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Re: Position statement on IKE development

In message <Pine.BSI.3.91.1010803100851.12632A-100000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Henry Spe
ncer writes:
>On Thu, 2 Aug 2001, Alex Alten wrote:
>> ...Their suggestion to use a process like NIST's for selecting
>> the AES standard is an excellent one. It's a pity they did not suggest
>> it a decade ago. However it should be considered seriously not only
>> for the replacement of IKE, but possibly also for the modification or
>> simplification of the entire IPsec protocol suite...
>I think this is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
>While the packet-level parts (ESP etc.) do have some flaws, most of those
>can be fixed simply by taking a big black pen and crossing out superfluous
>parts of the existing specs (e.g., all of RFC 2402).  While there is room
>for some debate about exactly which parts should be crossed out (e.g.,
>there are people who still think AH is useful), I think there would be
>little or no support for redesigning the surviving parts.  So a design
>competition does not seem very useful in this area.  Moreover, *this* is
>the area where there is massive investment in silicon, solder traces, etc. 
>Just deleting features does not, by and large, invalidate that investment.
>IKE is the disaster area.  The rest of IPsec could use some judicious
>featurectomies, but is not badly broken.

Agreed.  And large parts of the Schneier/Ferguson analysis of the 
packet-level parts are just plain wrong.

		--Steve Bellovin, http://www.research.att.com/~smb