Re: [dtn] Benjamin Kaduk's Discuss on draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-18: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)

"Birrane, Edward J." <> Sat, 08 February 2020 00:20 UTC

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From: "Birrane, Edward J." <>
To: Benjamin Kaduk <>, The IESG <>
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Thread-Topic: [EXT] Benjamin Kaduk's Discuss on draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-18: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)
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Subject: Re: [dtn] Benjamin Kaduk's Discuss on draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-18: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)
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  Thank you for the detailed read of BPSEC-18.  I have posted a new version, BPSEC-20, which addresses many of the comments and discuss items received for this review.

  Specific comments are in-line below.  I have enumerated the Discuss items as **D# and the comment items as **C# to aid in referencing these points going forward.


Edward J. Birrane, III, Ph.D.
Embedded Applications Group Supervisor
Principal Staff, Space Exploration Sector
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
(W) 443-778-7423 / (F) 443-228-3839

-----Original Message-----
From: Benjamin Kaduk via Datatracker <> 
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Subject: [EXT] Benjamin Kaduk's Discuss on draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-18: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)

Benjamin Kaduk has entered the following ballot position for
draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-18: Discuss

When responding, please keep the subject line intact and reply to all email addresses included in the To and CC lines. (Feel free to cut this introductory paragraph, however.)

Please refer to
for more information about IESG DISCUSS and COMMENT positions.

The document, along with other ballot positions, can be found here:


I think we need to discuss how this document refers to the level of security provided by the network, "insecure network"s or portions thereof, etc..  In the normal RFC 3552 threat model, we assume the entire network is under the control of an attacker.  Any exception to that is going to be treated as a special case (usually only grudgingly so), e.g., if a portion of a network is under administrative control of a single entity and physically controlled as well, or if a network uses MAC-layer security technologies.  I don't think this mindset is well-reflected in the current text.

**D1: Section 8 of BPSec does state that it is assumed that the DTN (or significant portions thereof) are completely under the control of an attacker. I am unsure if you are recommending a change to the normative portions of this document to better reflect this mindset?

I agree with Mirja that we need more clarity on usable security contexts for interoperable implementation.  My suggestion would be to define a security context that is usable for normal Internet hosts over the normal Internet (i.e., not a stressed network) to have as a baseline secure configuration, and customizations for other environments would be treated as deviations from that well-established baseline in terms of algorithms and security strength.  I furthermore note that even after reading draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-interop-sc I do not have a clear picture of exactly which bytes are used as input to the various cryptographic algorithms and how the output is encoded.  For example, is the block data contents of a target block always going to be a fixed-length bstr?  Can the process of applying protection change whether the #6.24 tag is present?

**D2: An updated interoperability security context (draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-interop-sc-01) has been uploaded to provide a clearer example of what a security context could look like. I agree that a default, mandatory security context usable for normal Internet hosts would be useful and an appropriate baseline for BPSec deployments that interface with the Internet. I have further added a section (9.1 in BPSEC-20) titled "Mandating Security Contexts" which clarifies our desired approach for security contexts.

I understand the need to provide a defined processing order for message deprotection (and thus to avoid having the same operation applied to the same target), but I still don't have a clear picture of why we can't define things in such a way that allows (e.g.) nested signatures over the same content block.  I understand the current mechanics where in the abstract model we only can protect a single block at a time (not a combination of blocks), so that blindly applying the current mechanics to an attempt at a nested signature would produce the problematic ambiguity of processing order, but I don't understand why it has to be that way.  

**D3: The decision to not allow nesting security blocks was a WG decision - possibly influenced by (negative) implementation experience with experimental RFC6257. The working group preference is to have fewer security blocks and to migrate complexity into security context specifications.

Relatedly, I think that the current formulation where the target list can be freely modified/split into separate BIB/BCBs by any waypoint will probably leave us open to some semantic attacks that drop some blocks but not others, when there is supposed to be semantic interdependence between those blocks.

**D4: It is not required to merge security results into a single security block - implementations could choose a 1-1 mapping between security blocks and security targets and for that reason split and combine should not add extra attacks. Malicious nodes that add, drop, or otherwise update blocks will, I think, cause similar problems in either case. 

The diagram in Figure 2 seems to incorrectly indicate a degree of freedom in the number of results per target: if we are applying the same operation to all blocks in the target array, the operation should produce the same number of results for all target blocks, thus constraining 'K' to be equal to 'M'.

