HOKEY Working Group                                            T. Clancy, Editor Clancy
Internet-Draft                                                       LTS
Intended status: Informational                          November 6, 2007                               M. Nakhjiri
Expires: May 9, 13, 2008                                           Motorola
                                                            V. Narayanan
                                                              L. Dondeti
                                                       November 10, 2007

    Handover Key Management and Re-authentication Problem Statement

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
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   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."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 9, 13, 2008.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).


   This document describes the Handover Keying (HOKEY) problem
   statement.  The current Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)
   keying framework is not designed to support re-authentication and
   handovers.  This often causes unacceptable latency in various mobile
   wireless environments.  The HOKEY Working Group plans to address
   these problems by designing a generic mechanism to reuse derived EAP
   keying material for handover.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   3.  Problem Statement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   4.  Design Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   5.  Security Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     5.1.  Key Context and Domino Effect  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.2.  Key Freshness  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.3.  Authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     5.4.  Authorization  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.5.  Channel Binding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     5.6.  Transport Aspects  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   6.  Use Cases and Related Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     6.1.  IEEE 802.11r Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     6.2.  IEEE 802.21 Applicability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     6.3.  CAPWAP Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     6.4.  Inter-Technology Handover  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   7.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   8.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   9.  Contributors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   10. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 10
     10.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 10
     10.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   Author's Address .
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 13

1.  Introduction

   The Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), specified in RFC 3748
   [RFC3748] is a generic framework supporting multiple authentication
   methods.  The primary purpose of EAP is network access control.  It
   also supports exporting session keys derived during the
   authentication.  The EAP keying hierarchy defines two keys that are
   derived at the top level, the Master Session Key (MSK) and the
   Extended Master Session Key (EMSK).

   In many common deployment scenario, an EAP peer and EAP server
   authenticate each other through a third party known as the pass-
   through authenticator (hereafter referred to as simply
   "authenticator").  The authenticator is responsible for translating
   EAP packets from the layer 2 (L2) or layer 3 (L3) network access
   technology to the Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA)
   protocol.  The authenticator does not directly participate in the EAP
   exchange, and simply acts as a gateway during the EAP method

   According to [RFC3748], after successful authentication, the server
   to transports the MSK to the authenticator.  Note that this is
   performed using AAA protocols, not EAP itself.  The underlying L2 or
   L3 protocol uses the MSK to derive additional keys, including the
   transient session keys (TSKs) used for per-packet encryption and

   Note that while the authenticator is one logical device, there can be
   multiple physical devices involved.  For example, the CAPWAP model
   [RFC3990] splits authenticators into two logical devices: Wireless
   Termination Points (WTPs) and Access Controllers (ACs).  Depending on
   the configuration, authenticator features can be split in a variety
   of ways between physical devices, however from the EAP perspective
   there is only one logical authenticator.

   The current models of EAP authentication and keying are unfortunately
   not efficient in cases where the peer is a mobile device.  When a
   peer arrives at the new authenticator, the security restraints will
   require the peer to run an EAP method irrespective of whether it has
   been authenticated to the network recently and has unexpired keying
   material.  A full EAP method execution may involve several round
   trips between the EAP peer and the server.

   There have been attempts to solve the problem of efficient re-
   authentication in various ways.  However, those solutions are either
   EAP-method specific, EAP lower-layer specific, or are otherwise
   limited in scope.  Furthermore, these solutions do not deal with
   scenarios involving handovers to new authenticators, or do not
   conform to the AAA keying requirements specified in [RFC4962].

   This document provides a detailed description of efficient EAP-based
   re-authentication protocol requirements.

2.  Terminology

   In this document, several words are used to signify the requirements
   of the specification.  These words are often capitalized.  The key
   "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document
   are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   With respect to EAP, this document follows the terminology that has
   been defined in [RFC3748] and [I-D.ietf-eap-keying].

3.  Problem Statement

   Under the existing model, any re-authentication requires a full EAP
   exchange with the EAP server in its home domain [RFC3748].  An EAP
   conversation with a full EAP method run can take several round trips
   and significant time to complete, causing delays in re-authentication
   and handover times.  Some methods [RFC4187] specify the use of keys
   and state from the initial authentication to finish subsequent
   authentications in fewer round trips.  However, even in those cases,
   multiple round trips to the EAP server are still involved.
   Furthermore, many commonly-used EAP methods do not offer such a fast
   re-authentication feature.  In summary, it is undesirable to have to
   run a full EAP method each time a peer authenticates to a new
   authenticator or needs to extend its current authentication with the
   same authenticator.  Furthermore, it is desirable to specify a
   method-independent, efficient, re-authentication protocol.  Keying
   material from the full authentication can be used to enable efficient

   Significant network latency between the peer and EAP server is
   another source of delay during re-authentication.  It is desirable to
   have a local server with low-latency connectivity to the peer that
   can facilitate re-authentication.

