Re: [babel] [Babel-users] BASE64 and hex encoding HMAC keys for user presentation

Toke Høiland-Jørgensen <> Sat, 22 December 2018 16:36 UTC

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To: Juliusz Chroboczek <>, Dave Taht <>
Cc: babel-users <>, Babel at IETF <>
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Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2018 17:35:43 +0100
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Subject: Re: [babel] [Babel-users] BASE64 and hex encoding HMAC keys for user presentation
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Juliusz Chroboczek <> writes:

>> I would like the bird and babel implementations to allow for and use
>> BASE64 and hex encodings.
>> This allows for a shorter, more human friendly representation of both
>> cryptographically generated keys and the keys humans are more likely
>> to remember and type without error. In the latter case, guidelines as
>> to length, mixed case and punctuation would be useful.
> I think that the HMAC key should be generated automatically.  I'd hope
> that any actual production deployment of HMAC would generate HMAC keys
> either randomly or by using a suitable KDF (or whatever the right acronym
> is) and distribute it automatically.

Should we pick a KDF? Not necessarily for the RFC, but at least try to
get compatibility between bird and babeld, so users can just input a
password and expect things to work?