**D5: Agree that K == M is likely most of the time. There is nothing in the BPSec that prevents a security context from producing different results as a function of the target block type, target block length, etc... Consider a cipher suite that produces cipher text larger than the plain text. A security context could allow extension blocks to "grow" in size, but when the security target is the payload block, It may choose to place overflow into an additional security result. In such a case, K != M as the security results associated with the payload block would have an additional security result: the overflow. 

Exclusion of most of the block parameters from confidentiality processing seems to be a critical flaw in the cryptographic hygeine; I think we should include the Block Type Code, Block Number, possibly Block Processing Control Flags, CRC Type and CRC Field (if present), and Block Data Length fields as "additional data" input to the AEAD to provide integrity protection, as well as use them as input to BIB calculation.  Failing to include these parameters seems to leave us prone to "slice and dice" style attacks.  

**D6: Agreed. BPSEC-20, Section 9.3 (Authorship) states that security contexts should include immutable block header information. 

Also, the description in Section 4 is unclear about whether the surrounding CBOR array encoding is excluded from AEAD iput (though it doesn't really seem like it would make sense to re-encode as a one-item CBOR array prior to applying message protection, the current text is worded such that one might think the array framing is not explicitly excluded).

**D7: Agreed. The text in Section 4 has been clarified to exclude array framing.

Section 9.1 gives an example of using a (presumed unprotected in the absence of any disclaimer) cryptographic key as a security context parameter; given that (per Section 3.6) the parameters are included in the wire-format abstract security block, and not subject to BCB protection, this is wholly insecure and cannot reasonably be used as an example.  (At least draft-ietf-dtn-bpsec-interop-sc had a bit of note about "encoded or protected by the key management system" to give this a veneer of

**D8: Agreed. The example has been updated.

There's a couple places (noted in the COMMENT) where we claim some combination of things to be "insecure" without justification; in the noted instances this doesn't seem to be immediately obvious, so I think the justification is needed (or the claim should be removed).

**D9: At least one of these instances was at the request of SECDIR last call review. However, some of this text was removed in BPSEC20, as cleanup from later comments.

Section 7 includes a note that "It is recommended that security operations only be applied to the blocks that absolutely need them.  If a BPA were to apply security operations such as integrity or confidentiality to every block in the bundle, regardless of need, there could be downstream errors processing blocks whose contents must be inspected or changed at every hop along the path."  While this statement, taken literally, is true, it also seems inconsistent with, e.g., BCP 188, as well as the RFC 3552 threat model, let alone the BPSec threat model of Section 8.  I suggest phrasing that makes applying security operations the default behavior and requiring justification to diverge from that.

**D10: Agreed that this is a more consistent way of discussing security. BPSEC20 includes this update.


Thanks for the well-thought-out security considerations section; it's a pretty good treatment of the relevant issues for DTN-relevant scenarios and I only have minor comments about it.  Unfortunately, I have pretty substantial comments on much of the rest of the document, which in many places seems internally inconsistent as if some sweeping changes were attempted but not completely implemented.  (E.g., are security contexts IANA-registered values or site-local, including user-defined?  Is there a single target block of a security operation or a list of targets?)  Even among the comments that do not quite rise to Discuss level, there are some pretty significant flaws, especially relating to cryptographic terminology and usage.

Section 1.1

   3.  Hop-by-hop authentication is a special case of data integrity and
       can be achieved with the integrity mechanisms defined in this
       specification.  Therefore, a separate authentication service is
       not necessary.

Data integrity is one thing that can be provided by hop-by-hop authentication (in combination with trust in the nodes on the path), but it is not the only benefit provided by hop-by-hop authentication; I don't think we should conflate them in this way.

**C1: I agree that this third bullet adds more confusion (conflation) than explanation. It has been removed in BPSEC20.

Section 1.3

   The Bundle Protocol [I-D.ietf-dtn-bpbis] defines the format and
   processing of bundles, defines the extension block format used to
   represent BPSec security blocks, and defines the canonicalization
   algorithms used by this specification.

I see a specification in draft-ietf-dtn-bpbis for a "canonical block structure" but not for a "canonicalization algorithm" used to produce them.

**C2: Agreed. While BpBis describes canonical forms and states that extension block specifications should provide canonicalization algorithms it is silent, for example, on the way to  generate CBOR values. I have replaced "algorithm" with "form" in BPSEC20.

Section 1.4

   o  Cipher Suite - a set of one or more algorithms providing integrity
      and confidentiality services.  Cipher suites may define necessary
      parameters but do not provide values for those parameters.