   Lastly, a re-authentication protocol should also be capable of
   supporting handover keying.  Handover keying allows an EAP server to
   pass authentication information to a remote re-authentication server,
   allowing a peer to re-authenticate to that re-authentication server
   without having to communicate with its home re-authentication server.

   These problems are the primary issues to be resolved.  In solving
   them, there are a number of constraints to conform to and those
   result in some additional work to be done in the area of EAP keying.

4.  Design Goals

   The following are the goals and constraints in designing the EAP re-
   authentication and key management protocol:

   Lower latency operation:  The protocol MUST be responsive to handover
      and re-authentication latency performance objectives within a
      mobile access network.  A solution that reduces latency as
      compared to a full EAP authentication will be most favorable.

   EAP lower-layer independence:  Any keying hierarchy and protocol
      defined MUST be lower layer independent in order to provide the
      capability over heterogeneous technologies.  The defined protocols
      MAY require some additional support from the lower layers that use
      it.  Any keying hierarchy and protocol defined MUST accommodate
      inter-technology heterogeneous handover.

   EAP method independence:  Changes to existing EAP methods MUST NOT be
      required as a result of the re-authentication protocol.  There
      MUST be no requirements imposed on future EAP methods.  Note that
      the only EAP methods for which independence is required are those
      that conform to the specifications of [I-D.ietf-eap-keying] and

   AAA protocol compatibility and keying:  Any modifications to EAP and
      EAP keying MUST be compatible with RADIUS and Diameter.
      Extensions to both RADIUS and Diameter to support these EAP
      modifications are acceptable.  The designs and protocols must
      satisfy the AAA key management requirements specified in RFC 4962

   Compatability:  Compatibility and co-existence with compliant
      ([RFC3748] [I-D.ietf-eap-keying]) EAP deployments SHOULD be
      provided.  The keying hierarchy or protocol extensions MUST NOT
      preclude the use of CAPWAP or IEEE 802.11r.

5.  Security Goals

   The section draws from the guidance provided in [RFC4962] to further
   define the security goals to be achieved by a complete re-
   authentication keying solution.

5.1.  Key Context and Domino Effect

   Any key MUST have a well-defined scope and MUST be used in a specific
   context and for the intended use.  This specifically means the
   lifetime and scope of each key MUST be defined clearly so that all
   entities that are authorized to have access to the key have the same
   context during the validity period.  In a hierarchical key structure,
   the lifetime of lower level keys MUST NOT exceed the lifetime of
   higher level keys.  This requirement MAY imply that the context and
   the scope parameters have to be exchanged.  Furthermore, the
   semantics of these parameters MUST be defined to provide proper
   channel binding specifications.  The definition of exact parameter
   syntax definition is part of the design of the transport protocol
   used for the parameter exchange and that may be outside scope of this

   If a key hierarchy is deployed, compromising lower level keys MUST
   NOT result in a compromise of higher level keys which they were used
   to derive the lower level keys.  The compromise of keys at each level
   MUST NOT result in compromise of other keys at the same level.  The
   same principle applies to entities that hold and manage a particular
   key defined in the key hierarchy.  Compromising keys on one
   authenticator MUST NOT reveal the keys of another authenticator.
   Note that the compromise of higher-level keys has security
   implications on lower levels.

   Guidance on parameters required, caching, storage and deletion
   procedures to ensure adequate security and authorization provisioning
   for keying procedures MUST be defined in a solution document.

   All the keying material MUST be uniquely named so that it can be
   managed effectively.

5.2.  Key Freshness

   As [RFC4962] defines, a fresh key is one that is generated for the
   intended use.  This would mean the key hierarchy MUST provide for
   creation of multiple cryptographically separate child keys from a
   root key at higher level.  Furthermore, the keying solution needs to
   provide mechanisms for refreshing each of the keys within the key

5.3.  Authentication

   Each party in the handover keying architecture MUST be authenticated
   to any other party with whom it communicates, and securely provide
   its identity to any other entity that may require the identity for
   defining the key scope.  The identity provided MUST be meaningful
   according to the protocol over which the two parties communicate.

