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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 draft-ietf-ipsecme-eap-mutual

Network Working Group                                          P. Eronen
Internet-Draft                                                     Nokia
Expires: April 23, 2010                                    H. Tschofenig
                                                  Nokia Siemens Networks
                                                              Y. Sheffer
                                                             Check Point
                                                        October 20, 2009

           An Extension for EAP-Only Authentication in IKEv2

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   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the

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   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   IKEv2 specifies that EAP authentication must be used together with
   public key signature based responder authentication.  This is
   necessary with old EAP methods that provide only unilateral
   authentication using, e.g., one-time passwords or token cards.

   This document specifies how EAP methods that provide mutual
   authentication and key agreement can be used to provide extensible
   responder authentication for IKEv2 based on methods other than public
   key signatures.

1.  Introduction

   The Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), defined in [RFC4072],
   is an authentication framework which supports multiple authentication
   mechanisms.  Today, EAP has been implemented at end hosts and routers
   that connect via switched circuits or dial-up lines using PPP
   [RFC1661], IEEE 802 wired switches [IEEE8021X], and IEEE 802.11
   wireless access points [IEEE80211i].

   One of the advantages of the EAP architecture is its flexibility.
   EAP is used to select a specific authentication mechanism, typically
   after the authenticator requests more information in order to
   determine the specific authentication method to be used.  Rather than
   requiring the authenticator (e.g., wireless LAN access point) to be
   updated to support each new authentication method, EAP permits the
   use of a backend authentication server which may implement some or
   all authentication methods.

   IKEv2 [RFC4306] is a component of IPsec used for performing mutual
   authentication and establishing and maintaining security associations
   for IPsec ESP and AH.  In addition to supporting authentication using
   public key signatures and shared secrets, IKEv2 also supports EAP

   IKEv2 provides EAP authentication since it was recognized that public
   key signatures and shared secrets are not flexible enough to meet the
   requirements of many deployment scenarios.  By using EAP, IKEv2 can

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   leverage existing authentication infrastructure and credential
   databases, since EAP allows users to choose a method suitable for
   existing credentials, and also makes separation of the IKEv2
   responder (VPN gateway) from the EAP authentication endpoint (backend
   AAA server) easier.

   Some older EAP methods are designed for unilateral authentication
   only (that is, EAP peer to EAP server).  These methods are used in
   conjunction with IKEv2 public key based authentication of the
   responder to the initiator.  It is expected that this approach is
   especially useful for "road warrior" VPN gateways that use, for
   instance, one-time passwords or token cards to authenticate the

   However, most newer EAP methods, such as those typically used with
   IEEE 802.11i wireless LANs, provide mutual authentication and key
   agreement.  Currently, IKEv2 specifies that these EAP methods must
   also be used together with public key signature based responder

   In some environments, requiring the deployment of PKI for just this
   purpose can be counterproductive.  Deploying new infrastructure can
   be expensive, and it may weaken security by creating new
   vulnerabilities.  Mutually authenticating EAP methods alone can
   provide a sufficient level of security in many circumstances, and
   indeed, IEEE 802.11i uses EAP without any PKI for authenticating the
   WLAN access points.

   This document specifies how EAP methods that offer mutual
   authentication and key agreement can be used to provide responder
   authentication in IKEv2 completely based on EAP.

1.1.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Scenarios

   In this section we describe two scenarios for extensible
   authentication within IKEv2.  These scenarios are intended to be
   illustrative examples rather than specifying how things should be

   Figure 1 shows a configuration where the EAP and the IKEv2 endpoints
   are co-located.  Authenticating the IKEv2 responder using both EAP

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   and public key signatures is redundant.  Offering EAP based
   authentication has the advantage that multiple different
   authentication and key exchange protocols are available with EAP with
   different security properties (such as strong password based
   protocols, protocols offering user identity confidentiality and many
   more).  As an example it is possible to use GSS-API support within
   EAP [I-D.aboba-pppext-eapgss] to support Kerberos based
   authentication which effectively replaces the need for KINK

          +------+-----+                            +------------+
     O    |   IKEv2    |                            |   IKEv2    |
    /|\   | Initiator  |<---////////////////////--->| Responder  |
    / \   +------------+          IKEv2             +------------+
    User  |  EAP Peer  |          Exchange          | EAP Server |
          +------------+                            +------------+

             Figure 1: EAP and IKEv2 endpoints are co-located

   Figure 2 shows a typical corporate network access scenario.  The
   initiator (client) interacts with the responder (VPN gateway) in the
   corporate network.  The EAP exchange within IKE runs between the
   client and the home AAA server.  As a result of a successful EAP
   authentication protocol run, session keys are established and sent
   from the AAA server to the VPN gateway, and then used to authenticate
   the IKEv2 SA with AUTH payloads.

