[secdir] secdir review of draft-josefsson-rc4-test-vectors-02

Tom Yu <tlyu@MIT.EDU> Wed, 23 February 2011 04:12 UTC

Return-Path: <tlyu@mit.edu>
X-Original-To: secdir@core3.amsl.com
Delivered-To: secdir@core3.amsl.com
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by core3.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id D05A03A69A1; Tue, 22 Feb 2011 20:12:37 -0800 (PST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at amsl.com
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -102.599
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-102.599 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-2.599, USER_IN_WHITELIST=-100]
Received: from mail.ietf.org ([]) by localhost (core3.amsl.com []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id qKp-FHV+6W2G; Tue, 22 Feb 2011 20:12:37 -0800 (PST)
Received: from dmz-mailsec-scanner-3.mit.edu (DMZ-MAILSEC-SCANNER-3.MIT.EDU []) by core3.amsl.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id E2BA33A67F5; Tue, 22 Feb 2011 20:12:36 -0800 (PST)
X-AuditID: 1209190e-b7b3bae000000a71-67-4d6489620365
Received: from mailhub-auth-3.mit.edu ( []) by dmz-mailsec-scanner-3.mit.edu (Symantec Brightmail Gateway) with SMTP id 11.19.02673.269846D4; Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:13:22 -0500 (EST)
Received: from outgoing.mit.edu (OUTGOING-AUTH.MIT.EDU []) by mailhub-auth-3.mit.edu (8.13.8/8.9.2) with ESMTP id p1N4DMJ2019600; Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:13:22 -0500
Received: from cathode-dark-space.mit.edu (CATHODE-DARK-SPACE.MIT.EDU []) (authenticated bits=56) (User authenticated as tlyu@ATHENA.MIT.EDU) by outgoing.mit.edu (8.13.6/8.12.4) with ESMTP id p1N4DHsU008690 (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA bits=256 verify=NOT); Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:13:18 -0500 (EST)
Received: (from tlyu@localhost) by cathode-dark-space.mit.edu ( id p1N4DH82012890; Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:13:17 -0500 (EST)
To: secdir@ietf.org, iesg@ietf.org, draft-josefsson-rc4-test-vectors.all@tools.ietf.org
From: Tom Yu <tlyu@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2011 23:13:17 -0500
Message-ID: <ldvipwb5qxu.fsf@cathode-dark-space.mit.edu>
Lines: 25
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
X-Brightmail-Tracker: AAAAAA==
Subject: [secdir] secdir review of draft-josefsson-rc4-test-vectors-02
X-BeenThere: secdir@ietf.org
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.9
Precedence: list
List-Id: Security Area Directorate <secdir.ietf.org>
List-Unsubscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/secdir>, <mailto:secdir-request@ietf.org?subject=unsubscribe>
List-Archive: <http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/secdir>
List-Post: <mailto:secdir@ietf.org>
List-Help: <mailto:secdir-request@ietf.org?subject=help>
List-Subscribe: <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/secdir>, <mailto:secdir-request@ietf.org?subject=subscribe>
X-List-Received-Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2011 04:12:37 -0000

The Security Considerations section states:

   The RC4 algorithm does not meet the basic criteria required for an
   encryption algorithm, as its output is distinguishable from random.
   The use of RC4 continue to be recommended against; in particular, its
   use in new specifications is discouraged.  This note is intended only
   to aid the interoperability of existing specifications that make use
   of RC4.

I believe this statement is accurate, and have nothing substantial to
add to it.

Comments not directly relevant to security follow.

Section 5 ("Copying conditions") states:

   This document is intended to be considered a Code Component, and is
   thus effectively available under the Simplified BSD license.

I think it would be reasonable to say that Section 2 qualifies as a
Code Component; the case for the other sections being considered as
Code Components is tenuous, in my opinion.

Editorial: In Section 1, "crypto-analysis" should probably be