Network Working Group S. Farrell Request for Comments: 2906 Baltimore Technologies Category: Informational J. Vollbrecht Interlink Networks, Inc. P. Calhoun Sun Microsystems, Inc. L. Gommans Enterasys Networks EMEA G. Gross Lucent Technologies B. de Bruijn Interpay Nederland B.V. C. de Laat Utrecht University M. Holdrege ipVerse D. Spence Interlink Networks, Inc. August 2000 AAA Authorization Requirements Status of this Memo This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.
AbstractThis document specifies the requirements that Authentication Authorization Accounting (AAA) protocols must meet in order to support authorization services in the Internet. The requirements have been elicited from a study of a range of applications including mobile-IP, roamops and others.
1. Introduction.................................................2 2. Requirements.................................................3 2.1 Authorization Information..............................3 2.2 Security of authorization information..................7 2.3 Time...................................................9 2.4 Topology..............................................10 2.5 Application Proxying..................................12 2.6 Trust Model...........................................12 2.7 Not just transactions.................................14 2.8 Administration........................................15 2.9 Bytes on-the-wire.....................................16 2.10 Interfaces............................................17 2.11 Negotiation...........................................18 3. Security Considerations.....................................19 4. References..................................................20 Authors' Addresses.............................................20 Full Copyright Statement.......................................23 FRMW] AAA Authorization Requirements (this document) AAA Authorization Application Examples [SAMP] The work for this memo was done by a group that originally was the Authorization subgroup of the AAA Working Group of the IETF. When the charter of the AAA working group was changed to focus on MobileIP and NAS requirements, the AAAarch Research Group was chartered within the IRTF to continue and expand the architectural work started by the Authorization subgroup. This memo is one of four which were created by the subgroup. This memo is a starting point for further work within the AAAarch Research Group. It is still a work in progress and is published so that the work will be available for the AAAarch subgroup and others working in this area, not as a definitive description of architecture or requirements. The process followed in producing this document was to analyze the requirements from [SAMP] based on a common understanding of the AAA authorization framework [FRMW]. This document assumes familiarity with both the general issues involved in authorization and, in particular, the reader will benefit from a reading of [FRMW] where, for example, definitions of terms can be found.
The key words "MUST", "REQUIRED", "SHOULD", "RECOMMENDED", and "MAY" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119]. FRMW]. Each requirement is presented as a succinct (usually a sentence or two) statement. Most are followed by a paragraph of explanatory material, which sometimes contains an example. Fully described examples may be found in [SAMP]. The requirements presented are not intended to be "orthogonal", that is, some of them repeat, or overlap, with others.
2.1.4 Standard attributes types SHOULD be defined which are relevant to many Internet applications/services (e.g. identity information, group information, ...) There are many attributes that are used in lots of contexts, and these should only be defined once, in order to promote interoperability and prevent duplication of effort. 2.1.5 Authorization decisions MUST NOT be limited to being based on identity information, i.e. AAA protocols MUST support the use of non-identifying information, e.g. to support role based access control (RBAC). Authorization based on clearances, roles, groups or other information is required to be supported. A AAA protocol that only carried identity information would not meet the requirement. 2.1.6 Authorization data MAY include limits in addition to attributes which are directly "owned" by end entities. This states that some attributes do not simply represent attributes of an entity, for example a spending limit of IR 1,000 is not an intrinsic attribute of an entity. This also impacts on the access decision function, in that the comparison to be made is not a simple equality match. 2.1.7 It MUST be possible for other (non-AAA) protocols to define their own attribute types, which can then be carried within an authorization package in a AAA or application protocol. This states that the attributes that are significant in an authorization decision, may be application protocol dependent. For example, many attribute types are defined by [RFC2138] and support for the semantics of these attributes will be required. Of course, only AAA entities that are aware of the added attribute types can make use of them. 2.1.8 It SHOULD be possible for administrators of deployed systems to define their own attribute types, which can then be carried within an authorization package in a AAA or application protocol. This states that the attributes that are significant in an authorization decision, may be dependent on a closed environment. For example, many organizations have a well-defined scheme of seniority, which can be used to determine access levels. Of course, only AAA entities that are aware of the added attribute types can make use of them.
