[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 169 (Thursday, August 30, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52692-52693]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21461]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket No. 070321067-2100-03]


NIST Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-3 (Second 
Draft), Security Requirements for Cryptographic Modules; Request for 
Additional Comments

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), 
Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and Request for Comments.

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SUMMARY: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 
seeks additional comments on specific sections of Federal Information 
Processing Standard 140-3 (Second Draft), Security Requirements for 
Cryptographic Modules, to clarify and resolve inconsistencies in the 
public comments received in response to the Federal Register (74 FR 
91333) notice of December 11, 2009. The draft standard is proposed to 
supersede FIPS 140-2.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 1, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be sent to: Chief, Computer Security 
Division, Information Technology Laboratory, Attention: Dr. Michaela 
Iorga, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8930, National Institute of 
Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930. Electronic 
comments may also be sent to: FIPS140-3@nist.gov, with a Subject: 
``Additional Comments-FIPS 140-3 (Second Draft).''
    The current FIPS 140-2 standard can be found at: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsFIPS.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Michaela Iorga, Computer Security 
Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8930, National Institute of 
Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8930, Telephone (301) 
975-8431.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FIPS 140-1, Security Requirements for 
Cryptographic Modules, was issued in 1994 and was superseded by FIPS 
140-2 in 2001. FIPS 140-2 identifies requirements for four security 
levels for cryptographic modules to provide for a wide spectrum of data 
sensitivity (e.g., low value administrative data, million dollar funds 
transfers, and life protecting data), and a diversity of application 
environments.
    In 2005, NIST announced that it planned to develop FIPS 140-3 and 
solicited public comments on new and revised requirements for 
cryptographic systems. On January 12, 2005, a notice was published in 
the Federal Register (70 FR 2122), soliciting public comments on a 
proposed revision of FIPS 140-2. The comments received by NIST 
supported reaffirmation of the standard, but suggested technical 
modifications to address advances in technology that had occurred after 
the standard had been approved. Using these comments, NIST prepared a 
Draft FIPS 140-3 (hereafter referred to as the ``2007 Draft''), which 
was announced in the Federal Register (72 FR 38566) for review and 
comment on July 13, 2007.
    Using the comments received in response to the July 13, 2007, 
notice and the feedback on requirements for software cryptographic 
modules obtained during the March 18, 2008, ``FIPS 140-3 Software 
Security Workshop,'' NIST developed the ``Revised Draft FIPS 140-3'' 
(hereafter referred to as ``2009 Draft''), that was announced in the 
Federal Register (74 FR 65753) on December 11, 2009. The 2009 Draft and 
its Annexes and can be found at: http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsDrafts.html.
    The comments received in response to the December 11, 2009, request 
for comments suggested either modifying requirements or applying the 
requirements at a different security level. Some comments asked for 
clarification of the text of the standard, and some recommended 
editorial and formatting changes. None of the comments received opposed 
the approval of a revised standard.
    During the process of addressing the public comments received in 
response to the Request for Comments published in the Federal Register 
on December 11, 2009 (74 FR 65753), NIST determined that additional 
feedback is required to resolve gaps and inconsistencies between the 
comments for particular sections of the ``Second Draft FIPS 140-3.'' As 
a result, NIST is requesting additional public comments on several 
sections, as indicated below in the Request for Comments section of 
this notice, to support comment resolution. Comments on any sections of 
the ``Second Draft FIPS 140-3'' not identified in the Request for 
Comments section will not be considered.
    Request for Comments: Even though NIST has resolved a majority of 
the issues raised by the public comments on the ``2009 Draft,'' NIST is 
requesting additional comments only on the following sections and sub-
sections to resolve gaps and inconsistencies between the comments.
    4.2.2 Trusted Channel--the comments suggested that NIST should not 
mandate the implementation of a trusted channel at Security Level 3 and

[[Page 52693]]

4 for all modules. NIST is proposing deletion of the requirement, but 
to allow for adequate, comparable security, is proposing the addition 
of an optional ``Remote Control Capability.'' The proposed Remote 
Control Capability section would specify requirements addressing the 
module's ability to process logons, send service requests to, and 
receive service responses from a remote module without compromising 
security. If the Remote Control Capability is supported, this section 
would mandate the use of a Trusted Channel at Security Level 3 and 4. 
NIST would appreciate comments on the proposed approach.
    4.3.1 Trusted Role--the comments raised a variety of different 
concerns, reflecting different interpretations of the purpose of the 
Trusted Role. To address these concerns NIST is proposing the deletion 
of the Trusted Role and replacement with a Self-initiated Cryptographic 
Capability, configured and activated by the Crypto Officer that would 
be preserved over rebooting or power cycling of the module. The 
capability would provide the module with the ability to perform 
cryptographic operations including Approved and Allowed security 
functions without external operator request. NIST would appreciate 
comments on the proposed approach.
    4.7 Physical Security--Non-Invasive Attacks--the comments received 
suggest substantial changes that would either weaken or strengthen the 
impact of these requirements. Comments received included stronger 
security requirements for Security Level 3 and 4, making the section 
mandatory for all cryptographic modules, including the Security Level 
for this section as part of the overall Security Level, while other 
comments suggested not addressing non-invasive attacks within the 
standard. NIST would appreciate general and specific comments on the 
requirements to address non-invasive attacks.
    4.8.4 Sensitive Security Parameter (SSP) Entry and Output--the 
comments received raised a variety of different concerns, reflecting 
different interpretations of the requirements on SSPs that are entered 
into or output from a module. SSP entry and output requirements depend 
on whether the SSP is entered or output manually or electronically, and 
whether the SSP is distributed manually or electronically. New 
technologies have called into question this taxonomy of SSP entry and 
output methods. NIST would appreciate comments on the most appropriate 
way to categorize these methods, and the appropriate requirements for 
each method.
    Annex B, Section: Operator Authentication Mechanisms--the comments 
received indicated that the specification for the strength of the 
operator's authentication method was incomplete, particularly with 
respect to biometrics. For biometric authentication, NIST proposes the 
use of a Liveness Detection method associated with the Session False 
Match Rate for one attempt and the Generalized False Accept Rate for 
multiple attempts in one minute. NIST would appreciate comments on the 
proposed approach.
    Comments on sections not specifically listed in this notice will 
not be considered.
    Prior to the submission of the FIPS 140-3 to the Secretary of 
Commerce for review and approval, it is essential that consideration is 
given to the needs and views of the public, users, the information 
technology industry, and Federal, State and local government 
organizations. The purpose of this notice is to solicit such views on 
specific sections of the ``2009 Draft.''
    Authority: Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are 
issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology after 
approval by the Secretary of Commerce pursuant to Section 5131 of the 
Information Technology Management Reform Act of 1996 and the Federal 
Information Security Management Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-347).
    E.O. 12866: This notice has been determined not to be significant 
for the purpose of E.O. 12866.

    Dated: August 24, 2012.
Willie E. May,
Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-21461 Filed 8-29-12; 8:45 am]
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