Re: [i2rs] [Last-Call] Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-i2rs-yang-l2-network-topology-13

Christian Huitema <> Fri, 26 June 2020 04:04 UTC

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To: Susan Hares <>, 'Qin Wu' <>,
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From: Christian Huitema <>
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Subject: Re: [i2rs] [Last-Call] Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-i2rs-yang-l2-network-topology-13
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How about adding something like this:

Privacy Considerations

The Yang model for layer 2 topology exposes privacy sensitive information,
for example the MAC addresses of devices. Unrestricted use of such
can lead to privacy violations. For example, listing MAC addresses in a
allows monitoring of devices and their movements. Location information can
be derived from MAC addresses of network devices, bypassing protection of
location information by the Operating System.

Deployments should mitigate this privacy concerns by limiting access to
the layer 2 topology information. Access to the information should be
restricted to a minimal list of authorized agents, and should require
proper authentication of these agents.

-- Christian Huitema

On 6/25/2020 7:00 AM, Susan Hares wrote:
> Qin and Christian: 
> Thank you for your prompt attention to the privacy issue.  
> I'm sure Christian will respond in a bit - since he might be in PDT time-zone. 
> Once you have a solution you both like, we should
> validate the privacy changes to the security considerations section with the 
> Yang-doctors, OPS-ADs, and Security-ADs.  
> Martin's watching this thread so I'm sure he'll help us out as well. 
> Sue 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: i2rs [] On Behalf Of Qin Wu
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 9:25 AM
> To: Susan Hares; 'Christian Huitema';
> Cc:;;
> Subject: Re: [i2rs] Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-i2rs-yang-l2-network-topology-13
> Sue and Christian:
> I have responded to Christian on privacy issue, my proposal is to add MAC address as another data node vulnerability example in our original security consideration section.
> But If Christian or security directorate has recommending text, we authors are happy to accept it.
> -Qin
> -----邮件原件-----
> 发件人: Susan Hares [] 
> 发送时间: 2020年6月25日 21:04
> 收件人: 'Christian Huitema' <>;
> 抄送:;;
> 主题: RE: Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-i2rs-yang-l2-network-topology-13
> Christian:
> Thank you for catching the privacy issues.      
> I've got a few questions to help the authors scope this change: 
> 1) Since this is common to all L2 Topologies, can you or the security directorate recommend some text that might be appropriate? 
>    If you have recommended text, has this text been reviewed by OPS-DIR and Yang doctors? 
> 2) Will it be a problem If we write privacy considerations on IEEE specifications? 
> 3) Do we need to consider the range of deployments of L2 (home, enterprise,  public PBB service, national PBB service, Data centers)
> Thank you,  Sue 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Christian Huitema via Datatracker []
> Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 1:01 AM
> To:
> Cc:;;
> Subject: Secdir last call review of draft-ietf-i2rs-yang-l2-network-topology-13
> Reviewer: Christian Huitema
> Review result: Has Issues
> I have reviewed this document as part of the security directorate's ongoing effort to review all IETF documents being processed by the IESG.  These comments were written with the intent of improving security requirements and considerations in IETF drafts.  Comments not addressed in last call may be included in AD reviews during the IESG review.  Document editors and WG chairs should treat these comments just like any other last call comments.
> This document describes a Yang model for representing Link Layer topologies.
> Representing such topologies is obviously useful for managing network.
> The security section is focused on securing the usage of this information for network management, but does not address potential privacy issues.
> The security considerations explain correctly how altering the link layer information could enable attacks against the network. The proposed remedy is access control, implemented using either SSH or TLS. This is fine, although the discussion of TLS authorisation is a bit short. By default, TLS verifies the identity of the server but not that of the client. RFC8040 section 2.5 specifies that "a RESTCONF server SHOULD require authentication based on TLS client certificates. I assume that's the intent, but it might be useful to say so.
> On the other hand, the security considerations do not describe privacy issues, and I find that problematic. The proposed information model lists a number of sensitive data, such as for example the MAC addresses of devices.
> This information can be misused. For example, applications could assess device location fetching the MAC addresses of local gateways. Third parties could access link local information to gather identities of devices accessing a particular network. Such information is often protected by privacy API in the Operating System, but accessing the Yang module over the network might allow applications to bypass these controls.
> Client authentication alone does not necessarily protect against these privacy leaks. A classic configuration error would limit write access to authorized users, but to allow read-only access to most users. This kind of error would allow privacy leaks. Given the sensitive nature of MAC addresses and other identifiers, it is useful to warn against such errors.
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