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Common Authentication Technology Overview (RFC1511)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002341D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-13
Document File: 2 page(s) / 3K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People


Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1511: DOI


This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 57% of the total text.

Network Working Group J. Linn Request for Comments: 1511 Geer Zolot Associates September 1993

Common Authentication Technology Overview

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


The IETF’s Common Authentication Technology (CAT) working group has pursued, and continues to pursue, several interrelated activities, involving definition of service interfaces as well as protocols. As a goal, it has sought to separate security implementation tasks from integration of security data elements into caller protocols, enabling those tasks to be partitioned and performed separately by implementors with different areas of expertise. This strategy is intended to provide leverage for the IETF community’s security- oriented resources (by allowing a single security implementation to be integrated with, and used by, multiple caller protocols), and to allow protocol implementors to focus on the functions that their protocols are designed to provide rather than on characteristics of particular security mechanisms (by defining an abstract service which multiple mechanisms can realize).

The CAT WG has worked towards agreement on a common service interface, (the Generic Security Service Application Program Interface, or GSS-API), allowing callers to invoke security functions, and also towards agreement on a common security token format incorporating means to identify the mechanism type in conjunction with which security data elements should be interpreted. The GSS-API, comprising a mechanism-independent model for security integration, provides authentication services (peer entity authentication) to a variety of protocol callers in a manner which insulates those callers from the specifics of underlying security mechanisms. With certain underlying mechanisms, per-message protection facilities (data origin authentication, data integrity, and data confidentiality) can also be provided. This work is represented in a pair of RFCs: RFC-1508 (GSS-API) and RFC-1509 (concrete bindings realizing the GSS-...