Re: [6tisch] Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-6tisch-enrollment-enhanced-beacon-06

Yoav Nir <> Sun, 19 January 2020 04:23 UTC

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From: Yoav Nir <>
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Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2020 06:23:22 +0200
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To: Michael Richardson <>
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Subject: Re: [6tisch] Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-6tisch-enrollment-enhanced-beacon-06
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Not really. You’ve added an explanation of why it’s hard to encrypt.  That is not needed IMO. What is needed is a statement that sending in the clear (not the default in IETF protocols these days) is OK because the data is not sensitive.

> On 18 Jan 2020, at 0:49, Michael Richardson <> wrote:
> <#secure method=pgpmime mode=sign>
> Yoav Nir via Datatracker <> wrote:
>> The draft is short and to the point and easy to understand.  The security
>> considerations (and privacy considerations!) sections are well written and
>> cover everything.  I'm just missing one clause.
>> The first paragraph reads:
>> All of the contents of this Information Element are sent in the
>> clear.  The containing Enhanced Beacon is not encrypted.
>> What I'm missing is "...and this is fine because the 6tisch-Join-Info structure
>> contains no sensitive information."
> point taken.  How do you feel about this:
> # Security Considerations
> All of the contents of this Information Element are sent in the clear.
> The containing Enhanced Beacon is not encrypted.
> This is a restriction in the cryptographic architecture of the TSCH
> mechanism.
> In order to decrypt or do integrity checking of layer-2 frames in TSCH, the
> TSCH Absolute Slot Number (ASN) is needed.
> The Enhanced Beacon provides the ASN to new (and long-sleeping) nodes.
> The Enhanced Beagon is authenticated at the layer-2 level using 802.15.4
> mechanisms using the network-wide keying material.  Nodes which are enrolled
> will have the network-wide keying material and can validate the beacon.
> Pledges which have not yet enrolled are unable to authenticate the beacons,
> and will be forced to temporarily take the contents on trust.
> After enrollment, the pledge will be able to return to the beacon and
> validate it.
> In addition to the enrollment and join information described in this
> document, the Enhanced Beacon contains a description of the TSCH schedule to
> be used by the transmitter of this packet.
> The schedule can provide an attacker with a list of channels and frequencies
> on which communication will occur.
> Knowledge of this can help an attacker to more efficiently jam
> communications, although there is future work being considered to make some
> of the schedule less visible.
> --
> Michael Richardson <>ca>, Sandelman Software Works
> -= IPv6 IoT consulting =-