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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 RFC 6150

Network Working Group                                         S. Turner
Internet Draft                                                     IECA
Updates: 1320 (once approved)                                   L. Chen
Intended Status: Informational                                     NIST
Expires: March 25, 2011                              September 25, 2010

                          MD4 to Historic Status


   This document recommends the retirement of MD4 and discusses the
   reasons for doing so.  This document recommends RFC 1320 be moved to
   Historic status.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.  This document may contain material
   from IETF Documents or IETF Contributions published or made publicly
   available before November 10, 2008.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents

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   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document. Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

1. Introduction

   MD4 [MD4] is a message digest algorithm that takes as input a message
   of arbitrary length and produces as output a 128-bit "fingerprint" or
   "message digest" of the input.  This document recommends that MD4 be
   retired.  Specifically, this document recommends RFC 1320 [MD4] be
   moved to Historic status.  The reasons for taking this action are

   [HASH-Attack] summarizes the use of hashes in many protocols and
   discusses how attacks against a message digest algorithm's one-way
   and collision-free properties affect and do not affect Internet

2. Rationale

   MD4 was published in 1992 as an Informational RFC.  Since its
   publication, MD4 has been under attack [denBORBOS1992]
   [DOBB1995] [DOBB1996] [GLRW2010] [WLDCY2005]
   [LUER2008].  In fact, RSA, in 1996, suggested that MD4 should not be
   used [RSA-AdviceOnMD4].  Microsoft also made similar statements

   In Section 6, this document discusses attacks against MD4 that
   indicate use of MD4 is no longer appropriate when collision
   resistance is required.  Section 6 also discussed attack against
   MD4's pre-image and second pre-image resistance.  Additionally,
   attacks against MD4 used in message authentication with a shared
   secret (i.e., HMAC-MD4) are discussed.

3. Documents that reference RFC 1320

   MD4 has been specified in the following RFCs:

   Internet Standard (IS):

       o [RFC2289] A One-Time Password System.

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   Draft Standard (DS):

       o [RFC1629] Guidelines for OSI NSAP Allocation in the Internet.

   Proposed Standard (PS):

       o [RFC3961] Encryption and Checksum Specifications for
        Kerberos 5.

   Best Current Practice (BCP):

       o [RFC4086] Randomness Requirements for Security.


       o [RFC1760] The S/KEY One-Time Password System.

       o [RFC1983] Internet Users' Glossary.

       o [RFC2433] Microsoft PPP CHAP Extensions.

       o [RFC2759] Microsoft PPP CHAP Extensions, Version 2.

       o [RFC3174] US Secure Hash Algorithm 1 (SHA1).

       o [RFC4757] The RC4-HMAC Kerberos Encryption Types Used by
        Microsoft Windows.

       o [RFC5126] CMS Advanced Electronic Signatures (CAdES).

   There are other RFCs that refer to MD4, but their status is either
   Historic or Obsoleted.  References and discussions about these RFCs
   are omitted.  The notable exceptions are:

       o [RFC2313] PKCS #1: RSA Encryption Version 1.5.

       o [RFC2437] PKCS #1: RSA Cryptography Specifications Version

       o [RFC3447] Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) #1: RSA
        Cryptography Specifications Version 2.1.

4. Impact on Moving MD4 to Historic

   The impact of moving MD4 to Historic is minimal with one exception,
   as described below.

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   Regarding DS, PS, and BCP RFCs:

       o The initial One-Time Password systems, based on [RFC2289],
        have ostensibly been replaced by HMAC based mechanism, as
        specified in HOTP: An HMAC-Based One-Time Password Algorithm
        [RFC4226].  [RFC4226] suggests following recommendations in
        [RFC4086] for random input, and in [RFC4086] weaknesses of MD4
        are discussed.

       o MD4 was used in the Inter-Domain Routing Protocol (IDRP); each
        IDRP message carries a 16-octet hash that is computed by
        applying the MD-4 algorithm (RFC 1320) to the context of the
        message itself. Over time IDRP was replaced by BGP-4.

       o Kerberos Version 5 [RFC3961] specifies the use of MD4 for DES
        encryption types and checksum types.  They were specified,
        never really used, and are in the process of being deprecated
        by [I-D.des-die-die-die].  Further, the mandatory-to-implement
        encrypted types and checksum types specified by Kerberos are
        based on AES-256 and HMAC-SHA1 [RFC3962].

