RFC9329: TCP Encapsulation of Internet Key Exchange Protocol (IKE) and IPsec Packets

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Obsoletes:  RFC8229
Related keywords:  (IKE) (ikev2) (ipsec) (TCP)

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          T. Pauly
Request for Comments: 9329                                    Apple Inc.
Obsoletes: 8229                                               V. Smyslov
Category: Standards Track                                     ELVIS-PLUS
ISSN: 2070-1721                                            November 2022

  TCP Encapsulation of Internet Key Exchange Protocol (IKE) and IPsec


   This document describes a method to transport Internet Key Exchange
   Protocol (IKE) and IPsec packets over a TCP connection for traversing
   network middleboxes that may block IKE negotiation over UDP.  This
   method, referred to as "TCP encapsulation", involves sending both IKE
   packets for Security Association (SA) establishment and Encapsulating
   Security Payload (ESP) packets over a TCP connection.  This method is
   intended to be used as a fallback option when IKE cannot be
   negotiated over UDP.

   TCP encapsulation for IKE and IPsec was defined in RFC 8229.  This
   document clarifies the specification for TCP encapsulation by
   including additional clarifications obtained during implementation
   and deployment of this method.  This documents obsoletes RFC 8229.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2022 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
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   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Revised BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the
   Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described
   in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
     1.1.  Prior Work and Motivation
     1.2.  Terminology and Notation
   2.  Configuration
   3.  TCP-Encapsulated Data Formats
     3.1.  TCP-Encapsulated IKE Message Format
     3.2.  TCP-Encapsulated ESP Packet Format
   4.  TCP-Encapsulated Stream Prefix
   5.  Applicability
     5.1.  Recommended Fallback from UDP
   6.  Using TCP Encapsulation
     6.1.  Connection Establishment and Teardown
     6.2.  Retransmissions
     6.3.  Cookies and Puzzles
       6.3.1.  Statelessness versus Delay of SA Establishment
     6.4.  Error Handling in IKE_SA_INIT
     6.5.  NAT-Detection Payloads
     6.6.  NAT-Keepalive Packets
     6.7.  Dead Peer Detection and Transport Keepalives
     6.8.  Implications of TCP Encapsulation on IPsec SA Processing
   7.  Interaction with IKEv2 Extensions
     7.1.  MOBIKE Protocol
     7.2.  IKE Redirect
     7.3.  IKEv2 Session Resumption
     7.4.  IKEv2 Protocol Support for High Availability
     7.5.  IKEv2 Fragmentation
   8.  Middlebox Considerations
   9.  Performance Considerations
     9.1.  TCP-in-TCP
     9.2.  Added Reliability for Unreliable Protocols
     9.3.  Quality-of-Service Markings
     9.4.  Maximum Segment Size
     9.5.  Tunneling ECN in TCP
   10. Security Considerations
   11. IANA Considerations
   12. References
     12.1.  Normative References
     12.2.  Informative References
   Appendix A.  Using TCP Encapsulation with TLS
   Appendix B.  Example Exchanges of TCP Encapsulation with TLS 1.3
     B.1.  Establishing an IKE Session
     B.2.  Deleting an IKE Session
     B.3.  Re-establishing an IKE Session
     B.4.  Using MOBIKE between UDP and TCP Encapsulation
   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

   The Internet Key Exchange Protocol version 2 (IKEv2) [RFC7296] is a
   protocol for establishing IPsec Security Associations (SAs) using IKE
   messages over UDP for control traffic and using Encapsulating
   Security Payload (ESP) messages [RFC4303] for encrypted data traffic.
   Many network middleboxes that filter traffic on public hotspots block
   all UDP traffic, including IKE and IPsec, but allow TCP connections
   through because they appear to be web traffic.  Devices on these
   networks that need to use IPsec (to access private enterprise
   networks, to route Voice over IP calls to carrier networks because of
   security policies, etc.) are unable to establish IPsec SAs.  This
   document defines a method for encapsulating IKE control messages as
   well as ESP data messages within a TCP connection.  Note that
   Authentication Header (AH) is not supported by this specification.

   Using TCP as a transport for IPsec packets adds the third option
   (below) to the list of traditional IPsec transports:

   1.  Direct.  Usually, IKE negotiations begin over UDP port 500.  If
       no Network Address Translation (NAT) device is detected between
       the Initiator and the Responder, then subsequent IKE packets are
       sent over UDP port 500 and IPsec data packets are sent using ESP.

   2.  UDP Encapsulation.  Described in [RFC3948].  If a NAT is detected
       between the Initiator and the Responder, then subsequent IKE
       packets are sent over UDP port 4500 with 4 bytes of zero at the
       start of the UDP payload, and ESP packets are sent out over UDP
       port 4500.  Some implementations default to using UDP
       encapsulation even when no NAT is detected on the path, as some
       middleboxes do not support IP protocols other than TCP and UDP.

   3.  TCP Encapsulation.  Described in this document.  If the other two
       methods are not available or appropriate, IKE negotiation packets
       as well as ESP packets can be sent over a single TCP connection
       to the peer.

   Direct use of ESP or UDP encapsulation should be preferred by IKE
   implementations due to performance concerns when using TCP
   encapsulation (Section 9).  Most implementations should use TCP
   encapsulation only on networks where negotiation over UDP has been
   attempted without receiving responses from the peer or if a network
   is known to not support UDP.

1.1.  Prior Work and Motivation

   Encapsulating IKE connections within TCP streams is a common approach
   to solve the problem of UDP packets being blocked by network
   middleboxes.  The specific goals of this document are as follows:

   *  To promote interoperability by defining a standard method of
      framing IKE and ESP messages within TCP streams.

   *  To be compatible with the current IKEv2 standard without requiring
      modifications or extensions.

   *  To use IKE over UDP by default to avoid the overhead of other
      alternatives that always rely on TCP or Transport Layer Security
      (TLS) [RFC5246] [RFC8446].

   Some previous alternatives include:

   Cellular Network Access:
      Interworking Wireless LAN (IWLAN) uses IKEv2 to create secure
      connections to cellular carrier networks for making voice calls
      and accessing other network services over Wi-Fi networks. 3GPP has
      recommended that IKEv2 and ESP packets be sent within a TLS
      connection to be able to establish connections on restrictive

   ISAKMP over TCP:
      Various non-standard extensions to the Internet Security
      Association and Key Management Protocol (ISAKMP) have been
      deployed that send IPsec traffic over TCP or TCP-like packets.

   Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPNs:
      Many proprietary VPN solutions use a combination of TLS and IPsec
      in order to provide reliability.  These often run on TCP port 443.

   IKEv2 over TCP:
      IKEv2 over TCP as described in [IPSECME-IKE-TCP] is used to avoid
      UDP fragmentation.

   TCP encapsulation for IKE and IPsec was defined in [RFC8229].  This
   document updates the specification for TCP encapsulation by including
   additional clarifications obtained during implementation and
   deployment of this method.

   In particular:

   *  The interpretation of the Length field preceding every message is
      clarified (Section 3).

   *  The use of the NAT_DETECTION_*_IP notifications is clarified
      (Sections 5.1, 6.5, and 7.1).

   *  Retransmission behavior is clarified (Section 6.2).

   *  The use of cookies and puzzles is described in more detail
      (Section 6.3).

   *  Error handling is clarified (Section 6.4).

   *  Implications of TCP encapsulation on IPsec SA processing are
      expanded (Section 6.8).

   *  Section 7 describing interactions with other IKEv2 extensions is

   *  The interaction of TCP encapsulation with IKEv2 Mobility and
      Multihoming (MOBIKE) is clarified (Section 7.1).

   *  The recommendation for TLS encapsulation (Appendix A) now includes
      TLS 1.3.

   *  Examples of TLS encapsulation are provided using TLS 1.3
      (Appendix B).

   *  More security considerations are added.

