[Docs] [txt|pdf] [draft-ietf-nasreq...] [Diff1] [Diff2]

INFORMATIONAL

Network Working Group                                           D. Mitton
Request for Comments: 2882                                Nortel Networks
Category: Informational                                         July 2000


                  Network Access Servers Requirements:
                       Extended RADIUS Practices

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

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

Abstract

   This document describes current practices implemented in NAS products
   that go beyond the scope of the RADIUS RFCs 2138, 2139 [1,2]. The
   purpose of this effort is to give examples that show the need for
   addressing and standardizing these types of ad-hoc functions.  Since
   many of these features require a matching server support component,
   the ability to deploy and manage interoperable NAS and AAA server
   products is severely hindered.

   These practices are documented here to show functions that are
   obviously desired in developing future AAA protocols for NAS
   deployment.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   1.1.  Disclaimers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   1.2.  Presentation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Attribute Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.1. Attribute Conflicts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.2. Attribute Value Conflicts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.2.1 Vendor Specific Enumerations Proposal . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.3   Vendor Specific Attribute Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   2.3.1 VSAs in use by clients: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   2.3.2 Clients that support multiple Vendors:  . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Attribute Data Types  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   4.  New Messages  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.  Additional Functions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   5.1 Password Change   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8



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   5.2 Authentication Modes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   5.3 Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   5.4 Pseudo Users  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  Resource Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.1 Managed Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.2 Resource Management Messages  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.3 Concurrent Logins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.4 Authorization Changes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   7. Policy Services  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   8. Accounting Extensions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   8.1 Auditing/Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   9. Conclusions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   10. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   11. Implementation Documents  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   11.1. Clients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
   11.2. Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   12. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   13. Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   14. Full Copyright Statement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

1.  Introduction

   The RADIUS Working Group was formed in 1995 to document the protocol
   of the same name, and was chartered to stay within a set of bounds
   for dial-in terminal servers.  Unfortunately the real world of
   Network Access Servers (NASes) hasn't stayed that small and simple,
   and continues to evolve at an amazing rate.

   This document shows some of the current implementations on the market
   have already outstripped the capabilities of the RADIUS protocol.  A
   quite a few features have been developed completely outside the
   protocol.  These features use the RADIUS protocol structure and
   format, but employ operations and semantics well beyond the RFC
   documents.

   I learn of the details of these functions from reading industry
   manuals and often have to respond to them in competive bid
   specifications.  As they become deployed in the field, they gather
   the force of de-facto standards.

   Because they have been done outside scope of the RFCs, they are
   vendor specific, and introduce significant problems in offering an
   interoperable product.








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1.1.  Disclaimers

   The data and numbers in this document have been gleaned from public
   sources and vendor documents along the way.  Actual implementation of
   many these features and variation from the documentation has not been
   confirmed.

   This document is a snapshot of known practices at the time of
   writing.  It is not intended to standardize these practices here, or
   keep this document current, beyond initial publication. While some
   detailed information is given, it is not the purpose of this document
   to directly or sufficiently describe the functions mentioned to the
   level of a complete functional specification.

   The author has not transcribed copyrighted material, and is not aware
   of whether any of these practices have of intellectual property
   restrictions.

   Any numeric assignments or functional operations are subject to
   change by vendors without notice.  I would appreciate any direct
   input, preferably first hand, from implementors.

1.2.  Presentation

   Without any easy organization for the material, information is
   arranged in a simple taxonomy from bottom-up complexity:

   -    Attribute Usage

   -    Attribute Data Types

   -    Message Codes

   -    New Operations

2.  Attribute Usage

   The RADIUS RFCs define attribute type ranges and specific attribute
   definitions.


   -    There are about 70 defined RADIUS attributes:

   -    Values 192-223 are reserved for experimental use

   -    Values 224-240 are reserved for implementation-specific use

   -    Values 241-255 are reserved and should not be used.



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   Attribute 26 was defined to be the Vendor Specific Attribute (VSA)
   with further internal structure to allow vendor expansion.

2.1.  Attribute conflicts

   In practice attributes 92-255 are in use by a vendor. And another
   vendor also use attributes in the 90-104 range and conflicts with
   this usage.

   To deal with these issues, server vendors have added vendor specific
   parameters to their client database files.  The administrator has to
   indicate the vendor type of NAS along with the client IP address and
   secret, so that the server can disambiguate the attribute usage.

