Network Working Group R. Droms Request for Comments: 4014 J. Schnizlein Category: Standards Track Cisco Systems February 2005 Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) Attributes Suboption for the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Relay Agent Information Option Status of This Memo This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).
AbstractThe RADIUS Attributes suboption enables a network element to pass identification and authorization attributes received during RADIUS authentication to a DHCP server. When the DHCP server receives a message from a relay agent containing a RADIUS Attributes suboption, it extracts the contents of the suboption and uses that information in selecting configuration parameters for the client. 1]. IEEE 802.1X  is an example of a mechanism through which a NAS such as a switch or a wireless LAN access point can authenticate the identity of the user of a device before providing layer 2 network access with RADIUS as the Authentication Service, as specified in RFC 3580 . In IEEE 802.1X authenticated access, a device must first exchange some authentication credentials with the NAS. The NAS then supplies these credentials to a RADIUS server, which eventually sends either an Access-Accept or an Access-Reject in response to an Access-Request. The NAS, based on the reply of the RADIUS server, then allows or denies network access to the requesting device.
Figure 1 summarizes the message exchange among the participants in IEEE 802.1X authentication. +-----------------+ |Device requesting| | network access | +-----------------+ | ^ | | (1) Request for access | | | (4) Success/Failure v | +-----------------+ | NAS | |(IEEE 802.1X and | |DHCP relay agent}| +-----------------+ | ^ | | (2) Request for authentication | | | (3) Access-Accept/Reject v | +-----------------+ | RADIUS | | Server | +-----------------+ Figure 1 The access device acts as an IEEE 802.1X Authenticator and adds a DHCP relay agent option that includes a RADIUS Attributes suboption to DHCP messages. At the successful conclusion of IEEE 802.1X authentication, a RADIUS Access-Accept provides attributes for service authorizations to the NAS. The NAS stores these attributes locally. When the NAS subsequently relays DHCP messages from the network device, the NAS adds these attributes in a RADIUS Attributes suboption. The RADIUS Attributes suboption is another suboption of the Relay Agent Information option . The RADIUS Attributes suboption described in this document is not limited to use in conjunction with IEEE 802.1X and can be used to carry RADIUS attributes obtained by the relay agent for any reason. That is, the option is not limited to use with IEEE 802.1X but is constrained by RADIUS semantics (see Section 4).
The scope of applicability of this specification is such that robust interoperability is only guaranteed for RADIUS service implementations that exist within the same scope as does the DHCP service implementation, i.e., within a single, localized administrative domain. Global interoperability of this specification, across administrative domains, is not required. RFC 2119 . Within this specification, the use of the key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" is with respect to RADIUS clients and servers that implement the optional features of this specification. The use of these key words does not create any normative requirements outside of that scope, and does not modify the base RADIUS specifications, such as RFC 2865 . RFC 2131 and RFC 3046: DHCP relay agent, DHCP server, DHCP client. RFC 2865 . NAS: A Network Access Server (NAS) provides access to the network and operates as a client of RADIUS. The client is responsible for passing user information to designated RADIUS servers and then acting on the response that is returned. Unlike a traditional dial NAS, the NAS considered here may not have a protocol such as PPP through which it can pass configuration information from the RADIUS attributes to the client.
# Attribute --- --------- 1 User-Name (RFC 2865 ) 6 Service-Type (RFC 2865) 26 Vendor-Specific (RFC 2865) 27 Session-Timeout (RFC 2865) 88 Framed-Pool (RFC 2869) 100 Framed-IPv6-Pool (RFC 3162 ) Section 4, the DHCP server SHOULD ignore them. If the DHCP server uses attributes not specified here, it might result in side effects not anticipated in the existing RADIUS specifications. RFC 3118 . Potential exposures to attack are discussed in section 7 of the DHCP protocol specification in RFC 2131 . The DHCP Relay Agent option depends on a trusted relationship between the DHCP relay agent and the server, as described in section 5 of RFC 3046 . Although the introduction of fraudulent relay-agent options can be prevented by a perimeter defense that blocks these options unless the relay agent is trusted, a deeper defense using the authentication option for relay agent options  or IPsec  SHOULD be deployed as well.
 Droms, R., "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol", RFC 2131, March 1997.  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, "Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Port based Network Access Control", IEEE Standard 802.1X, March 2001.  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.  Rigney, C., Willens, S., Rubens, A., and W. Simpson, "Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS)", RFC 2865, June 2000.  Patrick, M., "DHCP Relay Agent Information Option", RFC 3046, January 2001.  Droms, R. and W. Arbaugh, "Authentication for DHCP Messages", RFC 3118, June 2001.  Aboba, B., Zorn, G., and D. Mitton, "RADIUS and IPv6", RFC 3162, August 2001.  Congdon, P., Aboba, B., Smith, A., Zorn, G., and J. Roese, "IEEE 802.1X Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) Usage Guidelines", RFC 3580, September 2003.  Stapp, M. and T. Lemon, "The Authentication Suboption for the DHCP Relay Agent Option", Work in Progress, October 2003.  Droms, R., "Authentication of DHCP Relay Agent Options Using IPsec", Work in Progress, September 2003.
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