Re: [tsvwg] [saag] Comments on draft-ietf-tsvwg-transport-encrypt-08.txt

Kathleen Moriarty <> Tue, 12 November 2019 14:43 UTC

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From: Kathleen Moriarty <>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 09:42:37 -0500
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To: Peter Gutmann <>
Cc: Tom Herbert <>, "" <>, Joe Touch <>, tsvwg IETF list <>, Mirja Kuehlewind <>, "" <>, David Schinazi <>
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Subject: Re: [tsvwg] [saag] Comments on draft-ietf-tsvwg-transport-encrypt-08.txt
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On Tue, Nov 12, 2019 at 2:07 AM Peter Gutmann <>

> Tom Herbert <> writes:
> >The problems of protocol ossification and middleboxes meddling in E2E
> >protocols has been discussed at length in IETF in various contexts.
> I'm aware of RFC 3234, which was written seventeen years ago and focuses on
> middleboxes messing with application-layer data, as well as farcical stuff
> like RFC 3424, of the same vintage, but it's mostly complaining rather than
> actual rigorous analysis, and often seems to be based on opposition to
> middleboxes as an article of faith, notoriously manifested in IPsec's "NAT
> is
> bad, therefore we will make sure IPsec breaks NAT, because NAT is bad",
> which
> has caused endless headaches for pretty much anyone who's ever had to work
> with IPsec ever since.
> In particular for this case, since the discussion is about header
> encryption
> and not middleboxes in general, I'm not aware of any rigorous analysis of
> its
> purported benefits, or even a clear statement of its purported benefits,
> something like "here is a definition of the service that header encryption
> provides, here is a real-world study showing that it provides this and
> demonstrating that it can't be readily defeated".  Contrast this with the
> two
> dozen plus studies that look at the analysis of encrypted traffic despite
> the
> encryption, an example being (just one picked at random) "Identifying
> Protected Netflix Videos in Real-Time", Andrew Reed and Michael Kranch,
> Proceedings of the 7th Conference on Data and Application Security and
> Privacy
> (CODASPY'17), March 2017, p.361.
> So when people complain that the draft doesn't say enough about all the
> Good
> Things header encryption provides, I would respond that it does, it's cited
> all of the available literature on the benefits of header encryption, and
> all
> of the studies showing that it's effective, in Appendix B.
> After work on RFC8404, I do think having such research conducted would be
beneficial.  This was one of the aims of the proposed group SMART.  If
there is interest in conducting this work (writing research drafts, etc.),
please let me or Kirsty Paine know.

Best regards,

> The draft is actually quite restrained in this regard, as I mentioned in my
> previous message the two notable examples of header encryption/protection
> deployed at scale into the real world, IPsec and SSH, have both been a
> disaster (for functionality, IPsec, and security, SSH), but it very
> politely
> omits mention of this.
> Peter.
> _______________________________________________
> saag mailing list


Best regards,