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Versions: 00 draft-ietf-tls-ctr

Network Working Group                                        N. Modadugu
Internet-Draft                                       Stanford University
Expires: April 19, 2006                                      E. Rescorla
                                                       Network Resonance
                                                        October 16, 2005


            AES Counter Mode Cipher Suites for TLS and DTLS
                       draft-modadugu-tls-ctr-00

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).

Abstract

   This document describes the use of the Advanced Encryption Standard
   (AES) Counter Mode for use as a Transport Layer Security (TLS) and
   Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) confidentiality mechanism.







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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
     1.1.  Conventions Used In This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  Encrypting Records with AES Counter Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . 4
     3.1.  TLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
       3.1.1.  AES Counter Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
     3.2.  DTLS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     3.3.  Padding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     3.4.  Session Resumption  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   4.  Design Rationale  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     5.1.  Maximum Key Lifetime  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   7.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements  . . . . . . . . . . 9

































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1.  Introduction

   Transport Layer Security [3] provides channel-oriented security for
   application layer protocols.  In TLS, cryptographic algorithms are
   specified in "Cipher Suites, which consist of a group of algorithms
   to be used together."

   Cipher suites supported by TLS are divided into stream and block
   ciphers.  Counter mode ciphers behave like stream ciphers, but are
   constructed based on a block cipher primitive (that is, counter mode
   operation of a block cipher results in a stream cipher.)  This
   specification is limited to discussion of the operation of AES in
   counter mode (AES-CTR.)

   Counter mode ciphers (CTR) offer a number of attractive features over
   other block cipher modes and stream ciphers such as RC4:

   Low Bandwidth: AES-CTR provides a saving of 17-32 bytes per record
      compared to AES-CBC as used in TLS 1.1 and DTLS. 16 bytes are
      saved from not having to transmit an explicit IV, and another 1-16
      bytes are saved from the absence of the padding block.

   Random Access: AES-CTR is capable of random access within the key
      stream.  For DTLS, this implies that records can be processed out
      of order without dependency on packet arrival order, and also
      without keystream buffering.

   Parallelizable: As a consequence of AES-CTR supporting random access
      within the key stream, the cipher can be easily parallelized.

   Multiple mode support: AES-CTR support in TLS/DTLS allows for
      implementator to support both a stream (CTR) and block (CBC)
      cipher through the implemention of a single symmetric algorithm.

1.1.  Conventions Used In This Document

   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 [1].


2.  Terminology

   This document reuses some terminology introduced in [2] and [3].  The
   term 'counter block' has the same meaning as used in RFC3686,
   however, the term 'IV', in this document, holds the meaning defined
   in [3].




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3.  Encrypting Records with AES Counter Mode

   The use of AES-CTR in TLS/DTLS turns out to be fairly
   straightforward, with the additional benefit that the method of
   operation in TLS/DTLS mimics, to a large extent, that in IPsec.  The
   primary constraint on the use of counter mode ciphers is that for a
   given key, a counter block value MUST never be used more than once
   (see Section 7. of [2] for a detailed explanation.)  In TLS/DTLS
   ensuring that counter block values never repeat during a given
   session is straightforward as explained in the following sections.

   SSL/TLS records encrypted with AES CTR mode use a
   CipherSpec.cipher_type of GenericStreamCipher (Section 6.2.3 of [3].)

3.1.  TLS

   The cipher stream generated by AES-CTR is much like the cipher stream
   generated by stream ciphers like RC4.  For reasons described in
   Section 7. of [2], a counter block value MUST never be used more than
   once with a given key.  This is achieved by having part of the per-
   record IV determined by the record sequence number.  Although the
   client and server use the same sequence number space, they use
   different keys and IVs.

3.1.1.  AES Counter Mode

   AES counter mode requires the encryptor and decryptor to share a per-
   record unique counter block.  A given counter block MUST never be
   used more than once with the same key.  For a more in-depth
   discussion of AES-CTR operation, refer to Section 2.1 of [2].  The
   following description of AES-CTR mode has been adapted from [2].

   To encrypt a payload with AES-CTR, the encryptor partitions the
   plaintext, PT, into 128-bit blocks.  The final block MAY be less than
   128 bits.

   PT = PT[1] PT[2] ...  PT[n]

   Each PT block is XORed with a block of the key stream to generate the
   ciphertext, CT.  The AES encryption of each counter block results in
   128 bits of key stream.