1.2.  Terminology and Notation

   This document distinguishes between the IKE peer that initiates TCP
   connections to be used for TCP encapsulation and the roles of
   Initiator and Responder for particular IKE messages.  During the
   course of IKE exchanges, the role of IKE Initiator and Responder may
   swap for a given SA (as with IKE SA rekeys), while the Initiator of
   the TCP connection is still responsible for tearing down the TCP
   connection and re-establishing it if necessary.  For this reason,
   this document will use the term "TCP Originator" to indicate the IKE
   peer that initiates TCP connections.  The peer that receives TCP
   connections will be referred to as the "TCP Responder".  If an IKE SA
   is rekeyed one or more times, the TCP Originator MUST remain the peer
   that originally initiated the first IKE SA.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

2.  Configuration

   One of the main reasons to use TCP encapsulation is that UDP traffic
   may be entirely blocked on a network.  Because of this, support for
   TCP encapsulation is not specifically negotiated in the IKE exchange.
   Instead, support for TCP encapsulation must be preconfigured on both
   the TCP Originator and the TCP Responder.

   Compliant implementations MUST support TCP encapsulation on TCP port
   4500, which is reserved for IPsec NAT traversal.

   Beyond a flag indicating support for TCP encapsulation, the
   configuration for each peer can include the following optional

   *  Alternate TCP ports on which the specific TCP Responder listens
      for incoming connections.  Note that the TCP Originator may
      initiate TCP connections to the TCP Responder from any local port.

   *  An extra framing protocol to use on top of TCP to further
      encapsulate the stream of IKE and IPsec packets.  See Appendix A
      for a detailed discussion.

   Since TCP encapsulation of IKE and IPsec packets adds overhead and
   has potential performance trade-offs compared to direct or UDP-
   encapsulated SAs (as described in Section 9), implementations SHOULD
   prefer ESP direct or UDP-encapsulated SAs over TCP-encapsulated SAs
   when possible.

3.  TCP-Encapsulated Data Formats

   Like UDP encapsulation, TCP encapsulation uses the first 4 bytes of a
   message to differentiate IKE and ESP messages.  TCP encapsulation
   also adds a 16-bit Length field that precedes every message to define
   the boundaries of messages within a stream.  The value in this field
   is equal to the length of the original message plus the length of the
   field itself, in octets.  If the first 32 bits of the message are
   zeros (a non-ESP marker), then the contents comprise an IKE message.
   Otherwise, the contents comprise an ESP message.  AH messages are not
   supported for TCP encapsulation.

   Although a TCP stream may be able to send very long messages,
   implementations SHOULD limit message lengths to match the lengths
   used for UDP encapsulation of ESP messages.  The maximum message
   length is used as the effective MTU for connections that are being
   encrypted using ESP, so the maximum message length will influence
   characteristics of these connections, such as the TCP Maximum Segment
   Size (MSS).

   Due to the fact that the Length field is 16 bits and includes both
   the message length and the length of the field itself, it is
   impossible to encapsulate messages greater than 65533 octets in
   length.  In most cases, this is not a problem.  Note that a similar
   limitation exists for encapsulation ESP in UDP [RFC3948].

   The minimum size of an encapsulated message is 1 octet (for NAT-
   keepalive packets, see Section 6.6).  Empty messages (where the
   Length field equals 2) MUST be silently ignored by receiver.

   Note that this method of encapsulation will also work for placing IKE
   and ESP messages within any protocol that presents a stream
   abstraction, beyond TCP.

3.1.  TCP-Encapsulated IKE Message Format

                        1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
                                   |            Length             |
   |                         Non-ESP Marker                        |
   |                                                               |
   ~                     IKE Message (RFC 7296)                    ~
   |                                                               |

             Figure 1: IKE Message Format for TCP Encapsulation

   The IKE message is preceded by a 16-bit Length field in network byte
   order that specifies the length of the IKE message (including the
   non-ESP marker) within the TCP stream.  As with IKE over UDP port
   4500, a zeroed 32-bit non-ESP marker is inserted before the start of
   the IKE header in order to differentiate the traffic from ESP traffic
   between the same addresses and ports.

   Length (2 octets, unsigned integer):  Length of the IKE message,
      including the Length field and non-ESP marker.  The value in the
      Length field MUST NOT be 0 or 1.  The receiver MUST treat these
      values as fatal errors and MUST close the TCP connection.

   Non-ESP Marker (4 octets):  Four zero-valued bytes.

3.2.  TCP-Encapsulated ESP Packet Format

                        1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
                                   |            Length             |
   |                                                               |
   ~                     ESP Packet (RFC 4303)                     ~
   |                                                               |

             Figure 2: ESP Packet Format for TCP Encapsulation

   The ESP packet is preceded by a 16-bit Length field in network byte
   order that specifies the length of the ESP packet within the TCP

   The Security Parameter Index (SPI) field [RFC7296] in the ESP header
   MUST NOT be a zero value.

   Length (2 octets, unsigned integer):  Length of the ESP packet,
      including the Length field.  The value in the Length field MUST
      NOT be 0 or 1.  The receiver MUST treat these values as fatal
      errors and MUST close TCP connection.

4.  TCP-Encapsulated Stream Prefix

   Each stream of bytes used for IKE and IPsec encapsulation MUST begin
   with a fixed sequence of 6 bytes as a magic value, containing the
   characters "IKETCP" as ASCII values.

      0      1      2      3      4      5
   | 0x49 | 0x4b | 0x45 | 0x54 | 0x43 | 0x50 |

                  Figure 3: TCP-Encapsulated Stream Prefix

   This value is intended to identify and validate that the TCP
   connection is being used for TCP encapsulation as defined in this
   document, to avoid conflicts with the prevalence of previous non-
   standard protocols that used TCP port 4500.  This value is only sent
   once, by the TCP Originator only, at the beginning of the TCP stream
   of IKE and ESP messages.

   Initiator                                                   Responder
             <new TCP connection is established by Initiator>

   Stream Prefix|Length|non-ESP marker|IKE message -->
                                   <-- Length|non-ESP marker|IKE message
   Length|non-ESP marker|IKE message -->
                                   <-- Length|non-ESP marker|IKE message

   Length|ESP packet ->
                                                    <- Length|ESP packet

   If other framing protocols are used within TCP to further encapsulate
   or encrypt the stream of IKE and ESP messages, the stream prefix must
   be at the start of the TCP Originator's IKE and ESP message stream
   within the added protocol layer (Appendix A).  Although some framing
   protocols do support negotiating inner protocols, the stream prefix
   should always be used in order for implementations to be as generic
   as possible and not rely on other framing protocols on top of TCP.

5.  Applicability

   TCP encapsulation is applicable only when it has been configured to
   be used with specific IKE peers.  If a Responder is configured to
   accept and is allowed to use TCP encapsulation, it MUST listen on the
   configured port(s) in case any peers will initiate new IKE sessions.
   Initiators MAY use TCP encapsulation for any IKE session to a peer
   that is configured to support TCP encapsulation, although it is
   recommended that Initiators only use TCP encapsulation when traffic
   over UDP is blocked.

   Since the support of TCP encapsulation is a configured property, not
   a negotiated one, it is recommended that if there are multiple IKE
   endpoints representing a single peer (such as multiple machines with
   different IP addresses when connecting by Fully Qualified Domain Name
   (FQDN), or endpoints used with IKE redirection), all of the endpoints
   equally support TCP encapsulation.

   If TCP encapsulation is being used for a specific IKE SA, all IKE
   messages for that IKE SA and ESP packets for its Child SAs MUST be
   sent over a TCP connection until the SA is deleted or IKEv2 Mobility
   and Multihoming (MOBIKE) is used to change the SA endpoints and/or
   the encapsulation protocol.  See Section 7.1 for more details on
   using MOBIKE to transition between encapsulation modes.

