Re: [Cfrg] proposed RG action: draft-cfrg-cipher-catalog

David McGrew <> Wed, 16 November 2011 12:35 UTC

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From: David McGrew <>
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Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 04:35:31 -0800
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Subject: Re: [Cfrg] proposed RG action: draft-cfrg-cipher-catalog
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Thanks Sean.

On Nov 16, 2011, at 12:05 AM, Sean Shen 沈烁 wrote:

> Hi, David,
> I think it's a valuable work. Because I sometimes faced questions  
> from many people who want to know overviews about cipher choices,  
> security level and IPR issues, and it's not handy to give then a  
> overview resource after explanations.
> Besides the contents you mentioned, I think overview and reference  
> of available implementations or choices might also be useful.

In general I think that the more information, the better.  Mentioning  
reference implementations, or even just open-source portable software,  
seems like a good idea to me.  We won't have room to mention every  
implementation, of course, but I don't see why that should stop us  
from mentioning the important ones.

> I will be happy to contribute either as an editor or reviewer if  
> needed.
> Best,

great, thanks.


> Sean
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [] On Behalf  
> Of David McGrew
> Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 3:35 AM
> To:
> Subject: [Cfrg] proposed RG action: draft-cfrg-cipher-catalog
> Hi,
> I would like to propose the creation of an research group draft that  
> describes all of the ciphers defined or used in IETF RFCs.  This  
> draft should contain the basic facts about each cipher, including  
> intellectual property considerations, and also describe its security
> properties, and provide authoritative references.   The most important
> security considerations are key size and block size (though we have  
> two stream ciphers that accept IVs and one that does not), and  
> probably the easiest way to deal with this is to describe the  
> security ramifications of the different parameter choices, which  
> puts each cipher into a rough category.  There are about twenty such  
> ciphers (see the attached html table) and it will be valuable for  
> CFRG to put together this information and ensure appropriate review.
> There has been discussion in some IETF working groups about the  
> addition of new standards-track ciphers.  CFRG should be providing  
> technical input, but it is not the right place for discussion of  
> standards.  I think a draft focusing on technical properties is the  
> right contribution.
> Let me know what you think.  Are you willing to participate as an
> editor, contributor, or reviewer?   Do you see any problems with this
> approach?   Anything missing from the outline above?   Comments
> especially welcome on the subject of security categorization.
> thanks,
> David