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Understanding the Operational Environment for Junos OS in FIPS Mode

 

An NFX250 Network Services Platform running the Juniper Networks 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 NFX250 device in non-FIPS mode:

Hardware Environment for Junos OS in FIPS Mode

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

For more information about the cryptographic boundary on your NFX250 , see Understanding Junos OS in FIPS Mode.

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

An NFX250 Network Services Platform running Junos OS in FIPS mode forms a special type of nonmodifiable operational environment. To achieve this environment on the NFX250 device, the system prevents the execution of any binary file that was not part of the certified Junos OS distribution. When an NFX250 device is in FIPS mode, it can run only Junos OS.

FIPS mode on NFX250 Network Services Platform is available starting with Junos OS Release 17.3R2. The Junos OS in FIPS mode software environment is established after the Crypto Officer successfully enables FIPS mode on an NFX250 Network Services Platform. The Junos OS Release 17.3R2 image that includes FIPS mode is available on the Juniper Networks website and can be installed on an NFX250 Network Services Platform.

Note

Do not attach the device to a network until you, the Crypto Officer, 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 NFX250 device or Routing Engine as a cryptographic module.

Table 1 lists CSPs on NFX250 devices running Junos OS.

Table 1: Critical Security Parameters

CSP

Description

Zeroize

Use

SSH-2 private host key

ECDSA 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.

Encryption: 3DES, AES-128, AES-192, AES-256.

MACs: HMAC-SHA-1, HMAC-SHA-256, HMAC- SHA-512, HMAC-SHA-224, HMAC-SHA-384.

Key exchange: ECDH Prime curve NID_secp521r1 (NIST Curve P-521).

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-1, SHA-256, SHA-512.

Note: SHA-1 is not recommended to use for password hashing.

Zeroize command.

Used to authenticate a user to the cryptographic module.

Crypto Officer authentication key

Hash of the Crypto Officer’s password: SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512.

Note: SHA-1 is not recommended to use for password hashing.

Zeroize command.

Used to authenticate the Crypto Officer 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. However, as the Crypto Officer, you can enter user authentication data in plain text.

Best Practice

For FIPS compliance, configure the NFX250 device over SSH connections because they are encrypted connections.

Local passwords are encrypted with the secure hash algorithm SHA-1, 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.