Common Authentication Technology (cat) Charter
NOTE: This charter is accurate as of the 31st IETF Meeting in San Jose. It
may now be out-of-date. (Consider this a "snapshot" of the working
group from that meeting.) Up-to-date charters for all active working
groups can be found elsewhere in this Web server.
- John Linn <email@example.com>
Security Area Director(s):
- Jeffrey Schiller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mailing List Information
- General Discussion:email@example.com
- To Subscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Archive: bitsy.mit.edu:~/cat-ietf/archive
Description of Working Group
The goal of the Common Authentication Technology Working Group is to
provide strong authentication 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 expertise. 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 will pursue several
interrelated tasks. We will work towards agreement on a common
service interface allowing callers to invoke security services, and
towards agreement on a common authentication token format,
incorporating means to identify the mechanism type in conjunction with
which authentication data elements should be interpreted. The CAT
Working Group will also work towards agreements on suitable underlying
mechanisms to implement security functions; two candidate
architectures (Kerberos V5, based on secret-key technology and
contributed by MIT, and X.509-based public-key Distributed
Authentication Services being prepared for contribution by DEC) are
under current consideration. The CAT Working Group will consult with
other IETF working groups responsible for candidate caller protocols,
pursuing and supporting design refinements as appropriate.
Goals and Milestones
- Progress Internet-Draft and RFC publication of mechanism-level documents to support independent, interoperable implementations of CAT-supporting mechanisms.
- Preliminary BOF session at IETF meeting, discussions with TELNET and Network Printing Working Groups.
- Distribute Generic Security Service Application Program Interface (GSS-API) documentation through Internet-Draft process.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Submit service interface specification to to the IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard.
Request for Comments