   The protocol used between the VPN gateway and AAA server could be,
   for instance, Diameter [RFC4072] or RADIUS [RFC3579].  See Section 5
   for related security considerations.

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                                |       Corporate network       |
                                |                               |
                           +-----------+            +--------+  |
                           |   IKEv2   |     AAA    |  Home  |  |
     IKEv2      +////----->+ Responder +<---------->+  AAA   |  |
     Exchange   /          | (VPN GW)  |  (RADIUS/  | Server |  |
                /          +-----------+  Diameter) +--------+  |
                /               |        carrying EAP           |
                |               |                               |
                |               +-------------------------------+
     o   |   IKEv2    |
    /|\  | Initiator  |
    / \  | VPN client |
   User  +------------+

                    Figure 2: Corporate Network Access

3.  Solution

   IKEv2 specifies that when the EAP method establishes a shared secret
   key, that key is used by both the initiator and responder to generate
   an AUTH payload (thus authenticating the IKEv2 SA set up by messages
   1 and 2).

   When used together with public key responder authentication, the
   responder is in effect authenticated using two different methods: the
   public key signature AUTH payload in message 4, and the EAP-based
   AUTH payload later.

   If the initiator does not wish to use public key based responder
   authentication, it includes an EAP_ONLY_AUTHENTICATION notification
   payload (type TBD-BY-IANA) in message 3.  The SPI size field is set
   to zero, and there is no additional data associated with this

   If the responder supports this notification, it omits the public key
   based AUTH payload and CERT payloads from message 4.

   If the responder does not support the EAP_ONLY_AUTHENTICATION
   notification, it ignores the notification payload, and includes the
   AUTH payload in message 4.  In this case the initiator can, based on
   its local policy, choose to either ignore the AUTH payload, or verify
   it and any associated certificates as usual.

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   Both the initiator and responder MUST verify that the EAP method
   actually used provided mutual authentication and established a shared
   secret key.  The AUTH payloads sent after EAP Success MUST use the
   EAP-generated key, and MUST NOT use SK_pi or SK_pr.

   An IKEv2 message exchange with this modification is shown below:

      Initiator                   Responder
     -----------                 -----------
      HDR, SAi1, KEi, Ni,

                            <--   HDR, SAr1, KEr, Nr, [CERTREQ],

      HDR, SK { IDi, [IDr], SAi2, TSi, TSr,
                [CP(CFG_REQUEST)] }  -->

                            <--   HDR, SK { IDr, EAP(Request) }

      HDR, SK { EAP(Response) }  -->

                            <--   HDR, SK { EAP(Request) }

      HDR, SK { EAP(Response) }  -->

                            <--   HDR, SK { EAP(Success) }

      HDR, SK { AUTH }  -->

                            <--   HDR, SK { AUTH, SAr2, TSi, TSr,
                                            [CP(CFG_REPLY] }

   The NAT detection and Configuration payloads are shown for
   informative purposes only; they do not change how EAP authentication

4.  IANA considerations

   This document defines a new IKEv2 Notification Payload type,
   EAP_ONLY_AUTHENTICATION, described in Section 3.  This payload must
   be assigned a new type number from the "status types" range.

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   This document does not define any new namespaces to be managed by

5.  Security Considerations

   Security considerations applicable to all EAP methods are discussed
   in [RFC3748].  The EAP Key Management Framework [RFC5247] deals with
   issues that arise when EAP is used as a part of a larger system.

5.1.  Authentication of IKEv2 SA

   It is important to note that the IKEv2 SA is not authenticated by
   just running an EAP conversation: the crucial step is the AUTH
   payload based on the EAP-generated key.  Thus, EAP methods that do
   not provide mutual authentication or establish a shared secret key
   MUST NOT be used with the modifications presented in this document.

5.2.  Authentication with separated IKEv2 responder/EAP server

   As described in Section 2, the EAP conversation can terminate either
   at the IKEv2 responder or at a backend AAA server.

