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D.2. Protecting Application Data

The master_secret is hashed with the ClientHello.random and ServerHello.random to produce unique data encryption keys and MAC secrets for each connection. Fortezza encryption keys are generated by the token, and are not derived from the master_secret.

Outgoing data is protected with a MAC before transmission. To prevent message replay or modification attacks, the MAC is computed from the MAC secret, the sequence number, the message length, the message contents, and two fixed character strings. The message type field is necessary to ensure that messages intended for one SSL Record Layer client are not redirected to another. The sequence number ensures that attempts to delete or reorder messages will be detected. Since sequence numbers are 64 bits long, they should never overflow. Messages from one party cannot be inserted into the other's output, since they use independent MAC secrets. Similarly, the server-write and client-write keys are independent so stream cipher keys are used only once.

If an attacker does break an encryption key, all messages encrypted with it can be read. Similarly, compromise of a MAC key can make message modification attacks possible. Because MACs are also encrypted, message-alteration attacks generally require breaking the encryption algorithm as well as the MAC.


MAC secrets may be larger than encryption keys, so messages can remain tamper resistant even if encryption keys are broken

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