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Understanding the Operational Environment for Junos OS in FIPS Mode

 

EX and QFX Series devices running the Junos operating system (Junos OS) in FIPS mode forms a special type of hardware and software operational environment that is different from the environment of a switch in non-FIPS mode:

Hardware Environment for Junos OS in FIPS Mode

Junos OS in FIPS mode establishes a cryptographic boundary in the switch that no critical security parameters (CSPs) can cross using plain text. Each hardware component of the switch that requires a cryptographic boundary for FIPS 140-2 compliance is a separate cryptographic module.

For more information about the cryptographic boundary on your switch, see Understanding Junos OS in FIPS Mode.

Communications involving CSPs between these secure environments must take place using encryption.

Cryptographic methods are not a substitute for physical security. The hardware must be located in a secure physical environment. Users of all types must not reveal keys or passwords, or allow written records or notes to be seen by unauthorized personnel.

Software Environment for Junos OS in FIPS Mode

EX and QFX Series Series devices running Junos OS in FIPS mode forms a special type of non-modifiable operational environment. To achieve this environment on the switch, the system prevents the execution of any binary file that was not part of the certified Junos OS distribution. When a switch is in FIPS mode, it can run only Junos OS.

FIPS mode on EX and QFX Series devices are available starting with Junos OS Release 20.2R1-S1. The Junos OS in FIPS mode software environment is established after the Security Administrator successfully enables FIPS mode on a EX and QFX Series switch.

For FIPS 140-2 compliance, we recommend deleting all user-created files and data from (zeroizing) the system immediately after enabling FIPS mode.

Note

Do not attach the switch to a network until you, the Security Administrator, complete the configuration from the local console connection.

Critical Security Parameters

Critical security parameters (CSPs) are security-related information such as cryptographic keys and passwords that can compromise the security of the cryptographic module or the security of the information protected by the module if they are disclosed or modified.

Zeroization of the system erases all traces of CSPs in preparation for operating the switch or Routing Engine as a cryptographic module.

Table 1 lists CSPs on switches running Junos OS.

Table 1: Critical Security Parameters

CSP

Description

Zeroization method

Use

SSH-2 private host key

ECDSA key used to identify the host, generated the first time SSH is configured. RSA key used to identify the host, generated the first time SSH is configured.

Zeroize command.

Used to identify the host.

SSH-2 session key

Session key used with SSH-2. and as a Diffie-Hellman private key.

Encryption: AES-128, AES-256.

MACs: HMAC-SHA-1, HMAC SHA-256, HMAC SHA-512.

Key exchange: DH Group exchange (2048 ≤ key ≤ 8192), ECDH: ECDH-sha2-nistp256, ECDH-sha2-nistp384, and ECDH-sha2-nistp521.

Power cycle and terminate session.

Symmetric key used to encrypt data between host and client.

User authentication key

Hash of the user’s password: SHA-256, SHA-512.

Zeroize command.

Used to authenticate a user to the cryptographic module.

Security Administrator authentication key

Hash of the Security Administrator’s password: SHA-256, SHA-512.

Zeroize command.

Used to authenticate the Security Administrator to the cryptographic module.

HMAC DRBG seed

Seed for deterministic randon bit generator (DRBG).

Seed is not stored by the cryptographic module.

Used for seeding DRBG.

HMAC DRBG V value

The value (V) of output block length (outlen) in bits, which is updated each time another outlen bits of output are produced.

Power cycle.

A critical value of the internal state of DRBG.

HMAC DRBG key value

The current value of the outlen-bit key, which is updated at least once each time that the DRBG mechanism generates pseudorandom bits.

Power cycle.

A critical value of the internal state of DRBG.

NDRNG entropy

Used as entropy input string to the HMAC DRBG.

Power cycle.

A critical value of the internal state of DRBG.

In Junos OS in FIPS mode, all CSPs must enter and leave the cryptographic module in encrypted form. Any CSP encrypted with a non-approved algorithm is considered plain text by FIPS.

Best Practice

For FIPS compliance, configure the switch over SSH connections because these are encrypted connections.

Local passwords are hashed with the secure hash algorithm SHA-256, or SHA-512. Password recovery is not possible in Junos OS in FIPS mode. Junos OS in FIPS mode cannot boot into single-user mode without the correct root password.