Could we give examples of such parameters?  If it's things like "secret keys" that seems okay, but if it's "key length" or "number of rounds" I don't think that's appropriate to leave as a free parameter, and would be better expressed as separate cipher suite values.
Is there a 1:1 mapping between security context and cipher suite?
Should this be "integrity and/or confidentiality services"?

**C3: Agreed this could lead to a confusing interpretation. I clarified this as "user parameters (e.g., secret keys to use)" in BPSEC20.

   o  Security Service - the security features supported by this
      specification: either integrity or confidentiality.

I wonder if we could make the definition more general in case future security services are defined in the future.

**C4: No issue. I made the definition of security service more general in BPSEC20.

Section 2.2

   A bundle can have multiple security blocks and these blocks can have
   different security sources.  BPSec implementations MUST NOT assume
   that all blocks in a bundle have the same security operations and/or
   security sources.

nit: is it better to say "have the same security operations" or "have the same security operations applied to them"?

**C5: Agreed it is better to say "have the same security operations applied to them.". Updated in BPSEC20.

   The Bundle Protocol allows extension blocks to be added to a bundle
   at any time during its existence in the DTN.  When a waypoint adds a
   new extension block to a bundle, that extension block MAY have
   security services applied to it by that waypoint.  Similarly, a
   waypoint MAY add a security service to an existing extension block,
   consistent with its security policy.

What about modifying existing blocks (e.g., Previous Node, Bundle Age)?

**C6: If the updated block had been encrypted, it means the node was able to decrypt, so the updated block could be removed as the security target of any existing BCB. Otherwise, if the updated block had an integrity protection mechanism on it, that mechanism is no longer valid since the contents of the security target are changed. The updated security target should be removed from any BIB where it was a security target and a new integrity protection sourced from the node performing the update would need to be added. Generally, the case of update is treated as a "delete block from bundle and remove any of its security services from the bundle" and then add the new block back and then add any needed security services.

Section 2.3

   Some waypoints will determine, through policy, that they are the
   intended recipient of the security service and terminate the security
   service in the bundle.  For example, a gateway node could determine
   that, even though it is not the destination of the bundle, it should
   verify and remove a particular integrity service or attempt to
   decrypt a confidentiality service, before forwarding the bundle along
   its path.

This would not really be "end-to-end" as we claim in the Introduction.

**C7: Agreed. I have added the clarification that if the security source is the bundle source and the security acceptor is the bundle destination then the security service is end-to-end. Generally, I have reviewed the few instances of "end-to-end" and updated them in BPSEC20.

   Some waypoints could understand security blocks but refuse to process
   them unless they are the bundle destination.

I'm a little confused as to why this would be desirable.

**C8: The WG discussions focused on when resource-constrained nodes might choose to not process very large data or very small-but-high-rate data. Alternatively if resources are limited nodes might only check to certain addresses or only for certain block types.

Section 2.4

   in the implementation of their security services.  BPSec must provide
   a mechanism for users to define their own security contexts.

That seems highly risky, since defining a security context involves getting a value allocated by IANA in a 16-bit "Specification Required" codepoint space and it seems pretty unlikely that all users would actually do that.

**C9: The text could be clearer. New security contexts could be identified and registered. These security contexts can be parameterized to give users flexibility. I have clarified this text in BPSEC20.

   For example, some users might prefer a SHA2 hash function for
   integrity whereas other users might prefer a SHA3 hash function.  The
   security services defined in this specification must provide a
   mechanism for determining what cipher suite, policy, and
   configuration has been used to populate a security block.

Doesn't this imply a requirement for a registry or registries of the relevant types of values?  Or are we claiming that this will all be part of the specification for the security context?

**C10: The parameter IDs and result IDs are scoped per security context and do not need a registry. It is allowed for a security context definition to use common enumerations for its parameter and result IDs.

Section 3.1

      the bundle destination.  Security-aware waypoints add or remove
      BIBs from bundles in accordance with their security policy.  BIBs
      are never used to sign the cipher-text provided by a BCB.

nit: most of this text is good about using a generic treatement of "integrity protection", but "sign" is a subset of the ways to get integrity protection.

**C11: Agreed. This has been updated in BPSEC20.

      of security policy.  BCBs additionally provide authentication
      mechanisms for the cipher-text they generate.

