Re: [Cfrg] Suggestion for open competition on PAKE -> Was Re: Dragonfly has advantages

David McGrew <> Sat, 04 January 2014 16:42 UTC

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Date: Sat, 04 Jan 2014 11:42:00 -0500
From: David McGrew <>
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To: Feng Hao <>
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Cc: Trevor Perrin <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: [Cfrg] Suggestion for open competition on PAKE -> Was Re: Dragonfly has advantages
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Hi Feng,

thanks for your suggestion and comments.   A quick response to your 

On 01/04/2014 10:23 AM, Feng Hao wrote:
> It will be very helpful to have an open competition among the contemporary
> PAKEs to choose those that are secure, efficient and patent/loyal-free.
> That should include both balanced and augmented PAKEs to suit for
> different application requirements.
> It will be timely and nice if IETF/CFRG can help coordinate such.

It would be a good idea for the RG to author an RFC describing the 
requirements of PAKE protocols and surveying the existing protocols.   
The RFC could also record the consensus of the RG, if there is one, and 
describe the diversity of opinion otherwise. This is not quite the same 
as a competition, but it would fit easily into the IRTF process.   I 
would expect that there would be multiple authors, probably including 
multiple PAKE protocol authors.   We should also line up some reviewers 
as well.  What do you think?

As a side note, I personally would also like to see 
guidance/documentation on how PAKEs can best be used, and I agree with 
your comment about bootstrapping authentication.  Replacing a raw 
username/password exchange inside of TLS with a PAKE would be good, and 
using a PAKE for password-based certificate enrollment would be good.   
Replacing certificate based authentication with a PAKE would be not so