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Internet Engineering Task Force                                 M. Sethi
Internet-Draft                                               J. Mattsson
Intended status: Informational                                  Ericsson
Expires: January 17, 2019                                  July 16, 2018


   Handling Large Certificates and Long Certificate Chains in EAP-TLS
                       draft-ms-emu-eaptlscert-00

Abstract

   Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) provides support for
   multiple authentication methods.  EAP-Transport Layer Security (EAP-
   TLS) provides means for key derivation and strong mutual
   authentication with certificates.  However, certificates can often be
   relatively large in size.  The certificate chain to the root-of-trust
   can also be long when multiple intermediate Certification Authorities
   (CAs) are involved.  This implies that EAP-TLS authentication needs
   to be fragmented into many smaller packets for transportation over
   the lower-layer.  Such fragmentation can not only negatively affect
   the latency, but also results in implementation challenges.  For
   example, many authenticator (access point) implementations will drop
   an EAP session if it hasn't finished after 40-50 packets.  This can
   result in failed authentication even when the two communicating
   parties have the correct credentials for mutual authentication.
   Moreover, there are no mechanisms available to easily recover from
   such situations.  This memo looks at the problem in detail and
   discusses the solutions available to overcome these deployment
   challenges.

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 https://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 January 17, 2019.





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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 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
   (https://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
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Experience with Deployments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Handling of Large Certificates and Long Certificate Chains  .   4
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   7.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     7.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6

1.  Introduction

   EAP-TLS is widely deployed and often used for network access
   authentication of requesting peers.  EAP-TLS provides strong mutual
   authentication with certificates.  However, certificates can be large
   and certificate chains can often be long.  This implies that EAP-TLS
   authentication needs to be fragmented into many smaller packets for
   transportation over the lower-layer.  Such fragmentation can not only
   negatively affect the latency, but also results in implementation
   challenges.  For example, many authenticator (access point)
   implementations will drop an EAP session if it hasn't finished after
   40-50 packets.  This has led to a situation where a client and server
   cannot authenticate each other even though both the sides have valid
   credentials for successful authentication and key derivation.

   Unlike TLS authentication on the web, where typically only the server
   is authenticated with certificates; in EAP-TLS both the client and
   server are authenticated with certificates.  Therefore, EAP-TLS
   authentication involves exchange of larger number of messages than



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   regular TLS authentication on the web.  Also, from deployment
   experience, the end-entity certificate for clients typically has a
   longer certificate chain to the root-of-trust than the end-entity
   certificate for the server.

   This memo looks at related work and potential tools available for
   overcoming the implementation challenges induced by large
   certificates and long certificate chains.  It then discusses the
   solutions available to overcome these deployment challenges.  The
   draft is a very early version and aims to foster discussion in the
   working group.

2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 RFC 2119 [RFC2119] RFC 8174 [RFC8174] when, and only when, they
   appear in all capitals, as shown here.

   In addition, this document frequently uses the following terms as
   they have been defined in [RFC5216]:

   authenticator  The entity initiating EAP authentication.

   peer  The entity that responds to the authenticator.  In
         [IEEE-802.1X], this entity is known as the supplicant.

   server  The entity that terminates the EAP authentication method with
         the peer.  In the case where no backend authentication server
         is used, the EAP server is part of the authenticator.  In the
         case where the authenticator operates in pass-through mode, the
         EAP server is located on the backend authentication server.

3.  Experience with Deployments

   The EAP fragment size in typical deployments can be 1000-1500 bytes.
   Certificate sizes can be large for a number of reasons:

   o  Long Subject Alternative Name field.

   o  Long Public Key and Signature fields.

   o  Can contain multiple object identifiers (OID) that indicate the
      permitted uses of the certificate.  For example, Windows requires
      certain OID's in the certificates for EAP-TLS to work.

   o  Multiple user groups in the certificate.



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   The certificate chain can typically include 2-6 certificates to the
   root-of-trust.

   Most common access points implementations drop EAP sessions that
   don't complete within 50 round trips.  This means that if the chain
   is larger than ~ 60 kB, EAP-TLS authentication cannot complete
   successfully in most deployments.

4.  Handling of Large Certificates and Long Certificate Chains

   This section discusses some possible alternatives for overcoming the
   challenge of large certificates and long certificate chains in EAP-
   TLS authentication.