I suspect this is going to be authentication in the AEAD sense, that is, protection against malleability (as opposed to source authentication that provides an indication of the identity of the party applying the protection).  I don't think it's best to refer to such properties as "authentication mechanisms" as opposed to "integrity protection"

**C12: Agreed. This has been updated in BPSEC20.

Section 3.2

   bundle.  Since a security operation is represented as a security
   block, this limits what security blocks may be added to a bundle: if
   adding a security block to a bundle would cause some other security
   block to no longer represent a unique security operation then the new
   block MUST NOT be added.  It is important to note that any cipher-

Is it permissible to remove the existing block before adding the new
(conflicting) one?

**C13: This is permissible. The constraint is that they do not co-exist in the bundle. I added clarifying text in BPSEC20.

   o  Signing the payload twice: The two operations OP(integrity,
      payload) and OP(integrity, payload) are redundant and MUST NOT
      both be present in the same bundle at the same time.

They're not redundant if a recipient might have different levels of confidence in the two (different) signers.  Though, IIUC, having the "second" signature include the first BIB as the signed content is permissible as a workaround, right?  [ed. reading further this understanding seems contrary to the current text of the spec]

**C14: There was WG discussion on allowing multiple BIBs with the same security target. This leads to tricky situations such as processing order and failed verifications and whether all BIBs or some BIBs would accompany the security target if fragmentation occurs. The thought was to instead build a "multiple result" security context where a single BIB would carry multiple integrity protection results in its security results. 

Section 3.3

   Under special circumstances, a single security block MAY represent
   multiple security operations as a way of reducing the overall number

I'm not so sure that this is "special circumstances"; I would expect wanting to apply the same operation to multiple blocks to be quite common.

**C15: No issue. I have updated the text in BPSEC20.

   o  The security source for the security operations is the same.
      Meaning the set of operations are being added by the same node.

nit: this second sentence is a sentence fragment.

**C16: No issue. I have updated the text in BPSEC20.

   A security target is a block in the bundle to which a security
   service applies.  This target must be uniquely and unambiguously

Given that the ASB always uses an array of block numbers to identify the target, this use of the singular "a block" seems inappropriate.

**C17: A security target is always a single block identified in a particular way. That ASBs have multiple security targets does not change that each security target is, itself, a singular block. 

Section 3.5

   o  CRC Type and CRC Field (if present)

   o  Block Data Length

   o  Block Type Specific Data Fields

nit: draft-ietf-dtn-bpbis-21 has the CRC field as the last field, and the block data length and type-specific data are encoded together as a definite-length byte string.

**C18: Agreed. This has been updated in BPSEC20.

Section 3.6

Does the array of block numbers in the "Security Targets" field need to be sorted in a particular order?

**C19: There is no required sorting order.

   Security Context Flags:
         Bit 1  (the least-significant bit, 0x01): Security Context
                Parameters Present Flag.

In draft-ietf-dtn-bpbis we start numbering bits at "bit 0", so it's confusing to start at "bit 1" here.

**C20: Agreed. BPSEC20 has been updated.

   Security Context Parameters (Optional):

Why do we use an array of (index, value) tuples instead of a CBOR map?

**C21: There was no strong preference for encoding representation. Does a CBOR map result in a smaller size?

   Security Results:
         This field captures the results of applying a security service
         to the security targets of the security block.  This field

(I note that here we properly refer to "targets" plural, in contrast to what I noted above.)

         SHALL be represented as a CBOR array of target results.  Each
         entry in this array represents the set of security results for
         a specific security target.  The target results MUST be ordered
         identically to the Security Targets field of the security
         block.  This means that the first set of target results in this

Per the discuss point, what's the motivation for having an array of results instead of applying the operation to the concatenation of the blocks in question and having a single result?  Having multiple results negates most of the space savings we could get from coalescing an operation via "target multiplicity".  I see that the BCB procedures can require splitting a BIB if only some of its targets are covered by the BCB (which requires an array of results), but the mechanics of processing would still be possible by encrypting the whole BIB.  Are there reasons why that is not feasible?

**C22: From WG discussion, if a single block were updated or dropped we would lose integrity protection over the set of blocks. It could also make it difficult to verify integrity of blocks if, after BIBs were added, the bundle was fragmented. As-is, if a bundle contains a payload fragment, a waypoint can still choose to verify integrity if a BIB and its security target are together. There was some WG discussion that a separate security block for "multi-target-single-result" could be interesting but this was determined to not be something that should be in the BPSec and if needed, a specification for it could be added as an "Other Security Block" (OSB).  

Section 3.7

   o  The Security Context Id MUST utilize an end-to-end authentication
      cipher or an end-to-end error detection cipher.

