[SECMECH] Framework Bindings Vs. Mechanism Bridges

"Salowey, Joe" <jsalowey@cisco.com> Tue, 16 August 2005 22:46 UTC

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Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 15:50:39 -0700
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Thread-Topic: Framework Bindings Vs. Mechanism Bridges
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From: "Salowey, Joe" <jsalowey@cisco.com>
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Subject: [SECMECH] Framework Bindings Vs. Mechanism Bridges
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At the secmch BOF Nico introduced the following two approaches towards
achieve generally usable authentication mechanisms: Framework Binding
and Mechanism bridges.  I'd like to see if there is understanding of the
two approaches and a consensus on how to approach the problem.

Framework Bindings - the framework bindings approach requires that when
a mechanism is specified it is specified as a mechanism in the
frameworks of GSS-API, SASL and EAP.  The specification would have to
define functionality to meet a superset of all the requirements for each
framework and then define how the mechanism integrates with (or is bound
to) each framework.

Mechanism Bridges - in the mechanism bridges approach a specialized
mechanisms is used to map all mechanisms in one framework into another
framework.  A example of this exists in SASL where there is a mechanism
defined that makes available all GSS-API mechanisms available in the
SASL framework.  It should be possible to create a bridge mechanism that
makes GSS-API mechanisms into EAP mechanisms and vice versa at least for
a subset of mechanisms.  The bridge mechanism itself may provide some
functionality that is not available in a particular framework.  For
example an EAP to GSS bridge mechanism may provide a generic security
layer that uses the EAP master session key (MSK) to establish a security
context and provide a security layer between the GSS initiator and GSS
acceptor.  

The answer may lie somewhere between these two approaches.  Comments? 

Joe

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