   One server has a single large vendors file to describe the mapping
   all attributes to an internal format that retains the vendor id.
   Another server implementation uses multiple dictionaries, each
   indexed to a NAS and Vendor Model definition list.

2.2.  Attribute Value Conflicts

   Adding additional attributes may be more trouble than necessary for
   simple features.  Often existing RADIUS attributes could be extended
   with additional values (particularly attributes that are enumerated
   choices).  But in doing such there is no way to guarantee not
   conflicting with other vendor's extensions.

2.2.1.  Vendor Specific Enumerations proposal

   One proposed solution to this problem was Vendor Specific
   Enumerations (VSEs).  That is to imbed the vendor's management ID in
   the numeric value (ala VSAs) which would to divide up the attribute
   value space.  This technique has not seen any acceptance by the
   working group or other vendors, however, the vendor did accomplish
   the goal of not conflicting with working group additions or other
   vendor values.

   Example dictionary of VSE values:

   VALUE   Service-Type        VSE-Authorize-Only       0x06300001

   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-User-Reject          0x06300001
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Call-Reject          0x06300002
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-IPCP-Start           0x06300003
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-IPXCP-Start          0x06300004
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-ATCP-Start           0x06300005
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Accounting-Restart   0x06300006
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Accounting-Shutoff   0x06300007



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   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Tunnel-Start         0x06300008
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Tunnel-Stop          0x06300009
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Tunnel-Reject        0x0630000a
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Tunnel-Link-Start    0x0630000b
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Tunnel-Link-Stop     0x0630000c
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-MP-Start             0x0630000d
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-MP-Stop              0x0630000e
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Line-Seizure         0x0630000f
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Rlogin-Start         0x06300010
   VALUE   Acct-Status-Type    VSE-Rlogin-Stop          0x06300011

2.3.  Vendor Specific Attribute Usage

   Because attribute 26 Vendor Specific Attributes (VSAs) came late in
   the RADIUS working group development,  there were some server
   implementations that were late to support them.  Today, there are
   several leading implementations of clients that make extensive use of
   VSAs.  What's unfortunate is that there is also several different
   formats of VSAs implemented.  This is because the RFC suggested
   format does not support more than 256 attributes.

2.3.1.  VSAs in use by some clients:

   At the time this document was written, the following had be observed:

   -    Microsoft: several for MS-CHAP authentication support [9]

   -    ACC: 42 [10]

   -    Nortel(Bay): about 60 VSAs and 16 VSEs

   -    Nortel(Aptis): about 60 VSA: 20 1-byte, ~130 4-byte header.
        Aptis VSAs have shifted from a regular format to a 4-byte header
        format, due to the large number of attributes implemented.

   -    3Com (USR): about 130
        USR VSAs are different than the format suggested in RFC 2138.
        They have a 4 byte type field and have no internal length.

   Some vendors that did not initially use VSAs, have shifted in later
   releases VSA usage as a configuration option.

2.3.2.  Clients that support Multiple Vendor Attributes

   Now that MS-CHAP RADIUS attributes have been published in RFC 2548
   [9] as Microsoft VSA attributes, it will become typical that for NAS
   clients that support MS-CHAP authentication to process several




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   different vendor VSA types.  This has implications for RADIUS servers
   that filter or "prune" return attributes based on the vendor
   make/model of the NAS client.

   One NAS implementation can receive up to three different vendor
   specific attribute sets, but will only send attributes according to
   the "mode" that has been configured by the operator. This allows it
   to fit into environments where the customer has become dependent on a
   particular set of RADIUS attributes, and allows the NAS to "drop-in"
   without server attribute changes.

   There is another NAS that supports 3 vendor attributes sets
   concurrently.  That is, it will normally use a combination of
   different vendor VSAs in return profiles from the server.  This was
   done to support a superset of competing vendor's extensions, as well
   as it's own, and include an extensions from a sister product.

3.  Attribute Data Types

   The base RFCs define only has 4 basic data types:

   -    integer, 32 bit unsigned

   -    string, 1-253 bytes, counted.

   -    ipaddr, 32 bit IPv4

   -    date, 32 bit Unix format.

   Since then, various variations have been added:

   The tunnel authentication document [6] adds an optional compound
   "tag" byte to tunnel attributes.  These are a single byte prepended
   to the data field in order to support sets of attributes to be
   returned.  The byte value must be in the range 01-3F hex or it is
   considered to be data.