   Regarding Informational RFCs:

       o PKCS#1 v1.5 [RFC2313] indicated that there was no reason to
        not use MD4. PKCS#1 v2.0 [RFC2437] and v2.1 [RFC3447] recommend
        against MD4 due to cryptoanalytic progess having uncovered
        weaknesses in the collision resistance of MD4.

       o Randomness Requirements [RFC4086] does mention MD4, but not in
        a good way; it explains how the algorithm works and that there
        have been a number of attacks found against it.

       o The Internet Users' Glossary [RFC1983] provided a definition
        for Message Digest and listed MD4 as one example.

       o The IETF OTP specification [RFC2289] was based on S/Key
        technology.  So S/Key was replaced by OTP, at least in theory.
        Additonally, the S/Key implementations in the wild have started
        to use MD5 in lieu of MD4.

       o The CAdES document [RFC5126] lists MD4 as hash algorithm,
        disparages it, and then does not mention it again.

       o The SHA-1 document [RFC3174] mentions MD4 in the
        acknowledgements section.

       o The three Microsoft RFCs, [RFC2433], [RFC2759], and [RFC4757],
        are very widely deployed.  MS-CHAP Version 1 is supported in

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        Microsoft's Windows XP, 2000, 98, 95, NT 4.0, NT 3.51, NT 3.5,
        but support has been dropped in Vista.  MS-CHAP Version 2 is
        supported in Microsoft's Windows 7, XP, 2000, 98, 98, and NT
        4.0.  Both versions of MS-CHAP are also supported by RADIUS
        [RFC2548], and EAP [RFC5281].  The RC4-HMAC is supported in
        Microsoft's Windows 2000 and later. In 2007, [RFC4962] listed
        these algorithms as flawed and recommended against their use;
        these incidents were presented as a strong indication for the
        necessity of built-in crypto-algorithm agility in AAA

      EDITOR'S NOTE: Need to verify the last bullet and make sure it
        doesn't have additional legs.

5. Other Considerations

   rsync [RSYNC], a non-IETF protocol, once specified the use of MD4,
   but as of version 3.0.0 published in 2008 it has adopted MD5 [MD5].

6. Security Considerations

   This section addresses attacks against MD4's collisions, pre-image,
   and second pre-image resistance.  Additionally, attacks against HMAC-
   MD4 are discussed.

   Some may find the guidance for key lengths and algorithm strengths in
   [SP800-57] and [SP800-131] useful.

6.1. Collision Resistance

   A practical attack on MD4 was shown by Dobbertin in 1996 with
   complexity 2^20 of MD4 hash computations [DOBB1996]. In 2004, a more
   devastating result presented by Xiaoyun Wang showed that the
   complexity can be reduced to 2^8 of MD4 hash operations. At the Rump
   Session of Crypto 2004, Wang said that as a matter of fact, finding a
   collision of MD4 can be accomplished with a pen on a piece of paper.
   The formal result was presented at EUROCRYPT 2005 in [WLDCY2005].

6.2. Pre-image and Second Pre-image Resistance

   The first pre-image attack on full MD4 was accomplished in [LUER2008]
   with complexity 2^100.  Some improvements are shown on pre-image
   attacks and second pre-image attacks of MD4 with certain pre-
   computations [GLRW2010], where complexity is reduced to 2^78.4 and
   2^69.4 for pre-image and second pre-image, respectively. The pre-
   image attacks on MD4 are practical. It cannot be used as a one-way
   function. For example, it must not be used to hash a cryptographic
   key of 80 bits or longer.

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6.3. HMAC

   The attacks on Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC)
   algorithms [RFC2104] presented so far can be classified in three
   types: distinguishing attacks, existential forgery attacks, and key
   recovery attacks. Of course, among all these attacks, key recovery
   attacks are the most severe attacks.

