X.509 Certificate-Based Authentication for NETCONF and RESTCONF : Design Evaluation between Native and External Implementation
Sammanfattning: The Network Service Ochestrator (NSO) is a network automation system provided by Cisco that is used to automate large network changes with the ability to roll back in case of errors. It provides a rich northbound interface to communicate with the user and a southbound interface to orchestrate network devices securely. On these northbound and southbound interfaces, NSO supports NETCONF and RESTCONF, which is an IETF standard for network automation. NSO native implementation of NETCONF and RESTCONF lacks support for Public-Key Infrastructure (X.509) (PKIX) infrastructure and SSH and SSL/TLS as transport. Instead, Cisco suggests that customers use external relay agents such as PKIX-SSH for SSH and GNUTLS for TLS for NETCONF. The certificates and keys are saved on the hard drive and loaded for every connection via RESTCONF. This workaround solution provides authentication and authorization without audit logging within NSO. In this work, a native implementation of the X509 certification with PKIX infrastructure on SSH and SSL/TLS for NETCONF and RESTCONF is investigated. The project evaluates design alternatives with respect to security, computational complexity, maintainability, and user-friendliness, and concludes by highlighting the pros and cons of both native and workaround implementation.
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