   Note that there is no native support for IPv6 addresses. In fact IPv6
   support is missing in some fixed message components too.

   There have been special attribute types created within servers.  For
   packet filters, the format called "abinary" was created.  The user
   enters an ASCII string filter description in the user profile, but
   the server parses it into a binary string before passing it to the
   NAS.  This lowers the complexity of the NAS parser.  Also a
   "phonestring" server data type allows additional data type checking
   at the entry application.




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4.  New Messages

   A number of new message types have been introduced by various parties
   over time. The base specification has 6, vendors have added 26.

   These fall into a number of categories which are described in the
   next section below. Some of these messages are actually used between
   the RADIUS server and some other resource server, using a RADIUS-like
   protocol to implement new functions.

         6 Accounting Status
                  (now Interim Accounting [5])
         7 Password Request
         8 Password Ack
         9 Password Reject
         10 Accounting Message

         21 Resource Free Request
         22 Resource Free Response
         23 Resource Query Request
         24 Resource Query Response
         25 Alternate Resource Reclaim Request
         26 NAS Reboot Request
         27 NAS Reboot Response

         29 Next Passcode
         30 New Pin
         31 Terminate Session
         32 Password Expired
         33 Event Request
         34 Event Response
         40 Disconnect Request
         41 Disconnect Ack
         42 Disconnect Nak
         43 Change Filters Request
         44 Change Filters Ack
         45 Change Filters Nak
         50 IP Address Allocate
         51 IP Address Release

5.  Additional Functions

   These are operations performed using RADIUS extensions and additional
   messages types.







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5.1.  Password Change

   Remotely requested password change operations were described and
   proposed, but rejected by the working group.  None the less, the
   feature is still deployed in a number of products.

   Message types:

    - Password Request
    - Password Ack or Reject

5.2.  Authentication Modes

   Additional message types have been added to negotiate passcode
   changes for token card servers.

    - Next Passcode
    - New PIN
    - Password Expired

   They allow the NAS or RADIUS server negotiate passcode changes with
   an external security server.

5.3.  Menus

   At least two vendors have built menuing interaction systems for use
   with terminal dial-ins.

   One implementation uses the Reply-Message string as the menu text to
   be displayed, and the State attribute to keep track of the place in
   the menu.  The menu is displayed using the Access-Challenge message.
   The response is encoded in the User-Password field like an ordinary
   challenge sequence would.

   Some RADIUS clients have problems with this because they cannot
   handle long or multiple Reply-Message attributes that may have
   embedded carriage returns and line-feeds.  The new Echo attribute
   should also control echo behavior on the menu response.   Use of the
   State attribute to keep track of a Challenge sequence is also
   standard behavior.

   Another implementation uses two vendor attributes (VSA-Menu-Item, and
   VSA-Menu-Selector as well as VSA-Third-Prompt) to convey this
   information.  This implementation is vendor specific.







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5.4.  Pseudo Users

   One client implementation takes advantage of your vanilla RADIUS
   server's ability to be used as a remote database server.  By using
   some well-known, implementation specific, strings for Username and
   Password attributes, the NAS can request information from the server,
   such as:  Static IP routes, Static IPX routes, or the Message of the
   Day.

   These are called pseudo-user requests, because they use a user entry
   with this manufactured name, for purposes other than authentication.

   Another client also uses a pseudo-user technique for resolving
   unknown Filter-ID(11) values.  An Access-Request message is sent to
   the RADIUS server with the Filter-ID as the Username value, the
   password is a known string, and the Service-Type is VSE-
   Authorization-Only.  The response must also be of the same Service-
   Type, or the response will be ignored.  The responding profile should
   contain the IP-Filter VSA attributes that will define the desired
   filter.

   It should be noticed that pseudo-user profiles could be a security
   problem if a specific or operationally invalid Service-Type is not
   attached to the profile. The client should test for this returned
   value, to prevent normal dial-in users from gaining access via this
   profile.

6.  Resource Management

   Authorized sessions may need to be allocated additional dynamic
   resources in order to perform their services.  The most typical is IP
   addresses.  The allocation may want to be delayed until needed or
   coordinated on a scale independent of the RADIUS server.  Additional
   messages may be used to allocate and free these resources.  The
   RADIUS server may proxy these requests to another server.

   Examples: Certain servers can allocate addresses local to the NAS or
   use an outboard address server.  Other servers have an internal
   address pool capability, which will fill in the Framed-IP-Address
   attribute with an assigned value based on pool selected.

