Generally Useful Authentication Mechanisms (GUAM)

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Last updated 2005-06-27
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Generic Security Services API (GSS-API), the Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL), the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are examples of four different security frameworks within the IETF. Each of these frameworks have evolved separately towards a common goal of authentication and establishing a cryptographic context. They support different types of security mechanisms and have historically evolved to integrate with different security infrastructures. This document discusses their similarities and differences and how these security mechanisms might start to converge into a more uniform approach involving generally useful authentication mechanisms that can be used in any of these frameworks with a variety of different security infrastructures.


Joseph Salowey (

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