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RootPrompt.org: Can IPv6 replace SSL?

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted May 30, 2000


"In this paper I will give a brief overview of the features of IPv6 and discuss its security specifications. In the later sections of the paper, I compare the security specifications of IPv6 to one of today's available security protocols, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). I am aware, that I am comparing "apples with oranges". The two protocols are located on different layers and work in different ways. Both protocols have the goal to provide authentication and confidentiality of the data. Therefore my focus will not be which one of them is "better" but if IPv6 has strong enough security and if SSL has still a place in a world where everyone is using IPv6." In this paper I will give a brief overview of the features of IPv6 and discuss its security specifications. In the later sections of the paper, I compare the security specifications of IPv6 to one of today's available security protocols, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

"Security is an important issue for today's communication. With the increasing factor in networking and the Internet in particular, the need for authentication and encryption is climbing rapidly. Many commercial and government (not to mention defense) organizations are no longer willing to send their sensitive information and communications unencrypted over an insecure network. In addition, the Internet is running out of IP addresses. As the Internet continues to grow exponentially, the 32 bit addressing scheme will run out of addresses in a short time. Certainly, a 32 bit addressing space contains a lot of possible addresses. But with the partition of this space into A,B,C and D addresses, we are already short of C addresses, which represent the most needed network size.During a relatively short period, we can work around this problem with subnetting larger classes, however a solution to this problem will soon be required."

"IPv6 (IP version 6), also known as IPng (IP next generation) is a proposed standard and most features are already implemented and IPv6 packets are being tested on the Internet by different organizations. In IPv6, the proposed standards for IPsec (IP secure) will be implemented. IPsec is not restricted to IPv6 but can also be implemented in IPv4 (actual IP version). In this paper I will give a brief overview of the features of IPv6 and discuss the security specifications of IPsec, which throughout this paper I will refer to as the security features of IPv6. In the later sections of the paper, I compare the security specifications of IPv6 to one of today's available security protocols, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). I am aware, that I am comparing "apples with oranges." The two protocols are located on different layers and work in different ways. Both protocols have the goal to provide authentication and confidentiality of the data. Therefore my focus will not be which one of them is "better" but if IPv6 has strong enough security and if SSL has still a place in a world where everyone is using IPv6. These pages provide a practical overview of the proposed standard of IPv6."

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