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Versions: (draft-modadugu-tls-ctr) 00 01

Network Working Group                                        N. Modadugu
Internet-Draft                                       Stanford University
Expires: December 15, 2006                                   E. Rescorla
                                                       Network Resonance
                                                           June 13, 2006


            AES Counter Mode Cipher Suites for TLS and DTLS
                       draft-ietf-tls-ctr-01.txt

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   This document describes the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard
   (AES) Counter Mode for use as a Transport Layer Security (TLS) and
   Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) confidentiality mechanism.







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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1.  Conventions Used In This Document  . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  Encrypting Records with AES Counter Mode . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.1.  TLS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
       3.1.1.  Encryption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
       3.1.2.  Decryption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       3.1.3.  Counter Block Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.2.  DTLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.3.  Padding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.4.  Session Resumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   4.  Design Rationale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.1.  Maximum Key Lifetime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   7.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 10































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1.  Introduction

   Transport Layer Security [3] provides channel-oriented security for
   application layer protocols.  In TLS, cryptographic algorithms are
   specified in "Cipher Suites, which consist of a group of algorithms
   to be used together."

   Cipher suites supported by TLS are divided into stream and block
   ciphers.  Counter mode ciphers behave like stream ciphers, but are
   constructed based on a block cipher primitive (that is, counter mode
   operation of a block cipher results in a stream cipher.)  This
   specification is limited to discussion of the operation of AES in
   counter mode (AES-CTR.)

   Counter mode ciphers (CTR) offer a number of attractive features over
   other block cipher modes and stream ciphers such as RC4:

   Low Bandwidth: AES-CTR provides a saving of 17-32 bytes per record
      compared to AES-CBC as used in TLS 1.1 and DTLS. 16 bytes are
      saved from not having to transmit an explicit IV, and another 1-16
      bytes are saved from the absence of the padding block.

   Random Access: AES-CTR is capable of random access within the key
      stream.  For DTLS, this implies that records can be processed out
      of order without dependency on packet arrival order, and also
      without keystream buffering.

   Parallelizable: As a consequence of AES-CTR supporting random access
      within the key stream, making the cipher amenable to parallelizing
      and pipelining in hardware.

   Multiple mode support: AES-CTR support in TLS/DTLS allows for
      implementator to support both a stream (CTR) and block (CBC)
      cipher through the implementation of a single symmetric algorithm.

1.1.  Conventions Used In This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [1].


2.  Terminology

   This document reuses some terminology introduced in [2] and [3].  The
   term 'counter block' has the same meaning as used in [2].  However,
   the term 'IV' in this document, holds the meaning defined in [3].




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3.  Encrypting Records with AES Counter Mode

   AES-CTR is functionally equivalent to a stream cipher; it generates a
   pseudo-random cipher stream that is XORed into the plaintext to form
   ciphertext.

   The cipher stream is generated by applying the AES encrypt operation
   on a sequence of 128-bit counter blocks.  Counter blocks, in turn,
   are generated based on record sequence numbers (in the case of TLS),
   or a combination of record sequence and epoch numbers (in the case of
   DTLS.)

   It should be noted that although the client and server use the same
   sequence number space, they use different write keys and counter
   blocks.

   There is one important constraint on the use of counter mode ciphers:
   for a given key, a counter block value MUST never be used more than
   once.

   This constraint is required because a given key and counter block
   value completely specify a portion of the cipher stream.  Hence, a
   particular counter block value when used (with a given key) to
   generate more than one ciphertext leaks information about the
   corresponding plaintexts.  For a detailed explanation, see Section 7
   of [2].

   Given this constraint, the challenge then is in the design of the
   counter block.  We describe the construction of the counter block in
   the following sections.

   TLS/DTLS records encrypted with AES-CTR mode use a
   CipherSpec.cipher_type of GenericStreamCipher (Section 6.2.3 of [3]).

3.1.  TLS

   AES counter mode requires the encryptor and decryptor to share a per-
   record unique counter block.  As previously stated, a given counter
   block MUST never be used more than once with the same key.  The
   following description of AES-CTR mode has been adapted from [2].

3.1.1.  Encryption

   To encrypt a payload with AES-CTR, the encryptor sequentially
   partitions the plaintext (PT) into 128-bit blocks.  The final PT
   block MAY be less than 128-bits.  This partitioning is denoted as:

   PT = PT[1] PT[2] ...  PT[n]



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   In order to encrypt, each PT block is XORed with a block of the key
   stream to generate the ciphertext (CT.)  The keystream is generated
   via the AES encryption of each counter block value, with each
   encryption operation producing 128-bits of key stream.

   The encryption operation is performed as follows:


         FOR i := 1 to n-1 DO
           CT[i] := PT[i] XOR AES(CtrBlk)
           CtrBlk := CtrBlk + 1
         END
         CT[n] := PT[n] XOR TRUNC(AES(CtrBlk))

   The AES() function performs AES encryption with the fresh key.

   The TRUNC() function truncates the output of the AES encrypt
   operation to the same length as the final plaintext block, returning
   the leftmost bits.

