North American Network Operators Group

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Re: key change for TCP-MD5

  • From: Iljitsch van Beijnum
  • Date: Mon Jun 19 09:46:02 2006

On 19-jun-2006, at 14:32, Steven M. Bellovin wrote:

I just submitted an I-D on TCP-MD5 key change. Until it shows up in the
official repository, see keyroll2385-00.txt
Here's the abstract:

                The TCP-MD5 option is most commonly used to secure
                BGP sessions between routers.  However, changing
                the long-term key is difficult, since the change
                needs to be synchronized between different
                We describe single-ended strategies that will permit
                (mostly) unsynchronized key changes.

Comments welcome.
I wonder how long that policy will hold. (-:


First of all, I applaud this effort.

There doesn't really seem to be a way to introduce a new key other than to just to agree on a time. I'm not sure this is good enough.

Wouldn't it be better to exchange some kind of "time to change keys" message? This could simply be a new type of BGP message that hold a key ID. Obviously the capability to send and receive these messages must be negotiated when the session is created, but still, I think the extra complexity is worth it because it allows for much more robust operation.

And is NANOG now officially an IETF working group...?