System Administration Guide: IP Services

Authentication and Encryption Algorithms in IPsec

IPsec security protocols use two types of algorithms, authentication and encryption. The AH module uses authentication algorithms. The ESP module can use encryption as well as authentication algorithms. You can obtain a list of the algorithms on your system and their properties by using the ipsecalgs command. For more information, see the ipsecalgs(1M) man page. You can also use the functions that are described in the getipsecalgbyname(3NSL) man page to retrieve the properties of algorithms.

IPsec on a Solaris system uses the Solaris cryptographic framework to access the algorithms. The framework provides a central repository for algorithms, in addition to other services. The framework enables IPsec to take advantage of high performance cryptographic hardware accelerators. The framework also provides resource control features. For example, the framework enables you to limit the amount of CPU time spent in cryptographic operations in the kernel.

For more information, see the following:

Authentication Algorithms in IPsec

Authentication algorithms produce an integrity checksum value or digest that is based on the data and a key. The AH module uses authentication algorithms. The ESP module can use authentication algorithms as well.

Encryption Algorithms in IPsec

Encryption algorithms encrypt data with a key. The ESP module in IPsec uses encryption algorithms. The algorithms operate on data in units of a block size.

Different releases of the Solaris 10 OS provide different default encryption algorithms.

Caution – Caution –

Starting in the Solaris 10 7/07 release, do not add the Solaris Encryption Kit to your system. The kit downgrades the patch level for encryption on your system. The kit is incompatible with the encryption on your system.