IDS> Minutes of TCG HCWG phone call

IDS> Minutes of TCG HCWG phone call

IDS> Minutes of TCG HCWG phone call

Randy Turner rturner at
Thu Mar 19 14:16:12 EDT 2009

Hi Ira,

The PT protocol was, from the outset, meant to be an abstraction, but it 
relates to the IF-T interface in the TCG TNC specs.

It's complicated, but the PT protocol is not one transport, but whatever 
"bootstrap" protocol is "in vogue" in the network community at any point in 
time, so it's intentionally left as an abstraction since it's difficult to 
choose and subsequently standardize "one" transport.

The TCG TNC group has published "binding" documents for tunneling TNC in 
EAP, and I believe Microsoft has published a way to deliver attributes with 

There may be other "layer 2.5" mechanisms produced in the future, which will 
naturally call for new binding documents, but the PA/PB protocols will only 
make "requirements" on these protocols and the core model (PB/PA) shouldn't 
have to change. Because of the sensitive nature of information in the PB/PA 
traffic, the major requirements would be integrity and some type of 
authentication, preferably mutual, but definitely client auth.

I personally think the tunneled EAP method (see IF-T) will be the most 
widely deployed enterprise/campus technique for delivering TNC messages. 
You can also google for EAP-TNC, which I think would bring up appropriate 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ira McDonald" <blueroofmusic at>
To: "Randy Turner" <rturner at>; "Ira McDonald" 
<blueroofmusic at>; "Jerry Thrasher" <thrasher at>
Cc: <ids at>
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 10:45 AM
Subject: Re: IDS> Minutes of TCG HCWG phone call


An observation about the extent of compatibility between IETF NEA and TCG 
specs.  The IETF (and presumably TCG) specs for PB-TNC (Posture Broker) and
PA-TNC (Posture Attributes) *punt* security completely and say that's
the problem
of the PT (Posture Transport) component.

Although the IETF NEA charter says they will specify one 'mandatory to
transport, *nothing* in any published IETF NEA WG I-D ever does so.

PWG IDS can't write a binding to IETF NEA, because there's no transport, no
authentication, no integrity, etc.  Who knows what goes 'on the wire'?

Jerry and Randy - you guys have followed IETF NEA - is this magic
secure transport
sauce somewhere in IETF NEA WG minutes, or is it just not there to be found?

- Ira

Ira McDonald (Musician / Software Architect)
Chair - Linux Foundation Open Printing WG
Blue Roof Music/High North Inc
email: blueroofmusic at
  579 Park Place  Saline, MI  48176
  PO Box 221  Grand Marais, MI 49839

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 1:22 PM, Randy Turner <rturner at> 
> Hi All,
> After reading Brian's (and Lee's) minutes and notes from the TCG HCWG 
> call,
> I had the following comments ....
> I would agree that conforming to the NEA specifications provides most, if
> not all, of the benefits of TNC. I always thought that the TCG should not
> be creating protocols but instead, should be defining "profiles" of 
> existing
> protocols for compliance with an overall architectural recommendation. 
> This
> is similar to what the OATH consortium (OpenAuthentication) has done. The
> OATH consortium is a marketing/business/technical organization that 
> produces
> IETF drafts for standardizing "on the wire" protocols, and the consortium
> drives adoption. In this way, they're employing existing organizations
> that really know how to create protocol standards, and using the "paid"
> organization to drive marketing/business, and technical evangelizing.
> Regarding "Client-less" devices, Microsoft has defined a set of behaviors 
> in
> their NAP documents for how "clientless" devices are to be treated by the
> network. It seems to be that work on "clientless" devices is more
> "policy-oriented" than "technically-oriented" and that "standardizing"
> behavior in this area may seem more site-specific, and difficult to 
> mandate
> a "global" conformance text for how to treat clientless devices. As such, 
> I
> think this may be something that could be "recommended" but not 
> "mandated".
> Someone brought up the comment about remediation, and Steve Hanna 
> commented
> that "relevant remediation instructions for HCDs would be worthwhile".
> I think he's suggesting looking at a "standard" for HCDs regarding
> remediation, which is a topic that came up on an earlier conference call
> discussing a "common" NAP plugin for Microsoft's health assessment
> architecture. No vendor on the call seemed to "leap in" and say we should
> do this.
> I would urge participants in these discussions to think about Steve's
> comments regarding the value of TNC/NEA protocols for devices WITHOUT 
> TPMs.
> This may be a point of departure for devices that do and do not have a 
> TPM,
> especially when/if the TCG starts defining formal certification processes.
> While a TPM may not be ABSOLUTELY required by the NEA/TNC specs, the "bar"
> may be set so high for certification (requirements) that a TPM, or the
> equivalent of a TPM, may be the only way to hit the bar. It would be
> interesting to see if the MS-NAP documents discuss compliance/requirements
> issues with regards to devices that DO NOT have a TPM. For instance, over
> time, will devices that DO NOT have a TPM be lumped into the "clientless"
> device category? Or basically, will there be a "third" category of device
> for devices that implement the TNC protocol but do not have a TPM?
> Randy

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