WG Review: Software Updates for Internet of Things (suit)

The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Fri, 03 November 2017 16:32 UTC

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Subject: WG Review: Software Updates for Internet of Things (suit)
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The Software Updates for Internet of Things (suit) WG in the Security Area of
the IETF is undergoing rechartering. The IESG has not made any determination
yet. The following draft charter was submitted, and is provided for
informational purposes only. Please send your comments to the IESG mailing
list (iesg@ietf.org) by 2017-11-13.

Software Updates for Internet of Things (suit)
Current status: BOF WG

  Dave Thaler <dthaler@microsoft.com>
  David Waltermire <david.waltermire@nist.gov>
  Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>

Assigned Area Director:
  Kathleen Moriarty <Kathleen.Moriarty.ietf@gmail.com>

Security Area Directors:
  Kathleen Moriarty <Kathleen.Moriarty.ietf@gmail.com>
  Eric Rescorla <ekr@rtfm.com>

Mailing list:
  Address: suit@ietf.org
  To subscribe: https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/suit
  Archive: https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/search/?email_list=suit

Group page: https://datatracker.ietf.org/group/suit/

Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-ietf-suit/

Vulnerabilities in Internet of Things (IoT) devices have raised the
need for a secure firmware update mechanism that is also suitable for
constrained devices.  Security experts, researchers, and regulators
recommend that all IoT devices be equipped with such a mechanism.  While
there are many proprietary firmware update mechanisms in use today, there
is a lack of a modern interoperable approach of securely updating the
software in IoT devices.

A firmware update solution consists of several components, including:
  *  A mechanism to transport firmware images to IoT devices.
  *  A manifest that provides meta-data about the firmware image
     (such as a firmware package identifier, the hardware the package
     needs to run, and dependencies on other firmware packages), as
     well as cryptographic information for protecting the firmware
     image in an end-to-end fashion.
  *  The firmware image itself.

RFC 4108 provides a manifest format that uses the Cryptographic Message
Syntax (CMS) to protect firmware packages.

More than ten years have passed since the publication of RFC 4108, and
greater experience with IoT deployments has led to additional
functionality, requiring the work done with RFC 4108 to be revisited.
This group will focus on defining a firmware update solution for Class
1 devices, as defined in RFC 7228, that is -- IoT devices with ~10 KiB
RAM and ~100 KiB flash.  The solution may apply to more capable devices
as well.  This group will not define any transport mechanisms.

In June of 2016 the Internet Architecture Board organized a workshop on
'Internet of Things (IoT) Software Update (IOTSU)', which took place at
Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.  The main goal of the workshop was
to foster a discussion on requirements, challenges, and solutions for
bringing software and firmware updates to IoT devices. This workshop
also made clear that there are challenges with misaligned incentives
and complex value chains.  It is nevertheless seen as important to
create standard building blocks that help interested parties implement
and deploy a solid firmware update mechanism.

In particular this group aims to publish three documents, namely:
  *  An IoT firmware update architecture that includes a description of
     the involved entities, security threats, and assumptions.
  *  One or more manifest format specifications.

The initial focus of this group will be development of a manifest approach
based on CMS and the ASN.1 encoding. This work will result in a revision of
RFC 4108 that reflects the current best practices. Use of the ASN.1 encoding
is desirable due to existing ASN.1 support in crypto libraries used within
current IoT operating systems. The group may later adopt alternate manifest
formats using other serialization approaches (e.g., CBOR). This group does
not aim to create a standard for a generic software update mechanism for use
by rich operating systems, like Linux, but instead this group will focus on
software development practices in the embedded industry.  "Software update
solutions that target updating software other than the firmware binary (e.g.
updating scripts) are also out of scope.

This group will aim to maintain a close relationship with silicon vendors
and OEMs that develop IoT operating systems.


  Dec 2017 - Adopt RFC 4108bis document as WG item.

  Dec 2017 - Adopt "Architecture" document as WG item.

  Dec 2017 - Adopt "Manifest Format" specification as WG item.

  Jan 2018 - Adopt "Architecture" to the IESG for publication as an
  Informational RFC.

  Mar 2018 - Calendar item: Release initial version of the manifest creation
  tools as open source.

  Apr 2018 - Calendar item: Release first version of manifest test tools as
  open source.

  Jun 2018 - Calendar item: Release first IoT OS implementation of firmware
  update mechanisms as open source.

  Nov 2018 - Submit RFC 4108bis document to the IESG for publication as a
  Proposed Standard.

  Nov 2018 - Submit "Manifest Format" to the IESG for publication as a
  Proposed Standard.