   If the EAP method is terminated at the IKEv2 responder then no key
   transport via the AAA infrastructure is required.  Pre-shared secret
   and public key based authentication offered by IKEv2 is then replaced
   by a wider range of authentication and key exchange methods.

   However, typically EAP will be used with a backend AAA server.  See
   [RFC5247] for a more complete discussion of the related security
   issues; here we provide only a short summary.

   When a backend server is used, there are actually two authentication
   exchanges: the EAP method between the client and the AAA server, and
   another authentication between the AAA server and IKEv2 gateway.  The
   AAA server authenticates the client using the selected EAP method,
   and they establish a session key.  The AAA server then sends this key
   to the IKEv2 gateway over a connection authenticated using, e.g.,
   IPsec or TLS.

   Some EAP methods do not have any concept of pass-through
   authenticator (e.g., NAS or IKEv2 gateway) identity, and these two
   authentications remain quite independent of each other.  That is,
   after the client has verified the AUTH payload sent by the IKEv2
   gateway, it knows that it is talking to SOME gateway trusted by the
   home AAA server, but not which one.  The situation is somewhat
   similar if a single cryptographic hardware accelerator, containing a
   single private key, would be shared between multiple IKEv2 gateways

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   (perhaps in some kind of cluster configuration).  In particular, if
   one of the gateways is compromised, it can impersonate any of the
   other gateways towards the user (until the compromise is discovered
   and access rights revoked).

   In some environments it is not desirable to trust the IKEv2 gateways
   this much (also known as the "Lying NAS Problem").  EAP methods that
   provide what is called "connection binding" or "channel binding"
   transport some identity or identities of the gateway (or WLAN access
   point/NAS) inside the EAP method.  Then the AAA server can check that
   it is indeed sending the key to the gateway expected by the client.
   A potential solution is described in

   In some deployment configurations, AAA proxies may be present between
   the IKEv2 gateway and the backend AAA server.  These AAA proxies MUST
   be trusted for secure operation, and therefore SHOULD be avoided when
   possible; see [RFC4072] and [RFC5247] for more discussion.

5.3.  Protection of EAP payloads

   Although the EAP payloads are encrypted and integrity protected with
   SK_e/SK_a, this does not provide any protection against active
   attackers.  Until the AUTH payload has been received and verified, a
   man-in-the-middle can change the KEi/KEr payloads and eavesdrop or
   modify the EAP payloads.

   In IEEE 802.11i wireless LANs, the EAP payloads are neither encrypted
   nor integrity protected (by the link layer), so EAP methods are
   typically designed to take that into account.

   In particular, EAP methods that are vulnerable to dictionary attacks
   when used in WLANs are still vulnerable (to active attackers) when
   run inside IKEv2.

5.4.  User identity confidentiality

   IKEv2 provides confidentiality for the initiator identity against
   passive eavesdroppers, but not against active attackers.  The
   initiator announces its identity first (in message #3), before the
   responder has been authenticated.  The usage of EAP in IKEv2 does not
   change this situation, since the ID payload in message #3 is used
   instead of the EAP Identity Request/Response exchange.  This is
   somewhat unfortunate since when EAP is used with public key
   authentication of the responder, it would be possible to provide
   active user identity confidentiality for the initiator.

   IKEv2 protects the responder's identity even against active attacks.

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   This property cannot be provided when using EAP.  If public key
   responder authentication is used in addition to EAP, the responder
   reveals its identity before authenticating the initiator.  If only
   EAP is used (as proposed in this document), the situation depends on
   the EAP method used (in some EAP methods, the server reveals its
   identity first).

   Hence, if active user identity confidentiality for the initiator is
   required then EAP methods that offer this functionality have to be
   used (see [RFC3748], Section 7.3).

6.  Acknowledgments

   This document borrows some text from [RFC3748], [RFC4306], and
   [RFC4072].  We would also like to thank Hugo Krawczyk for interesting
   discussions about this topic.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC3748]  Aboba, B., Blunk, L., Vollbrecht, J., Carlson, J., and H.
              Levkowetz, "Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)",
              RFC 3748, June 2004.

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

   [RFC4306]  Kaufman, C., "Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2) Protocol",
              RFC 4306, December 2005.

   [RFC4072]  Eronen, P., Hiller, T., and G. Zorn, "Diameter Extensible
              Authentication Protocol (EAP) Application", RFC 4072,
              August 2005.