5.1.  Recommended Fallback from UDP

   Since UDP is the preferred method of transport for IKE messages,
   implementations that use TCP encapsulation should have an algorithm
   for deciding when to use TCP after determining that UDP is unusable.
   If an Initiator implementation has no prior knowledge about the
   network it is on and the status of UDP on that network, it SHOULD
   always attempt to negotiate IKE over UDP first.  IKEv2 defines how to
   use retransmission timers with IKE messages and, specifically,
   IKE_SA_INIT messages [RFC7296].  Generally, this means that the
   implementation will define a frequency of retransmission and the
   maximum number of retransmissions allowed before marking the IKE SA
   as failed.  An implementation can attempt negotiation over TCP once
   it has hit the maximum retransmissions over UDP, or slightly before
   to reduce connection setup delays.  It is recommended that the
   initial message over UDP be retransmitted at least once before
   falling back to TCP, unless the Initiator knows beforehand that the
   network is likely to block UDP.

   When switching from UDP to TCP, a new IKE_SA_INIT exchange MUST be
   initiated with the Initiator's new SPI and with recalculated content
   of NAT_DETECTION_*_IP notifications.

6.  Using TCP Encapsulation

6.1.  Connection Establishment and Teardown

   When the IKE Initiator uses TCP encapsulation, it will initiate a TCP
   connection to the Responder using the Responder's preconfigured TCP
   port.  The first bytes sent on the TCP stream MUST be the stream
   prefix value (Section 4).  After this prefix, encapsulated IKE
   messages will negotiate the IKE SA and initial Child SA [RFC7296].
   After this point, both encapsulated IKE (Figure 1) and ESP (Figure 2)
   messages will be sent over the TCP connection.  The TCP Responder
   MUST wait for the entire stream prefix to be received on the stream
   before trying to parse out any IKE or ESP messages.  The stream
   prefix is sent only once, and only by the TCP Originator.

   In order to close an IKE session, either the Initiator or Responder
   SHOULD gracefully tear down IKE SAs with DELETE payloads.  Once the
   SA has been deleted, the TCP Originator SHOULD close the TCP
   connection if it does not intend to use the connection for another
   IKE session to the TCP Responder.  If the TCP connection is no longer
   associated with any active IKE SA, the TCP Responder MAY close the
   connection to clean up IKE resources if the TCP Originator didn't
   close it within some reasonable period of time (e.g., a few seconds).

   An unexpected FIN or a TCP Reset on the TCP connection may indicate a
   loss of connectivity, an attack, or some other error.  If a DELETE
   payload has not been sent, both sides SHOULD maintain the state for
   their SAs for the standard lifetime or timeout period.  The TCP
   Originator is responsible for re-establishing the TCP connection if
   it is torn down for any unexpected reason.  Since new TCP connections
   may use different IP addresses and/or ports due to NAT mappings or
   local address or port allocations changing, the TCP Responder MUST
   allow packets for existing SAs to be received from new source IP
   addresses and ports.  Note that the IPv6 Flow-ID header MUST remain
   constant when a new TCP connection is created to avoid ECMP load

   A peer MUST discard a partially received message due to a broken

   Whenever the TCP Originator opens a new TCP connection to be used for
   an existing IKE SA, it MUST send the stream prefix first, before any
   IKE or ESP messages.  This follows the same behavior as the initial
   TCP connection.

   Multiple IKE SAs MUST NOT share a single TCP connection, unless one
   is a rekey of an existing IKE SA, in which case there will
   temporarily be two IKE SAs on the same TCP connection.

   If a TCP connection is being used to continue an existing IKE/ESP
   session, the TCP Responder can recognize the session using either the
   IKE SPI from an encapsulated IKE message or the ESP SPI from an
   encapsulated ESP packet.  If the session had been fully established
   previously, it is suggested that the TCP Originator send an
   UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES message if MOBIKE is supported and an empty
   informational message if it is not.

   The TCP Responder MUST NOT accept any messages for the existing IKE
   session on a new incoming connection, unless that connection begins
   with the stream prefix.  If either the TCP Originator or TCP
   Responder detects corruption on a connection that was started with a
   valid stream prefix, it SHOULD close the TCP connection.  The
   connection can be corrupted if there are too many subsequent messages
   that cannot be parsed as valid IKE messages or ESP messages with
   known SPIs, or if the authentication check for an IKE message or ESP
   message with a known SPI fails.  Implementations SHOULD NOT tear down
   a connection if only a few consecutive ESP packets have unknown SPIs
   since the SPI databases may be momentarily out of sync.  If there is
   instead a syntax issue within an IKE message, an implementation MUST
   send the INVALID_SYNTAX notify payload and tear down the IKE SA as
   usual, rather than tearing down the TCP connection directly.

   A TCP Originator SHOULD only open one TCP connection per IKE SA, over
   which it sends all of the corresponding IKE and ESP messages.  This
   helps ensure that any firewall or NAT mappings allocated for the TCP
   connection apply to all of the traffic associated with the IKE SA

   As with TCP Originators, a TCP Responder SHOULD send packets for an
   IKE SA and its Child SAs over only one TCP connection at any given
   time.  It SHOULD choose the TCP connection on which it last received
   a valid and decryptable IKE or ESP message.  In order to be
   considered valid for choosing a TCP connection, an IKE message must
   be successfully decrypted and authenticated, not be a retransmission
   of a previously received message, and be within the expected window
   for IKE message IDs.  Similarly, an ESP message must be successfully
   decrypted and authenticated, and must not be a replay of a previous

   Since a connection may be broken and a new connection re-established
   by the TCP Originator without the TCP Responder being aware, a TCP
   Responder SHOULD accept receiving IKE and ESP messages on both old
   and new connections until the old connection is closed by the TCP
   Originator.  A TCP Responder MAY close a TCP connection that it
   perceives as idle and extraneous (one previously used for IKE and ESP
   messages that has been replaced by a new connection).

6.2.  Retransmissions

   Section 2.1 of [RFC7296] describes how IKEv2 deals with the
   unreliability of the UDP protocol.  In brief, the exchange Initiator
   is responsible for retransmissions and must retransmit request
   messages until a response message is received.  If no reply is
   received after several retransmissions, the SA is deleted.  The
   Responder never initiates retransmission, but it must send a response
   message again in case it receives a retransmitted request.

   When IKEv2 uses a reliable transport protocol, like TCP, the
   retransmission rules are as follows:

   *  The exchange Initiator SHOULD NOT retransmit request message (*);
      if no response is received within some reasonable period of time,
      the IKE SA is deleted.

   *  If a new TCP connection for the IKE SA is established while the
      exchange Initiator is waiting for a response, the Initiator MUST
      retransmit its request over this connection and continue to wait
      for a response.

   *  The exchange Responder does not change its behavior, but acts as
      described in Section 2.1 of [RFC7296].

   (*) This is an optimization; implementations may continue to use the
   retransmission logic from Section 2.1 of [RFC7296] for simplicity.

6.3.  Cookies and Puzzles

   IKEv2 provides a DoS attack protection mechanism through Cookies,
   which is described in Section 2.6 of [RFC7296].  [RFC8019] extends
   this mechanism for protection against DDoS attacks by means of Client
   Puzzles.  Both mechanisms allow the Responder to avoid keeping state
   until the Initiator proves its IP address is legitimate (and after
   solving a puzzle if required).

   The connection-oriented nature of TCP transport brings additional
   considerations for using these mechanisms.  In general, Cookies
   provide less value in the case of TCP encapsulation; by the time a
   Responder receives the IKE_SA_INIT request, the TCP session has
   already been established and the Initiator's IP address has been
   verified.  Moreover, a TCP/IP stack creates state once a TCP SYN
   packet is received (unless SYN Cookies described in [RFC4987] are
   employed), which contradicts the statelessness of IKEv2 Cookies.  In
   particular, with TCP, an attacker is able to mount a SYN flooding DoS
   attack that an IKEv2 Responder cannot prevent using stateless IKEv2
   Cookies.  Thus, when using TCP encapsulation, it makes little sense
   to send Cookie requests without Puzzles unless the Responder is
   concerned with a possibility of TCP sequence number attacks (see
   [RFC6528] and [RFC9293] for details).  Puzzles, on the other hand,
   still remain useful (and their use requires using Cookies).

