon getting
   user input or retrieving a value from configuration) and by the
   server (upon receiving the value from the client).  If preparation
   fails or results in an empty string, the client/server SHALL fail the
   authentication exchange.


5.    Protocol profile requirements

   In order to use this specification, a protocol definition MUST supply
   the following information:

   A service name, to be selected from the IANA registry of "service"
   elements for the GSSAPI host-based service name form. [GSSAPI]  This
   service name is made available to the authentication mechanism.

   The registry is available at the URL
   "http://www.iana.org/assignments/gssapi-service-names" A definition
   of the command to initiate the authentication protocol exchange.
   This command must have as a parameter the name of the mechanism being
   selected by the client.

   The command SHOULD have an optional parameter giving an initial
   response.  This optional parameter allows the client to avoid a round
   trip when using a mechanism which is defined to have the client send
   data first.  When this initial response is sent by the client and the
   selected mechanism is defined to have the server start with an



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   initial challenge, the command fails.  See section 6.1 of this
   document for further information.  A definition of the method by
   which the authentication protocol exchange is carried out, including
   how the challenges and responses are encoded, how the server
   indicates completion or failure of the exchange, how the client
   aborts an exchange, and how the exchange method interacts with any
   line length limits in the protocol.

   The command SHOULD have a method for the server to include an
   optional challenge with a success notification.  This allows the
   server to avoid a round trip when using a mechanism which is defined
   to have the server send additional data along with the indication of
   successful completion.  See section 6.2 of this document for further
   information.

   Identification of the octet where any negotiated security layer
   starts to take effect, in both directions.

   In addition, a protocol profile SHOULD specify a mechanism through
   which a client may obtain the names of the SASL mechanisms available
   to it.  This is typically done through the protocol's extensions or
   capabilities mechanism.

   A protocol profile MAY further refine the definition of an
   authorization identity by adding additional syntactic restrictions
   and protocol-specific semantics.

   A protocol profile SHOULD NOT attempt to amend the definition of
   mechanisms or make mechanism-specific encodings.  This breaks the
   separation between protocol and mechanism that is fundamental to the
   design of SASL.

6.    Specific issues

6.1.  Client sends data first

   Some mechanisms specify that the first data sent in the
   authentication protocol exchange is from the client to the server.

   If a protocol's profile permits the command which initiates an
   authentication protocol exchange to contain an initial client
   response, this parameter SHOULD be used with such mechanisms.

   If the initial client response parameter is not given, or if a
   protocol's profile does not permit the command which initiates an
   authentication protocol exchange to contain an initial client
   response, then the server issues a challenge with no data.  The
   client's response to this challenge is then used as the initial



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   client response.  (The server then proceeds to send the next
   challenge, indicates completion, or indicates failure.)

6.2.  Server returns success with additional data

   Some mechanisms may specify that additional data be sent to the
   client along with an indication of successful completion of the
   exchange.  This data would, for example, authenticate the server to
   the client.

   If a protocol's profile does not permit this additional data to be
   returned with a success indication, then the server issues the data
   as a server challenge, without an indication of successful
   completion.  The client then responds with no data.  After receiving
   this empty response, the server then indicates successful completion
   (with no additional data).

   Client implementors should be aware of an additional failure case
   that might occur when the profile supports sending the additional
   data with success. Imagine that an active attacker is trying to
   impersonate the server and sends a faked data, that should be used to
   authenticate the server to the client, with success.  (A similar
   situation can happen when the server has a bug and produces the wrong
   response). After checking the data the client will think that the
   authentication exchange has failed, however the server will think
   that the authentication exchange has completed successfully.  At this
   point the client can't abort the authentication exchange, it SHOULD
   close the connection instead.  However if the profile didn't support
   sending of additional data with success, the client could have
   aborted the exchange.

   <<Should I add a flow diagram here or is it clear from the
   description?>>

6.3.  Multiple authentications

   Unless otherwise stated by the protocol's profile, only one
   successful SASL negotiation may occur in a protocol session.  In this
   case, once an authentication protocol exchange has successfully
   completed, further attempts to initiate an authentication protocol
   exchange fail.