2.1.9 It SHOULD be possible to define new attribute types without central administration and control of attribute name space. A centralized or distributed registration scheme of some sort is needed if collisions in attribute type allocations are to be avoided. However a AAA protocol which always requires use of such a centralized registration would not meet the requirement. Of course, collisions should be avoided where possible. 2.1.10 It MUST be possible to define attribute types so that an instance of an attribute in a single AAA message can have multiple values. This states that a protocol which does not allow multiple instances of an attribute in a message/transaction would not meet the requirement. For example it should be possible to have a "group" attribute which contains more than one groupname (or number or whatever). 2.1.11 If MUST be possible to distinguish different instances of the same authorization attribute type or value, on the basis of "security domain" or "authority". This recognizes that it is important to be able to distinguish between attributes based not only on their value. For example, all NT domains (which use the English language) have an Administrators group, an access decision function has to be able to determine to which of these groups the requestor belongs. 2.1.12 AAA protocols MUST specify mechanisms for updating the rules which will be used to control authorization decisions. This states that a AAA protocol that cannot provide a mechanism for distributing authorization rules is not sufficient. For example, this could be used to download ACLs to a PDP. Note that this is not meant to mean that this AAA protocol mechanism must always be used, simply that it must be available for use. In particular, storing authorization rules in a trusted repository (in many cases an LDAP server) will in many cases be used instead of such a AAA protocol mechanism. Neither does this requirement call for a standardized format for authorization rules, merely that there be a mechanism for transporting these.
2.1.13 The AAA protocol MUST allow for chains of AAA entities to be involved in an authorization decision. This states that more than one AAA server may have to be involved in a single authorization decision. This may occur either due to a decision being spread across more than one "domain" or in order to distribute authorization within a single "domain". 2.1.14 The AAA protocol MUST allow for intermediate AAA entities to add their own local authorization information to a AAA request or response. This states that where more than one AAA entity is involved in an authorization decision each of the AAA entities may manipulate the AAA messages involved either by adding more information or by processing parts of the information. 2.1.15 AAA entities MAY be either be deployed independently or integrated with application entities. This states that the AAA entities may either be implemented as AAA servers or integrated with application entities. 2.1.16 The AAA protocol MUST support the creation and encoding of rules that are to be active inside one AAA server based on attributes published by another AAA server. The level of authorization of the requesting AAA Server MAY govern the view on attributes. This states that one AAA entity may have to distribute authorization rules to another, and that the AAA entity that receives the rules may only be seeing part of the story. 2.1.17 AAA protocols MAY have to support the idea of critical and non- critical attribute types. This is analogous to the use of the criticality flag in public key certificate extensions. 2.1.18 A AAA protocol MUST allow authorization rules to be expressed in terms of combinations of other authorization rules which have been evaluated. For example, access may only be granted if the requestor is member of the backup users group and not a member of the administrator's group. Note that this requirement does not state which types of combinations are to be supported.
2.1.19 It SHOULD be possible to make authorization decisions based on the geographic location of a requestor, service or AAA entity. This is just an example of an authorization attribute type, notable because it requires different underlying implementation mechanisms. 2.1.20 It SHOULD be possible to make authorization decisions based on the identity or the equipment used by a requestor, service or AAA entity. This is just an example of an authorization attribute type, notable because it may require different underlying implementation mechanisms (if IPSec isn't available). 2.1.21 When there are multiple instances of a given attribute, there must be an unambiguous mechanism by which a receiving peer can determine the value of specified instance.
