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Versions: 00 01 02 draft-ietf-tls-downgrade-scsv

Network Working Group                                         B. Moeller
Internet-Draft                                                    Google
Updates: 2246,4346,5246                               September 25, 2013
(if approved)
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: March 29, 2014


    TLS Signaling Cipher Suite Value (SCSV) for Preventing Protocol
                           Downgrade Attacks
                  draft-bmoeller-tls-downgrade-scsv-00

Abstract

   This document defines a Signaling Cipher Suite Value (SCSV) that can
   be used to prevent protocol downgrades for Transport Layer Security
   (TLS).

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on March 29, 2014.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2013 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (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
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as



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   described in the Simplified BSD License.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  The TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV Signaling Cipher Suite Value  . . . . .  4
   3.  Server behavior  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   4.  Client behavior  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   6.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     6.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     6.2.  Informal References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10




































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1.  Introduction

   To work around interoperability problems with legacy servers, many
   TLS client implementations do not rely on the TLS protocol version
   negotiation mechanism alone, but will intentionally reconnect using a
   downgraded protocol if initial handshake attempts fail.  Such clients
   may fall back to connections in which they announce a version as low
   as TLS 1.0 (or even its predecessor, SSL 3.0) as the highest
   supported version, and make no attempt of using TLS extensions.

   While such protocol downgrades can be a useful last resort for
   connections to actual legacy servers, there's a risk that active
   attackers could exploit the downgrade strategy to weaken the
   cryptographic security of connections.  (For example, if a server
   requires the client's Supported Elliptic Curves Extension [RFC4492]
   to choose a forward-secure key exchange algorithm, the attacker could
   interfere with connections using this extension to get the client and
   server to instead use a key exchange algorithm that does not
   providing forward secrecy.)  Also, handshake errors due to network
   glitches could similary be misinterpreted as interaction with a
   legacy server and result in a protocol downgrade.

   All unnecessary protocol downgrades are undesirable (e.g., from TLS
   1.2 to TLS 1.1 if both the client and the server actually do support
   TLS 1.1); they can be particularly critical if they mean losing the
   TLS extension feature (when downgrading to TLS 1.0 without
   extensions, or to SSL 3.0).  This document defines a Signaling Cipher
   Suite Value (SCSV) that can be employed to prevent such protocol
   downgrades between clients and servers that comply to this document.

   This specification applies to implementations of TLS 1.0 [RFC2246],
   TLS 1.1 [RFC4346], and TLS 1.2 [RFC5246].  (It is particularly
   relevant if such implementations also include support for predecessor
   protocol SSL 3.0 [RFC6101].)  It can be applied similarly to later
   protocol versions.

   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 [RFC2119].












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2.  The TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV Signaling Cipher Suite Value

   This document defines one new cipher suite value:

   TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV {0x##, 0x##}

   [[Code point TBD.]]

   This is a signaling cipher suite value, i.e., it does not actually
   correspond to a suite of cryptosystems, and it can never be selected
   by the server in the handshake; rather, its presence in the client
   hello message serves as a backwards-compatible signal from the client
   to the server.






































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3.  Server behavior

   This section specifies server behavior when receiving the
   TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV cipher suite from a client in
   ClientHello.cipher_suites.

   o  If TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV appears in ClientHello.cipher_suites and the
      highest protocol version supported by the server is higher than
      the version indicated in ClientHello.client_version, the server
      MUST respond with a (fatal) protocol_version alert.

   o  If TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV appears in ClientHello.cipher_suites and the
      ClientHello message does not include field
      client_hello_extension_list at all ([RFC3546], [RFC4366],
      [RFC5246]), the server MUST respond with a (fatal)
      protocol_version alert.

   Otherwise (either TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV does not appear, or it appears
   *and* the client's protocol version is at least the highest protocol
   version supported by the server *and* there is a
   client_hello_extension_list - possibly empty), the server proceeds
   with the handshake as usual.

   (Note that the TLS specifications require server implementations that
   do not support TLS extensions to tolerate extra data at the end of
   the ClientHello message, at the location where the later
   specifications added the field client_hello_extension_list.  The
   server behavior mandated here relies on that requirement; intolerance
   for such extra data is a bug that must be fixed before adding server-
   side support for TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV.)





















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4.  Client behavior

   The TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV cipher suite value is meant for use by clients
   that repeat a connection attempt with a downgraded protocol in order
   to avoid interoperability problems with legacy servers.  This section
   specifies when to send it.

   o  If a client sends a ClientHello.client_version containing a lower
      value than the latest (highest-valued) version supported by the
      client, it SHOULD include the TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV cipher suite
      value in ClientHello.cipher_suites.  This does not apply when the
      client intends to perform an abbreviated handshake to resume a
      previously negotiated session and sets ClientHello.client_version
      to the protocol version negotiated for that session.

   o  If a client that supports TLS extensions and has TLS extensions to
      send in the handshake entirely omits client_hello_extension_list
      from the ClientHello message, it SHOULD include the
      TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV cipher suite value in
      ClientHello.cipher_suites.

   Note that in the above, a protocol version is not considered
   supported by the client if it has been disabled by any applicable
   system or user settings: it is about the highest protocol version
   that the client would attempt using in a handshake, not about the
   highest protocol version implemented if its use is not actually
   enabled.  (For example, if the implementation supports TLS 1.2 but
   the user has disabled this protocol version, a TLS 1.1 handshake is
   expected and does not warrant sending TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV.)






















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5.  Security Considerations

   Section 4 does not require client implementations to send
   TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV in any particular case, it merely recommends it;
   behavior can be adapted according to the client's security needs.
   For example, during the initial deployment of a new protocol version
   (when some interoperability problems may have to be expected),
   smoothly falling back to the previous protocol version in case of
   problems may be preferrable to potentially not being able to connect
   at all: so TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV could be omitted for this particular
   protocol downgrade step.

   However, it is particularly strongly recommended to sent
   TLS_DOWNGRADE_SCSV when downgrading to SSL 3.0 as the CBC cipher
   suites in SSL 3.0 have weaknesses that cannot be addressed by
   implementation workarounds like the remaining weaknesses in later
   (TLS) protocol versions.


































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6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2246]  Dierks, T. and C. Allen, "The TLS Protocol Version 1.0",
              RFC 2246, January 1999.

   [RFC3546]  Blake-Wilson, S., Nystrom, M., Hopwood, D., Mikkelsen, J.,
              and T. Wright, "Transport Layer Security (TLS)
              Extensions", RFC 3546, June 2003.

   [RFC4346]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.1", RFC 4346, April 2006.

   [RFC4366]  Blake-Wilson, S., Nystrom, M., Hopwood, D., Mikkelsen, J.,
              and T. Wright, "Transport Layer Security (TLS)
              Extensions", RFC 4366, April 2006.

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246, August 2008.

6.2.  Informal References

   [RFC4492]  Blake-Wilson, S., Bolyard, N., Gupta, V., Hawk, C., and B.
              Moeller, "Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Cipher Suites
              for Transport Layer Security (TLS)", RFC 4492, May 2006.

   [RFC6101]  Freier, A., Karlton, P., and P. Kocher, "The Secure
              Sockets Layer (SSL) Protocol Version 3.0", RFC 6101,
              August 2011.


















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Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   This specification was inspired by an earlier proposal by Eric
   Rescorla.















































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Author's Address

   Bodo Moeller
   Google Switzerland GmbH
   Brandschenkestrasse 110
   Zurich  8002
   Switzerland

   Email: bmoeller@acm.org










































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