   In the case that a profile explicitly permits multiple successful
   SASL negotiations to occur, then in no case may multiple security
   layers be simultaneously in effect.  If a security layer is in effect
   and a subsequent SASL negotiation selects no security layer, the
   original security layer remains in effect.  If a security layer is in
   effect and a subsequent SASL negotiation selects a second security



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   layer, then the second security layer replaces the first.

7.    The EXTERNAL mechanism

   The mechanism name associated with external authentication is
   "EXTERNAL".

   The client sends an initial response with the UTF-8 encoding of the
   authorization identity. The form of the authorization identity is
   further restricted by the application-level protocol's SASL profile.

   The server uses information, external to SASL, to determine whether
   the client is authorized to authenticate as the authorization
   identity.  If the client is so authorized, the server indicates
   successful completion of the authentication exchange; otherwise the
   server indicates failure.

   The system providing this external information may be, for example,
   IPsec or TLS.

   If the client sends the empty string as the authorization identity
   (thus requesting the authorization identity be derived from the
   client's authentication credentials), the authorization identity is
   to be derived from authentication credentials which exist in the
   system which is providing the external authentication.

7.1.  Formal syntax

   The following syntax specification uses the augmented Backus-Naur
   Form (BNF) notation as specified in [ABNF].  This uses the ABNF core
   rules as specified in Appendix A of the ABNF specification [ABNF].
   Non-terminals referenced but not defined below are as defined by
   [UTF-8].

   The "initial-response" rule below defines the initial response sent
   from client to server.

   initial-response  = *( UTF8-char-no-null )

   UTF8-char-no-null = UTF8-1-no-null / UTF8-2 / UTF8-3 / UTF8-4

   UTF8-1-no-null    = %x01-7F


7.2.  Example

   The following is an example of an EXTERNAL authentication in the SMTP
   protocol [SMTP-AUTH].  In this example, the client is proxy



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   authenticating, sending the authorization id "fred".  The server has
   determined the client's identity through IPsec and has a security
   policy that permits that identity to proxy authenticate as any other
   identity.

   To the protocol profile, the four octet sequence "fred" is an opaque
   binary blob.  The SASL protocol profile for SMTP specifies that
   server challenges and client responses are encoded in BASE64; the
   BASE64 encoding of "fred" is "ZnJlZA==".

      S: 220 smtp.example.com ESMTP server ready
      C: EHLO jgm.example.com
      S: 250-smtp.example.com
      S: 250 AUTH DIGEST-MD5 EXTERNAL
      C: AUTH EXTERNAL ZnJlZA==
      S: 235 Authentication successful.

8.    IANA Considerations

   Registration of a SASL mechanism is done by filling in the template
   in section 8.4 and sending it in to iana@iana.org.  IANA has the
   right to reject obviously bogus registrations, but will perform no
   review of claims made in the registration form.

   There is no naming convention for SASL mechanisms; any name that
   conforms to the syntax of a SASL mechanism name can be registered.
   An IETF Standards Track document may reserve a portion of the SASL
   mechanism namespace for its own use, amending the registration rules
   for that portion of the namespace.

   While the registration procedures do not require it, authors of SASL
   mechanisms are encouraged to seek community review and comment
   whenever that is feasible.  Authors may seek community review by
   posting a specification of their proposed mechanism as an internet-
   draft.  SASL mechanisms intended for widespread use should be
   standardized through the normal IETF process, when appropriate.

8.1.  Comments on SASL mechanism registrations

   Comments on registered SASL mechanisms should first be sent to the
   "owner" of the mechanism.  Submitters of comments may, after a
   reasonable attempt to contact the owner, request IANA to attach their
   comment to the SASL mechanism registration itself.  If IANA approves
   of this the comment will be made accessible in conjunction with the
   SASL mechanism registration itself.






