Re: [lisp] Stephen Farrell's No Objection on draft-ietf-lisp-threats-14: (with COMMENT)

"Joel M. Halpern" <> Tue, 19 January 2016 14:51 UTC

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To: Stephen Farrell <>, The IESG <>
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From: "Joel M. Halpern" <>
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2016 09:50:24 -0500
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Subject: Re: [lisp] Stephen Farrell's No Objection on draft-ietf-lisp-threats-14: (with COMMENT)
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Stephen, than you for the comments.

With regard to the question of discussing lisp-crypto, the biggest 
concern has been creating a normative dependence on future work.  The 
charter item was to discuss threats against LISP as documented already.
I would like to see the crypto work covered, but it seems incorrect to 
the charter and likely to cause a further significant delay in an 
overdue document.


On 1/19/16 7:07 AM, Stephen Farrell wrote:
> Stephen Farrell has entered the following ballot position for
> draft-ietf-lisp-threats-14: No Objection
> When responding, please keep the subject line intact and reply to all
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> Please refer to
> for more information about IESG DISCUSS and COMMENT positions.
> The document, along with other ballot positions, can be found here:
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for doing this document. I think it's a useful part
> of the LISP documentation set.
> general: I think you underestimate the purely passive
> threats - my point on 2.2 below was almost a DISCUSS but
> given the WG have already adopted draft-ietf-lisp-crypto I
> figured there's no need to try block this. I would really
> encourage you to consider the threats that are mitigated by
> that specification here, even if those threats weren't
> initially considered as being that relevant to LISP (when
> the work on LISP began I mean). If that had been done
> already in this draft, I'd have been a YES ballot, if that
> makes any difference;-)
> - intro: I think you should add a few caveats here to say
> that you're not covering threats due to specific
> implementations and also that the text here captures only
> those LISP-specific threats we know about today and that
> more *will* be discovered as deployment continues.
> - intro: you don't write about DNS here, but if some LISP
> configuration settings use DNS names then via DNS with no
> DNSSEC an attacker can decide to be on-path sometimes,
> off-path other times. That (or similar) might be a nice way
> to illustrate the scope here, while also alerting the
> implementer to other threats that might affect their
> implementations.
> - 2.1 I think it'd be valuable to say that the 2.1.x
> sections are really just for the sake of exposition - we
> cannot assume that all attackers fall into any neat
> category. You do note this (more or less) in 2.1.5 but I
> think that'd be better done in 2.1. The reason to suggest
> this change is that being open to attackers not conforming
> to our descriptions is important.
> - 2.2 - which section here covers purely passive monitoring?
> All the 2.2.x seem to only cover active attacks. (I'd also
> suggest moving the 2.2.10 text to 2.2 similarly to the
> suggestion above for 2.1.)
> - 3.8 - you probably need to note somewhere (not sure where)
> that a bad PRNG would improve the attacker's chances in
> various ways. I think a calculation of the probability of a
> nonce collision (for both a good and not-good PRNG) could be
> a useful addition.
> - 3.8, 3rd para: I would argue that this threat is a "core"
> point to be made, as it's arguably the main LISP-specific
> threat and ought be emphasised more, e.g. via a mention and
> pointer in the introduction, or otherwise.
> - section 4 is pretty weak to be honest. I think you could
> at least recognise that LISP, as with any mechanism that
> concentrates traffic (between xTRs) means that passively
> monitoring plaintext is easier than before and that there is
> therefore value in encrypting the traffic between xTRs as is
> proposed in draft-ietf-lisp-crypto
> - (nit) section 5 has a really odd sentence " The usage will
> be designed and defined specific for the needs of the
> specification." I've no idea what that means TBH.