Thursday, September 30, 2010

IP Security (IPSec) Protocols

Posted by OurTech Team | Thursday, September 30, 2010 | Category: |

One of the weaknesses of the original Internet Protocol is that it lacks any sort of general purpose mechanism for ensuring the authenticity and privacy of data as it is passed over the internetwork. Since IP datagrams must usually be routed between two devices over unknown networks, any information in them is subject to being intercepted and even possibly changed. With the increased use of the Internet for critical applications, security enhancements were needed for IP. To this end, a set of protocols called IP Security or IPSec was developed.
In this section I provide a brief description of IPSec concepts and protocols. I begin with an overview of IPSec, including a discussion of the history of the technology and defining standards. I describe the main components and protocols of the IPSec suite, and its different architectures and methods for implementation. I then move to actually discussing how IPSec works, beginning with a description of the two IPSec modes (transport and tunnel) and how they differ. I describe security associations and related constructs such as the Security Parameter Index (SPI). The last three topics cover the three main IPSec protocols: IPSec Authentication Header (AH), IPSec Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) and the IPSec Internet Key Exchange (IKE).

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