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8.2.  Location of registered SASL mechanism list

   SASL mechanism registrations are available at the URL
   "http://www.iana.org/assignments/sasl-mechanisms" The SASL mechanism
   description and other supporting material may also be published as an
   Informational RFC by sending it to "rfc-editor@rfc-editor.org"
   (please follow the instructions to RFC authors [RFC-INSTRUCTIONS]).

8.3.  Change control

   Once a SASL mechanism registration has been published by IANA, the
   author may request a change to its definition.  The change request
   follows the same procedure as the registration request.

   The owner of a SASL mechanism may pass responsibility for the SASL
   mechanism to another person or agency by informing IANA; this can be
   done without discussion or review.

   The IESG may reassign responsibility for a SASL mechanism. The most
   common case of this will be to enable changes to be made to
   mechanisms where the author of the registration has died, moved out
   of contact or is otherwise unable to make changes that are important
   to the community.

   SASL mechanism registrations may not be deleted; mechanisms which are
   no longer believed appropriate for use can be declared OBSOLETE by a
   change to their "intended use" field; such SASL mechanisms will be
   clearly marked in the lists published by IANA.

   The IESG is considered to be the owner of all SASL mechanisms which
   are on the IETF standards track.

8.4.  Registration template

     To: iana@isi.edu
     Subject: Registration of SASL mechanism X

     SASL mechanism name:

     Security considerations:

     Published specification (optional, recommended):

     Person & email address to contact for further information:

     Intended usage:

     (One of COMMON, LIMITED USE or OBSOLETE)



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     Owner/Change controller:

     (Any other information that the author deems interesting may be
     added below this line.)


8.5.  The EXTERNAL mechanism registration

   It is requested that the SASL Mechanism registry [IANA-SASL] entry
   for the EXTERNAL mechanism be updated to reflect that this document
   now provides its technical specification.

      To: iana@iana.org Subject: Updated Registration of SASL mechanism
      EXTERNAL

      SASL mechanism name: EXTERNAL

      Security considerations: See RFC XXXX, section 10.

      Published specification (optional, recommended): RFC XXXX

      Person & email address to contact for further information:
        Alexey Melnikov <mel@messagingdirect.com>

      Intended usage: COMMON

      Owner/Change controller: IESG <iesg@ietf.org>

      Note: Updates existing entry for EXTERNAL

9.    References

9.1.  Normative References

   [ABNF] Crocker, Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications:
   ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997

   [CHARSET-POLICY] Alvestrand, "IETF Policy on Character Sets and
   Languages", RFC 2277, January 1998

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

   [ISO-10646] "Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set (UCS) -
   Architecture and Basic Multilingual Plane", ISO/IEC 10646-1 : 1993.

   [KEYWORDS] Bradner, "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
   Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, March 1997



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

   [SASLPrep] Zeilenga, K., "SASLprep: Stringprep profile for user names
   and passwords", Work in progress, draft-ietf-sasl-saslprep-XX.txt.

   [UNICODE-NORMALIZATION] Davis, Durst, "Unicode Standard Annex #15:
   Unicode Normalization Forms", March 2001,
   http://www.unicode.org/unicode/reports/tr15/

   [UTF-8] Yergeau, "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO 10646", work
   in progress (draft-yergeau-rfc2279bis-XX) that replaces RFC 2279,
   Janyary 1998

9.2.  Informative References

   <<Update the reference below>> [SASL-GSSAPI] Myers, "SASL GSSAPI
   mechanisms", draft-ietf-cat-sasl-gssapi-XX.txt, September 2000

   [SASL-OTP] Newman, "The One-Time-Password SASL Mechanism", RFC 2444,
   October 1998

   [SMTP-AUTH] Myers, "SMTP Service Extension for Authentication", RFC
   2554, March 1999

   [RFC-INSTRUCTIONS] Postel, Reynolds, "Instructions to RFC Authors",
   RFC 2223, October 1997

   [IANA-SASL]  IANA, "SIMPLE AUTHENTICATION AND SECURITY LAYER (SASL)
   MECHANISMS", http://www.iana.org/assignments/sasl-mechanisms.

10.   Security considerations

   Security issues are discussed throughout this memo.

