Re: [Ace] call for adoption for draft-marin-ace-wg-coap-eap

Michael Richardson <> Thu, 21 January 2021 15:26 UTC

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From: Michael Richardson <>
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Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2021 10:26:30 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Ace] call for adoption for draft-marin-ace-wg-coap-eap
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I reviewed the document before, and my concerns were not really answered.

I can not understand what the applicability is.

The document starts off with:

   The goal of this document is to describe an authentication service
   that uses the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) [RFC3748].
   The authentication service is built on top of the Constrained
   Application Protocol (CoAP) [RFC7252] and ALLOWS AUTHENTICATING TWO
   CoAP endpoints by using EAP without the need of ADDITIONAL PROTOCOLS

   The assumption is that the EAP method transported in CoAP MUST
   generate cryptographic material [RFC5247]

This implies use of one of the many EAP-TLS modes, some EAP PAKE
mode, or maybe, in theory some EAP-SIM/AKA mode.

1) TLS modes could just use TLS, or DTLS and omit the extra EAP
   bytes.  If saving those bytes are not important, then
   the use of PANA seems to do the same thing.

2) The EAP PAKE modes could just TLS with some PSK or PAKE

3) The EAP-SIM/AKA modes are not realistic, as they generally depend upon
   being able to talk to a database of SIM/AKA secrets.

So, which modes that generate cryptographic material are envisioned?

The document goes on to say:

   The CoAP client MAY contact
   with a backend AAA infrastructure to complete the EAP negotiation as
   described in the EAP specification [RFC3748].

which is a third party, when the intro told me that no third party was
required.  Even figure 1 show three parties.
And section 5 says there might be five parties, again including an AAA server.

I believe that this entire proposal goes against the ACE architecture,
and should not be adopted by this WG.
This work seems to duplicate the work in LAKE, as well as cTLS, while not
bringing any clear advantage over existing protocols.

If adopted, I don't review the document.

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