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TD0266:  Password/passphrase min vs max value for FCS_CKM_EXT.5.1

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Issue Description

There is inconsistent wording on whether an assignment is a maximum value or a minimum value between the SFR and the Assurance Activities to be performed for FCS_CKM_EXT.5.1.


FCS_CKM_EXT.5 is modified as follows:

FCS_CKM_EXT.5 Cryptographic Key Derivation (Password/Passphrase Conditioning)

FCS_CKM_EXT.5.1 The TSF shall support a password/passphrase of up to [assignment: maximum password size, positive integer of 64 or more] characters used to generate a password authorization factor.

Application Note: The password/passphrase is represented on the host machine as a sequence of characters whose encoding depends on the TOE and the underlying OS. The ST author assigns the maximum size of the password/passphrase it supports; it must support at least 64 characters.


FCS_CKM_EXT.5.2 The TSF shall allow passwords to be composed of any combination of upper case characters, lower case characters, numbers, and the following special characters: "!", "@", "#", "$", "%", "^", "&", "*", "(", and ")", and [selection: [assignment: other supported special characters], no other characters].

Application Note: The ST author assigns any other supported characters; if there are no other supported characters, they should select "no other characters".


FCS_CKM_EXT.5.3 The TSF shall perform Password-based Key Derivation Functions in accordance with a specified cryptographic algorithm [HMAC- [selection: SHA-256, SHA-384, SHA- 512]], with [assignment: positive integer of 4096 or more] iterations, and output cryptographic key sizes [selection: 128, 256] bits that meet the following: [NIST SP 800-132].

Application Note: The ST author selects the parameters based on the PBKDF used by the TSF. The password/passphrase must be conditioned into a string of bits that forms the submask to be used as input into a key. Conditioning can be performed using one of the identified hash functions or the process described in NIST SP 800-132; the method used is selected by the ST Author. SP 800-132 requires the use of a pseudo-random function (PRF) consisting of HMAC with an approved hash function. The ST author selects the hash function used, also includes the appropriate requirements for HMAC and the hash function."

Appendix A of SP 800-132 recommends setting the iteration count in order to increase the computation needed to derive a key from a password and, therefore, increase the workload of performing a password recovery attack. However, for this EP, a minimum iteration count of 4096 is required in order to ensure that twelve bits of security is added to the password/passphrase value. A significantly higher value is recommended to ensure optimal security.


FCS_CKM_EXT.5.4 The TSF shall not accept passwords less than [selection: a value settable by the administrator, [assignment: minimum password length accepted by the TOE, must be >= 1]] and greater than the maximum password length defined in FCS_CKM_EXT.5.1.

Application Note: If the minimum password length is settable, then ST author chooses "a value settable by the administrator for this component," as well as the "configure password/passphrase complexity setting" item for FMT_SMF.1.1. If the minimum length is not settable, the ST author fills in the assignment with the minimum length the password must be (zero-length passwords are not allowed for compliant TOEs).


Assurance Activity


FCS_CKM_EXT.5.1 There are two aspects of this component that require evaluation: passwords/passphrases of the length specified in the requirement (at least 64 characters) are supported, and that the characters that are input are subject to the selected conditioning function. These activities are separately addressed in the text below.

Support for Password/Passphrase length: The evaluator shall check to ensure that the TSS describes the allowable ranges for password/passphrase lengths, and that at least 64 characters may be specified by the user.

Support for PBKDF: The evaluator shall examine the password hierarchy TSS to ensure that the formation of all keys is described and that the key sizes match that described by the ST author.

The evaluator shall check that the TSS describes the method by which the password/passphrase is first encoded and then fed to the SHA algorithm. The settings for the algorithm (padding, blocking, etc.) shall be described, and the evaluator shall verify that these are supported by the selections in this component as well as the selections concerning the hash function itself. The evaluator shall verify that the TSS contains a description of how the output of the hash function is used to form the submask that will be input into the function and is the same length as the KEK as specified in FCS_CKM_EXT.4.

For the NIST SP 800-132-based conditioning of the password/passphrase, the required assurance activities will be performed when doing the assurance activities for the appropriate requirements (FCS_COP.1.1(4) from the [AppPP]). If any manipulation of the key is performed in forming the submask that will be used to form the FEK or KEK, that process shall be described in the TSS.

No explicit testing of the formation of the submask from the input password is required.

Conditioning: No explicit testing of the formation of the authorization factor from the input password/passphrase is required. Iteration count: The evaluator shall verify that the iteration count for PBKDFs performed by the TOE comply with NIST SP 800-132 by ensuring that the TSS contains a description of the estimated time required to derive key material from passwords and how the TOE increases the computation time for password-based key derivation (including but not limited to increasing the iteration count).



The evaluator shall check the Operational Guidance to determine that there are instructions on how to generate large passwords/passphrases, and instructions on how to configure the password/passphrase length (and optional complexity settings) to provide entropy commensurate with the keys that the authorization factor is protecting. This is important because many default settings for passwords/passphrases will not meet the necessary entropy needed as specified in this EP.



The evaluator shall compose passwords that either meet the requirements, or fail to meet the requirements, and shall verify that the TOE's behavior is consistent with the requirements. While the evaluator is not required (nor is it feasible) to test all possible compositions of passwords, the evaluator shall ensure that all characters, and minimum and maximum lengths listed in the requirement, are supported, and justify the subset of those characters chosen for testing.

Support for Password/Passphrase characteristics: In addition to the analysis above, the evaluator shall also perform the following tests on a TOE configured according to the Operational Guidance

Test 1: Ensure that the TOE supports passwords/passphrases of 64 characters.

Test 2: Ensure that the TOE does not accept more than the maximum number of characters specified in FCS_CKM_EXT.5.1.

Test 3: Ensure that the TOE does not accept less than the minimum number of characters specified in FCS_CKM_EXT.5.4. If the minimum length is settable by the administrator, the evaluator determines the minimum length or lengths to test.

Test 4:Ensure that the TOE supports passwords consisting of all characters listed in FCS_CKM_EXT.5.2 and of varying lengths within the range specified in FCS_CKM_EXT.5.4.



See issue description.

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