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[whatwg] PeerConnection: encryption feedback

From: Harald Alvestrand <harald@alvestrand.no>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 23:17:27 +0100
Message-ID: <4D8A7177.7090008@alvestrand.no>
Is there really an advantage to not using SRTP and reusing the RTP 
format for the data messages?
This is a well-known and well-analyzed encryption format, with 
reasonably known security properties and library support (from libraries 
that already have to be included in order to support audio/video).

I also fail to see the requirement for the masking, given that the 
requirement for ICE (at least once the bug of not using passwords in ICE 
is fixed) protects against cross-socket attacks.

But I may be missing something.


On 03/17/11 22:44, Glenn Maynard wrote:
> PeerConnection defines packet encryption, but it uses AES-128-CTR
> without actually defining the counter.  It also generates a new AES
> key for each packet.  A major point of using CTR is to not have to do
> that; you have a single key and vary the counter.
> The inputs to AES-128-CTR are a key, a counter and a message.  A
> single key is used for the whole connection[1].  Each counter value
> can only be used once.  A nonce isn't created for each packet; only
> once for the entire connection, as part of the key.  A hash should
> also be included in each packet, to prevent semi-random tampering with
> packets on the wire.
> The mechanism I'd recommend is:
> * The encryption key for the connection is negotiated over the
> signalling connection, defined as the HMAC-SHA1 of the concatenation
> of the media stream key and a random 16-byte PeerConnection-wide
> nonce.
> * Each PeerConnection has an associated 48-bit counter value[2], which
> starts at 0.
> * To transmit a data packet to a peer, do the following:
>   1: Let connection-key be the value of the PeerConnection's encryption key.
>   2: Let packet-counter be the value of the PeerConnection's counter.
>   3: Increment PeerConnection's counter value by 1.
>   4: Let signature be the HMAC-SHA1 of the raw message.
>   5: Let signed raw message be the concatenation of signature and raw message.
>   6: Let masked message be the result of encrypting signed raw message
> using AES-128-CTR, with a key of connection-key and a counter value of
> packet-counter.
> This is 6 bytes larger than the current packet: a 20-byte hash and a
> 6-byte counter, replacing the 00 00 00 01 magic and the 16-byte random
> block.  It prevents packet tampering and replay.
> On receiving a packet, the HMAC-SHA1 must be checked (replacing the 00
> 00 00 01 check), and the counter value must be checked to prevent
> replay and excessively delayed packets.  See RFC 4347 sections 3.3
> ("Replay Detection") and ("Anti-replay") for an algorithm to
> do this.  In short, you keep track of which counter values have been
> seen recently, reject repeated counters, and reject counter values
> which are too old.
> The magic PeerConnection "salt" (DB 68 B5 FD 17 0E 15 77 56 AF 7A 3A
> 1A 57 75 02) seems unnecessary, replaced with the connection nonce,
> but could still be appended to the connection key if desired.
> There should also be a mechanism to support new hashes and ciphers in
> the future.  There's no need to actually specify other hashes at this
> point (except perhaps for testing purposes), just
> forward-compatibility for when AES and/or SHA-1 need to be replaced.
> This protocol is reinventing the wheel, and I'm sure a cryptography
> expert will find many more issues.  Can anyone more familiar with DTLS
> say whether it fits here?  In particular, it's important to note that
> users don't have signed SSL certificates; only webservers have those,
> in practice.  Peers can't safely establish a connection to each other
> directly: they depend on their mutual trust of the webserver, sending
> the connection key over the trusted signalling channel to prevent MITM
> attacks between peers.  I don't know if TLS can support that model, or
> if there are other problems with it (eg. too much packet overhead for
> UDP?).
> [1] Assuming no mechanism exists to negotiate nonce changes for
> long-lived connections.
> [2] 48 bits matches DTLS.  This is big enough to avoid problems with
> long-lived connections, but not so big as to waste space in the
> packet.
Received on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 15:17:27 UTC

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