Please don't use the word "cipher" here; "cipher" is a cryptographic term of art and does not apply here (see RFC 4949).

**C23: Agreed! BPSEC20 has been updated.

   o  The EID of the security source MAY be present.  If this field is
      not present, then the security source of the block SHOULD be
      inferred according to security policy and MAY default to the
      bundle source.  The security source MAY be specified as part of
      security context information described in Section 3.10.

Isn't the security context identified by an IANA-assigned value?  I cannot see how the contex would specify the source itself as opposed to the procedure for inferring it from the bundle contents.

**C24: I have clarified the text in BPSEC20 to note that this information could be provided as part of a security context parameter.

   o  Since OP(integrity, target) is allowed only once in a bundle per
      target, it is RECOMMENDED that users wishing to support multiple
      integrity signatures for the same target define a multi-signature
      security context.

As indicated above; I don't understand the need for this requirement.
I also don't understand what is meant by a "multi-signature security context".

**C25: Please see **C22.

   o  For some security contexts, (e.g., those using asymmetric keying
      to produce signatures or those using symmetric keying with a group
      key), the security information MAY be checked at any hop on the
      way to the bundle destination that has access to the required
      keying information, in accordance with Section 3.9.

I am strongly reluctant to endorse the use of a group-shared symmetric key in a standards-track document.

**C26: Agreed. I have added text that group-shared symmetric key is not recommended.

Also, nit: wouldn't an "error-detection cipher [sic]" also allow for a waypoint node to check the integrity information?

**C27: text in BPSEC20 has been updated to simply state that checks can occur if access to required keying information. Did not feel it necessary to state key information could be NULL for unkeyed error detection (e.g. different CRC alg).

Section 3.8

      The Block Processing Control flags value can be set to whatever
      values are required by local policy, except that this block MUST
      have the "replicate in every fragment" flag set if the target of
      the BCB is the Payload Block.  Having that BCB in each fragment

(now we're back to "the target" singular)

**C28: text should be "if a target" not "if the target". BPSEC20 text has been updated.

      The Security Context Id MUST utilize a confidentiality cipher that
      provides authenticated encryption with associated data (AEAD).

nit: is it the Id or the Context that utilizes the cipher?

**C29: It is the context. BPSEC20 has been updated.

      Additional information created by a cipher suite (such as
      additional authenticated data) can be placed either in a security

nit: the "additional authenticated data" of an AEAD cipher is *input* to the AEAD, not output; perhaps you mean "authentication tag" here.

C30: Agreed! Updated text in BPSEC20 to use authentication tag.

      bundle source.  The security source MAY be specified as part of
      security context information described in Section 3.10.

[same comment as for 3.7]

**C31: See **C24.

   o  It is RECOMMENDED that designers carefully consider the effect of
      setting flags that either discard the block or delete the bundle
      in the event that this block cannot be processed.

Can we even allow setting "discard this block", since we modify the contents of the target and the target would be wrongly interpreted in the absence of this block?

**C32: Agreed this is a useful way to prevent implementations from doing something they will regret. I have updated BPSEC20 to disallow the setting of this block processing flag for BCB.

   o  A BIB MUST NOT be added for a security target that is already the
      security target of a BCB.  In this instance, the BCB is already
      providing authentication and integrity of the security target and
      the BIB would be redundant, insecure, and cause ambiguity in block
      processing order.

The type of authentication that is provided by the BCB can be qualitatively different than the authentication provided by a BIB; ambiguity in block processing order alone is a sufficient reason to disallow this case and we probably shouldn't mention the other alleged reasons.
I also don't understand why you say that this combination is "insecure"
based just on the description here; please either remove the claim of justify it.

**C33: Agreed. I have shortened this text in BPSEC20. 

   o  A BIB integrity value MUST NOT be evaluated if the BIB is the
      security target of an existing BCB.  In this case, the BIB data is

What does "evaluated" mean here, and by whom?

**C34: Replaced evaluated with checked in the text. Any node can check integrity if they have appropriate means to do so, as per **C27. 

   o  A BIB integrity value MUST NOT be evaluated if the security target
      of the BIB is also the security target of a BCB.  In such a case,
      the security target data contains cipher-text as it has been

I thought we already disallowed this from happening because the BIB contents are encrypted.

