Re: [nfsv4] AD review of draft-ietf-nfsv4-rfc5667bis-11

Spencer Dawkins at IETF <> Tue, 08 August 2017 19:29 UTC

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From: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <>
Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:28:57 -0500
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To: Chuck Lever <>
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Subject: Re: [nfsv4] AD review of draft-ietf-nfsv4-rfc5667bis-11
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Hi, Chuck,

On Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 6:05 PM, Spencer Dawkins at IETF <> wrote:

> Hi, Chuck,
> Thanks for the quick response. Getting back with an AD who hasn't slept
> since he sent his evaluation is ALWAYS appreciated.
> Responses inline, but Tl;Dr is "this all looks excellent".

I see that you've submitted a -12, and I think it's ready for Last Call.

You had mentioned wanting to think about the Security Considerations a bit
more, so I thought a bit more, too. Here's what I'm wondering.

The current text says this:

8 <>.
Security Considerations

   RPC-over-RDMA version 1 supports all RPC security models, including
   RPCSEC_GSS security and transport-level security [RFC7861
<>].  The
   choice of what Direct Data Placement mechanism to convey RPC argument
   and results does not affect this, since it changes only the method of
   data transfer.  Specifically, the requirements of [RFC8166
<>] ensure
   that this choice does not introduce new vulnerabilities.

   Because this document defines only the binding of the NFS protocols
   atop [RFC8166 <>], all relevant
security considerations are therefore to

      be described at that layer.

What I think you're saying, is that the RPC security considerations have
already been analyzed in RFC 7861, and the RDMA security considerations
have already been analyzed in RFC 8166, so using RPC over RDMA shouldn't
introduce new security considerations. Am I getting that right?

Assuming so ... the sentence I was questioning, was

   Specifically, the requirements of [RFC8166
<>] ensure
   that this choice does not introduce new vulnerabilities.

Although I'm not a secdir reviewer (I don't even play one on the Internet),
I'm reading that sentence as an invitation to go look at the requirements
of [RFC8166] and see if that makes sense. Other reviewers might or might
not accept that invitation, but I find myself wondering whether you need
this sentence at all, since you've basically said, "we've analyzed the
pizza crust, and we've analyzed the pizza ingredients, so we don't have new
problems when we put the ingredients on the crust and make a pizza".

Do you think the working group needs to think about this some more? I'm
happy to hold off on Last Call, if the answer is "yes", of course.


Spencer (D)