   The following considerations are applicable for using Cookie and
   Puzzle mechanisms in the case of TCP encapsulation:

   *  The exchange Responder SHOULD NOT send an IKEv2 Cookie request
      without an accompanied Puzzle; implementations might choose to
      have exceptions to this for cases like mitigating TCP sequence
      number attacks.

   *  If the Responder chooses to send a Cookie request (possibly along
      with Puzzle request), then the TCP connection that the IKE_SA_INIT
      request message was received over SHOULD be closed after the
      Responder sends its reply and no repeated requests are received
      within some short period of time to keep the Responder stateless
      (see Section 6.3.1).  Note that the Responder MUST NOT include the
      Initiator's TCP port into the Cookie calculation (*) since the
      Cookie can be returned over a new TCP connection with a different

   *  The exchange Initiator acts as described in Section 2.6 of
      [RFC7296] and Section 7 of [RFC8019], i.e., using TCP
      encapsulation doesn't change the Initiator's behavior.

   (*) Examples of Cookie calculation methods are given in Section 2.6
   of [RFC7296] and in Section of [RFC8019], and they don't
   include transport protocol ports.  However, these examples are given
   for illustrative purposes since the Cookie generation algorithm is a
   local matter and some implementations might include port numbers that
   won't work with TCP encapsulation.  Note also that these examples
   include the Initiator's IP address in Cookie calculation.  In
   general, this address may change between two initial requests (with
   and without Cookies).  This may happen due to NATs, which have more
   freedom to change source IP addresses for new TCP connections than
   for UDP.  In such cases, cookie verification might fail.

6.3.1.  Statelessness versus Delay of SA Establishment

   There is a trade-off in choosing the period of time after which the
   TCP connection is closed.  If it is too short, then the proper
   Initiator that repeats its request would need to re-establish the TCP
   connection, introducing additional delay.  On the other hand, if it
   is too long, then the Responder's resources would be wasted in case
   the Initiator never comes back.  This document doesn't mandate the
   duration of time because it doesn't affect interoperability, but it
   is believed that 5-10 seconds is a good compromise.  Also, note that
   if the Responder requests that the Initiator solve a puzzle, then the
   Responder can estimate how long it would take the Initiator to find a
   solution and adjust the time interval accordingly.

6.4.  Error Handling in IKE_SA_INIT

   Section 2.21.1 of [RFC7296] describes how error notifications are
   handled in the IKE_SA_INIT exchange.  In particular, it is advised
   that the Initiator should not act immediately after receiving an
   error notification; instead, it should wait some time for a valid
   response since the IKE_SA_INIT messages are completely
   unauthenticated.  This advice does not apply equally in the case of
   TCP encapsulation.  If the Initiator receives a response message over
   TCP, then either this message is genuine and was sent by the peer or
   the TCP session was hijacked and the message is forged.  In the
   latter case, no genuine messages from the Responder will be received.

   Thus, in the case of TCP encapsulation, an Initiator SHOULD NOT wait
   for additional messages in case it receives an error notification
   from the Responder in the IKE_SA_INIT exchange.

   In the IKE_SA_INIT exchange, if the Responder returns an error
   notification that implies a recovery action from the Initiator (such
   as INVALID_KE_PAYLOAD or INVALID_MAJOR_VERSION, see Section 2.21.1 of
   [RFC7296]), then the Responder SHOULD NOT close the TCP connection
   immediately in anticipation of the fact that the Initiator will
   repeat the request with corrected parameters.  See also Section 6.3.

6.5.  NAT-Detection Payloads

   When negotiating over UDP, IKE_SA_INIT packets include
   determine if UDP encapsulation of IPsec packets should be used.
   These payloads contain SHA-1 digests of the SPIs, IP addresses, and
   ports as defined in [RFC7296].  IKE_SA_INIT packets sent on a TCP
   connection SHOULD include these payloads with the same content as
   when sending over UDP and SHOULD use the applicable TCP ports when
   creating and checking the SHA-1 digests.

   If a NAT is detected due to the SHA-1 digests not matching the
   expected values, no change should be made for encapsulation of
   subsequent IKE or ESP packets since TCP encapsulation inherently
   supports NAT traversal.  However, for the transport mode IPsec SAs,
   implementations need to handle TCP and UDP packet checksum fixup
   during decapsulation, as defined for UDP encapsulation in [RFC3948].

   Implementations MAY use the information that a NAT is present to
   influence keepalive timer values.

6.6.  NAT-Keepalive Packets

   Encapsulating IKE and IPsec inside of a TCP connection can impact the
   strategy that implementations use to maintain middlebox port

   In general, TCP port mappings are maintained by NATs longer than UDP
   port mappings, so IPsec ESP NAT-keepalive packets [RFC3948] SHOULD
   NOT be sent when using TCP encapsulation.  Any implementation using
   TCP encapsulation MUST silently drop incoming NAT-keepalive packets
   and not treat them as errors.  NAT-keepalive packets over a TCP-
   encapsulated IPsec connection will be sent as a 1-octet-long payload
   with the value 0xFF, preceded by the 2-octet Length specifying a
   length of 3 (since it includes the length of the Length field).

6.7.  Dead Peer Detection and Transport Keepalives

   Peer liveness should be checked using IKE informational packets

   Note that, depending on the configuration of TCP and TLS on the
   connection, TCP keep-alives [RFC1122] and TLS keep-alives [RFC6520]
   MAY be used.  These MUST NOT be used as indications of IKE peer
   liveness, for which purpose the standard IKEv2 mechanism of
   exchanging (usually empty) INFORMATIONAL messages is used (see
   Section 1.4 of [RFC7296]).

6.8.  Implications of TCP Encapsulation on IPsec SA Processing

   Using TCP encapsulation affects some aspects of IPsec SA processing.

   1.  Section 8.1 of [RFC4301] requires all tunnel mode IPsec SAs to be
       able to copy the Don't Fragment (DF) bit from inner IPv4 header
       to the outer (tunnel) one.  With TCP encapsulation, this is
       generally not possible because the TCP/IP stack manages the DF
       bit in the outer IPv4 header, and usually the stack ensures that
       the DF bit is set for TCP packets to avoid IP fragmentation.
       Note, that this behavior is compliant with generic tunneling
       considerations since the outer TCP header acts as a link-layer
       protocol and its fragmentation and reassembly have no correlation
       with the inner payload.

   2.  The other feature that is less applicable with TCP encapsulation
       is an ability to split traffic of different QoS classes into
       different IPsec SAs, created by a single IKE SA.  In this case,
       the Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) field is usually
       copied from the inner IP header to the outer (tunnel) one,
       ensuring that IPsec traffic of each SA receives the corresponding
       level of service.  With TCP encapsulation, all IPsec SAs created
       by a single IKE SA will share a single TCP connection; thus, they
       will receive the same level of service (see Section 9.3).  If
       this functionality is needed, implementations should create
       several IKE SAs each over separate TCP connections and assign a
       corresponding DSCP value to each of them.

   TCP encapsulation of IPsec packets may have implications on
   performance of the encapsulated traffic.  Performance considerations
   are discussed in Section 9.

7.  Interaction with IKEv2 Extensions

7.1.  MOBIKE Protocol

   The MOBIKE protocol, which allows SAs to migrate between IP
   addresses, is defined in [RFC4555]; [RFC4621] further clarifies the
   details of the protocol.  When an IKE session that has negotiated
   MOBIKE is transitioning between networks, the Initiator of the
   transition may switch between using TCP encapsulation, UDP
   encapsulation, or no encapsulation.  Implementations that implement
   both MOBIKE and TCP encapsulation within the same connection
   configuration MUST support dynamically enabling and disabling TCP
   encapsulation as interfaces change.

   When a MOBIKE-enabled Initiator changes networks, the INFORMATIONAL
   exchange with the UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES notification SHOULD be
   initiated first over UDP before attempting over TCP.  If there is a
   response to the request sent over UDP, then the ESP packets should be
   sent directly over IP or over UDP port 4500 (depending on if a NAT
   was detected), regardless of if a connection on a previous network
   was using TCP encapsulation.  If no response is received within a
   certain period of time after several retransmissions, the Initiator
   ought to change its transport for this exchange from UDP to TCP and
   resend the request message.  A new INFORMATIONAL exchange MUST NOT be
   started in this situation.  If the Responder only responds to the
   request sent over TCP, then the ESP packets should be sent over the
   TCP connection, regardless of if a connection on a previous network
   did not use TCP encapsulation.

