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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 RFC 5403

NFSv4                                                          M. Eisler
Internet-Draft                                                    NetApp
Intended status: Standards Track                         August 18, 2008
Expires: February 19, 2009

                          RPCSEC_GSS Version 2

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on February 19, 2009.


   This Internet-Draft describes version 2 of the RPCSEC_GSS protocol.
   Version 2 is the same as Version 1 but adds support for channel

Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [1].

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction and Motivation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Channel Bindings Explained . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.  The RPCSEC_GSSv2 Protocol  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.1.  Compatibility with RPCSEC_GSSv1  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     3.2.  New Version Number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     3.3.  New Procedure - RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL  . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.4.  New Security Service - rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot  . . . . .  9
   4.  Version Negotiation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   5.  Implementation Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   6.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   9.  References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     9.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     9.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 14

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1.  Introduction and Motivation

   RPCSEC_GSS version 2 (RPCSEC_GSSv2) is the same as RPCSEC_GSS version
   1 (RPCSEC_GSSv1) [2] except that support for channel bindings [3] has
   been added.  The primary motivation for channel bindings is to
   securely take advantage of hardware assisted encryption that might
   exist at lower levels of the networking protocol stack, such as at
   the Internet Protocol (IP) layer in the form of IPsec (see [6] and
   [7] for information on IPsec channel bindings).  The secondary
   motivation is that even if lower levels are not any more efficient at
   encryption than the RPCSEC_GSS layer, if encryption is occurring at
   the lower level, it can be redundant at the RPCSEC_GSS level.

   Once an RPCSEC_GSS target and initiator are mutually assured that
   they are each using the same secure, end to end channel, the overhead
   of computing message integrity codes (MICs) for authenticating and
   integrity protecting RPC requests and replies can be eliminated
   because the channel is performing the same function.  Similarly, if
   the channel also provides confidentiality, the overhead of RPCSEC_GSS
   privacy protection can also be eliminated.

   The XDR description is provided in this document in a way that makes
   it simple for the reader to extract into a ready to compile form.
   The reader can feed this document into the following shell script to
   produce the machine readable XDR description of RPCSEC_GSSv2:

   grep "^  *///" | sed 's?^  *///??'

   I.e. if the above script is stored in a file called "extract.sh", and
   this document is in a file called "spec.txt", then the reader can do:

    sh extract.sh < spec.txt > rpcsec_gss_v2.x

   The effect of the script is to remove leading white space from each
   line of the specification, plus a sentinel sequence of "///".

2.  Channel Bindings Explained

   If a channel between two parties is secure, there must be shared
   information between the two parties.  This information might be
   secret or not.  The requirement for secrecy depends on the specifics
   of the channel.

   For example, the shared information could be the concatenation of the
   public key of the source and destination of the channel (where each

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   public key has a corresponding private key).  Suppose the channel is
   not end-to-end, i.e. a man-in-the-middle (MITM) exists, and there are
   two channels, one from the initiator to the MITM, and one from the
   MITM to the target.  The MITM cannot simply force each channel to use
   the same public keys, because a public key derives from a private
   key, and the key management system for each node will surely assign
   unique or random private keys.  At most, the MITM can force one end
   of each channel to use the same public key.  The MIC of the public
   keys from the initiator will not be verified by the target, because
   at least one of the public keys will be different.  Similarly, the
   MIC of the public keys from the target will not be verified by the
   initiator because at least one of the public keys will be different.

   A higher layer protocol using the secure channel can safely exploit
   the channel to the mutual benefit of the higher level parties if each
   higher level party can prove:

   o  They each know the channel's shared information.

   o  The proof of the knowledge of the shared information is in fact
      being conveyed by each of the higher level parties, and not some
      other entities.

   RPCSEC_GSSv2 simply adds an optional round trip that has the
   initiator compute a GSS MIC on the channel binding's shared
   information, and sends the MIC to the target.  The target verifies
   the MIC, and in turn sends its own MIC of the shared information to
   the initiator which verifies the target's MIC.  This accomplishes
   three things.  First the initiator and target are mutually
   authenticated.  Second, the initiator and target prove they know the
   channel's shared information, and thus are using the same channel.
   Third, the first and second things are done simultaneously.

