Thursday, September 26, 2013

ICMC: ISO/IEC 19790 Status and Supporting Documents

Presented by Randall Easter, NIST; and Miguel Bagnon, Epoche & Espri.

Mr. Bagnon started out by explaining the structure of ISO, the IEC and SC27 working group.  The ISO standards body looks at  creating market driven standards, getting input from all of the relevant stake holders.  The SC27 focuses on security and privacy opics across 5 working groups.  The SC27 has 48 voting member countries - from Algeria to Uruguay!  There are 19 other observing countries. You can see a very wide representation of continents, countries, cultures and languages.

The WG3 Mission is security evaluations, testing and specification. This covers how to apply the criteria, testing criteria, and administrative procedures in this area.

The process is open to the world (as you can see), drafts are sent out for review by the public before becoming a final international standard.  Please participate if you can, it's the only way to have your opinion counted.

Mr. Easter then dove into ISO 19790, and the related standards: ISO 24759 (test requirements for cryptographic modules), 18367 (algorithm and security mechanisms conformance testing), 17825 (testing methods for the mitigation of non-invasive attack classes against crypto modules) and 30104 (physical security attacks, mitigation techniques and security requirements).

ISO 19790 was first published in 2006 and it was technically equivalent to FIPS 140-2, plus an additional requirements for mitigation of attacks for Level 4.  This standard has been adopted internationally and is being used around the world.

What Mr. Easter had been hoping would happen was that ISO 19790 and FIPS 140-3 would closely track each other, with ISO 19790 picking up all of the changes from FIPS 140-3.  FIPS 140-3 was so delayed, though, that ISO 19790 began to develop independently.

Mr. Easter noticed that there were no validation labs participating in the ISO standard, so he got permission to circulate the draft amongst the labs and to incorporate their comments, as he's the editor of the document.

This document has been adopted by ANSI as a US standard now as well.

At this time, it is not officially recognized by NIST and the US Government.

This is very frustrating to many vendors and labs, because FIPS 140-2 was published in 2001 and it is quite stale (hence the 170 page Implementation Guidance). Technology is changing, the original language in FIPS 140-2 wasn't clear to all, and there seems to be a way out - if only NIST would adopt it.

Until that happens, vendors are stuck implementing to FIPS 140-2.

How can you change this? Call up your NIST representative or friendly CSEC contact and ask for this.

This post syndicated from: Thoughts on security, beer, theater and biking!

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