3.1.2.  Decryption

   Decryption is similar to encryption.  The decryption of n ciphertext
   blocks is performed as follows:


         FOR i := 1 to n-1 DO
           PT[i] := CT[i] XOR AES(CtrBlk)
           CtrBlk := CtrBlk + 1
         END
         PT[n] := CT[n] XOR TRUNC(AES(CtrBlk))

   The AES() and TRUNC() operate identically as in the case of
   encryption.

3.1.3.  Counter Block Construction

   To construct the counter block, the leftmost 48-bits of the counter
   block are set to the rightmost 48-bits of the client_write_IV (for
   the half-duplex stream originated by the client) or the rightmost 48-
   bits of the server_write_IV (for the half-duplex stream originated by
   the server.)  The following 64-bits of the counter block are set to
   record sequence number, and the remaining 16-bits function as the
   block counter.  The block counter is a 16-bit unsigned integer in
   network byte order (i.e. big-endien).  The block counter is initially
   set to one, and is incremented by one to generate subsequent counter
   blocks, each resulting in another 128-bits of key stream.




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   The structure of the counter block is depicted below:

          struct {
             case client:
                 uint48 client_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
             case server:
                 uint48 server_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
             uint64 seq_num;
             uint16 blk_ctr;
          } CtrBlk;

   The seq_num and blk_ctr fields of the counter block are initialized
   for each record processed, while the IV is initialized immediately
   after a key calculation is made (key calculations are made whenever a
   TLS/DTLS handshake, either full or abbreviated, is executed.) seq_num
   is set to the sequence number of the record, and blk_ctr is
   initialized to 1.

   Note that the block counter does not overflow since the maximum size
   of input to the record payload protection layer in TLS or DTLS
   (TLSCompressed.length) is 2^14 + 1024 octets, and 16 bits of blk_ctr
   allow the generation of 2^20 octets (2^16 AES blocks) of keying
   material per record.

   Note that for TLS, no part of the counter block need be transmitted,
   since the client_write_IV and server_write_IV are derived during the
   key calculation phase, and the record sequence number is implicit.

3.2.  DTLS

   The operation of AES-CTR in DTLS is the same as in TLS, with the only
   difference being the inclusion of the epoch in the counter block.
   The counter block is constructed as follows for DTLS:

       struct {
          case client:
              uint48 client_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
          case server:
              uint48 server_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
          uint16 epoch;
          uint48 seq_num;
          uint16 blk_ctr;
       } CtrBlk;

   For decryption, the epoch and seq_num fields are initialized based on
   the corresponding values in a received record.





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3.3.  Padding

   Stream ciphers in TLS and DTLS do not require plaintext padding.

3.4.  Session Resumption

   TLS supports session resumption via caching of session ID's and
   connection parameters on both client and server.  While resumed
   sessions use the same master secret that was originally negotiated, a
   resumed session uses new keys that are derived, in part, using fresh
   client_random and server_random parameters.  As a result resumed
   sessions do not use the same encryption keys or IV's as the original
   session.


4.  Design Rationale

   An alternate design for the construction of the counter block would
   be the use of an explicit 'record tag' (as a substitute for the
   implicit record sequence number) that could potentially be generated
   via an LFSR.  Such a design, however, suffers a major drawback when
   used in the TLS or DTLS protocol, without offering any significant
   benefit: in both TLS and DTLS inclusion of such a tag would incur a
   bandwidth cost.


5.  Security Considerations

   The security considerations for the use of AES-CTR in TLS/DTLS are
   specified below.  The below text is based heavily on that for AES-CTR
   in IPsec [2].

   o  Counter blocks must not be used more than once with a given key.
      Doing so allows a passive attacker to determine the XOR of the
      affected plain text blocks.  Extracting two plaintexts from their
      XOR is a relatively straightforward operation.  Because the
      counter block is derived from the per-record sequence, this means
      that sequence numbers MUST never be re-used with different data.
      Note, however, that retransmitting the same record in DTLS is
      safe.
   o  AES-CTR can be used in pre-shared key mode, since session keys and
      not pre-shared keys are used for ciphering.  Also, since separate
      read and write keys are generated, counter blocks generated by
      client and server can safely overlap.
   o  As with other stream ciphers, data forgery is trivial if no
      message integrity mechanism is employed.  This threat is of no
      concern in TLS/DTLS since all ciphersuites that support encryption
      also employ message integrity.



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5.1.  Maximum Key Lifetime

   TLS/DTLS sessions employing AES-CTR MUST be renegotiated before
   sequence numbers repeat.  In the case of TLS, this implies a maximum
   of 2^64 records per session, while for DTLS the maximum is 2^48 (with
   the remaining bits reserved for epoch.)


6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has assigned the following values for AES-CTR mode ciphers:

   CipherSuite TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_anon_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };

   CipherSuite TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_DSS_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_anon_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };

7.  Normative References

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

   [2]  Housley, R., "Using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Counter
        Mode With IPsec Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)", RFC 3686,
        January 2004.

   [3]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security (TLS)
        Protocol Version 1.1", RFC 4346, April 2006.














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Authors' Addresses

   Nagendra Modadugu
   Stanford University
   353 Serra Mall
   Stanford, CA  94305
   USA

   Email: nagendra@cs.stanford.edu


   Eric Rescorla
   Network Resonance
   2483 E. Bayshore Rd., #212
   Palo Alto, CA  94303
   USA

   Email: ekr@networkresonance.com

































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