   To construct the counter block, the most significant 48 bits of the
   counter block are set to the 48 low order bits of the client_write_IV
   (for the half-duplex stream originated by the client) or the 48 low
   order bits of the server_write_IV (for the half-duplex stream
   originated by the server.)  The following 64 bits of the counter
   block are set to record sequence number, and the remaining 16 bits



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   function as the block counter.  The least significant bit of the
   counter block is initially set to one.  This counter value is
   incremented by one to generate subsequent counter blocks, each
   resulting in another 128 bits of key stream.

          struct {
             case client:
                 uint48 client_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
             case server:
                 uint48 server_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
             uint64 seq_num;
             uint16 blk_ctr;
          } CtrBlk;

   The seq_num and blk_ctr fields of the counter block are initialized
   for each record processed, while the IV is initialized immediately
   after a key calculation is made (key calculations are made whenver a
   TLS/DTLS handshake, either full or abbreviated, is executed.) seq_num
   is set to the sequence number of the record, and blk_ctr is
   initialized to 1.

   Note that the block counter does not overflow since the maximum TLS/
   DTLS record size is 14 KB and 16 bits of blk_ctr allow the generation
   of 1MB of keying material per record.

   The encryption of n plaintext blocks can be summarized as:

         FOR i := 1 to n-1 DO
           CT[i] := PT[i] XOR AES(CtrBlk)
           CtrBlk := CtrBlk + 1
         END
         CT[n] := PT[n] XOR TRUNC(AES(CtrBlk))

   The AES() function performs AES encryption with the fresh key.

   The TRUNC() function truncates the output of the AES encrypt
   operation to the same length as the final plaintext block, returning
   the most significant bits.

   Decryption is similar.  The decryption of n ciphertext blocks can be
   summarized as:

         FOR i := 1 to n-1 DO
           PT[i] := CT[i] XOR AES(CtrBlk)
           CtrBlk := CtrBlk + 1
         END
         PT[n] := CT[n] XOR TRUNC(AES(CtrBlk))




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   For TLS, no part of the counter block need be transmitted, since the
   client_write_IV and server_write_IV are derived during the key
   calculation phase, and the record sequence number is implicit.

3.2.  DTLS

   The operation of AES-CTR in DTLS is the same as in TLS, with the only
   difference being the inclusion of the epoch in the counter block.
   The counter block is constructed as follows for DTLS:

       struct {
          case client:
              uint48 client_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
          case server:
              uint48 server_write_IV;  // low order 48-bits
          uint16 epoch;
          uint48 seq_num;
          uint16 blk_ctr;
       } CtrBlk;

   The epoch and record sequence number used for generating the counter
   block are extracted from the received record.

3.3.  Padding

   Stream ciphers in TLS and DTLS do not require plaintext padding.

3.4.  Session Resumption

   TLS supports session resumption via caching of session ID's and
   connection parameters on both client and server.  While resumed
   sessions use the same master secret that was originally negotiated, a
   resumed session uses new keys that are derived, in part, using fresh
   client_random and server_random parameters.  As a result resumed
   sessions do not use the same encryption keys or IVs as the original
   session.


4.  Design Rationale

   An alternate design for the construction of the counter block would
   be the use of an explicit 'record tag' (as a substitute for the
   implicit record sequence number) that could potentially be generated
   via an LFSR.  Such a design, however, suffers two major drawbacks
   when used in the TLS or DTLS protocol, without offering any
   significant benefit: (1) in both TLS and DTLS inclusion of such a tag
   would incur a bandwidth cost, (2) all TLS and DTLS associations have
   per-record sequence numbers which can be used to ensure counter



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   uniqueness.


5.  Security Considerations

   See Section 7. of [2].

5.1.  Maximum Key Lifetime

   TLS/DTLS sessions employing AES-CTR MUST be renegotiated before
   sequence numbers repeat.  In the case of TLS, this implies a maximum
   of 2^64 records per session, while for DTLS the maximum is 2^48 (with
   the remaining bits reserved for epoch.)


6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has assigned the following values for AES-CTR mode ciphers:

   CipherSuite TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_anon_WITH_AES_128_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };

   CipherSuite TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_DSS_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_DSS_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };
   CipherSuite TLS_DH_anon_WITH_AES_256_CTR_SHA = { 0xXX, 0xXX };

7.  Normative References

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

   [2]  Housley, R., "Using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) Counter
        Mode With IPsec Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)", RFC 3686,
        January 2004.

   [3]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The TLS Protocol Version 1.1",
        draft-ietf-tls-rfc2246-bis-13 (work in progress), June 2005.







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Authors' Addresses

   Nagendra Modadugu
   Stanford University
   353 Serra Mall
   Stanford, CA  94305
   USA

   Email: nagendra@cs.stanford.edu


   Eric Rescorla
   Network Resonance
   2483 E. Bayshore Rd., #212
   Palo Alto, CA  94303
   USA

   Email: ekr@networkresonance.com

































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