   The mechanisms that support integrity protection are designed such
   that the negotiation of the security layer and authorization identity
   is integrity protected.  When the client selects a security layer
   with at least integrity protection, this protects against an active
   attacker hijacking the connection and modifying the authentication
   exchange to negotiate a plaintext connection.

   When a server or client supports multiple authentication mechanisms,
   each of which has a different security strength, it is possible for
   an active attacker to cause a party to use the least secure mechanism
   supported.  To protect against this sort of attack, a client or
   server which supports mechanisms of different strengths should have a
   configurable minimum strength that it will use.  It is not sufficient



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   for this minimum strength check to only be on the server, since an
   active attacker can change which mechanisms the client sees as being
   supported, causing the client to send authentication credentials for
   its weakest supported mechanism.

   The client's selection of a SASL mechanism is done in the clear and
   may be modified by an active attacker.  It is important for any new
   SASL mechanisms to be designed such that an active attacker cannot
   obtain an authentication with weaker security properties by modifying
   the SASL mechanism name and/or the challenges and responses.

   Any protocol interactions prior to authentication are performed in
   the clear and may be modified by an active attacker.  In the case
   where a client selects integrity protection, it is important that any
   security-sensitive protocol negotiations be performed after
   authentication is complete.  Protocols should be designed such that
   negotiations performed prior to authentication should be either
   ignored or revalidated once authentication is complete.

   When use of a security layer is negotiated by the authentication
   protocol exchange, the receiver should handle gracefully any security
   encoded data buffer larger than the defined/negotiated maximal size.
   In particular, it must not blindly allocate the ammount of memory
   specified in the buffer size field, as this might cause the "out of
   memory" condition. If the receiver detects a large block, it SHOULD
   close the connection.

   "stringprep" and Unicode security considerations apply to
   authentication identities, authorization identities and passwords.

   The EXTERNAL mechanism provides no security protection; it is
   vulnerable to spoofing by either client or server, active attack, and
   eavesdropping.  It should only be used when external security
   mechanisms are present and have sufficient strength.

11.   Editor's Address

     Alexey Melnikov
     ACI Worldwide/MessagingDirect

     Email: mel@messagingdirect.com

12.   Acknowledgments

   This document is a revision of RFC 2222 written by John G. Myers
   <jgmyers@netscape.com>. He also wrote the major part of this
   document.




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13.   Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  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
   document 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
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into 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
   "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
   BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
   MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Acknowledgement

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

Appendix A. Relation of SASL to transport security

   Questions have been raised about the relationship between SASL and
   various services (such as IPsec and TLS) which provide a secured
   connection.

   Two of the key features of SASL are:

      The separation of the authorization identity from the identity in
      the client's credentials.  This permits agents such as proxy
      servers to authenticate using their own credentials, yet request
      the access privileges of the identity for which they are proxying.

      Upon successful completion of an authentication exchange, the
      server knows the authorization identity the client wishes to use.



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      This allows servers to move to a "user is authenticated" state in
      the protocol.

   These features are extremely important to some application protocols,
   yet Transport Security services do not always provide them.  To
   define SASL mechanisms based on these services would be a very messy
   task, as the framing of these services would be redundant with the
   framing of SASL and some method of providing these important SASL
   features would have to be devised.

   Sometimes it is desired to enable within an existing connection the
   use of a security service which does not fit the SASL model.  (TLS is
   an example of such a service.)  This can be done by adding a command,
   for example "STARTTLS", to the protocol.  Such a command is outside
   the scope of SASL, and should be different from the command which
   starts a SASL authentication protocol exchange.

   In certain situations, it is reasonable to use SASL underneath one of
   these Transport Security services.  The transport service would
   secure the connection, either service would authenticate the client,
   and SASL would negotiate the authorization identity.  The SASL
   negotiation would be what moves the protocol from "unauthenticated"
   to "authenticated" state.  The "EXTERNAL" SASL mechanism is
   explicitly intended to handle the case where the transport service
   secures the connection and authenticates the client and SASL
   negotiates the authorization identity.