3.  The RPCSEC_GSSv2 Protocol

   The RPCSEC_GSSv2 protocol will now be explained.  The entire protocol
   is not presented.  Instead the differences between RPCSEC_GSSv2 and
   RPCSEC_GSSv1 are shown.

3.1.  Compatibility with RPCSEC_GSSv1

   The functionality of RPCSEC_GSSv1 is fully supported by RPCSEC_GSSv2.

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3.2.  New Version Number

   ///  enum rpc_gss_service_t {
   ///    /* Note: the enumerated value for 0 is reserved. */
   ///    rpc_gss_svc_none         = 1,
   ///    rpc_gss_svc_integrity    = 2,
   ///    rpc_gss_svc_privacy      = 3,
   ///    rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot = 4 /* new */
   ///  };
   ///   enum rpc_gss_proc_t {
   ///     RPCSEC_GSS_DATA          = 0,
   ///     RPCSEC_GSS_INIT          = 1,
   ///     RPCSEC_GSS_DESTROY       = 3,
   ///     RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL  = 4 /* new */
   ///  };
   ///  struct rpc_gss_cred_vers_1_t {
   ///    rpc_gss_proc_t    gss_proc; /* control procedure */
   ///    unsigned int      seq_num;  /* sequence number */
   ///    rpc_gss_service_t service;  /* service used */
   ///    opaque            handle<>; /* context handle */
   ///  };
   ///  const RPCSEC_GSS_VERS_1 = 1;
   ///  const RPCSEC_GSS_VERS_2 = 2; /* new */
   ///  union rpc_gss_cred_t switch (unsigned int rgc_version) {
   ///    case RPCSEC_GSS_VERS_1:
   ///    case RPCSEC_GSS_VERS_2: /* new */
   ///      rpc_gss_cred_vers_1_t rgc_cred_v1;
   ///  };

                                 Figure 1

   As is apparent from the above, the RPCSEC_GSSv2 credential has the
   same format as the RPCSEC_GSSv1 credential (albeit corrected so that
   the definition is in legal XDR description language that is also
   compatible with [8].  Hence the field "version", a keyword in [8], is
   replaced with rgc_version).  By setting the rgc_version field to 2,
   this indicates that the initiator and target support channel

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3.3.  New Procedure - RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL

   ///  struct rgss2_bind_chan_MIC_in_args {
   ///    opaque          rbcmia_bind_chan_hash<>;
   ///  };
   ///  typedef opaque    rgss2_chan_pref<>;
   ///  typedef opaque    rgss2_oid<>;
   ///  struct rgss2_bind_chan_verf_args {
   ///    rgss2_chan_pref rbcva_chan_bind_prefix;
   ///    rgss2_oid       rbcva_chan_bind_oid_hash;
   ///    opaque          rbcva_chan_mic<>;
   ///  };

                                 Figure 2

   Once an RPCSEC_GSSv2 handle has been established over a secure
   channel, the initiator MAY issue RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL (Figure 1).
   and RPCSEC_GSS_CONTINUE_INIT requests, the NULL RPC procedure MUST be
   used.  Unlike those two requests, the arguments of the NULL procedure
   are not overloaded, because the verifier is of sufficient size for
   the purpose of RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL.  The gss_proc field is set to
   RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL.  The seq_num field is set as if gss_proc
   were set to RPCSEC_GSS_DATA.  The service field is set to
   rpc_gss_svc_none.  The handle field is set to that of an RPCSEC_GSS
   handle as returned by RPCSEC_GSS_INIT or RPCSEC_GSS_CONTINUE_INIT.

   The RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL request is similar to the RPCSEC_GSS_DATA
   request in that the verifiers of both contain MICs.  As described in
   Section 5.3.1 of [2], when gss_proc is RPCSEC_GSS_DATA, the verifier
   of an RPC request is set to the output of GSS_GetMIC() on the RPC
   header.  When gss_proc is RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL the verifier of an
   RPC request is set to the XDR encoding on a value of data type
   rgss2_bind_chan_verf_args, which includes a MIC as described below.
   The rgss2_bind_chan_verf_args data type consists of three fields:

   o  rbcva_chan_bind_prefix.  This is the channel binding prefix as
      described in [3] up to, but excluding the colon (ASCII 0x3A) that
      separates the prefix from the suffix.

   o  rbcva_chan_bind_hash_oid.  This is the object identifier (OID) of
      the hash algorithm used to compute rbcmia_bind_chan_hash.  This
      field contains an OID encoded in ASN.1 as used by GSS-API in the
      mech_type argument to GSS_Init_sec_context ([4]).  See [5] for the
      OIDs of the SHA one-way hash algorithms.

