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Re: [802SEC] +++ SEC EMAIL BLLOT +++ MOTION: Authorize the Link Security Exec SG to become an 802.1 SG


At 13:35 23/02/2003 -0500, Russ Housley wrote:
>>I think it is high time to inject a bit of reality into this discussion.
>>Firstly, it is not at all clear to me what you mean when you describe 
>>802.1 as a MAC-oriented working group. Our charter is 802's architecture, 
>>interworking, and higher (than MAC) layer issues. I would certainly agree 
>>that the link security activity should not be buried within one of the 
>>MAC-specific groups (.3, .11, ...etc.), but I see nothing about the 
>>existing charter of 802.1 that doesn't make it a good fit for us.
>In the old days, when Project 802 was sponsored by the IEEE technical 
>Committee on Computer Communications (TCCC), the whole activity was 
>limited to layers 1 and 2.  When 802.10 was formed, there was a strong 
>belief that key management would require work outside of layers 1 and 2, 
>and for this reason 802.10 had two sponsors TCCC and the Technical 
>Committee on Security and Privacy (TCSP).  As a result, key management 
>standards at layer 7 were included in the 802.10 PARs, and in fact 802.10c 
>is an application layer protocol.

I don't believe that anything about the existing charter of 802.1 limits 
its scope to layers 1 and 2. For example, network management protocols, 
which were for a long time part of our active interest, are considered by 
the OSI RM to be essentially layer 7 protocols.

>In my opinion, key management cannot be solved in layer 1 and 2.  Several 
>architecture support this view, including the security work in 802.11 and 
>IETF IPsec.
>In order to solve the key management, 802.1 would need to partner with 
>another activity, probably the IETF.

802.1 has a long history of active, and successful, liaisons with the IETF, 
in the context of MIB development and also in the context of EAP and 
RADIUS. I don't see that as a problem.

>>Secondly, you talk about 802.10 and its charter being the best fit for 
>>this activity. If 802.10 existed in any meaningful way right now, I would 
>>perhaps agree with you; however, as you have acknowledged, active 
>>participation by 802.10 members is a problem for them in these 
>>funding-challenged times, and they have been conspicuous by their absence 
>>at meetings of the link sec study group to date. Having said that, the 
>>meetings we have held do not seem to have suffered from a lack of 
>>security expertise - just not expertise that used to be in 802.10.
>802.10 needs to come out of hibernation this year anyway.  SDE (802.10b) 
>is due for a five year review.  Since this LAN/MAN security protocol meets 
>most of the LinkSec security encapsulation requirements, it is reasonable 
>to make modifications to SDE to meet the remainder of the requirements.

The 5 year review doesn't require the WG to come out of hibernation. And if 
Ken's comments on the difficulty of .10 participation are anything to go 
by, it might be rather difficult to drum up a meeting's worth of participants.

>>Thirdly, 802.1 is not without its own track record, however small, in 
>>developing security standards. In fact, it is arguably the case that 
>>802.1 is, to date, the only 802 working group that has developed a 
>>successful security standard for LANs; unlike the 802.10 standards, 
>>802.1X has been implemented, and found to be useful, by a significant 
>>number of vendors. As a consequence, we now have participants in 802.1 
>>that are there specifically to work on security issues; this is, in fact, 
>>one of the reasons that 802.1 made the offer to host the link sec SG, as 
>>these particular experts wanted to avoid the potential for conflicting 
>>meeting times if the two activities were kept separate.
>You are correct that 802.1X is being used by a larger number of 
>vendors.  And, the current work in 802.11 will lead to further 
>dependencies in 802.1X.
>I know several people, including myself, who did not attend the LinkSec SG 
>meeting because of the scheduling.  I am sure that there was no date that 
>would accommodate everyone's schedule.
>>A final point. Strictly speaking, as 802.10 is a hibernating group, the 
>>charter of 802.10 is restricted to exactly one thing right now; 
>>performing any maintenance that is required for the standards that they 
>>developed when they were an active WG. It has no charter with regard to 
>>any new work. That being the case, whatever new work comes out of this 
>>activity will, of necessity, result in the creation of a new charter, 
>>either by extending the charter of an existing (active) working group, or 
>>re-chartering hibernating group, or chartering a new working group 
>>altogether. When making that decision, it would make absolutely no sense 
>>to me to place the work within 802 in a way that conflicts with existing 
>>non MAC-specific activity in the security area, all of which currently 
>>resides in 802.1.
>The necessary activity is the same in all cases -- write a PAR and get it 

That is correct - however, the point is not the activity necessary to raise 
a PAR, but what the appropriate destination is for the work. Right now, 
there is significant interest/participation in this activity within the 
802.1 membership. Placing the work in 802.1 makes perfect sense.

>I favor placing this work in 802.10 for several reasons, and one of them 
>is voting rights.  It is clear to me that folks who have been 
>participating in 802.3 and other places will want to become active in this 
>process.  802.1 is an active working group, and this means that these new 
>participants would need to build voting rights.  On the other hand, 
>bringing a group out of hibernation seems very similar to starting a new 
>group.  So, it is my assertion that everyone at the initial meeting would 
>be granted voting rights.

I have already had discussions with Dolors on the voting rights issue. When 
the Link Sec SG becomes an 802.1 SG, it is my intention to use my 
discretion as WG chair to give the SG participants at that inaugural 
meeting 802.1 voting rights. Actually, this would result in the 
participants getting WG voting rights rather sooner than in the case that 
the work ended up in a new/reincarnated WG, as they would not normally 
become a WG until the approval of their first PAR. So I don't believe that 
to be an issue.