Multicast Security (msec)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 60th IETF Meeting in San Diego, California USA. It may now be out-of-date.

Last Modified: 2004-05-18

Ran Canetti <>
Thomas Hardjono <>
Security Area Director(s):
Russell Housley <>
Steven Bellovin <>
Security Area Advisor:
Russell Housley <>
Mailing Lists:
General Discussion:
To Subscribe:
In Body: subscribe
Description of Working Group:
The purpose of the MSEC WG is to standardize protocols for securing group communication over internets, and in particular over the global Internet. Initial efforts will focus on scalable solutions for groups with a single source and a very large number of recipients. Additional emphasis will be put on groups where the data is transmitted via IP-layer multicast routing protocols (with or without guaranteed reliability). The developed standard will assume that each group has a single trusted entity (the Group Controller) that sets the security policy and controls the group membership. The standard will strive to provide at least the following basic security guarantees:

+ Only legitimate group members will have access to current group communication. This includes groups with highly dynamic membership.

+ Legitimate group members will be able to authenticate the source and contents of the group communication. This includes cases where group members do not trust each other.

An additional goal of the standard will be to protect against denial-of-service attacks, whenever possible.

Due to the large number of one-to-many multicast applications and the sometimes conflicting requirements these applications exhibit, it is believed that a single protocol will be unable to meet the requirements of all applications. Therefore, the WG will first specify a general Reference Framework that includes a number of functional building blocks. Each such building block will be instantiated by one or more protocols that will be interchanable. The Reference Framework will not only describe one-to-many multicast, but also many-to-many multicast.

In addition, as a secondary goal the MSEC WG will also focus on distributed architectures for group key management and group policy management, where for scalability purposes multiple trusted entities (such as Key Distributors) are deployed in a distributed fashion. For this purpose, the Reference Framework will not only describe one-to-many multicast, but also many-to-many multicast.

MSEC will generate at least the following documents, which could be considered as base documents:

1. An RFC describing the security requirements of multicast security and an RFC describing the MSEC Architecture.

2. An RFC describing the Group Key Management Architecture and an RFC describing Group Policy Management Architecture in MSEC.

3. Several RFCs describing specifications for protocols that implement source authentication, group key management and group policy management. As multicast security covers a broad range of issues, and therefore touches other Working Groups in the IETF, the MSEC WG will work closely with othersecurity-related Working Groups (e.g. IPsec, IPSP), as well as other Working Groups which maybe considered a 'consumer' of the technologies produced in the MSEC WG (e.g. AVT, MMUSIC) or which may have a multicast focus (e.g. PIM, RMT, IDRM, MAGMA).

With this in mind, the MSEC WG is open to receiving new work items, whenever it is considered appropriate to be homed in the MSEC WG. Such drafts will be matured in conjunction with the MSEC base documents.

Goals and Milestones:
Done  Working Group Last Call on GDOI Protocol
Done  Working Group Last Call on MIKEY Protocol
Done  WG Last Call on MSEC Architecture draft
Done  WG Last Call on Group Key Management Architecture
Done  WG Last Call on DHHMAC for MIKEY
Dec 03  WG Last Call on MSEC Security Requirements draft
Dec 03  WG Last Call on MSEC Policy Token
Dec 03  WG Last Call on GSAKMP
Dec 03  Last Call on GSAKMP-Token
Dec 03  WG Last Call on IP Multicast issues with IPsec
Mar 04  WG Last call on TESLA-Intro draft
Mar 04  WG Last Call on MESP Framework (Data Security Architecture) draft
Mar 04  WG Last call on TESLA-Spec draft
Jul 04  WG re-charter for other work items (or disband)
  • - draft-ietf-msec-gsakmp-sec-06.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-gkmarch-08.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-mikey-08.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-tesla-intro-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-mikey-dhhmac-06.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-ipsec-signatures-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-srtp-tesla-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-msec-policy-token-sec-00.txt
  • Request For Comments:
    RFC3547 PS The Group Domain of Interpretation
    RFC3740 I The Multicast Security Architecture

    Current Meeting Report

    None received.


    TESLA Documents update
    The Use of TESLA in SRTP
    Multicast Data Source Authentication Ideas
    Selected Topics Regarding Protecting IP multicast data packets with IPsec
    HMAC-authenticated Diffie-Hellman for MIKEY
    Group Policy Token with Application to GSAKMP
    The GSAKMP Application to IP Security
    MSEC WG Session Summary