**C35: Text is reinforcing that this is not an allowed combination.

Section 3.9

   Since any cipher suite used with a BCB MUST be an AEAD cipher suite,
   it is inefficient and insecure for a single security source to add
   both a BIB and a BCB for the same security target.  In cases where a

Again, please justify or remove the claim of "insecure".
Also, the authentication provided by a signature BIB remains qualitatively different from that provided by an AEAD.

**C36: Use of insecure was as directed by SECDIR last call review. I have shortened the text in BPSEC20 to just focus on normative guidance.

Section 3.10

I still don't have any real idea of what type(s) of parameters the "security context parameters" might be, which is worryisome.

**C37: BPSEC20 points readers to interop-sc.

Section 3.11

It's not entirely clear to me what value is provided by using the Bn layer of abstraction for block IDs, as opposed to actual integer values (which makes it clear that the primary block has ID 0 and the payload has ID 1).

**C38: If the question is why (B1) notation instead of (1), it is simple preference as (1) looks like a citation or an in-line enumeration. 

Section 3.11.1

   o  An integrity signature applied to the canonicalized primary block

[noting again that the core spec does not define a "canonicalization"

**C39: BpBis gives a standard form for the primary block. Updated text in BPSEC20 to say canonical form.

   o  Confidentiality for the first extension block (B4).  This is
      accomplished by a BCB (B3).  Once applied, the contents of
      extension block B4 are encrypted.  The BCB MUST hold an

nit(?): I don't think "contents" is the term used most often by the core spec for the block-type-specific data.

**C40: Agreed. The text in BPSEC20 has been updated.

      authentication signature for the cipher-text either in the cipher-
      text that now populates the first extension block or as a security

"authentication signature" is going to confuse people by its similarity to the cryptographic signature concept, which this is not.  Please use "authentication tag" instead.

**C41: Agreed. Updated text in BPSEC20.

Section 3.11.2

   The resultant bundle is illustrated in Figure 4 and the security
   actions are described below.  Note that block IDs provided here are
   ordered solely for the purpose of this example and not meant to
   impose an ordering for block creation.  The ordering of blocks added
   to a bundle MUST always be in compliance with [I-D.ietf-dtn-bpbis].

Is there a particular ordering requirement from bpbis that is relevant here?

**C42: The primary block must be first in a bundle and the payload block must be last. 

   o  Since the waypoint node wishes to encrypt blocks B5 and B6, it
      MUST also encrypt the BIBs providing plain-text integrity over
      those blocks.  However, BIB B2 could not be encrypted in its
      entirety because it also held a signature for the primary block
      (B1).  Therefore, a new BIB (B7) is created and security results

[I still don't understand why this is not an artificial rule, but no need to further discuss that here.]

Section 4

   the same target information (e.g., the same bits in the same order)
   is provided to the cipher suite when generating an original signature
   and when generating a comparison signature.  Canonicalization

For many integrity-protection algorithms it is not possible to "generate a comparison signature" and instead the destination node must "validate the signature" in a dedicated operation.

**C43: Agreed this better captures the idea. Updated the text in BPSEC20.

   Canonical forms are not transmitted, they are used to generate input
   to a cipher suite for security processing at a security-aware node.

nit: comma splice.

**C44: Agreed. Text has been updated in BPSEC20.

As far as I can tell from draft-ietf-dtn-bpbis, there is a single canonical representation form defined and that is what is transmitted; I do not see a separate canonicalization procedure specified.

**C45: Agreed. Text updated in BPSEC20.

   The canonicalization of the primary block is as specified in


**C46: Agreed. Text updated to clarify BpBis provides a canonical form of the primary block.

   All non-primary blocks share the same block structure and are
   canonicalized as specified in [I-D.ietf-dtn-bpbis] with the following


**C47: BpBis provides that extension blocks define the manner in which they are serialized and provides a way to serialize the payload block.

   o  Reserved flags MUST NOT be included in any canonicalization as it
      is not known if those flags will change in transit.

So they're ... set to zero?  Or since the previous bullet says they're excluded, there's no problem by definition?

**C48: This was at WG request.

   These canonicalization algorithms assume that Endpoint IDs do not
   change from the time at which a security source adds a security block
   to a bundle and the time at which a node processes that security

When might that not hold?  Shouldn't this be stated much earlier in the document as a requirement/foundational assumption?

**C49: I can see how this text is confusing - it means that if an EID is selected as a security source, then by the time the security block reaches its eventual security acceptor then the security acceptor knows the security source by the EID at the time the security service was applied. This is a bit like saying that the bundle destination EID cannot have changed by the time the bundle gets to its destination. Unsure this needs to be stated - text removed from BPSEC20.

