Re: [Suit] next steps in clarifying scoping terminology for SUIT, CoSWID, MUD and SBOM

Dick Brooks <> Tue, 09 June 2020 16:36 UTC

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From: "Dick Brooks" <>
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Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2020 12:36:20 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Suit] next steps in clarifying scoping terminology for SUIT, CoSWID, MUD and SBOM
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Dick Brooks

Never trust software, always verify and report! T
Tel: +1 978-696-1788

-----Original Message-----
From: Suit <> On Behalf Of Michael Richardson
Sent: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 12:14 PM
Subject: [Suit] next steps in clarifying scoping terminology for SUIT,

{I've set the reply-to to lwig, which I think is appropriate}

SUIT aims at devices where the firmware can be updated as one (or a counted
on fingers few) blob.  This is a good constraint, and because it's a "few"
blobs, the edge isn't overly sharp.

For instance, we have a common understanding that while SUIT is
inappropriate for Smartphone APPs, it is appropriate for the core "System",
"Rescue" and "Radio/Broadband" images that are typical for phones.
Such smartphones do not fit into RFC7228, and yet they are not

We constrast SUIT to devices where the is potentially many packages that can
be updated, up to and including the Linux/Windows desktop/server environment
where there are potentially thousands of packages.

In RFC7228, we described a series of useful terms and classes, and we have
repeatedly come back wishing to have some notions of "class 3+" to describe
classes of more capable devices, up to and including "classic" desktop and
server OS installations.

I think that as we move towards dealing with SBOM concepts (whether via
CoSWID, or in liason to IoTSF and/or NTIA) that it would be useful if we
worked on an rfc7228bis (or a companion document: nothing wrong with 7228
really), that allowed us to speak more intelligently about different classes
of devices.

I believe that this should go to the point of having an IANA Registry for
the class types, and that RFC8520(MUD) and maybe CoSWID would want to assert
such a thing.  And probably into some other netmod protocol.

Given device FOO on one's Enterprise network, which seems to have a
vulnerability, how does one upgrade it?

Forklift? JTAG cable? OTA via custom protocol? OTA with SUIT?
"apt-get"? "windows-update"? Can device download while it is operational?

For instance, my impression is that 90% of Industrial/Smart-City IoT devices
in a space way above class 2 (a class 4 or 5!) which are essentially a
RPI/Grapeboard/equivalent.  In the *best case* running a Yocto build with
many many input packages, but only a single image on the output.  In a worst
case, they are literally Raspberry PI running Raspbian, and dpkg, with the
resulting SDcard getting cloned.

These devices are hardwired/cabled manually, or experience two-touch
onboarding to WiFI or Lora... and they talk back to some cloud provided
system that itself may have an unknown set of packages.

The SBOM situation could not be worse: it would not surprise me to find
gnutls, openssl and gpg crypto on the target system, each with their own
copy a RSA and ECDSA encrypt,  and should some new oracle/etc. kind of
attack to come along, that devices in the field will be completely unevenly

Michael Richardson <>ca>, Sandelman Software Works  -=
IPv6 IoT consulting =-