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Re: Overcoming IPv6 Security Threat

  • From: Stephen J. Wilcox
  • Date: Fri Sep 13 04:09:47 2002

no fair, i dropped some posts to that discussion, i want my credits too! 


On Thu, 12 Sep 2002, Joe Baptista wrote:

> Thanks to everyone who helped out.
> cheers
> joe baptista
> >
> >
> >Overcoming IPv6 Security Threat
> >
> >September 12, 2002  |  By Joe Baptista
> >
> >Technology rags and industry pundits see IPv6 (Internet Protocol version
> >6) as the future of networking, but Daniel Golding a participant of the
> >North American Network Operators' Group (NANOG) thinks it's a "solution in
> >search of a problem". Many others have argued IPv6 is a problem in itself
> >and it is unlikely the protocol will gain wide acceptance in the short
> >term.
> >
> >IPv6 does solve many of the problems with the current version of IPv4
> >(Internet Protocol version 4). Its purpose is to expand address space and
> >fix the IPv4 address depletion problem, which many techies claim, was due
> >to mismanagement. The industry's goal is to use the very large address
> >allocation pool in IPv6 to expand the capabilities of the Internet to
> >enable a variety of peer-to-peer and mobile applications including
> >cellular phone technology and home networking.
> >
> >IPv6, a suite of protocols for the network layer, uses IPv4 gateways to
> >interconnect IPv6 nodes and comes prepackaged with some popular operating
> >systems. This includes almost all Unix flavors, some Windows versions and
> >Mac OS. Some vendors offer upgrades to older operating systems. Trumpet
> >Software International in Tasmania Australia manufactures a Trumpet
> >Winsock version that upgrades old Windows 95/98 and NT systems to the
> >current IPv6 standard.
> >
> >IPv6 has suffered bad press over privacy issues. Jim Fleming, the inventor
> >of IPv8, a competing protocol, sees many hazards and privacy flaws in
> >existing IPv6 implementations. IPv6 address space in some cases uses an ID
> >(identifier) derived from your hardware or phone "that allows your packets
> >to be traced back to your PC or cell-phone" said Fleming. Potential abuse
> >to user privacy exists as a hardware ID wired into the IPv6 protocol can
> >be used to determine the manufacturer, make and model number, and value of
> >the hardware equipment being used. Fleming warns users to think twice
> >before they buy themselves a used Laptop computer and inherit all the
> >prior surfing history of the previous user!
> >
> >IPv6 uses 128 bits to provide addressing, routing, and identification
> >information on a computer interface or network card. The 128 bits are
> >divided into the left 64 and the right 64. Some IPv6 systems use the right
> >64 bits to store an IEEE defined global identifier (EUI64). This
> >identifier is composed of company id value assigned to a manufacturer by
> >the IEEE Registration Authority. The 64-bit identifier is a concatenation
> >of the 24-bit company identification value and a 40-bit extension
> >identifier assigned by the organization with that company identification
> >assignment. The 48-bit MAC address of your network interface card may also
> >be used to make up the EUI64.
> >
> >In the early stages of IPv6 development, Bill Frezza a General Partner
> >with the venture capital firm, Adams Capital Management warned software
> >developers that if privacy issues are not properly addressed, the
> >migration to IPv6 "will blow up in their face"! Leah Gallegos agrees that
> >while "expanding the address space is necessary the use of the address for
> >ID and tracking is horrific". Gallegos the operator of the top-level
> >domain .BIZ and a Director of the Top Level Domain Association cautions
> >network administrators that they should refuse to implement IPv6 unless
> >these issues are properly addressed.
> >
> >Privacy concerns prompted the creation of new standards, which provide
> >privacy extensions to IPv6 devices. Thomas Narten and Track Draves of
> >Microsoft Research published a procedure to ensure privacy of IPv6 users.
> >Narten, IBM's technical lead on IPv6 and an Area Director for the Internet
> >Engineering Task Force (IETF), agrees "IPv6 address can, in some cases,
> >include an identifier derived from a hardware address". But Narten points
> >out that a hardware address is not required. "In cases where using a
> >permanent identifier is a problem", said Narten "RFC 3041 addresses should
> >be used".
> >
> >RFC 3041 titled "Privacy Extensions for Stateless Address
> >Autoconfiguration in IPv6" was published this past January 2001 by the
> >IETF. It is an algorithm developed jointly by Narten and Draves which
> >generates randomized interface identifiers and temporary addressees during
> >a user session. This would eliminate the concerns privacy advocates have
> >with IPv6.
> >
> >Unfortunately RFC 3041 is not widely implemented. But Narten expects major
> >vendors to incorporate his privacy standard and offered that Microsoft
> >implemented privacy extensions "and apparently intends to make it part of
> >their standard stuff". Narten also assisted in the drafting of
> >recommendations for some second and third generation cellular phones
> >recently approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering
> >Group. That document recommends that RFC 3041 be implemented as part of
> >cellular phone technology but he did not know what direction cell phones
> >manufacturers were taking. "I suspect that client vendors will generally
> >implement it because of the potential bad PR if they don't" said Narten.
> >
> >Another obstacle raised by NANOG operators is that there is currently no
> >commercial demand for IPv6 at this time. Dave Israel, a Data Network
> >Engineer and regular participant on NANOG lists, sees no immediate demand
> >for IPv6 services. "The only people who ask me about IPv6", said Israel
> >"are people who have heard something about it from some tech-magazine and
> >want the newest thing". Israel says he sees no commercial demand for a v6
> >backbone.
> >
> >Daniel Golding, another NANOG participant agrees, "v6 deployment is being
> >encouraged by some countries, and the spread of 3G (cellular technology)
> >is helping things along, but we have yet to see really widespread v6
> >deployments anywhere". Golding sees major backbone networks deploying IPv6
> >when it makes economic sense for them to do so. "Right now", said Golding
> >"there is no demand and no revenue upside. I don't expect this to change
> >in the near future".
> >
> >Most on NANOG agree the roadblock seems to be a lack of ISPs that offer
> >IPv6 services. Stephen Sprunk, a Network Design Consultant with Cisco's
> >Advanced Services group sees the "greater adoption of always-on broadband
> >access will be the necessary push" to get IPv6 off the ground. "Enterprise
> >networks will not be the driver for ISPs to go to IPv6" said Sprunk and
> >"NAT is too entrenched". Network Address Translation (NAT) is a method of
> >connecting multiple computers to the Internet (or any other IP network)
> >using one IPv4 address.
> >
> >Vint Cerf senior vice president of architecture & technology at WorldCom
> >has been using IPv6 for about four years. IPv6 has been a key element for
> >some of WorldCom's Government customers. Cerf thinks IPv6 supporters have
> >a lot of work ahead to achieve successful deployment of the protocol. He
> >expects "that over the next several years we will see a lot of consumer
> >devices set up to work with IPv6" and "cell phones are likely candidates,
> >as are radio-enabled PDAs".
> >
> >-EOF
> The dot.GOD Registry, Limited

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