Section 5.1.1

   If the security policy of a security-aware node specifies that a
   bundle should have applied confidentiality to a specific security
   target and no such BCB is present in the bundle, then the node MUST
   process this security target in accordance with the security policy.
   This may involve removing the security target from the bundle.  If
   the removed security target is the payload block, the bundle MUST be

As written this seems to impose a requirement on security policies to specify what happens in this case.  Perhaps we should give a default behavior (discard the bundle?) to avoid accidental omissions that lead to inesecure operation?
Also, nit: "a bundle should have applied confidentiality" is weird grammar; I assume "a bundle should have had confidentiality applied" is the intended meaning (or perhaps with s/bundle/block/), albeit in a very awkward grammatical construction.  The difficulty comes in that it is not the bundle that applies protection, but rather the BPA.

**C50: Agreed. Text has been added in BPSEC20 to recommend a default behavior and to fix the nit.

   If the Block Data Length field was modified at the time of encryption
   it MUST be updated to reflect the decrypted block length.

"How would the node removing BCB protection know this?" (The security context and cipher suite, I know, but we should say it.)

**C51: Updated in BPSEC20 to remove reference to Block Data Length and to explain that security context knows the length.

Section 5.1.2

   If the security policy of a security-aware node specifies that a
   bundle should have applied integrity to a specific security target
   and no such BIB is present in the bundle, then the node MUST process
   this security target in accordance with the security policy.  This

[same comment as above about requirement on security policy and default behavior, and same grammatical nit]

**C52: See **50.

   may involve removing the security target from the bundle.  If the
   removed security target is the payload or primary block, the bundle
   MAY be discarded.  This action can occur at any node that has the

Removed from the bundle or as a security target?
I note that removing the payload or primary block from a bundle produces a protocol violation, so "MAY" does not seem quite right...

**C53: text was unclear and has been updated in BPSEC20. If a BIB was expected on the primary or payload block the blocks are not to be removed, the node may discard the bundle. 

Section 5.2

   Security processing in the presence of payload block fragmentation
   may be handled by other mechanisms outside of the BPSec protocol or
   by applying BPSec blocks in coordination with an encapsulation

Wouldn't it be worth mentioning the possibility for the application to just ensure that any needed confidentiality protection is applied prior to any need for fragmentation?

**C54: No issue. Text in BPSEC20 has been updated to reflect this as a possibility.

Section 6

   There exist a myriad of ways to establish, communicate, and otherwise
   manage key information in a DTN.  Certain DTN deployments might
   follow established protocols for key management whereas other DTN
   deployments might require new and novel approaches.  BPSec assumes
   that key management is handled as a separate part of network
   management and this specification neither defines nor requires a
   specific key management strategy.

Just so we're clear: this is literally leaving the hardest part of building a secure system out of scope by saying this, and it's pretty disappointing to see no guidance at all for how one might do so.

**C55: The WG has other drafts and items for key management. It was decided to not address that progressing work in this document.

Section 7

   o  If a bundle is received that contains more than one security
      operation, in violation of BPSec, then the BPA must determine how

Just to be clear: "more than one security operation" is not in and of itself a violation of BPsec.  Perhaps we could rephrase to be more clear, presumably about blocks that are the target of the same type of security operation?

**C56: Agreed. Text was updated in BPSEC20.

   o  It is recommended that BCBs be allowed to alter the size of
      extension blocks and the payload block.  However, care must be
      taken to ensure that changing the size of the payload block while
      the bundle is in transit do not negatively affect bundle
      processing (e.g., calculating storage needs, scheduling
      transmission times, caching block byte offsets).

How would block byte offsets be relevant, given that it's forbidden to apply a BCB to fragments?

**C57: Agreed. Text was updated in BPSEC20.

      1.  At the time of encryption, a plain-text integrity signature
          may be generated and added to the BCB for the security target
          as additional information in the security result field.

Would the need to do this be part of a ... security profile?  A security context?  It remains unclear to me how these pieces are intended to interact.

**C58: A security context. Text was clarified in BPSEC20.

      2.  The encrypted block may be replicated as a new block and
          integrity signed.


**C59: A security context. Text was clarified in BPSEC20.

   o  It is recommended that security policy address whether cipher
      suites whose cipher-text is larger (or smaller) than the initial
      plain-text are permitted and, if so, for what types of blocks.

It is *extremely* unclear to me in what cases a cipher-text might be smaller than the initial plaintext.  I suggest to remove the parenthetical.

