Re: [SECMECH] Framework Bindings Vs. Mechanism Bridges

Charles Clancy <> Sat, 20 August 2005 15:42 UTC

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Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005 11:42:46 -0400
From: Charles Clancy <>
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To: Shumon Huque <>
Subject: Re: [SECMECH] Framework Bindings Vs. Mechanism Bridges
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Shumon Huque wrote:

> So for a standardized EAP method that supports Kerberos 
> authentication, we are awaiting the following:
> 	- an updated GSS-API (for the pseudo random function)
> 	- an updated EAP-GSS mechanism that uses it
> 	- an updated IAKERB (for the AS and TGS exchanges)

A standardized tunneling method would be nice too.

Or, a generic Kerberos method secured with some KDC certificate, with 
bindings to EAP.

> And potentially running inside TLS to address the dictionary attack
> vulnerability of the AS exchange.


> I am very concerned that Kerberos sites are being pushed to deploy
> network access authentication today, and there is no suitable option 
> in sight for the forseeable future.

There are plenty of provisioning options.  For example, EAP-PAX could be 
bootstrapped by a kerberos password.  I've heard that MIT bootstraps PKI 
creds using a kerberos password -- those could be used for EAP-TLS.

Though, I agree no easy, out-of-the-box solution exists.

> Regarding dictionary attack, is it the case that we won't standardize 
> an EAP method that is vulnerable to it? Or is the objection motivated
> by the fact that EAP is expected to be commonly used for wireless
> LAN authentication? I hope it isn't the latter, because it is almost
> as easy to eavesdrop on wired ethernets with ARP spoofing for example.

EAP methods vulnerable to dictionary attacks cannot be used with WLAN. 
See RFC 4017.  I don't think people are against standardizing a kerberos 
method, as long as people know it should be run in a tunnel -- much like 

> I think the Kerberos community needs to work on standardizing password 
> based pre-authentication mechanisms invulnerable to dictionary attack 
> (perhaps EKE, AEKE, SPEKE, SRP etc). 

There are many intellectual property problems with these protocols. 
There are more complex protocols that don't suffer from the IP problems 
( but they're more theoretical than 
practical.  Everything else requires a server-side certificate.

> At one time, some of us were talking about an EAP method that
> transported Kerberos messages directly. It seems to me that putting
> some effort into completing that work would be immediately useful
> to Kerberos sites that need to deploy 802.1X or 802.11i soon.

I've heard the same thing from other people as well.  Just make sure it 
runs in a tunneling method, or these directly transported kerberos 
messages are protected... DTLS maybe?

I think this is exactly the sort of thing SECMECH should be working on.

[ t. charles clancy ]--[ ]--[ ]
[ computer science ]-----[ university of maryland | college park ]

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