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   o  rbcva_chan_mic.  This is the output of GSS_GetMIC() on the
      concatenation of the XDR encoded RPC header ("up to and including
      the credential" as per [2]) and the XDR encoding of an instance of
      type data rgss2_bind_chan_MIC_in_args.  The data type
      rgss2_bind_chan_MIC_in_args consists of one field,
      rbcmia_bind_chan_hash, which is a hash of the channel bindings as
      defined in [3].  The channel bindings are a "canonical octet
      string encoding of the channel bindings", starting "with the
      channel bindings prefix followed by a colon (ASCII 0x3A)."  The
      reason a hash of the channel bindings and not the actual channel
      bindings are used to compute rbcva_chan_mic is that some channel
      bindings, such as those composed of public keys, can be relatively
      large, and thus place a higher space burden on the implementations
      to manage.  One way hashes consume less space.

   ///  enum rgss2_bind_chan_status {
   ///    RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_OK           = 0,
   ///  };
   ///  union rgss2_bind_chan_res switch
   ///     (rgss2_bind_chan_status rbcr_stat) {
   ///    case RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_OK:
   ///      void;
   ///      rgss2_chan_pref rbcr_pref_list<>;
   ///      rgss2_oid       rbcr_oid_list<>;
   ///  };
   ///  struct rgss2_bind_chan_MIC_in_res {
   ///    unsigned int        rbcmr_seq_num;
   ///    opaque              rbcmr_bind_chan_hash<>;
   ///    rgss2_bind_chan_res rbcmr_res;
   ///  };
   ///  struct rgss2_bind_chan_verf_res {
   ///    rgss2_bind_chan_res rbcvr_res;
   ///    opaque              rbcvr_mic<>;
   ///  };

                                 Figure 3

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   The RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL reply is similar to the RPCSEC_GSS_DATA
   reply in that the verifiers of both contain MICs.  When gss_proc is
   RPCSEC_GSS_DATA, the verifier of an RPC reply is set to the output of
   GSS_GetMIC() on the seq_num of the credential of the corresponding
   request (as described in Section of [2]).  When gss_proc is
   RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL, the verifier of an RPC reply is set to the
   XDR encoding of an instance of data type rgss2_bind_chan_verf_res,
   which includes a MIC as described below.  The data type
   rgss2_bind_chan_verf_res consists of two fields.

   o  rbcvr_res.  The data type of this field is rgss2_bind_chan_res.
      The rgss2_bind_chan_res data type is a switched union consisting
      of three cases switched on the status contained in the rbcr_stat

      *  RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_OK.  If this status is returned, the server
         accepted the channel bindings, and successfully verified
         rbcva_chan_mic in the request.  No additional results will be
         in rbcvr_res.

      *  RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_PREF_NOTSUPP.  If this status is returned, the
         server did not support the prefix in the rbcva_chan_bind_prefix
         field of the arguments, and thus the RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL
         request was rejected.  The server returned a list of prefixes
         it does support in the field rbcr_pref_list.

      *  RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_HASH_NOTSUPP.  If this status is returned, the
         server did not support the hash algorithm identified in the
         rbcva_chan_bind_hash_oid field of the arguments, and thus the
         RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL request was rejected.  The server
         returned a list of OIDs of hash algorithms it does support in
         the field rbcr_oid_list.  The array rbcr_oid_list MUST have one
         or more elements.

   o  rbcvr_mic.  The value of this field is equal to the output of
      GSS_GetMIC() on the XDR encoding of an instance of data type
      rgss2_bind_chan_MIC_in_res.  The data type
      rgss2_bind_chan_MIC_in_res consists of three fields.

