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|Securing the Network in Oracle Solaris 11.1 Oracle Solaris 11.1 Information Library|
The IKE protocol provides automatic key management for IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. See Chapter 10, Configuring IKE (Tasks) for instructions on how to set up IKE. The manual keying utility is the ipseckey command, which is described in the ipseckey(1M) man page.
You use the ipseckey command to manually populate the security associations database (SADB). Typically, manual SA generation is used when IKE is unavailable for some reason. However, if the SPI values are unique, manual SA generation and IKE can be used at the same time.
The ipseckey command can be used to view all SAs that are known to the system, whether the keys were added manually or by IKE. With the -c option, the ipseckey command checks the syntax of the keys file that you provide as an argument.
IPsec SAs that are added by the ipseckey command are not persistent over system reboot. To enable manually added SAs at system boot, add entries to the /etc/inet/secret/ipseckeys file, then enable the svc:/network/ipsec/manual-key:default service. For the procedure, see How to Manually Create IPsec Keys.
While the ipseckey command has only a limited number of general options, the command supports a rich command language. You can specify that requests be delivered by means of a programmatic interface specific for manual keying. For additional information, see the pf_key(7P) man page.
The ipseckey command enables a role with the Network Security or Network IPsec Management rights profile to enter sensitive cryptographic keying information. If an adversary gains access to this information, the adversary can compromise the security of IPsec traffic.
Note - Use IKE, not manual keying with ipseckey, if possible.
You should consider the following issues when you handle keying material and use the ipseckey command:
Have you refreshed the keying material? Periodic key refreshment is a fundamental security practice. Key refreshment guards against potential weaknesses of the algorithm and keys, and limits the damage of an exposed key.
Is the TTY going over a network? Is the ipseckey command in interactive mode?
In interactive mode, the security of the keying material is the security of the network path for this TTY's traffic. You should avoid using the ipseckey command over a clear-text telnet or rlogin session.
Even local windows might be vulnerable to attacks by a concealed program that reads window events.
Have you used the -f option? Is the file being accessed over the network? Can the file be read by the world?
An adversary can read a network-mounted file as the file is being read. You should avoid using a world-readable file that contains keying material.
Protect your naming system. If the following two conditions are met, then your host names are no longer trustworthy:
Your source address is a host that can be looked up over the network.
Your naming system is compromised.
Security weaknesses often arise from the misapplication of tools, not from the actual tools. You should be cautious when using the ipseckey command. Use ssh, or a console or other hard-connected TTY for the safest mode of operation.