5.4.  Authorization

   The EAP Key management document [I-D.ietf-eap-keying] discusses
   several vulnerabilities that are common to handover mechanisms.  One
   important issue arises from the way the authorization decisions might
   be handled at the AAA server during network access authentication.
   For example, if AAA proxies are involved, they may also influence in
   the authorization decision.  Furthermore, the reasons for making a
   particular authorization decision are not communicated to the
   authenticator.  In fact, the authenticator only knows the final
   authorization result.  The proposed solution MUST make efforts to
   document and mitigate authorization attacks.

5.5.  Channel Binding

   Channel Binding procedures are needed to avoid a compromised
   intermediate authenticator providing unverified and conflicting
   service information to each of the peer and the EAP server.  In the
   architecture introduced in this document, there are multiple
   intermediate entities between the peer and the back-end EAP server.
   Various keys need to be established and scoped between these parties
   and some of these keys may be parents to other keys.  Hence the
   channel binding for this architecture will need to consider layering
   intermediate entities at each level to make sure that an entity with
   higher level of trust can examine the truthfulness of the claims made
   by intermediate parties.

5.6.  Transport Aspects

   Depending on the physical architecture and the functionality of the
   elements involved, there may be a need for multiple protocols to
   perform the key transport between entities involved in the handover
   keying architecture.  Thus, a set of requirements for each of these
   protocols, and the parameters they will carry, MUST be developed.
   Following the requirement specifications, recommendations will be
   provided as to whether new protocols or extensions to existing
   protocols are needed.

   As mentioned, the use of existing AAA protocols for carrying EAP
   messages and keying material between the AAA server and AAA clients
   that have a role within the architecture considered for the keying
   problem will be carefully examined.  Definition of specific
   parameters, required for keying procedures and to be transferred over
   any of the links in the architecture, are part of the scope.  The
   relation of the identities used by the transport protocol and the
   identities used for keying also needs to be explored.

6.  Use Cases and Related Work

   In order to further clarify the items listed in scope of the proposed
   work, this section provides some background on related work and the
   use cases envisioned for the proposed work.

6.1.  IEEE 802.11r Applicability

   One of the EAP lower layers, IEEE 802.11 [IEEE.802-11R-D7.0], is in
   the process of specifying a mechanism to avoid the problem of
   repeated full EAP exchanges in a limited setting, by introducing a
   two-level key hierarchy.  The EAP authenticator is collocated with
   what is known as an R0 Key Holder (R0-KH), which receives the MSK
   from the EAP server.  A pairwise master key (PMK-R0) is derived from
   the last 32 octets of the MSK.  Subsequently, the R0-KH derives an
   PMK-R1 to be handed out to the attachment point of the peer.  When
   the peer moves from one R1-KH to another, a new PMK-R1 is generated
   by the R0-KH and handed out to the new R1-KH.  The transport protocol
   used between the R0-KH and the R1-KH is not specified.

   In some cases, a mobile may seldom move beyond the domain of the
   R0-KH and this model works well.  A full EAP authentication will
   generally be repeated when the PMK-R0 expires.  However, in general
   cases mobiles may roam beyond the domain of R0-KHs (or EAP
   authenticators), and the latency of full EAP authentication remains
   an issue.

   Another consideration is that there needs to be a key transfer
   protocol between the R0-KH and the R1-KH; in other words, there is
   either a star configuration of security associations between the key
   holder and a centralized entity that serves as the R0-KH, or if the
   first authenticator is the default R0-KH, there will be a full-mesh
   of security associations between all authenticators.  This is

   The proposed work on EAP efficient re-authentication protocol aims at
   addressing re-authentication in a lower layer agnostic manner that
   also can fill some of the gaps in IEEE 802.11r.

6.2.  IEEE 802.21 Applicability

   The IEEE 802.21 working group [IEEE.802-21] is standardizing
   mechanisms for media-independent handover.  More specifically, they
   are looking at transitions from one link-layer protocol to another,
   which is currently beyond the scope of the HOKEY charter.

   The techniques developed within HOKEY could be applicable to IEEE
   802.21 if the necessary issues with handover between different lower
   layers can be resolved.  In particular, pre-authentication may be
   more appropriate than re-authentication.

6.3.  CAPWAP Applicability

   The IETF CAPWAP WG Working Group [RFC3990] is developing a protocol
   between what is termed an Access Controller (AC) and Wireless
   Termination Points (WTP).  The AC and WTP can be mapped to a WLAN
   switch and Access Point respectively.  The CAPWAP model supports both
   split and integrated MAC architectures, with the authenticator always
   being implemented at the AC.