   The best results on key recovery attacks on HMAC-MD4 were published
   at EUROCRYPT 2008 with 2^72 queries and 2^77 MD4 computations

7. Recommendation

   Despite MD4 seeing some deployment on the Internet, this
   specification recommends obsoleting MD4 because MD4 is not a
   reasonable candidate for further standardization and should be
   deprecated in favor of one or more existing hash algorithms (e.g.,
   SHA-256 [SHS]).

   RSA Security considers it appropriate to move the MD4 algorithm to
   Historic status.

   It takes a number of years to deploy crypto and it also takes a
   number of years to withdraw it.  Algorithms need to be withdrawn
   before a catastrophic break is discovered.  MD4 is clearly showing
   signs of weakness and implementations should strongly consider
   removing support and migrating to another hash algorithm.

8. IANA Considerations


9. Acknowledgements

   We'd like to thank RSA for publishing MD2.  Obviously, we have to
   thank all the cryptographers who produced the results we refer to in
   this document.  We'd also like to thank Ran Atkinson, Sue Hares, Sam
   Hartman, Alfred Hoenes, John Linn, and Martin Rex for their input.

10. Informative References

   [denBORBOS1992]   B. den Boer and A. Bosselaers. An attack on the
                     last two rounds of MD4. In Advances in Cryptology
                     -Crypto '91, pages 194-203, Springer-Verlag, 1992.

   [DOBB1995]        H. Dobbertin. Alf swindles Ann.
                     CryptoBytes, 1(3): 5, 1995.

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   [DOBB1996]        H. Dobbertin. Cryptanalysis of MD4. In Proceedings
                     of the 3rd Workshop on Fast Software Encryption,
                     Cambridge, U.K., pages 53-70, Lecture Notes in
                     Computer Science 1039, Springer-Verlag, 1996.

   [GLRW2010]        Guo, J., Ling, S., Rechberger, C., and H. Wang,
                     "Advanced Meet-in-the-Middle Preimage Attacks:
                     First Results on Full Tiger, and Improved Results
                     on MD4 and SHA-2",

   [HASH-Attack]     Hoffman, P., and B. Schneier, "Attacks on
                     Cryptographic Hashes in Internet Protocols", RFC
                     4270, November 2005.

   [LUER2008]        G. Leurent. MD4 is Not One-Way. Fast Software
                     Encryption 2008, Lausanne, Switzerland, February
                     10-13, 2008, LNCS 5086. Springer, 2008.

   [MD4]             Rivest, R., "The MD4 Message-Digest Algorithm",
                     RFC 1320, April 1992.

   [MD5]             Rivest, R., "The MD5 Message-Digest Algorithm",
                     RFC 1321, April 1992.

   [MS-AdviceOnMD4]  Howard, M., "Secure Habits: 8 Simple Rules For
                     Developing More Secure Code",

   [RFC1629]         Colella, R., Callon, R., Gardner, E., and Y.
                     Rekhter, "Guidelines for OSI NSAP Allocation in
                     the Internet", RFC 1629, May 1994.

   [RFC1760]         Haller, N., "The S/Key One-Time Password System",
                     RFC 1760, February 1995.

   [RFC1983]         Malkin, G., "Internet Users' Glossary", FYI 18,
                     RFC 1983, August 1996.

   [RFC2289]         Haller, N., Metz, C., Nesser, P. and M. Straw, "A
                     One-Time Password System", RFC 2289, February

   [RFC2313]        Kaliski, B., "PKCS #1: RSA Encryption Version 1.5",
                    RFC 2313, March 1998.

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   [RFC2104]         Krawczyk, H., Bellare, M., and R. Canetti, "HMAC:
                     Keyed-Hashing for Message Authentication", RFC
                     2104, February 1997.

   [RFC2433]         Zorn, G. and S. Cobb, "Microsoft PPP CHAP
                     Extensions", RFC 2433, October 1998.