6.1.  Managed Resources:

   Resources managed include: IP Addresses, Concurrent Logins, Dial-in
   Port allocation policies, Tunnel limits and load distribution.






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   There are several different types of implementation techniques:

    - Explicit request/free resource requests
    - Monitor usage with deamons watching the state
    - Explicit messages to a state deamon
    - Monitor Accounting messages for state changes

6.2.  Resource Management Messages

   Messages used for resource management

    - IP Address Allocate
    - IP Address Release

    - Resource Request
    - Resource Response
    - Resource Free Request
    - Resource Free Response
    - Resource Reclaim Request
    - NAS Reboot Request/Response

   These messages are used to allocate and free resources for a NAS from
   a centralized server.  These mechanisms allows the service provider
   better administrative control than some automated LAN services, which
   don't have policy inputs or controls.

6.3.  Concurrent Logins

   The RADIUS protocol was designed to allow stateless servers.  That
   is, servers that don't know the status of the active sessions.
   However, it is very important for many service providers to keep
   track of how many sessions a given user may have open, and
   accordingly disallow access.

   There are several different techniques used to implement login limits
   on a RADIUS environment.  Some vendors have build NAS monitoring
   tools either into their RADIUS servers, either directly or as
   auxiliary deamons, that can check the session status of the
   controlled NASes by SNMP or proprietary methods.

   Other vendors monitor the RADIUS accesses and accounting messages and
   derive state information from the requests.  This monitoring is not
   as reliable as directly auditing the NAS, but it is also less vendor
   specific, and can work with any RADIUS NAS, provided it sends both
   streams to the same server.

   Some of the approaches used:




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    - SNMP commands
    - Telnet monitor deamon
    - Accounting monitor

6.4.  Authorization Changes:

   To implement an active changes to a running session, such as filter
   changes or timeout and disconnect, at least one vendor has added a
   RADIUS "server" to his NAS. This server accepts messages sent from an
   application in the network, and upon matching some session
   information, will perform such operations.

   Messages sent from Server to NAS

    - Change Filter Request
    - Change Filter Ack / Nak
    - Disconnect Request
    - Disconnect Response

   Filters are used to limit the access the user has to the network by
   restricting the systems and protocols he can send packets to.  Upon
   fulfilling some registration with an authorization server, the
   service provider may wish to remove those restrictions, or disconnect
   the user.

7.  Policy Services

   Some vendors have implemented policy servers using RADIUS as the
   control protocol.  Two prominent Policy Managers act as RADIUS proxy
   filters and use RADIUS messages to deny access to new sessions that
   exceed active policy limits.

   One implementation behaves like a RADIUS proxy server, but with a
   policy process governing it's forward decisions. Typically a pre-
   authentication message (like the new RADIUS draft Service-Type =
   CallCheck) is emitted by the NAS upon call arrival. This message will
   contain only the Dialed-Number information in the Username field.
   The server receives the Access-Request messages and processes them
   against it's knowledge of the network state and the provisioned
   policies.

   An Access-Accept will be returned to the system to accept the call,
   and many also contain dynamic policy information and Virtual POP
   specific default parameters. When the real PPP authentication is
   engaged, the proxy will forwards the Access-Request to a RADIUS
   server, if this session was approved at pre-auth.  It can also
   process Access-Requests that were not preceded by a pre-auth
   exchange, and use the Username field for information about the



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   desired realm, in it's policy evaluation.

   The other implementation performs a similar operations. It uses VSAs
   in the Access-Request to distinguish pre-authentication message
   types.

8.  Accounting Extensions

   Traditional Accounting only records session starts and stops which is
   pretty boring. Additional session information reporting can be added
   easily which gives a better picture of operation in use as they
   happen.  Some event types are listed below.

8.1.  Auditing/Activity

    - Call or Modem Starts, Stops
    - Tunnel Starts, Stops
    - Tunnel Link Starts & Stops
    - Admin changes

   These events if monitored by a stateful server can be used to gather
   information about the usage of the network on a user/session basis.
   Information about when a particular user entered the network is more
   relevant to network service management than attempting track
   backwards from low level IP address flows.   Useful information about
   port usage across a range of NASes allows service provider to quickly
   find problem areas or users.

   Information about call failures, successes, and quality are also
   deemed important many service providers.

   Extending RADIUS accounting is easy, it's surprising that more
   implementations have not been made in this area.