   The value of the timeout and the specific number of retransmissions
   before switching to TCP can vary depending on the Initiator's
   configuration.  Implementations ought to provide reasonable defaults
   to ensure that UDP attempts have a chance to succeed, but can shorten
   the timeout based on historical data or metrics.

   If the TCP transport was used for the previous network connection,
   the old TCP connection SHOULD be closed by the Initiator once MOBIKE
   finishes migration to a new connection (either TCP or UDP).

   Since switching from UDP to TCP can happen during a single
   INFORMATIONAL message exchange, the content of the NAT_DETECTION_*_IP
   notifications will in most cases be incorrect (since UDP and TCP
   ports will most likely be different), and the peer may incorrectly
   detect the presence of a NAT.  Section 3.5 of [RFC4555] states that a
   new INFORMATIONAL exchange with the UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES notify is
   initiated in case the address (or transport) is changed while waiting
   for a response.

   Section 3.5 of [RFC4555] also states that once an IKE SA is switched
   to a new IP address, all outstanding requests in this SA are
   immediately retransmitted using this address.  See also Section 6.2.

   The MOBIKE protocol defines the NO_NATS_ALLOWED notification that can
   be used to detect the presence of NAT between peer and to refuse to
   communicate in this situation.  In the case of TCP, the
   NO_NATS_ALLOWED notification SHOULD be ignored because TCP generally
   has no problems with NAT boxes.

   Section 3.7 of [RFC4555] describes an additional optional step in the
   process of changing IP addresses called "Return Routability Check".
   It is performed by Responders in order to be sure that the new
   Initiator's address is, in fact, routable.  In the case of TCP
   encapsulation, this check has little value since a TCP handshake
   proves the routability of the TCP Originator's address; thus, the
   Return Routability Check SHOULD NOT be performed.

7.2.  IKE Redirect

   A redirect mechanism for IKEv2 is defined in [RFC5685].  This
   mechanism allows security gateways to redirect clients to another
   gateway either during IKE SA establishment or after session setup.
   If a client is connecting to a security gateway using TCP and then is
   redirected to another security gateway, the client needs to reset its
   transport selection.  In other words, with the next security gateway,
   the client MUST first try UDP and then fall back to TCP while
   establishing a new IKE SA, regardless of the transport of the SA the
   redirect notification was received over (unless the client's
   configuration instructs it to instantly use TCP for the gateway it is
   redirected to).

7.3.  IKEv2 Session Resumption

   Session resumption for IKEv2 is defined in [RFC5723].  Once an IKE SA
   is established, the server creates a resumption ticket where
   information about this SA is stored and transfers this ticket to the
   client.  The ticket may be later used to resume the IKE SA after it
   is deleted.  In the event of resumption, the client presents the
   ticket in a new exchange, called IKE_SESSION_RESUME.  Some parameters
   in the new SA are retrieved from the ticket and others are
   renegotiated (more details are given in Section 5 of [RFC5723]).

   Since network conditions may change while the client is inactive, the
   fact that TCP encapsulation was used in an old SA SHOULD NOT affect
   which transport is used during session resumption.  In other words,
   the transport should be selected as if the IKE SA is being created
   from scratch.

7.4.  IKEv2 Protocol Support for High Availability

   [RFC6311] defines a support for High Availability in IKEv2.  In case
   of cluster failover, a new active node must immediately initiate a
   special INFORMATION exchange containing the IKEV2_MESSAGE_ID_SYNC
   notification, which instructs the client to skip some number of
   Message IDs that might not be synchronized yet between nodes at the
   time of failover.

   Synchronizing states when using TCP encapsulation is much harder than
   when using UDP; doing so requires access to TCP/IP stack internals,
   which is not always available from an IKE/IPsec implementation.  If a
   cluster implementation doesn't synchronize TCP states between nodes,
   then after failover event the new active node will not have any TCP
   connection with the client, so the node cannot initiate the
   INFORMATIONAL exchange as required by [RFC6311].  Since the cluster
   usually acts as TCP Responder, the new active node cannot re-
   establish TCP connection because only the TCP Originator can do it.
   For the client, the cluster failover event may remain undetected for
   long time if it has no IKE or ESP traffic to send.  Once the client
   sends an ESP or IKEv2 packet, the cluster node will reply with TCP
   RST and the client (as TCP Originator) will reestablish the TCP
   connection so that the node will be able to initiate the
   INFORMATIONAL exchange informing the client about the cluster

   This document makes the following recommendation: if support for High
   Availability in IKEv2 is negotiated and TCP transport is used, a
   client that is a TCP Originator SHOULD periodically send IKEv2
   messages (e.g., by initiating liveness check exchange) whenever there
   is no IKEv2 or ESP traffic.  This differs from the recommendations
   given in Section 2.4 of [RFC7296] in the following: the liveness
   check should be periodically performed even if the client has nothing
   to send over ESP.  The frequency of sending such messages should be
   high enough to allow quick detection and restoration of broken TCP

7.5.  IKEv2 Fragmentation

   IKE message fragmentation [RFC7383] is not required when using TCP
   encapsulation since a TCP stream already handles the fragmentation of
   its contents across packets.  Since fragmentation is redundant in
   this case, implementations might choose to not negotiate IKE
   fragmentation.  Even if fragmentation is negotiated, an
   implementation SHOULD NOT send fragments when going over a TCP
   connection, although it MUST support receiving fragments.

   If an implementation supports both MOBIKE and IKE fragmentation, it
   SHOULD negotiate IKE fragmentation over a TCP-encapsulated session in
   case the session switches to UDP encapsulation on another network.

8.  Middlebox Considerations

   Many security networking devices, such as firewalls or intrusion
   prevention systems, network optimization/acceleration devices, and
   NAT devices, keep the state of sessions that traverse through them.

   These devices commonly track the transport-layer and/or application-
   layer data to drop traffic that is anomalous or malicious in nature.
   While many of these devices will be more likely to pass TCP-
   encapsulated traffic as opposed to UDP-encapsulated traffic, some may
   still block or interfere with TCP-encapsulated IKE and IPsec traffic.

   A network device that monitors the transport layer will track the
   state of TCP sessions, such as TCP sequence numbers.  If the IKE
   implementation has its own minimal implementation of TCP, it SHOULD
   still use common TCP behaviors to avoid being dropped by middleboxes.

   Operators that intentionally block IPsec because of security
   implications might want to also block TCP port 4500 or use other
   methods to reject TCP encapsulated IPsec traffic (e.g., filter out
   TCP connections that begin with the "IKETCP" stream prefix).

9.  Performance Considerations

   Several aspects of TCP encapsulation for IKE and IPsec packets may
   negatively impact the performance of connections within a tunnel-mode
   IPsec SA.  Implementations should be aware of these performance
   impacts and take these into consideration when determining when to
   use TCP encapsulation.  Implementations MUST favor using direct ESP
   or UDP encapsulation over TCP encapsulation whenever possible.

9.1.  TCP-in-TCP

   If the outer connection between IKE peers is over TCP, inner TCP
   connections may suffer negative effects from using TCP within TCP.
   Running TCP within TCP is discouraged since the TCP algorithms
   generally assume that they are running over an unreliable datagram

   If the outer (tunnel) TCP connection experiences packet loss, this
   loss will be hidden from any inner TCP connections since the outer
   connection will retransmit to account for the losses.  Since the
   outer TCP connection will deliver the inner messages in order, any
   messages after a lost packet may have to wait until the loss is
   recovered.  This means that loss on the outer connection will be
   interpreted only as delay by inner connections.  The burstiness of
   inner traffic can increase since a large number of inner packets may
   be delivered across the tunnel at once.  The inner TCP connection may
   interpret a long period of delay as a transmission problem,
   triggering a retransmission timeout, which will cause spurious
   retransmissions.  The sending rate of the inner connection may be
   unnecessarily reduced if the retransmissions are not detected as
   spurious in time.

