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That's what dot1x is for

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 14, 2012 11:54 UTC (Sat) by nim-nim (subscriber, #34454)
In reply to: That's what dot1x is for by hummassa
Parent article: Cyberoam deep packet inspection and certificates

You are systematically ignoring the article you're commenting on.

I've already explained why 802.1x was useless for gateway authorisation. Putting it in the title thread does not make it any less useless.

Quoting Willy Tarreau (Linux 2.4 maintainer, haproxy author, IETF HTTPbis WG member):

> Despite our disgust for this fact, HTTP has become a de-facto standard
> transport protocol for many purposes. WebSocket is a proof of this, it was
> born to address the dirty bidirectional mechanisms that were appearing
> everywhere. A wide number of tools are able of using the HTTP CONNECT
> method over a proxy to reach a point on the net (for VPNs, SSH, etc...).
> HTTP has brought what TCP lacks : user authentication and bouncing over
> proxies even in non-routable environments.

[…]

> The problem is that right now the migration to HTTPS for many sites has
> caused increased need for HTTPS content analysis, and a large number of
> products are now used to spoof certificates and control everything. This
> is not acceptable (technically speaking, and from the user's privacy
> respect). We absolutely need the new HTTP standard to make it possible
> for end users to choose if their contents may be analysed by the proxy
> or not

Is that enough to make you understand that perhaps you don't understand all the use cases?


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That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 14, 2012 12:20 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

The text you quoted states clearly that "HTTPS content analysis [...] is not acceptable (technically speaking, and from the user's privacy respect)". So it's not me being dense.

It also states that "Despite our disgust for this fact, HTTP has become a de-facto standard transport protocol for many purposes". This means, in other words, that "a lot of people is using what they should not be using", i. e., there are other solutions to that.

Finally, you state that "perhaps you don't understand all the use cases?" Nope, I do, in fact, understand _all_ the use cases. And for all of them, a well-thought combination of network authentication (802.1x + RADIUS), traffic shaping, and maybe limited VPNs are the correct solution, in the correct network layers.

Maybe you can disprove me if you cite one use case (or more than one!) where my last statement is not true (*), or if you can explain to me why it is so.

(*) I will probably show you that you are wrong, and that dot1x is a better and simpler solution. But give your best shot, I don't mind being wrong.

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 14, 2012 12:42 UTC (Sat) by nim-nim (subscriber, #34454) [Link]

The text I quoted clearly states 'people are doing stuff they should not because the current protocols are not adapted to what people need to do, thus those protocols need to change' and not 'people are doing stuff they should not and they should use 802.1x + RADIUS instead'.

Your "well-thought combination of network authentication (802.1x + RADIUS), traffic shaping, and maybe limited VPNs" is a deployment nightmare (and is getting worse the bigger your organisation is) which is why big orgs just use interception instead (which can be deployed easily and solves their problems even if it has ugly privacy side-effects).

But feel free to communicate your thoughts to the httpbis ietf workgroup.

(btw the current http/2 discussions would make an interesting lwn article topic)

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 14, 2012 15:30 UTC (Sat) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> Your "well-thought combination of network authentication (802.1x + RADIUS), traffic shaping, and maybe limited VPNs" is a deployment nightmare (and is getting worse the bigger your organisation is) which is why big orgs just use interception instead (which can be deployed easily and solves their problems even if it has ugly privacy side-effects).

This does not parse to me. We just deployed your "nightmare" to an organization with 3000 users and 5000 devices in less than a week. They select WPA2Enterprise, write their login, their password and voilà. Wired connections are managed by a combination of MAC addresses and kerberos workstation authentications (any OSes where this would be complicated are just added as exceptions and bypass the authentication but they are mapped to a physical network point, so anything funky is easy to block). Each user/device combo has access to a specific routing and traffic shaping ruleset.

Is it more difficult than "plug MITM machine after the router and use the default settings"? Yes, it is. Is it much more difficult? No. Is it safer? YES. Do orgs as big as mine and bigger just use interception instead because it is easier? Yes, but mainly it is because they are lazy and haven't seen all the consequences.

As I told you, your problem is not just "ugly privacy side-effects", but "ugly liability side-effects because once your machine decrypted my encrypted communications between me and my bank or my government you can take a peek at it". It's not that you _will_ take a peek at it. Is that if passwords/keys/confidential records get copied, you will have the onus of proving you didn't copy them -- because, you know, you could.

> But feel free to communicate your thoughts to the httpbis ietf workgroup.
> (btw the current http/2 discussions would make an interesting lwn article topic)

Please link them!

