Common Authentication Technology (cat)

Concluded: July 25, 2002

Chair(s):

John Linn <jlinn@rsasecurity.com>

Security Area Director(s):

Jeffrey Schiller <jis@mit.edu>
Steve Bellovin <smb@research.att.com>

Security Area Advisor:

Jeffrey Schiller <jis@mit.edu>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:ietf-cat-wg@lists.stanford.edu
To Subscribe: ietf-cat-wg-request@lists.stanford.edu
Archive: ftp://ftp.ietf.org/ietf-mail-archive/cat/

Description of Working Group:

The goal of the Common Authentication Technology (CAT) Working Group is to provide distributed security services (which have included authentication, integrity, and confidentiality, and may broaden to include authorization) to a variety of protocol callers in a manner which insulates those callers from the specifics of underlying security mechanisms.

By separating security implementation tasks from the tasks of integrating security data elements into caller protocols, those tasks can be partitioned and performed separately by implementors with different areas of xpertise. This provides leverage for the IETF community's security-oriented resources, and allows protocol implementors to focus on the functions their protocols are designed to provide rather than on characteristics of security mechanisms. CAT seeks to encourage uniformity and modularity in security approaches, supporting the use of common techniques and accommodating evolution of underlying technologies.

In support of these goals, the working group pursues several interrelated tasks. We have defined a common service interface (GSS-API) allowing callers to invoke security services in association-oriented environments, with an associated token format identifying the security mechanism being employed. Existing documents provide C language bindings for GSS-API; currently ongoing work is defining bindings for Java. Authorization interfaces are currently being evaluated as a related area for follow-on work, with the level of achievable portability an important consideration. The CAT Working Group also defines supporting mechanisms to provide security services; current activity includes specification of "low-infrastructure" mechanisms to support ease of deployment and use.

Goals and Milestones:

Done   Preliminary BOF session at IETF meeting, discussions with TELNET and Network Printing Working Groups.
Done   Distribute Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (GSS-API) documentation through Internet-Draft process.
Done   First IETF meeting as full working group: review charter distribute documents, and status of related implementation, integration, and consulting liaison activities. Schedule follow-on tasks, including documentation plan for specific CAT-supporting security mechanisms.
Done   Update mechanism-independent Internet-Drafts in response to issues raised, distribute additional mechanism-specific documentation including Distributed Authentication Services architectural description and terms/conditions for use of the technology documented therein.
Done   Second IETF meeting: Review distributed documents and status of related activities, continue consulting liaisons. Discuss features and characteristics of underlying mechanisms. Define scope and schedule for follow-on work.
Done   Submit service interface specification to to the IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.
Done   Submit GSS-V2 to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.
Done   Plan next phase of activities, with particular attention to scope and tasking for authorization, store and forward protection support, and additional mechanisms.
Done   Issue Internet-Draft representing updated version of RFC-2078, aligned with GSS-V2 C bindings Internet-Draft.
Done   Submit Negotiated Mechanism document to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard
Done   Submit GSS-V2 C bindings document to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.
Done   Progress Internet-Draft and RFC publication of mechanism-level documents to support independent, interoperable implementations of CAT-supporting mechanisms.
Done   Determine direction and intent re progressing authorization interfaces.
Done   Determine direction and intent re progressing low-infrastructure mechanism definitions.
Done   Submit GSS-V2 Java bindings specification to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standard.
Done   Submit GSS-V2 Java service provider interface document to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standard.
Done   Review status of ongoing active projects.

No Current Internet-Drafts

Request For Comments:

DASS - Distributed Authentication Security Service (RFC 1507) (287809 bytes)
Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (RFC 1508) (111228 bytes)
Generic Security Service API : C-bindings (RFC 1509) (99605 bytes)
Common Authentication Technology Overview (RFC 1511) (4185 bytes)
The Kerberos Network Authentication Service (V5) (RFC 1510) (275395 bytes)
The Kerberos Version 5 GSS-API Mechanism (RFC 1964) (47413 bytes)
The Simple Public-Key GSS-API Mechanism (SPKM) (RFC 2025) (101800 bytes)
Generic Security Service Application Program Interface, Version 2 (RFC 2078) (185990 bytes)
FTP Security Extensions (RFC 2228) (58733 bytes)
The Simple and Protected GSS-API Negotiation Mechanism (RFC 2478) (35581 bytes)
Independent Data Unit Protection Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (IDUP-GSS-API) (RFC 2479) (156070 bytes)
Generic Security Service Application Program Interface Version 2, Update 1 (RFC 2743) (229418 bytes)
Generic Security Service API Version 2 : C-bindings (RFC 2744) (218572 bytes)
Encryption using KEA and SKIPJACK (RFC 2773) (20008 bytes)
LIPKEY - A Low Infrastructure Public Key Mechanism Using SPKM (RFC 2847) (50045 bytes)
Generic Security Service API Version 2 : Java bindings (RFC 2853) (199512 bytes)