   The inner TCP connection's round-trip-time estimation will be
   affected by the burstiness of the outer TCP connection if there are
   long delays when packets are retransmitted by the outer TCP
   connection.  This will make the congestion control loop of the inner
   TCP traffic less reactive, potentially permanently leading to a lower
   sending rate than the outer TCP would allow for.

   TCP-in-TCP can also lead to "TCP meltdown", where stacked instances
   of TCP can result in significant impacts to performance
   [TCP-MELTDOWN].  This can occur when losses in the lower TCP (closer
   to the link) increase delays seen by the higher TCP (closer to the
   application) that create timeouts, which, in turn, cause
   retransmissions that can then cause losses in the lower TCP by
   overrunning its buffer.  The very mechanism intended to avoid loss
   (retransmission) interacts between the two layers to increase loss.
   To limit this effect, the timeouts of the two TCP layers need to be
   carefully managed, e.g., such that the higher layer has a much longer
   timeout than the lower layer.

   Note that any negative effects will be shared among all flows going
   through the outer TCP connection.  This is of particular concern for
   any latency-sensitive or real-time applications using the tunnel.  If
   such traffic is using a TCP-encapsulated IPsec connection, it is
   recommended that the number of inner connections sharing the tunnel
   be limited as much as possible.

9.2.  Added Reliability for Unreliable Protocols

   Since ESP is an unreliable protocol, transmitting ESP packets over a
   TCP connection will change the fundamental behavior of the packets.
   Some application-level protocols that prefer packet loss to delay
   (such as Voice over IP or other real-time protocols) may be
   negatively impacted if their packets are retransmitted by the TCP
   connection due to packet loss.

9.3.  Quality-of-Service Markings

   Quality-of-Service (QoS) markings, such as the Differentiated
   Services Code Point (DSCP) and Traffic Class, should be used with
   care on TCP connections used for encapsulation.  Individual packets
   SHOULD NOT use different markings than the rest of the connection
   since packets with different priorities may be routed differently and
   cause unnecessary delays in the connection.

9.4.  Maximum Segment Size

   A TCP connection used for IKE encapsulation SHOULD negotiate its MSS
   in order to avoid unnecessary fragmentation of packets.

9.5.  Tunneling ECN in TCP

   Since there is not a one-to-one relationship between outer IP packets
   and inner ESP/IP messages when using TCP encapsulation, the markings
   for Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) [RFC3168] cannot easily be
   mapped.  However, any ECN Congestion Experienced (CE) marking on
   inner headers should be preserved through the tunnel.

   Implementations SHOULD follow the ECN compatibility mode for tunnel
   ingress as described in [RFC6040].  In compatibility mode, the outer
   tunnel TCP connection marks its packet headers as not ECN-capable.

   Upon egress, if the arriving outer header is marked with CE, the
   implementation will drop the inner packet since there is not a
   distinct inner packet header onto which to translate the ECN

10.  Security Considerations

   IKE Responders that support TCP encapsulation may become vulnerable
   to new Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks that are specific to TCP, such
   as SYN-flooding attacks.  TCP Responders should be aware of this
   additional attack surface.

   TCP connections are also susceptible to RST and other spoofing
   attacks [RFC4953].  This specification makes IPsec tolerant of sudden
   TCP connection drops, but if an attacker is able to tear down TCP
   connections, IPsec connection's performance can suffer, effectively
   making this a DoS attack.

   TCP data injection attacks have no effect on application data since
   IPsec provides data integrity.  However, they can have some effect,
   mostly by creating DoS attacks:

   *  If an attacker alters the content of the Length field that
      separates packets, then the Receiver will incorrectly identify the
      boundaries of the following packets and will drop all of them or
      even tear down the TCP connection if the content of the Length
      field happens to be 0 or 1 (see Section 3).

   *  If the content of an IKE message is altered, then it will be
      dropped by the receiver; if the dropped message is the IKE request
      message, then the Initiator will tear down the IKE SA after some
      timeout since, in most cases, the request message will not be
      retransmitted (as advised in Section 6.2); thus, the response will
      never be received.

   *  If an attacker alters the non-ESP marker, then IKE packets will be
      dispatched to ESP (and sometimes visa versa) and those packets
      will be dropped.

   *  If an attacker modifies TCP-Encapsulated stream prefix or
      unencrypted IKE messages before IKE SA is established, then in
      most cases this will result in failure to establish IKE SA, often
      with false "authentication failed" diagnostics.

   [RFC5961] discusses how TCP injection attacks can be mitigated.

   Note that data injection attacks are also possible on IP level (e.g.,
   when IP fragmentation is used), resulting in DoS attacks even if TCP
   encapsulation is not used.  On the other hand, TCP injection attacks
   are easier to mount than the IP fragmentation injection attacks
   because TCP keeps a long receive window open that's a sitting target
   for such attacks.

   If an attacker successfully mounts an injection attack on a TCP
   connection used for encapsulating IPsec traffic and modifies a Length
   field, the receiver might not be able to correctly identify the
   boundaries of the following packets in the stream since it will try
   to parse arbitrary data as an ESP or IKE header.  After such a
   parsing failure, all following packets will be dropped.
   Communication will eventually recover, but this might take several
   minutes and can result in IKE SA deletion and re-creation.

   To speed up the recovery from such attacks, implementations are
   advised to follow recommendations in Section 6.1 and close the TCP
   connection if incoming packets contain SPIs that don't match any
   known SAs.  Once the TCP connection is closed, it will be re-created
   by the TCP Originator as described in Section 6.1.

   To avoid performance degradation caused by closing and re-creating
   TCP connections, implementations MAY alternatively try to resync
   after they receive unknown SPIs by searching the TCP stream for a
   64-bit binary vector consisting of a known SPI in the first 32 bits
   and a valid Sequence Number for this SPI in the second 32 bits.
   Then, they can validate the Integrity Check Value (ICV) of this
   packet candidate by taking the preceding 16 bits as the Length field.
   They can also search for 4 bytes of zero (non-ESP marker) followed by
   128 bits of IKE SPIs of the IKE SA(s) associated with this TCP
   connection and then validate the ICV of this IKE message candidate by
   taking the 16 bits preceding the non-ESP marker as the Length field.
   Implementations SHOULD limit the attempts to resync, because if the
   injection attack is ongoing, then there is a high probability that
   the resync process will not succeed or will quickly come under attack

   An attacker capable of blocking UDP traffic can force peers to use
   TCP encapsulation, thus, degrading the performance and making the
   connection more vulnerable to DoS attacks.  Note that an attacker
   that is able to modify packets on the wire or to block them can
   prevent peers from communicating regardless of the transport being

   TCP Responders should be careful to ensure that the stream prefix
   "IKETCP" uniquely identifies incoming streams as streams that use the
   TCP encapsulation protocol.

   Attackers may be able to disrupt the TCP connection by sending
   spurious TCP Reset packets.  Therefore, implementations SHOULD make
   sure that IKE session state persists even if the underlying TCP
   connection is torn down.

   If MOBIKE is being used, all of the security considerations outlined
   for MOBIKE apply [RFC4555].

   Similar to MOBIKE, TCP encapsulation requires a TCP Responder to
   handle changes to source address and port due to network or
   connection disruption.  The successful delivery of valid new IKE or
   ESP messages over a new TCP connection is used by the TCP Responder
   to determine where to send subsequent responses.  If an attacker is
   able to send packets on a new TCP connection that pass the validation
   checks of the TCP Responder, it can influence which path future
   packets will take.  For this reason, the validation of messages on
   the TCP Responder must include decryption, authentication, and replay

11.  IANA Considerations

   TCP port 4500 is already allocated to IPsec for NAT traversal in the
   "Service Name and Transport Protocol Port Number Registry".  This
   port SHOULD be used for TCP-encapsulated IKE and ESP as described in
   this document.