   When using SASL underneath a sufficiently strong Transport Security
   service, a SASL security layer would most likely be redundant.  The
   client and server would thus probably want to negotiate off the use
   of a SASL security layer.

Appendix B. IANA considerations

   The IANA is directed to modify the SASL mechanisms registry as
   follows:

      Change the "Intended usage" of the KERBEROS_V4 and SKEY mechanism
      registrations to OBSOLETE.  Change the "Published specification"
      of the EXTERNAL mechanism to this document.

Appendix C. Changes since RFC 2222

   The GSSAPI mechanism was removed.  It is now specified in a separate
   document [SASL-GSSAPI].

   The "KERBEROS_V4" mechanism defined in RFC 2222 is obsolete and has
   been removed.



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   The "SKEY" mechanism described in RFC 2222 is obsolete and has been
   removed.  It has been replaced by the OTP mechanism [SASL-OTP].

   The overview has been substantially reorganized and clarified.

   Clarified the definition and semantics of the authorization identity.

   Prohibited the NULL character in authorization identities.

   Added a section on character string issues.

   The word "must" in the first paragraph of the "Protocol profile
   requirements" section was changed to "MUST".

   Specified that protocol profiles SHOULD provide a way for clients to
   discover available SASL mechanisms.

   Made the requirement that protocol profiles specify the semantics of
   the authorization identity optional to the protocol profile.
   Clarified that such a specification is a refinement of the definition
   in the base SASL spec.

   Added a requirement discouraging protocol profiles from breaking the
   separation between protocol and mechanism.

   Mentioned that standards track documents may carve out their own
   portions of the SASL mechanism namespace.

   Specified that the authorization identity in the EXTERNAL mechanism
   is encoded in UTF-8.

   Added a statement that a protocol profile SHOULD allow challenge data
   to be sent with a success indication.

   Added a security consideration for the EXTERNAL mechansim.

   Clarified sections concerning success with additional data.

   Updated IANA related URLs.

   Updated references and split them into Informative and Normative.

   Added text to the Security Considerations section regarding handling
   of extremely large SASL blocks.

   Replaced UTF-8 ABNF with the reference to the UTF-8 document.

   Added text about SASLPrep for authentication identities and



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   passwords.

   Added paragraph about verifying authorization identities.
















































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   Table of contents

   Status of this Memo .......................................... i
   1.    Abstract ............................................... 2
   2.    Organization of this document .......................... 2
   2.1.  How to read this document .............................. 2
   2.2.  Conventions used in this document ...................... 2
   3.    Overview ............................................... 2
   4.    Authentication mechanisms .............................. 3
   4.1.  Authentication protocol exchange ....................... 4
   4.2.  Authorization identities and proxy authentication ...... 4
   4.3.  Security layers ........................................ 5
   4.4.  Character string issues ................................ 6
   5.    Protocol profile requirements .......................... 6
   6.    Specific issues ........................................ 7
   6.1.  Client sends data first ................................ 7
   6.2.  Server returns success with additional data ............ 8
   6.3.  Multiple authentications ............................... 8
   7.    The EXTERNAL mechanism ................................. 9
   7.1.  Formal syntax .......................................... 9
   7.2.  Example ................................................ 9
   8.    IANA Considerations ................................... 10
   8.1.  Comments on SASL mechanism registrations .............. 10
   8.2.  Location of registered SASL mechanism list ............ 11
   8.3.  Change control ........................................ 11
   8.4.  Registration template ................................. 11
   8.5.  The EXTERNAL mechanism registration ................... 12
   9.    References ............................................ 12
   9.1.  Normative References .................................. 12
   9.2.  Informative References ................................ 13
   10.   Security considerations ............................... 13
   11.   Editor's Address ...................................... 14
   12.   Acknowledgments ....................................... 14
   13.   Full Copyright Statement .............................. 15
   Appendix A. Relation of SASL to transport security .......... 15
   Appendix B. IANA considerations ............................. 16
   Appendix C. Changes since RFC 2222 .......................... 16














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