like selective field security mechanisms. For example, information required to gain access to a network may have to be in clear, whilst information required for access to an application within that network may have to be encrypted in the AAA protocol. 2.2.4 AAA protocols MUST provide mechanisms that prevent intermediate administrators breaching security. This is a basic requirement to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, for example where an intermediate administrator changes AAA messages on the fly. 2.2.5 AAA protocols MUST NOT open up replay attacks based on replay of the authorization information. For example, a AAA protocol should not allow flooding attacks where the attacker replays AAA messages that require the recipient to use a lot of CPU or communications before the replay is detected. 2.2.6 AAA protocols MUST be capable of leveraging any underlying peer entity authentication mechanisms that may have been applied - this MAY provide additional assurance that the owner of the authorization information is the same as the authenticated entity. For example, if IPSec provides sufficient authentication, then it must be possible to omit AAA protocol authentication. 2.2.7 End-to-end confidentiality, integrity, peer-entity- authentication, or non-repudiation MAY be required for packages of authorization information. This states that confidentiality, (resp. the other security services), may have to be provided for parts of a AAA message, even where it is transmitted via other AAA entities. It does allow that such a AAA message may also contain non-confidential, resp. the other security services), parts. In addition, intermediate AAA entities may themselves be considered end-points for end-to-end security services applied to other parts of the AAA message. 2.2.8 AAA protocols MUST be usable even in environments where no peer entity authentication is required (e.g. a network address on a secure LAN may be enough to decide). This requirement (in a sense the opposite of 2.2.6), indicates the level of flexibility that is required in order to make the AAA protocol useful across a broad range of applications/services.
2.2.9 AAA protocols MUST specify "secure" defaults for all protocol options. Implementations of AAA entities MUST use these "secure" defaults unless otherwise configured/administered. This states that the out-of-the-box configuration must be "secure", for example, authorization decisions should result in denial of access until a AAA entity is configured. Note that the interpretation of "secure" will vary on a case-by-case basis, though the principle remains the same.
2.3.5 It MUST be possible to support authorization decisions that produce time dependent results. For example, an authorization result may be that service should be provided for a certain period. In such cases a AAA protocol must be able to transport this information, possibly as a specific result of the authorization decision, or, as an additional "termination of service" AAA message transmitted later. 2.3.6 It MUST be possible to support models where the authorization information is issued in well in advance of an authorization decision rather than near the time of the authorization decision. This is required in order to support pre-paid (as opposed to subscription) scenarios (e.g. for VoIP). 2.3.7 It SHOULD be possible to support models where the authorization decision is made in advance of a service request. This is for some applications such as backup, where actions are scheduled for future dates. It also covers applications that require reservation of resources. 2.3.8 A AAA mechanism must allow time stamp information to be carried along with authorization information (e.g. for non-repudiation). The PKIX WG is developing a time stamp protocol, which can be used as part of a non-repudiation solution. In some environments it may be necessary that certain AAA protocol messages are timestamped (by a trusted authority) and that the timestamps are forwarded within subsequent AAA messages. FRMW]. 2.4.2 In transactions/sessions, which involve more than one AAA entity, each "hop" MAY use a different push/pull/agent model. For example, in the mobile IP case, a "foreign" AAA server might pull authorization information from a broker, whereas the broker might push some authorization information to a "home" AAA server.
2.4.3 AAA Protocols MUST cater for applications and services where the entities involved in the application or AAA protocols belong to different (security) domains. This states that it must be possible for any AAA protocol message to cross security or administrative domain boundaries. Typically, higher levels of security will be applied when crossing such boundaries, and accounting mechanisms may also have to be more stringent. 2.4.4 AAA protocols MUST support roaming. Roaming here may also be thought of as "away-from-home" operation. For example, this is a fundamental requirement for the mobile IP case. 2.4.5 AAA protocols SHOULD support dynamic mobility Dynamic mobility here means that a client moves from one domain to another, without having to completely re-establish e.g. whatever AAA session information is being maintained. 2.4.6 An authorization decision MAY have to be made before the requestor has any other connection to a network. For example, this means that the requestor can't go anywhere on the network to fetch anything and must do requests via an application/service or via an intermediate AAA entity. The AAA protocol should not overexpose such a server to denial-of-service attacks. 2.4.7 AAA protocols MUST support the use of intermediate AAA entities which take part in authorization transactions but which don't "own" any of the end entities or authorization data. In some environments (e.g. roamops), these entities are termed brokers (though these are not the same as bandwidth brokers in the QoS environment). 2.4.8 AAA protocols MAY support cases where an intermediate AAA entity returns a forwarding address to a requestor or AAA entity, in order that the requestor or originating AAA entity can contact another AAA entity. This requirement recognizes that there will be routing issues with AAA servers, and that this requires that AAA protocols are able to help with such routing. For example, in the mobile IP case, a broker may be required, in part to allow the foreign and home AAA servers to get in contact.