      *  rbcmr_seq_num.  The value of this field is equal the field
         seq_num in the RPCSEC_GSS credential (data type

      *  rbcmr_bind_chan_hash.  This is the result of the one way hash
         of the channel bindings (including the prefix).  If rbcr_stat
         is not RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_HASH_NOTSUPP, then the hash algorithm
         that is used to compute rbcmr_bind_chan_hash is that identified
         by the rbcva_chan_bind_oid_hash field in the arguments to

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         RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL.  If rbcr_stat is
         RGSS2_BIND_CHAN_HASH_NOTSUPP, then the hash algorithm used to
         compute rbcmr_bind_chan_hash is that identified by
         rbcr_oid_list[0] in the results.

      *  rbcmr_res.  The value of this field is equal to the value of
         the rbcvr_res field.

3.4.  New Security Service - rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot

   The rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot service (Figure 1) is valid only if
   RPCSEC_GSSv2 is being used, an RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL procedure has
   been executed successfully, and the secure channel still exists.
   When rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot is used, the RPC requests and replies
   are similar to those of rpc_gss_svc_none except that the verifiers on
   the request and reply always have the flavor set to AUTH_NONE, and
   the contents are zero length.

   Note that even though NULL verifiers are used when
   rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot is used, non-NULL RPCSEC_GSS credentials are
   used.  In order to identify the principal sending the request, the
   same credential is used as before, except that service field is set
   to rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot.

4.  Version Negotiation

   An initiator that supports version 2 of RPCSEC_GSS simply issues an
   RPCSEC_GSS request with the rgc_version field set to
   RPCSEC_GSS_VERS_2.  If the target does not recognize
   RPCSEC_GSS_VERS_2, the target will return an RPC error per section
   5.1 of [2].

   The initiator MUST NOT attempt to use an RPCSEC_GSS handle returned
   by version 2 of a target with version 1 of the same target.  The
   initiator MUST NOT attempt to use an RPCSEC_GSS handle returned by
   version 1 of a target with version 2 of the same target.

5.  Implementation Notes

   Once a successful RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL procedure has been
   performed on an RPCSEC_GSSv2 context handle, the initiator's
   implementation may map application requests for rpc_gss_svc_none and
   rpc_gss_svc_integrity to rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot credentials.  And
   if the secure channel has privacy enabled, requests for
   rpc_gss_svc_privacy can also be mapped to rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot.

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6.  Acknowledgements

   Nicolas Williams had the idea for extending RPCSEC_GSS to support
   channel bindings.  Alex Burlyga and Lars Eggert reviewed the document
   and gave valuable feed back for improving its readability.

7.  Security Considerations

   The base security considerations consist of:

   o  All security considerations from [2].

   o  All security considerations from [3].

   o  All security considerations from the actual secure channel being

   Even though RPCSEC_GSS_DATA requests that use
   rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot protection do not involve construction of
   more GSS tokens, nonetheless, the target SHOULD stop allowing
   RPCSEC_GSS_DATA requests with rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot protection
   once the GSS context expires.

   With the use of channel bindings, it becomes extremely critical that
   the message integrity code (MIC) used by the GSS mechanism that
   RPCSEC_GSS is using be difficult to forge.  While this requirement is
   true for RPCSEC_GSSv1, and indeed any protocol that uses GSS MICs,
   the distinction in the seriousness is that for RPCSEC_GSSv1, forging
   a single MIC at most allows the attacker to succeed in injecting one
   bogus request.  Whereas, with RPCSEC_GSSv2 combined with channel
   bindings, by forging a single MIC all the attacker will succeed in
   injecting bogus requests as long as the channel exists.  An example
   illustrates.  Suppose we have an RPCSEC_GSSv1 initiator, a man in the
   middle (MITM), an RPCSEC_GSSv1 target, and an RPCSEC_GSSv2 target.
   The attack is as follows.

   o  The MITM intercepts the initiator's RPCSEC_GSSv1 RPCSEC_GSS_INIT
      message and changes the version number from 1 to 2 before
      forwarding to the RPCSEC_GSSv2 target, and changes the reply's
      version number from 2 to 1 before forwarding to the RPCSEC_GSSv1
      initiator.  Neither the client nor the server notice.

   o  Once the RPCSEC_GSS handle is in an established state, the
      initiator sends its first RPCSEC_GSS_DATA request.  The MITM
      constructs an RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL request, using the message
      integrity code (MIC) of the RPCSEC_GSS_DATA request.  It is likely
      the RPCSEC_GSSv2 target will reject the request.  The MITM

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      continues to re-iterate each time the initiator sends another
      RPCSEC_GSS_DATA request.  With enough iterations, the probability
      of a MIC from an RPCSEC_GSS_DATA being successfully verified in
      the forged RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL increases.  Once the MITM
      succeeds, it can send RPCSEC_GSS_DATA requests with a security
      service of rpc_gss_svc_channel_prot, which does not have MICs in
      the RPC request's verifier.