   The proposed work on EAP efficient re-authentication protocol
   addresses an inter-authenticator handover problem from an EAP
   perspective, which applies during handover between ACs.  Inter-
   controller handover is a topic yet to be addressed in great detail
   and the re-authentication work can potentially address it in an
   effective manner.

6.4.  Inter-Technology Handover

   EAP is used for access authentication by several technologies and is
   under consideration for use over several other technologies going
   forward.  Given that, it should be feasible to support smoother
   handover across technologies.  That is one of the big advantages of
   using a common authentication protocol.  Authentication procedures
   typically add substantial handover delays.

   An EAP peer that has multiple radio technologies (802.11 and GSM, for
   instance) must perform the full EAP exchange on each interface upon
   every horizontal or vertical handover.  With a method independent EAP
   efficient re-authentication, it is feasible to support faster
   handover even in the vertical handover cases, when the peer may be
   roaming from one technology to another.

7.  Security Considerations

   This document details the HOKEY problem statement.  Since HOKEY is an
   authentication protocol, there are a myriad of security-related
   issues surrounding its development and deployment.

   In this document, we have detailed a variety of security properties
   inferred from [RFC4962] to which HOKEY must conform, including the
   management of key context, scope, freshness, and transport;
   resistance to attacks based on the domino effect; and authentication
   and authorization.  See section Section 5 for further details.

8.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not introduce any new IANA considerations.

9.  Contributors

   This document represents the synthesis of two problem statement
   documents.  In this section, we acknowledge their contributions.

   Authors of "AAA based Keying for Wireless Handovers: Problem
   Statement" are:

      Madjid Nakhjiri
      Motorola Labs
      Email: madjid.nakhjiri@motorola.com contributions, and
   involvement in the early documents.

      Mohan Parthasarathy
      Email: mohan.parthasarathy@nokia.com

      Julien Bournelle
      France Telecom R&D
      Email: julien.bournelle@orange-ftgroup.com

      Hannes Tschofenig
      Email: Hannes.Tschofenig@siemens.com

      Rafael Marin Lopez, Editor Lopez
      Universidad de Murcia
      Email: rafa@dif.um.es

   Authors of "Problem Statement on EAP Efficient Re-authentication and
   Key Management" are:

      Vidya Narayanan
      QUALCOMM, Inc.
      Email: vidyan@qualcomm.com

      Lakshminath Dondeti
      QUALCOMM, Inc.
      Email: ldondeti@qualcomm.com

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

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

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

   [RFC4017]  Stanley, D., Walker, J., and B. Aboba, "Extensible
              Authentication Protocol (EAP) Method Requirements for
              Wireless LANs", RFC 4017, March 2005.

   [RFC4962]  Housley, R. and B. Aboba, "Guidance for Authentication,
              Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) Key Management",
              BCP 132, RFC 4962, July 2007.

10.2.  Informative References

              Aboba, B., Simon, D., and P. Eronen, "Extensible
              Authentication Protocol (EAP) Key Management Framework",
              draft-ietf-eap-keying-21 (work in progress), October 2007.

   [RFC3990]  O'Hara, B., Calhoun, P., and J. Kempf, "Configuration and
              Provisioning for Wireless Access Points (CAPWAP) Problem
              Statement", RFC 3990, February 2005.

   [RFC4187]  Arkko, J. and H. Haverinen, "Extensible Authentication
              Protocol Method for 3rd Generation Authentication and Key
              Agreement (EAP-AKA)", RFC 4187, January 2006.

              "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 - Amendment 2: Fast BSS
              Transition", IEEE Standard 802.11r, June 2007.

              "Media Independent Handover Working Group", IEEE Working
              Group 802.21.

Author's Address

Authors' Addresses

   T. Charles Clancy, Editor
   Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences
   8080 Greenmead Drive
   US Department of Defense
   College Park, MD  20740

   Email: clancy@LTSnet.net

   Madjid Nakhjiri

   Email: madjid.nakhjiri@motorola.com
   Vidya Narayanan
   Qualcomm, Inc.
   San Diego, CA

   Email: vidyan@qualcomm.com

   Lakshminath Dondeti
   Qualcomm, Inc.
   San Diego, CA

   Email: ldondeti@qualcomm.com

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).

   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

Intellectual Property

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   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
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is provided by the IETF
   Administrative Support Activity (IASA).