2.4.9 It MUST be possible for an access decision function to discover the AAA server of a requestor. If the requestor provides information used in this discovery process then the access decision function MUST be able to verify this information in a trusted manner. This states that not only do AAA servers have to be able to find one another, but that sometimes an application entity may have to find an appropriate AAA server.
2.6.2 AAA protocols MUST allow entities to be trusted for different purposes, trust MUST NOT be an all-or-nothing issue. This relates the packaging (no. 2.1.3) and trust (no. 2.6.1) requirements. For example, a AAA entity may trust some parts of an authorization package but not others. 2.6.3 A confirmation of authorization MAY be required in order to initialize or resynchronize a AAA entity. This states that a AAA entity may need to process some AAA protocol messages in order to initialize itself. In particular, a AAA entity may need to check that a previous AAA message remains "valid", e.g. at boot-time. 2.6.4 A negation of static authorization MAY be required to shut down certain services. This is the converse of 2.6.5 above. It means that a AAA entity may be "told" by another that a previous AAA message is no longer "valid". See also 2.3.2 and 2.7.6. 2.6.5 It MUST be possible to configure sets of AAA entities that belong to a local domain, so that they are mutually trusting, but so that any external trust MUST be via some nominated subset of AAA entities. This states that for efficiency or organizational reasons, it must be possible to set up some AAA servers through which all "external" AAA services are handled. It also states that it must be possible to do this without over-burdening the "internal-only" AAA servers with onerous security mechanisms, just because some AAA servers do handle external relations. 2.6.6 Intermediate AAA entities in a chain MUST be able to refuse a connection approved by an earlier entity in the chain. For example, in mobile IP the home network may authorize a connection, but the foreign network may refuse to allow the connection due to the settings chosen by the home network, say if the home network will refuse to pay. 2.6.7 It SHOULD be possible to modify authorization for resources while a session is in progress without destroying other session information.
For example, a "parent" AAA server should be able to modify the authorization state of sessions managed by a "child" AAA server, say by changing the maximum number of simultaneous sessions which are allowed.
The expectation is that AAA protocols will support the ability of a AAA entity to signal an application or other AAA entity that an authorization (possibly previously granted by a third AAA entity) is no longer valid.
2.8.7 AAA protocols MUST be able to support "hot fail-over" for server components without loss of state information. This states that AAA protocols must be able to support cases where, when a server is no longer operable, a secondary server can automatically be brought "live" without losing important state information. RFC2138] as a legacy protocol is very likely to be required. Of course, the use of such a gateway is almost certain to mean not meeting some other requirements, (e.g. end-to-end security), for transactions routed through the gateway. There is no implication that such gateway functionality needs to be a separate server.
2.9.5 A AAA protocol MUST be able to support use of a wide range of primitive data types, including RFC2277. For example, various sized, signed and unsigned integers, possibly including multi-precision integers will almost certainly need to be transported. Floating point support according to ANSI IEEE 754-1985 may also be required. 2.9.6 A AAA protocol transport SHOULD support being optimized for a long-term exchange of small packets in a stream between a pair of hosts. NASes typically have a high number of transactions/second, so the AAA protocol MUST allow the flow of requests to be controlled in order for the server to make efficient use of it's receive buffers. 2.9.7 A AAA protocol MUST provide support for load balancing. In the event that a peer's cannot receive any immediate requests, the AAA protocol MUST allow for an implementation to balance the load of requests among a set of peers.