**C60: No issue. Case was removed and text simplified in BPSEC20.

Section 8.1

   provide appropriate capabilities if they are needed.  It should also
   be noted that if the implementation of BPSec uses a single set of
   shared cryptographic material for all nodes, a legitimate node is
   equivalent to a privileged node because K_M == K_A == K_B.

So sharing a key like that is NOT RECOMMENDED, right?

**C61: No issue. Text stating this case is not recommended was added to BPSEC20.

   A special case of the legitimate node is when Mallory is either Alice
   or Bob (i.e., K_M == K_A or K_M == K_B).  In this case, Mallory is
   able to impersonate traffic as either Alice or Bob, which means that

"either Alice or Bob, respectively", right?  Having K_B does not let Mallory impersonate traffic as Alice?

**C62: Agreed. Text was added to say "respectively" in BPSEC20.

Section 8.2.1

   When evaluating the risk of eavesdropping attacks, it is important to
   consider the lifetime of bundles on a DTN.  Depending on the network,
   bundles may persist for days or even years.  Long-lived bundles imply
   that the data exists in the network for a longer period of time and,
   thus, there may be more opportunities to capture those bundles.

It's probably worth noting that Mallory is of course not limited by the bundle lifetime in how long she retains a given bundle.

**C63: Agreed. Note was added in BPSEC20.

Section 8.2.2

   removal of blocks.  Within BPSec, both the BIB and BCB provide
   integrity protection mechanisms to detect or prevent data
   manipulation attempts by Mallory.

The protection against removal of blocks (or entire bundles) seems a lot weaker, though.  The following paragraph is a pretty good treatment; thanks!

   only validating that the BIB was generated by a legitimate user, Bob
   will acknowledge the message as originating from Mallory instead of
   Alice.  In order to provide verifiable integrity checks, both a BIB

It might be worth saying something about how "validating a BIB indicates only that the BIB was generated by a holder of the relevant key; it does not provide any guarantee that the bundle or block was created by the same entity".

**C64: Agreed. Note was added in BPSEC20.

Section 8.2.4

   BPSec relies on cipher suite capabilities to prevent replay or forged
   message attacks.  A BCB used with appropriate cryptographic
   mechanisms (e.g., a counter-based cipher mode) may provide replay
   protection under certain circumstances.  Alternatively, application

This seems to imply keeping counter state across bundles, something that's pretty finicky to get right and risky to get wrong.  I don't think we should be implying that this is a good idea without a lot more discussion of the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.  (Which basically means I don't think it's worth mentioning this approach, given the work involved in generating such discussion).

**C63: Agreed. Example was removed in BPSEC20.

Section 9.2

   o  Security Results.  Security contexts MUST define their security
      result Ids, the data types of those results, and their CBOR

Are these result Ids expected to be global to a security context or scoped to a specific block type?

**C64: Result ids are expected to be global to the security context and not specific to a block type.

      *  Place overflow bytes, authentication signatures, and any
         additional authenticated data in security result fields rather
         than in the cipher-text itself.

[same note as (far) above about "authenticated data"]

**C65: Agreed. Text was updated in BPSEC20.

      *  Pad the cipher-text in cases where the cipher-text is smaller
         than the plain-text.

[same note about smaller ciphertext than plaintext]

**C66: Agreed. Text was removed and simplified in BPSEC20.

Section 10

   o  Other security blocks (OSBs) MUST NOT reuse any enumerations
      identified in this specification, to include the block type codes
      for BIB and BCB.

I don't understand what this means.

**C67: This was to prevent the idea that idea that the block type code for BIB and/or BCB could be reused by another organization or deployment but with a different BIB/BCB syntax from another document. Which of course should be discouraged. And perhaps so obvious to not do as to not need a call out in the document?

   NOTE: The burden of showing compliance with processing rules is
   placed upon the standards defining new security blocks and the
   identification of such blocks shall not, alone, require maintenance
   of this specification.

nit: I suggest using a different word than "standards" ("specifications"?), since the block type registry is just under the Specification Required policy.

**C68: Agreed. The text was updated in BPSEC20.

Section 11.1

   This specification allocates two block types from the existing
   "Bundle Block Types" registry defined in [I-D.ietf-dtn-bpbis].

draft-ietf-dtn-bpbis-21 does not contain a direction to IANA to update the reference for the bundle block types registry away from its current reference, RFC 6255, so it seems "defined in [RFC6255]" would be more correct.

**C69: Agreed. The text was updated in BPSEC20.