   The implementation of RPCSEC_GSSv2 can use at least two methods to
   thwart these attacks.

   o  The target SHOULD require a stronger MIC (e.g. if HMACs are used
      for the MICs, require the widest possible HMAC in terms of bit
      length that the GSS mechanism supports) when sending an
      RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL request instead of an RPCSEC_GSS_DATA
      request.  If HMACs are being used, and the target expects N
      RPCSEC_GSS_DATA requests to be sent on the context before it
      expires, then the target SHOULD require an HMAC for
      RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL that is log base 2 N bits longer than what
      it normally requires for RPCSEC_GSS_DATA requests.  If a long
      enough MIC is not available, then the target could artificially
      limit the number of RPCSEC_GSS_DATA requests it will allow on the
      context before deleting the context.

   o  Each time an RPCSEC_GSSv2 target experiences a failure to verify
      the MIC of an RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL request, it SHOULD reduce
      the lifetime of the underlying GSS context, by a significant
      fraction, thereby preventing the MITM from using the established
      context for its attack.  A possible heuristic is that the if the
      target believes the possibility that failure to verify the MIC was
      because of an attack is X percent, then contexts lifetime would be
      reduced by X percent.  For simplicity, an implement might set X to
      be 50 percent, so that the context lifetime is halved on each
      failed verification of an RPCSEC_GSS_BIND_CHANNEL request and thus
      rapidly reduced to zero on subsequent requests.  For example, with
      a context like time of 8 hours (or 28800 seconds), 15 failed
      attempts by the MITM would cause the context to be destroyed.

   A method of mitigation that was considered was to protect the
   RPCSEC_GSS version number with RPCSEC_GSSv2's RPCSEC_GSS_INIT and
   RPCSEC_GSS_CONTINUE_INIT tokens.  Thus the version number of
   RPCSEC_GSS would be in the tokens.  This method does not completely
   mitigate the attack; it just moves the MIC guessing to the
   RPCSEC_GSS_INIT message.  In addition without changing GSS, or the
   GSS mechanism, there is no way to include the RPCSEC_GSS version
   number in the tokens.  So for these reasons this method was not

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8.  IANA Considerations


9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

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

   [2]  Eisler, M., Chiu, A., and L. Ling, "RPCSEC_GSS Protocol
        Specification", RFC 2203, September 1997.

   [3]  Williams, N., "On the Use of Channel Bindings to Secure
        Channels", RFC 5056, November 2007.

   [4]  Linn, J., "Generic Security Service Application Program
        Interface Version 2, Update 1", RFC 2743, January 2000.

   [5]  Schaad, J., Kaliski, B., and R. Housley, "Additional Algorithms
        and Identifiers for RSA Cryptography for use in the Internet
        X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate
        Revocation List (CRL) Profile", RFC 4055, June 2005.

9.2.  Informative References

   [6]  Williams, N., "IPsec Channels: Connection Latching",
        draft-ietf-btns-connection-latching-07 (work in progress),
        April 2008.

   [7]  Williams, N., "End-Point Channel Bindings for IPsec Using IKEv2
        and Public Keys", draft-williams-ipsec-channel-binding-01 (work
        in progress), April 2008.

   [8]  Srinivasan, R., "RPC: Remote Procedure Call Protocol
        Specification Version 2", RFC 1831, August 1995.

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Author's Address

   Mike Eisler
   5765 Chase Point Circle
   Colorado Springs, CO  80919

   Phone: +1-719-599-9026
   Email: mike@eisler.com

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Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).

   This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
   contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
   retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

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   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
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Eisler                  Expires February 19, 2009              [Page 14]

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