7.2.  Informative References

   [RFC3579]  Aboba, B. and P. Calhoun, "RADIUS (Remote Authentication
              Dial In User Service) Support For Extensible
              Authentication Protocol (EAP)", RFC 3579, September 2003.

              Aboba, B. and D. Simon, "EAP GSS Authentication Protocol",
              draft-aboba-pppext-eapgss-12 (work in progress),
              April 2002.

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   [RFC5247]  Aboba, B., Simon, D., and P. Eronen, "Extensible
              Authentication Protocol (EAP) Key Management Framework",
              RFC 5247, August 2008.

              Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, "Local
              and Metropolitan Area Networks: Port-Based Network Access
              Control", IEEE Standard 802.1X-2001, 2001.

              Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
              "Information technology - Telecommunications and
              information exchange between systems - Local and
              metropolitan area networks - Specific Requirements Part
              11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical
              Layer (PHY) Specifications", IEEE Standard 802.11-1999,

              Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, "IEEE
              Standard for Information technology - Telecommunications
              and information exchange between systems - Local and
              metropolitan area networks - Specific requirements - Part
              11: Wireless Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical
              Layer (PHY) specifications: Amendment 6: Medium Access
              Control (MAC) Security Enhancements", IEEE
              Standard 802.11i-2004, July 2004.

   [RFC2865]  Rigney, C., Willens, S., Rubens, A., and W. Simpson,
              "Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)",
              RFC 2865, June 2000.

   [RFC1661]  Simpson, W., "The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)", STD 51,
              RFC 1661, July 1994.

   [RFC4430]  Sakane, S., Kamada, K., Thomas, M., and J. Vilhuber,
              "Kerberized Internet Negotiation of Keys (KINK)",
              RFC 4430, March 2006.

              Arkko, J. and P. Eronen, "Authenticated Service
              Information for the Extensible Authentication Protocol
              (EAP)", draft-arkko-eap-service-identity-auth-04 (work in
              progress), October 2005.

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Appendix A.  Alternative Approaches

   In this section we list alternatives which have been considered
   during the work on this document.  We concluded that the solution
   presented in Section 3 seems to fit better into IKEv2.

A.1.  Ignore AUTH payload at the initiator

   With this approach, the initiator simply ignores the AUTH payload in
   message #4 (but obviously must check the second AUTH payload later!).
   The main advantage of this approach is that no protocol modifications
   are required and no signature verification is required.

   The initiator could signal to the responder (using a notification
   payload) that it did not verify the first AUTH payload.

A.2.  Unauthenticated public keys in AUTH payload (message 4)

   Another solution approach suggests the use of unauthenticated public
   keys in the public key signature AUTH payload (for message 4).

   That is, the initiator verifies the signature in the AUTH payload,
   but does not verify that the public key indeed belongs to the
   intended party (using certificates)--since it doesn't have a PKI that
   would allow this.  This could be used with X.509 certificates (the
   initiator ignores all other fields of the certificate except the
   public key), or "Raw RSA Key" CERT payloads.

   This approach has the advantage that initiators that wish to perform
   certificate-based responder authentication (in addition to EAP) may
   do so, without requiring the responder to handle these cases

   If using RSA, the overhead of signature verification is quite small,
   compared to g^xy calculation.

A.3.  Using EAP derived session keys for IKEv2

   It has been proposed that when using an EAP method that provides
   mutual authentication and key agreement, the IKEv2 Diffie-Hellman
   exchange could also be omitted.  This would mean that the session
   keys for IPsec SAs established later would rely only on EAP-provided

   It seems the only benefit of this approach is saving some computation
   time (g^xy calculation).  This approach requires designing a
   completely new protocol (which would not resemble IKEv2 anymore) we
   do not believe that it should be considered.  Nevertheless, we

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   include it for completeness.

Authors' Addresses

   Pasi Eronen
   Nokia Research Center
   P.O. Box 407
   FIN-00045 Nokia Group

   Email: pasi.eronen@nokia.com

   Hannes Tschofenig
   Nokia Siemens Networks
   Linnoitustie 6
   Espoo  02600

   Phone: +358 (50) 4871445
   Email: Hannes.Tschofenig@gmx.net
   URI:   http://www.tschofenig.priv.at

   Yaron Sheffer
   Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
   5 Hasolelim St.
   Tel Aviv  67897

   Email: yaronf@checkpoint.com

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