[whatwg] PeerConnection: encryption feedback
w3c at adambarth.com
Thu Mar 17 17:06:10 PDT 2011
The encryption serves two purposes. First, it provides
confidentiality from eavesdroppers, as you appear to be aware.
Second, it provides a defense against cross-protocol attacks, which is
why the salt and the per-message nonce are important.
Theoretically, we could just use an initial counter value of zero for
each message, but, as you point out, that would require re-keying AES
for each message. Rather than the scheme you propose, it's probably
easier to just use the nonce as the initial counter value. The chance
of randomly choosing the same nonce twice is essentially zero.
- 3. Let key be the first 16 bytes of the HMAC-SHA1 of the
concatenation of the 16 nonce bytes, the 16 data UDP media stream salt
bytes, and the 16 ice-key bytes. [HMAC] [SHA1]
+ 3. Let key be the first 16 bytes of the HMAC-SHA1 of the
concatenation of the 16 data UDP media stream salt bytes and the 16
ice-key bytes. [HMAC] [SHA1]
- 5. Let masked message be the result of encrypting typed raw message
using AES-128-CTR keyed with key. [AES128CTR]
+ 5. Let masked message be the result of encrypting typed raw message
using AES-128-CTR keyed with key and using the 16 nonce bytes as the
initial counter value. [AES128CTR]
w.r.t. adding a MAC,
<http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12316> is the bug on
file about that. Rather than MACing the plaintext, as you suggest, we
should encrypt-then-mac, as recommended by this classic paper
On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 2:44 PM, Glenn Maynard <glenn at zewt.org> 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. 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
> * Each PeerConnection has an associated 48-bit counter value, 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
> 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 22.214.171.124 ("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
>  Assuming no mechanism exists to negotiate nonce changes for
> long-lived connections.
>  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
> Glenn Maynard
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