One more thing: I asked for (at least one) use-case where https interception would be better than dot1x+radius... :-D

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 14, 2012 15:48 UTC (Sat) by nim-nim (subscriber, #34454) [Link]

> This does not parse to me. We just deployed your "nightmare" to an
> organization with 3000 users and 5000 devices in less than a week

Do you realize that with the current economic crisis, many companies announce layoffs which are bigger than your whole organization size? (sometimes, for a single physical site)

3000 users is not even remotely in the big category

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 14, 2012 17:53 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

I've tried all of the "enterprisey" stuff in my organization (around 10 developers with Linux/Windows computers). I can honestly say that Kerberos, LDAP and all other stuff is a piece of crap.

It requires a lot of setup, it breaks in non-trivial ways, it's not really completely compatible between implementations and usually doesn't actually work.

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 12:21 UTC (Sun) by jubal (subscriber, #67202) [Link]

Do you routinely use nukes to take out anthills too?

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 12:32 UTC (Sun) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

I prefer kinetic bombing with asteroids...

My opinion is that technologies should scale down as well as up. If a technology only works for companies with 30000000000 employees then it's a dead technology (sooner or later, usually sooner).

For example, Kerberos + LDAP promise seamless and transparent authentication throughout all the corporate services. Except that it doesn't work on iPads. Fail.

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 13:06 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

I don't know. There are things and technologies that have a "sweet spot" in size. Even if nim-nim thinks I am braindead because of the way we implemented our 5000-device network, I think the technology (dot1x, RADIUS, LDAP) worked (and has been working) really well for that network size. It took us a fortnight of research and training and less than a week of work to implement.

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 13:15 UTC (Sun) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

And then you need one device which doesn't support WPA2 Enterprise and you have to start improvising. And you'll get such devices quite soon because vendors can't be bothered to implement support for 'enterprisey' stuff if it's no use for most of their consumers.

I know such a company. They've deployed Ethernet/WiFi authentication using IPSec throughout the company, with smart cards for desktop logins, etc. And then they had to make it work with Windows CE-based devices (they've paid me to do this, actually). Turned out that it was easier to create a separate unsecured WiFi network and pipe everything important over HTTPS.

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 15:00 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> And then you need one device which doesn't support WPA2 Enterprise and you have to start improvising.

We already had plans in place for that (we have many such devices, especially those that do not belong to the organization). And the vendors who could not be bothered to implement suport for WPA2/Enterprise, we just don't buy from them.

> Turned out that it was easier to create a separate unsecured WiFi network and pipe everything important over HTTPS.

Sometimes, yes it is (or create a less-secured, WPA2/Personal or WPA1 protected network and go from there)... but if you plan right, you can isolate those cases...

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 15:08 UTC (Sun) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

>We already had plans in place for that (we have many such devices, especially those that do not belong to the organization). And the vendors who could not be bothered to implement suport for WPA2/Enterprise, we just don't buy from them.
Yeah, tell that to execs with their shiny new toys.

Besides, once you implement the parallel infrastructure that actually works _better_ than your secured-down-to-the-wire IPSec network, people start asking: "Why have we even bothered with this ipsec crap?"

So that's why middlebox vendors make a killing selling various DPI tools to organizations. Sure, they violate all the possible RFCs and all the notions of protocol layering. But at the same time they actually work in RealLife(tm).

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 15:31 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> Besides, once you implement the parallel infrastructure that actually works _better_ than your secured-down-to-the-wire IPSec network, people start asking: "Why have we even bothered with this ipsec crap?"

We deal with this limiting EXTREMELY the bandwidth and reliability of the secondary infrastructure. If you want to use a non-standard thing, pay the price.

> So that's why middlebox vendors make a killing selling various DPI tools to organizations. Sure, they violate all the possible RFCs and all the notions of protocol layering. But at the same time they actually work in RealLife(tm).

For a really wide definition of working...

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 17:16 UTC (Sun) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523) [Link]

>We deal with this limiting EXTREMELY the bandwidth and reliability of the secondary infrastructure. If you want to use a non-standard thing, pay the price.

Nice. Increasing success by lowering expectations.

That's exactly why more and more people ditch all the 'standards compliant' crap and instead install something that is simple and stupid, but actually usable.

> For a really wide definition of working...
It gets stuff done. It doesn't annoy people. It's fairly easy to troubleshoot.

What more do you need?

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 18:18 UTC (Sun) by hummassa (subscriber, #307) [Link]

> What more do you need?

No exposure to huge liabilities?

That's what dot1x is for

Posted Jul 15, 2012 12:59 UTC (Sun) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Is that saying about Windows sysadmins versus Unix sysadmins no longer true, then?

(That Windows sysadmins treat their work as if it were home, with lashup hacks that fall apart all the time, while Unix sysadmins treat their home as if it were work, with high-end stuff like Kerberos all over the place hugely overspecified for their tiny setups. It's not true of Windows anymore, which is a lot less lashupy now that the Windows 9x line has died, but I certainly thought it was still true of a lot of Unix sysadmins.)


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