9.  Conclusions

   In real life RADIUS Servers are becoming rather complex software
   implementations.  They are often brokering authentication and
   authorization to other authorities or repositories.  Variants of
   RADIUS protocol is often used as glue protocol for these type of
   solutions.

   Some of the solutions are kludges that could be cleaned up by better
   underlying services.

   What this means to the implementor is that RADIUS as the RFCs
   describe it is becoming less relevant.  Many additional features
   require matching client and server processing message processing.



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   Without standardization of these functions we don't have much
   interoperability in the field and much effort is spent in reverse
   engineering and reaction to unknown areas.

   This memo is not a complete survey by any means.  It is a
   representative summary of practices that I am aware of at the time of
   writing.  I still appreciate input from vendors or users on practices
   and details known, and particularly any reference material you can
   pass me.

10.  Security Considerations

   This document documents known practices, and does not propose any
   particular new protocols. Extensions to RADIUS protocols create new
   security implications because of their functions go beyond those
   considered in the RFCs.  Some of these include:

    - The ability to change passwords via a RADIUS exchange was
      deliberately left out of the protocol by the working group,
      because of security concerns.
    - The Pseudo-User profiles and the Call-Check operation may allow
      unintended access if static and well-know account names and
      passwords are allowed to be used by regular interactive accounts.
    - Resource Management operations must be protected from denial of
      service attacks.
    - Client side authorization change exchanges need to be secured from
      attacks that could disconnect or restrict user services.

11.  Implementation Documents

   Information about the following implementations can be obtained from
   the respective owners.  Most listed are available from the
   manufacturer's web site.

11.1.  Clients:

   - 3Com(USR) Total Control Hub
   - Ericsson(ACC) Tigris
           draft-ilgun-radius-accvsa-01.txt, Dec 1998
   - Lucent(Ascend) MAX TNT
   - Lucent(Livingston) Portmaster
   - Nortel(Aptis) CVX 1800
   - Nortel(Bay Networks) Versalar 5399/8000 Remote Access Controller
   - Intel(Shiva)







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11.2.  Servers:

   - Ericsson(ACC) Virtual Port Server Manager
   - Funk Steel-Belted RADIUS
   - Intel(Shiva) Access Manager
   - Lucent(Ascend) Access Control
   - Lucent(Ascend) NavisAccess
   - Lucent(Ascend) Modified Livingston 1.16
   - Lucent(Livingston) V2.01
   - Lucent(Livingston) ABM
   - Lucent Port Authority
   - MERIT AAA Servers
   - Nortel(Bay Networks) BaySecure Access Control
   - Nortel Preside Radius
   - Nortel CVX Policy Manager

12.  References

   [1]  Rigney, C., Rubens, A., Simpson, W. and S. Willens, "Remote
        Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)", RFC 2138, April
        1997.

   [2]  Rigney, C., "RADIUS Accounting", RFC 2139, April 1997.

   [3]  Rigney, C., Willens, S., Ruebens, A. and W. Simpson, "Remote
        Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)", RFC 2865, June
        2000.

   [4]  Rigney, C., "RADIUS Accounting", RFC 2866, June 2000.

   [5]  Rigney, C., Willats, W. and P. Calhoun, "RADIUS Extensions", RFC
        2869, June 2000.

   [6]  Zorn, G., Leifer, D., Rubens, A., Shriver, J., Holdrege, M. and
        I. Goyret, "RADIUS Attributes for Tunnel Protocol Support", RFC
        2868, June 2000.

   [7]  Zorn, G., Aboba, B. and D. Mitton, "RADIUS Accounting
        Modifications for Tunnel Protocol Support", RFC 2867, June 2000.

   [8]  Aboba, B. and G. Zorn, "Implementation of L2TP Compulsory
        Tunneling via RADIUS", RFC 2809, April 2000.

   [9]  Zorn, G., "Microsoft Vendor-specific RADIUS Attributes", RFC
        2548, March 1999.

   [10] Ilgun, K., "RADIUS Vendor Specific Attributes for ACC/Ericsson
        Datacom Access", Work in Progress.



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13.  Author's Address

   David Mitton
   Nortel Networks
   880 Technology Park Drive
   Billerica, MA 01821

   Phone: 978-288-4570
   EMail: dmitton@nortelnetworks.com










































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14.  Full Copyright Statement

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

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
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Acknowledgement

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
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Mitton                       Informational                     [Page 16]


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