Last Call Review of draft-harkins-ipsecme-spsk-auth-

Request Review of draft-harkins-ipsecme-spsk-auth
Requested rev. no specific revision (document currently at 08)
Type Last Call Review
Team Security Area Directorate (secdir)
Deadline 2011-04-23
Requested 2011-04-06
Authors Dan Harkins
Draft last updated 2011-04-21
Completed reviews Genart Last Call review of -?? by Roni Even
Secdir Last Call review of -?? by Richard Barnes
Assignment Reviewer Richard Barnes
State Completed
Review review-harkins-ipsecme-spsk-auth-secdir-lc-barnes-2011-04-21
Review completed: 2011-04-21


I have reviewed this document as part of the security directorate's ongoing effort to review all IETF documents being processed by the IESG.  These comments were written primarily for the benefit of the security area directors.  Document editors and WG chairs should treat these comments just like any other last call comments.

This document defines a new mechanism for using pre-shared keys for IPsec authentication in IKE, in a way that addresses some vulnerabilities of the current mechanism.

I am not a cryptographer, but the cryptographic protocol described in this document seems basically sound, and its security properties are explained well in the Security Considerations.

A question and couple of minor comments follow.

Question: I haven't thought deeply about it, but it's not clear to me what the advantage is over this cryptographic protocol vs. the SRP protocol that has been used for TLS [RFC5054], besides the fact that SRP requires a user "identity" in addition to a password.

Minor: There appears to be a typo at the top of Page 7.  It seems that the equation should be as follows:
scalar-op(x,Y) = element-op(Y, scalar-op(x-1), Y)), for x > 1
Also, for completeness, you might note that scalar-op(0,Y) is the identity element of the group.

Minor: It might be helpful to mention somewhere that scalars are always non-negative integers.