2.10.5 AAA protocols MUST be able to support accountability (audit/non-repudiation) mechanisms. Sometimes, an authorization decision will be made where the requestor has not authenticated. In such cases, it must be possible that the authorization data used is linked to audit or other accountability mechanisms. Note that this requirement does not call for mandatory support for digital signatures, or other parts of a non-repudiation solution.
2.11.6 For each application making use of a AAA protocol, there MUST be one inter-operable IETF standards-track specification of the authorization package types that are "mandatory to implement". This requirement assures that communicating peers can count on finding at least one IETF specified inter-operable AAA protocol dialect provided they are doing authorization for a common application specific problem domain. This does not preclude the negotiation of commonly understood but private AAA protocol authorization package types (e.g. vendor specific). 2.11.7 It SHOULD also be possible to rank AAA negotiation options in order of preference. This states that, when negotiating, peers must be able to indicate preferences as well as capabilities. 2.11.8 The negotiation mechanisms used by AAA protocols SHOULD NOT be vulnerable to a "bidding-down" attack. A "bidding-down" attack is where an attacker forces the negotiating parties to choose the "weakest" option available. This is analogous to forcing 40-bit encryption on a link. The requirement highlights that protocol support is needed to prevent such attacks, for example by including the negotiation messages as part of a later MAC calculation, if authentication has produced a shared secret. 2.11.9 A peer MUST NOT send an attribute within an authorization package or attribute that was not agreed to by a prior successful negotiation. If this AAA protocol violation occurs, then it MUST be possible to send an error indication to the misbehaving peer, and generate an error indication to the network operator. 2.11.10 A peer MUST declare all of the sets of the authorization packages that it understands in its initial negotiation bid message.
[FRMW] Vollbrecht, J., Calhoun, P., Farrell, S., Gommans, L., Gross, G., de Bruijn, B., de Laat, C., Holdrege, M. and D. Spence, "AAA Authorization Framework", RFC 2904, August 2000. [RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996. [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC2138] Rigney, C., Rubens, A., Simpson, W. and S. Willens, "Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)", RFC 2138, April 1997. [RFC2277] Alvestrand, H., "IETF Policy on Character Sets and Languages", RFC 2277, January 1998. [SAMP] Vollbrecht, J., Calhoun, P., Farrell, S., Gommans, L., Gross, G., de Bruijn, B., de Laat, C., Holdrege, M. and D. Spence, "AAA Authorization Application Examples", RFC 2905, August 2000.
Pat R. Calhoun Network and Security Research Center, Sun Labs Sun Microsystems, Inc. 15 Network Circle Menlo Park, California, 94025 USA Phone: +1 650 786 7733 Fax: +1 650 786 6445 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org Leon Gommans Enterasys Networks EMEA Kerkplein 24 2841 XM Moordrecht The Netherlands Phone: +31 182 379279 email: email@example.com or at University of Utrecht: firstname.lastname@example.org George M. Gross Lucent Technologies 184 Liberty Corner Road, m.s. LC2N-D13 Warren, NJ 07059 USA Phone: +1 908 580 4589 Fax: +1 908-580-4991 EMail: email@example.com Betty de Bruijn Interpay Nederland B.V. Eendrachtlaan 315 3526 LB Utrecht The Netherlands Phone: +31 30 2835104 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cees T.A.M. de Laat Physics and Astronomy dept. Utrecht University Pincetonplein 5, 3584CC Utrecht Netherlands Phone: +31 30 2534585 Phone: +31 30 2537555 EMail: email@example.com Matt Holdrege ipVerse 223 Ximeno Ave. Long Beach, CA 90803 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org David W. Spence Interlink Networks, Inc. 775 Technology Drive, Suite 200 Ann Arbor, MI 48108 USA Phone: +1 734 821 1203 Fax: +1 734 821 1235 EMail: email@example.com
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