   [RFC2437]         Kaliski, B., and J. Staddon, "PKCS #1: RSA
                     Cryptography Specifications Version 2.0", RFC
                     2437, October 1998.

   [RFC2548]         Zorn, G., "Microsoft Vendor-specific RADIUS
                     Attributes", RFC 2548, March 1998.

   [RFC2759]         Zorn, G., "Microsoft PPP CHAP Extensions, Version
                     2", RFC 2759, January 2000.

   [RFC3174]         Eastlake, D. and P. Jones, "US Secure Hash
                     Algorithm 1 (SHA1)", RFC 3174, September 2001.

   [RFC3447]         Jonsson, J. and B. Kaliski, "Public-Key
                     Cryptography Standards (PKCS) #1: RSA Cryptography
                     Specifications Version 2.1" RFC 3447, February

   [RFC3961]         Raeburn, K., "Encryption and Checksum
                     Specifications for Kerberos 5", RFC 3961, February

   [RFC3962]         Raeburn, K., "Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
                     Encryption for Kerberos 5", RFC 3962, February

   [RFC4086]         R Eastlake, D., 3rd, Schiller, J., and S. Crocker,
                     "Randomness Requirements for Security", BCP 106,
                     RFC 4086, June 2005.

   [RFC4226]         Nikander, P., Arkko, J., Aura, T., Montenegro, G.,
                     and E.  Nordmark, "Mobile IP Version 6 Route
                     Optimization Security Design Background", RFC
                     4226, December 2005.

   [RFC4757]         Jaganathan, K., Zhu, L., and J. Brezak, "The RC4-
                     HMAC Kerberos Encryption Types Used by Microsoft
                     Windows," RFC 4757, December 2006.

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   [RFC4962]         Housley, R., and Aboba, B., "Guidance for
                     Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting
                     (AAA) Key Management", RFC 4962, July 2007.

   [RFC5126]         Pinkas, D., Pope, N., and J. Ross, "CMS Advanced
                     Electronic Signatures (CAdES)", RFC 5126, February

   [RFC5281]         Funk, P., and S. Blake-Wilson, "Extensible
                     Authentication Protocol Tunneled Transport Layer
                     Security Authenticated Protocol Version 0 (EAP-
                     TTLSv0)", RFC 5281, August 2008.

   [RSA-AdviceOnMD4] Robshaw, M.J.B., "On Recent Results for MD2, MD4
                     and MD5", November 1996,

   [RSYNC]           http://www.samba.org/rsync/

   [SHS]             National Institute of Standards and Technology
                     (NIST), FIPS Publication 180-3: Secure Hash
                     Standard, October 2008.

   [SP800-57]        National Institute of Standards and Technology
                     (NIST), Special Publication 800-57: Recommendation
                     for Key Management - Part 1 (Revised), March 2007.

   [SP800-131]       National Institute of Standards and Technology
                     (NIST), Special Publication 800-131: DRAFT
                     Recommendation for the Transitioning of
                     Cryptographic Algorithms and Key Sizes, June 2010.

   [I-D.des-die-die-die] Astrand, L.H., "Deprecate DES support for
                     Kerberos", draft-lha-des-die-die-die-05, work-in-

   [WLDCY2005]       X. Wang, X. Lai, D. Feng, H. Chen, and X. Yu.
                     Cryptanalysis of Hash Functions MD4 and RIPEMD.
                     LNCS 3494. Advances in Cryptology - EUROCRYPT2005,
                     Springer 2005.

   [WOK2008]         L. Wang, K. Ohta, and N. Kunihiro. New Key-
                     recovery Attacks on HMAC/NMAC-MD4 and NMAC-MD5.
                     EUROCRYPT 2008.LNCS 4965, Springer, 2008.

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Authors' Addresses

   Sean Turner
   IECA, Inc.
   3057 Nutley Street, Suite 106
   Fairfax, VA 22031

   EMail: turners@ieca.com

   Lily Chen
   National Institute of Standards and Technology
   100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8930
   Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930

   EMail: lily.chen@nist.gov

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