   This document updates the reference for TCP port 4500 from RFC 8229
   to itself:

   Service Name:  ipsec-nat-t
   Port Number / Transport Protocol:  4500/tcp
   Description:  IPsec NAT-Traversal
   Reference:  RFC 9329

12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC3948]  Huttunen, A., Swander, B., Volpe, V., DiBurro, L., and M.
              Stenberg, "UDP Encapsulation of IPsec ESP Packets",
              RFC 3948, DOI 10.17487/RFC3948, January 2005,

   [RFC4301]  Kent, S. and K. Seo, "Security Architecture for the
              Internet Protocol", RFC 4301, DOI 10.17487/RFC4301,
              December 2005, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4301>.

   [RFC4303]  Kent, S., "IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)",
              RFC 4303, DOI 10.17487/RFC4303, December 2005,

   [RFC6040]  Briscoe, B., "Tunnelling of Explicit Congestion
              Notification", RFC 6040, DOI 10.17487/RFC6040, November
              2010, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6040>.

   [RFC7296]  Kaufman, C., Hoffman, P., Nir, Y., Eronen, P., and T.
              Kivinen, "Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2
              (IKEv2)", STD 79, RFC 7296, DOI 10.17487/RFC7296, October
              2014, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7296>.

   [RFC8019]  Nir, Y. and V. Smyslov, "Protecting Internet Key Exchange
              Protocol Version 2 (IKEv2) Implementations from
              Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks", RFC 8019,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8019, November 2016,

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

12.2.  Informative References

              Nir, Y., "A TCP transport for the Internet Key Exchange",
              Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-ipsecme-ike-
              tcp-01, 3 December 2012,

   [RFC1122]  Braden, R., Ed., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1122, October 1989,

   [RFC2817]  Khare, R. and S. Lawrence, "Upgrading to TLS Within
              HTTP/1.1", RFC 2817, DOI 10.17487/RFC2817, May 2000,

   [RFC3168]  Ramakrishnan, K., Floyd, S., and D. Black, "The Addition
              of Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) to IP",
              RFC 3168, DOI 10.17487/RFC3168, September 2001,

   [RFC4555]  Eronen, P., "IKEv2 Mobility and Multihoming Protocol
              (MOBIKE)", RFC 4555, DOI 10.17487/RFC4555, June 2006,

   [RFC4621]  Kivinen, T. and H. Tschofenig, "Design of the IKEv2
              Mobility and Multihoming (MOBIKE) Protocol", RFC 4621,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4621, August 2006,

   [RFC4953]  Touch, J., "Defending TCP Against Spoofing Attacks",
              RFC 4953, DOI 10.17487/RFC4953, July 2007,

   [RFC4987]  Eddy, W., "TCP SYN Flooding Attacks and Common
              Mitigations", RFC 4987, DOI 10.17487/RFC4987, August 2007,

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5246, August 2008,

   [RFC5685]  Devarapalli, V. and K. Weniger, "Redirect Mechanism for
              the Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2 (IKEv2)",
              RFC 5685, DOI 10.17487/RFC5685, November 2009,

   [RFC5723]  Sheffer, Y. and H. Tschofenig, "Internet Key Exchange
              Protocol Version 2 (IKEv2) Session Resumption", RFC 5723,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5723, January 2010,

   [RFC5961]  Ramaiah, A., Stewart, R., and M. Dalal, "Improving TCP's
              Robustness to Blind In-Window Attacks", RFC 5961,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5961, August 2010,

   [RFC6311]  Singh, R., Ed., Kalyani, G., Nir, Y., Sheffer, Y., and D.
              Zhang, "Protocol Support for High Availability of IKEv2/
              IPsec", RFC 6311, DOI 10.17487/RFC6311, July 2011,

   [RFC6520]  Seggelmann, R., Tuexen, M., and M. Williams, "Transport
              Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security
              (DTLS) Heartbeat Extension", RFC 6520,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6520, February 2012,

   [RFC6528]  Gont, F. and S. Bellovin, "Defending against Sequence
              Number Attacks", RFC 6528, DOI 10.17487/RFC6528, February
              2012, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6528>.

   [RFC7383]  Smyslov, V., "Internet Key Exchange Protocol Version 2
              (IKEv2) Message Fragmentation", RFC 7383,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7383, November 2014,

   [RFC8229]  Pauly, T., Touati, S., and R. Mantha, "TCP Encapsulation
              of IKE and IPsec Packets", RFC 8229, DOI 10.17487/RFC8229,
              August 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8229>.

   [RFC8446]  Rescorla, E., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol
              Version 1.3", RFC 8446, DOI 10.17487/RFC8446, August 2018,

   [RFC9293]  Eddy, W., Ed., "Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)",
              STD 7, RFC 9293, DOI 10.17487/RFC9293, August 2022,

   [RFC9325]  Sheffer, Y., Saint-Andre, P., and T. Fossati,
              "Recommendations for Secure Use of Transport Layer
              Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security
              (DTLS)", RFC 9325, DOI 10.17487/RFC9325, November 2022,

              Honda, O., Ohsaki, H., Imase, M., Ishizuka, M., and J.
              Murayama, "Understanding TCP over TCP: effects of TCP
              tunneling on end-to-end throughput and latency", October
              2005, <https://doi.org/10.1117/12.630496>.

Appendix A.  Using TCP Encapsulation with TLS

   This section provides recommendations on how to use TLS in addition
   to TCP encapsulation.

   When using TCP encapsulation, implementations may choose to use TLS
   1.2 [RFC5246] or TLS 1.3 [RFC8446] on the TCP connection to be able
   to traverse middleboxes, which may otherwise block the traffic.

   If a web proxy is applied to the ports used for the TCP connection
   and TLS is being used, the TCP Originator can send an HTTP CONNECT
   message to establish an SA through the proxy [RFC2817].

   The use of TLS should be configurable on the peers and may be used as
   the default when using TCP encapsulation or may be used as a fallback
   when basic TCP encapsulation fails.  The TCP Responder may expect to
   read encapsulated IKE and ESP packets directly from the TCP
   connection, or it may expect to read them from a stream of TLS data
   packets.  The TCP Originator should be preconfigured regarding
   whether or not to use TLS when communicating with a given port on the
   TCP Responder.

   When new TCP connections are re-established due to a broken
   connection, TLS must be renegotiated.  TLS session resumption is
   recommended to improve efficiency in this case.

   The security of the IKE session is entirely derived from the IKE
   negotiation and key establishment and not from the TLS session
   (which, in this context, is only used for encapsulation purposes);
   therefore, when TLS is used on the TCP connection, both the TCP
   Originator and the TCP Responder SHOULD allow the NULL cipher to be
   selected for performance reasons.  Note that TLS 1.3 only supports
   AEAD algorithms and at the time of writing this document there was no
   recommended cipher suite for TLS 1.3 with the NULL cipher.  It is
   RECOMMENDED to follow [RFC9325] when selecting parameters for TLS.

   Implementations should be aware that the use of TLS introduces
   another layer of overhead requiring more bytes to transmit a given
   IKE and IPsec packet.  For this reason, direct ESP, UDP
   encapsulation, or TCP encapsulation without TLS should be preferred
   in situations in which TLS is not required in order to traverse

Appendix B.  Example Exchanges of TCP Encapsulation with TLS 1.3

   This appendix contains examples of data flows in cases where TCP
   encapsulation of IKE and IPsec packets is used with TLS 1.3.  The
   examples below are provided for illustrative purpose only; readers
   should refer to the main body of the document for details.

