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SST - Simple Secure Transport
G. Danezis
* Protocol that can be used to protect data travelling on a
bidirectional communication link.
* Confidentiality of the data must be protected, and restricted to the
communicating parties.
* The integrity of the data must be preserved.
* No party in the communication should be able to prove to any third
party that any information has been transmitted (plausible deniability).
* Keys seized must not reveal any past communications. (Forward Secrecy)
* Continious surveillance of the channel should be in place for an
attacker that has seized the keys to continue being able to evesdrop on
the communication. (Self Healing property)
* Limited primitives necessary to implement the protocol (AES, SHA1, DH,
* Conservative design that can be analyzed heuristically and formally.
* The ability to keep state in order to avoid expensive public key
operations (DH, DSS), and the ability to resume previous sessions.
* A short easy to implement protocol.
* NO protection against traffic analysis (no padding, mixing etc).
M,N (Len(M)+Len(N) bytes) - The concatenation of M and N binary strings.
H(M) (20 bytes) - The SHA-1 hash of M (* bytes).
{M}K (16 + Len(M) bytes) - The AES in counter mode encryption with IV.
(IV, E_k(IV XOR 1) XOR P1, E_k(IV XOR 2) XOR P2, ...
SIGN_SKx[M] (128 bytes) - The signature of M using signing key x.
V = "SST1.0"
VKx is the verification key of X (128 * 2 bytes)
Key Exchange: Input IDb
(A initiates the key exchange.)
A: fresh a (16 bytes).
DHa = (g^a (p), g , p). (3*128 bytes).
IDa = H(VKa)
A->B: V, "S", "**", VKa, IDb, DHa, SIGN_SKa[V, "S**", VKa, IDb, DHa]
B: IDa = H(VKa), check that IDb = H(VKb), check signature.
fresh b
DHb = (g^b (p), g, p)
B->A: V, "S", "OK", IDa, VKb, DHb, SIGN_SKb[V, "SOK", IDa, VKb, DHa,
If any problem occurs (Singnature not checking, or hashes not matching)
B->A: V, "S", "NO".
A,B: Kab = H("PRIMARY_KEY",IDa, IDb, g^(ab) (p))
IDab = H("ID", IDa, IDb, Kab)
Kba = H("PRIMARY_KEY",IDb, IDa, g^(ab) (p))
IDba = H("ID", IDb, IDa, Kba)
Delete DHa, DHb, a, b
Store (IDab,IDa, IDb, Kab), (IDba, IDb, IDa, Kba)
Data Exchange + Key refresh: Input TAG (1 byte), DATA, IDxy (IDx, IDy,
(The principals have been renamed since any of the above A, B can take
the role of the initiator of a Data Exhange protocol. The appropriate
key record (IDx, IDy, Kxy) should be used.)
X: fresh Nx (16 bytes)
L = Len(DATA) (2 bytes)
X->Y: V, TAG, "**", IDxy, L, {Nx, DATA, H(V, TAG, "**", IDxy, L, Nx,
DATA, Kxy)}Kxy .
Y: check signatures, hashes, and existance of IDxy
fresh Ny (16 bytes)
Y->X: V, TAG, "OK", IDxy, {Ny, H(V, TAG, "OK", IDxy, L, Na, Ny, DATA,
X,Y: Kxy = H("UPDATE", TAG, Nx, Ny, Kxy)
IDxy = H("ID", IDx, IDy, Kxy)
delete old Kxy, Nx, Ny.
If anything above goes wrong:
Y->X: V, TAG, "NO"
Definition of different tags:
"D" - data transfer, means that X wants to transfer some data to Y.
"R" - resume, can be the first message of a conversation and means that
X wants to resume a session with IDxy. DATA must be "" (L=0).
"C" - close, means that X wants to close the session, but keep the
secrets in the IDxy records, in order to resume it later. DATA
must be "" (L=0).
* The key setup defines two unidirectional channels from A->B and from
B->A. After the keys are defined they have to be used, managed and
closed individually as specified above.
* A key update operation MUST happen after each data transfer + key
refresh message sent. If the recipient does not reply it should be
considered as an error. A particular key should not be used for more
than one message exchange. (although the IV in AEC counter mode is still
necessary, since the same key is used in two messages)
* More than one message exchange should never be taking place in
parallel using the same key record IDxy since it would introduce race
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