Re: [secdir] SECDIR review of draft-ietf-mpls-forwarding-06

Stephen Kent <> Wed, 05 February 2014 21:30 UTC

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Date: Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:30:19 -0500
From: Stephen Kent <>
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Cc:,,,, secdir <>,,,, Adrian Farrel <>, Loa Andersson <>, Stewart Bryant <>
Subject: Re: [secdir] SECDIR review of draft-ietf-mpls-forwarding-06
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I agree; the new text is better.


> In message <>
> Stephen Kent writes:
>> Curtis,
>> Thanks for the quick reply.
>> I agree that a thorough summary of the relevant security considerations
>> from the many normative references would be a non-trivial task ;-).
>> The brief summary you assembled is excellent!
>> I am satisfied with the changes/responses.
>> Steve
> Steve,
> If you don't mind I'd like to add a little to this.  This is the very
> last paragraph and follows the numbered list.
>     MPLS security including data plane security is discussed in greater
>     detail in [RFC5920] (MPLS/GMPLS Security Framework).
>     MPLS security including data plane security is discussed in greater
>     detail in [RFC5920] (MPLS/GMPLS Security Framework).  THe MPLS-TP
>     security framework [RFC6941] build upon this, focusing largely on
>     the MPLS-TP OAM additions and OAM channels with some attention
>     given to using network management in place of control plane setup.
>     In both security framework documents MPLS is assumed to run within
>     a "trusted zuone", defined as being where a single service provider
>     (SP) has total operational control over that part of the network.
>     If control plane security and management plane security are
>     sufficiently robust, compromise of a single network element may
>     result in chaos in the data plane anywhere in the network through
>     denial of service attacks, but not a Byzantine security failure in
>     which other network elements are fully compromised.
>     MPLS security, or lack of, can affect whether traffic can be
>     misrouted and lost, or intercepted, or intercepted and reinserted
>     (a man-in-the-middle attack) or spoofed.  End user applications,
>     including control plane and management plane protocols used by the
>     SP, are expected to make use of appropriate end-to-end
>     authentication and where appropriate end-to-end encryption.
> I think the original, while not incorrect, was too brief.  This new
> text provides a better summary, indicating the underlying "trusted
> zuone" assumption and the lack of any meaningful data plane security
> if that underlying assumption proves invalid for any reason, but most
> likely invalid due to a breach or a physical intercept along
> transmission media.
> Please let me know if this further change is an improvement or if we
> should leave it out (or change it).
> Curtis