   Many IETF protocols now use elliptic curve cryptography (ECC)
   [RFC6090] for the underlying cryptographic operations.  The use of
   ECC can reduce the size of certificates and signatures.  For example,
   the size of public keys with traditional RSA is about 384 bytes,
   while the size of public keys with ECC is only 32 bytes.  Similarly,
   the size of digital signatures with traditional RSA is 384 bytes,
   while the size is only 64 bytes with elliptic curve digital signature
   algorithm (ECDSA) and Edwards-curve digital signature algorithm
   (EdDSA) [RFC8032].  Using certificates that use ECC can reduce the
   number of messages in EAP-TLS authentication which can alleviate the
   problem of authenticators dropping an EAP session because of too many
   packets.  TLS 1.3 [I-D.ietf-tls-tls13] requires implementations to
   support ECC.  New cipher suites that use ECC are also specified for
   TLS 1.2 [RFC5289].  Using the newer TLS version or ECC based cipher
   suites for older TLS versions can reduce the number of messages in an
   EAP session.

   TLS allows endpoints to reduce the sizes of Certificate messages by
   omitting certificates that the other endpoint is known to possess.
   When using TLS 1.3, all certificates that specifies a trust anchor
   may be omitted.  When using TLS 1.2 or earlier, only the self-signed
   certificate that specifies the root certificate authority may be
   omitted.

   The TLS Cached Information Extension [RFC7924] specifies an extension
   where a server can exclude transmission of certificate information
   cached in an earlier TLS handshake.  The client and the server would
   first execute the full TLS handshake.  The client would then cache
   the certificate provided by the server.  When the TLS client later
   connects to the same TLS server without using session resumption, it
   can attach the "cached_info" extension to the ClientHello message.
   This would allow the client to indicate that it has cached the
   certificate.  The client would also include a fingerprint of the
   server certificate chain.  If the server's certificate has not



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   changed, then the server does not need to send its certificate and
   the corresponding certificate chain again.  In case information has
   changed, which can be seen from the fingerprint provided by the
   client, the certificate payload is transmitted to the client to allow
   the client to update the cache.  The extension however necessitates a
   successful full handshake before any caching.  Since authenticator
   (access point) implementations drop an EAP session that does not
   complete within 40-50 packets, a successful full handshake is not
   possible.  One option would be to cache validated certificate chains
   even if the EAP-TLS exchange fails, but this is currently not allowed
   according to [RFC7924].

   The TLS working group is also working on an extension for TLS 1.3
   [I-D.ietf-tls-certificate-compression] that allows compression of
   certificates and certificate chains during full handshakes.  The
   client can indicate support for compressed server certificates by
   including this extension in the ClientHello message.  Similarly, the
   server can indicate support for compression of client certificates by
   including this extension in the CertificateRequest message.  While
   such an extension can alleviate the problem of excessive
   fragmentation in EAP-TLS, it can only be used with TLS version 1.3
   and higher.  Deployments that already have issued certificates and
   rely on older versions of TLS cannot benefit from this extension.

5.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

6.  Security Considerations

   TBD

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC5216]  Simon, D., Aboba, B., and R. Hurst, "The EAP-TLS
              Authentication Protocol", RFC 5216, DOI 10.17487/RFC5216,
              March 2008, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5216>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.



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7.2.  Informative References

   [I-D.ietf-tls-certificate-compression]
              Ghedini, A. and V. Vasiliev, "Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Certificate Compression", draft-ietf-tls-
              certificate-compression-03 (work in progress), April 2018.

   [I-D.ietf-tls-tls13]
              Rescorla, E., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol
              Version 1.3", draft-ietf-tls-tls13-28 (work in progress),
              March 2018.

   [IEEE-802.1X]
              Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, "Local
              and Metropolitan Area Networks: Port-Based Network Access
              Control", IEEE Standard 802.1X-2004. , December 2004.

   [RFC5289]  Rescorla, E., "TLS Elliptic Curve Cipher Suites with SHA-
              256/384 and AES Galois Counter Mode (GCM)", RFC 5289,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5289, August 2008,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5289>.

   [RFC6090]  McGrew, D., Igoe, K., and M. Salter, "Fundamental Elliptic
              Curve Cryptography Algorithms", RFC 6090,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6090, February 2011,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6090>.

   [RFC7924]  Santesson, S. and H. Tschofenig, "Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Cached Information Extension", RFC 7924,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7924, July 2016,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7924>.

   [RFC8032]  Josefsson, S. and I. Liusvaara, "Edwards-Curve Digital
              Signature Algorithm (EdDSA)", RFC 8032,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8032, January 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8032>.

Acknowledgements

   This draft is a result of several useful discussions with Alan DeKok,
   Bernard Aboba, and Jari Arkko.

Authors' Addresses








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   Mohit Sethi
   Ericsson
   Jorvas  02420
   Finland

   Email: mohit@piuha.net


   John Mattsson
   Ericsson
   Kista
   Sweden

   Email: john.mattsson@ericsson.com





































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