B.1.  Establishing an IKE Session

                   Client                              Server
                 ----------                          ----------
     1)  --------------------  TCP Connection  -------------------
         (IP_I:Port_I  -> IP_R:Port_R)
         TcpSyn                   ------->
                                  <-------              TcpSyn,Ack
         TcpAck                   ------->
     2)  ---------------------  TLS Session  ---------------------
         ClientHello              ------->
                                  <-------              {Finished}
         {Finished}               ------->
     3)  ---------------------- Stream Prefix --------------------
         "IKETCP"                 ------->
     4)  ----------------------- IKE Session ---------------------
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
         HDR, SAi1, KEi, Ni,
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                                               HDR, SAr1, KEr, Nr,
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
         first IKE_AUTH
         HDR, SK {IDi, [CERTREQ]
         CP(CFG_REQUEST), IDr,
         SAi2, TSi, TSr, ...}
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                                                    first IKE_AUTH
                                       HDR, SK {IDr, [CERT], AUTH,
                                              EAP, SAr2, TSi, TSr}
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
         IKE_AUTH (repeat 1..N times)
         HDR, SK {EAP}
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                                      IKE_AUTH (repeat 1..N times)
                                                      HDR SK {EAP}
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
         final IKE_AUTH
         HDR, SK {AUTH}
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                                                    final IKE_AUTH
                                     HDR, SK {AUTH, CP(CFG_REPLY),
                                                SA, TSi, TSr, ...}
         -------------- IKE and IPsec SAs Established ------------
         Length + ESP Frame       ------->

   1.  The client establishes a TCP connection with the server on port
       4500 or on an alternate preconfigured port that the server is
       listening on.

   2.  If configured to use TLS, the client initiates a TLS handshake.
       During the TLS handshake, the server SHOULD NOT request the
       client's certificate since authentication is handled as part of
       IKE negotiation.

   3.  The client sends the stream prefix for TCP-encapsulated IKE
       (Section 4) traffic to signal the beginning of IKE negotiation.

   4.  The client and server establish an IKE connection.  This example
       shows EAP-based authentication, although any authentication type
       may be used.

B.2.  Deleting an IKE Session

                   Client                              Server
                 ----------                          ----------
     1)  ----------------------- IKE Session ---------------------
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
         HDR, SK {[N,] [D,]
                [CP,] ...}
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                                                HDR, SK {[N,] [D,]
                                                        [CP], ...}
     2)  ---------------------  TLS Session  ---------------------
         close_notify             ------->
                                  <-------            close_notify
     3)  --------------------  TCP Connection  -------------------
         TcpFin                   ------->
                                  <-------                     Ack
                                  <-------                  TcpFin
         Ack                      ------->
         --------------------  IKE SA Deleted  -------------------

   1.  The client and server exchange informational messages to notify
       IKE SA deletion.

   2.  The client and server negotiate TLS session deletion using TLS

   3.  The TCP connection is torn down.

   The deletion of the IKE SA should lead to the disposal of the
   underlying TLS and TCP state.

B.3.  Re-establishing an IKE Session

                   Client                              Server
                 ----------                          ----------
     1)  --------------------  TCP Connection  -------------------
         (IP_I:Port_I  -> IP_R:Port_R)
         TcpSyn                   ------->
                                  <-------              TcpSyn,Ack
         TcpAck                   ------->
     2)  ---------------------  TLS Session  ---------------------
         ClientHello              ------->
                                  <-------              {Finished}
         {Finished}               ------->
     3)  ---------------------- Stream Prefix --------------------
         "IKETCP"                 ------->
     4)  <---------------------> IKE/ESP Flow <------------------>

   1.  If a previous TCP connection was broken (for example, due to a
       TCP Reset), the client is responsible for re-initiating the TCP
       connection.  The TCP Originator's address and port (IP_I and
       Port_I) may be different from the previous connection's address
       and port.

   2.  The client SHOULD attempt TLS session resumption if it has
       previously established a session with the server.

   3.  After TCP and TLS are complete, the client sends the stream
       prefix for TCP-encapsulated IKE traffic (Section 4).

   4.  The IKE and ESP packet flow can resume.  If MOBIKE is being used,
       the Initiator SHOULD send an UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES message.

B.4.  Using MOBIKE between UDP and TCP Encapsulation

                     Client                              Server
                   ----------                          ----------
     1)  --------------------- IKE_session ----------------------
         (IP_I1:UDP500 -> IP_R:UDP500)
         IKE_SA_INIT              ------->
         HDR, SAi1, KEi, Ni,
                                  <-------            IKE_SA_INIT
                                               HDR, SAr1, KEr, Nr,
         (IP_I1:UDP4500 -> IP_R:UDP4500)
         Non-ESP Marker           ------->
         HDR, SK { IDi, CERT, AUTH,
         SAi2, TSi, TSr,
                                  <-------          Non-ESP Marker
                                        HDR, SK { IDr, CERT, AUTH,
                                                   SAr2, TSi, TSr,
                                             N(MOBIKE_SUPPORTED) }
         <---------------------> IKE/ESP Flow <------------------>
     2)  ------------ MOBIKE Attempt on New Network --------------
         (IP_I2:UDP4500 -> IP_R:UDP4500)
         Non-ESP Marker           ------->
     3)  --------------------  TCP Connection  -------------------
         (IP_I2:Port_I -> IP_R:Port_R)
         TcpSyn                   ------->
                                  <-------              TcpSyn,Ack
         TcpAck                   ------->
     4)  ---------------------  TLS Session  ---------------------
         ClientHello              ------->
                                  <-------              {Finished}
         {Finished}               ------->
     5)  ---------------------- Stream Prefix --------------------
         "IKETCP"                 ------->

     6)  ------------ Retransmit Message from step 2 -------------
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                             HDR, SK { N(NAT_DETECTION_SOURCE_IP),
                                 N(NAT_DETECTION_DESTINATION_IP) }
     7)  -- New Exchange with recalculated  NAT_DETECTION_*_IP ---
         Length + Non-ESP Marker  ------->
                                  <------- Length + Non-ESP Marker
                             HDR, SK { N(NAT_DETECTION_SOURCE_IP),
                                 N(NAT_DETECTION_DESTINATION_IP) }
     8)  <---------------------> IKE/ESP Flow <------------------>

   1.  During the IKE_AUTH exchange, the client and server exchange
       MOBIKE_SUPPORTED notify payloads to indicate support for MOBIKE.

   2.  The client changes its point of attachment to the network and
       receives a new IP address.  The client attempts to re-establish
       the IKE session using the UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES notify payload, but
       the server does not respond because the network blocks UDP

   3.  The client brings up a TCP connection to the server in order to
       use TCP encapsulation.

   4.  The client initiates a TLS handshake with the server.

   5.  The client sends the stream prefix for TCP-encapsulated IKE
       traffic (Section 4).

   6.  The client sends the UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES notify payload in the
       INFORMATIONAL exchange on the TCP-encapsulated connection.  Note
       that this IKE message is the same as the one sent over UDP in
       step 2; it should have the same message ID and contents.

   7.  Once the client receives a response on the TCP-encapsulated
       connection, it immediately starts a new INFORMATIONAL exchange
       with an UPDATE_SA_ADDRESSES notify payload and recalculated
       NAT_DETECTION_*_IP notify payloads in order to get correct
       information about the presence of NATs.

   8.  The IKE and ESP packet flow can resume.


   Thanks to the authors of RFC 8229 (Tommy Pauly, Samy Touati, and Ravi
   Mantha).  Since this document clarifies and obsoletes RFC 8229, most
   of its text was borrowed from the original document.

   The following people provided valuable feedback and advice while
   preparing RFC 8229: Stuart Cheshire, Delziel Fernandes, Yoav Nir,
   Christoph Paasch, Yaron Sheffer, David Schinazi, Graham Bartlett,
   Byju Pularikkal, March Wu, Kingwel Xie, Valery Smyslov, Jun Hu, and
   Tero Kivinen.  Special thanks to Eric Kinnear for his implementation

   The authors would like to thank Tero Kivinen, Paul Wouters, Joseph
   Touch, and Christian Huitema for their valuable comments while
   preparing this document.

Authors' Addresses

   Tommy Pauly
   Apple Inc.
   1 Infinite Loop
   Cupertino, California 95014
   United States of America
   Email: tpauly@apple.com

   Valery Smyslov
   PO Box 81
   Moscow (Zelenograd)
   Russian Federation
   Phone: +7 495 276 0211
   Email: svan@elvis.ru