O'Reilly logo

The IMS: IP Multimedia Concepts And Services, Second Edition by Aki Niemi, Hisham Khartabil, Georg Mayer, Miikka Poikselka

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

10.8. SIP Security Mechanism Agreement

10.8.1. Why the SIP Security Mechanism Agreement is needed

The IMS in 3GPP Releases 5 and 6 makes use of IPsec as the security mechanism between the P-CSCF and the UE. IPsec is only one of several possible security mechanisms. IMS was designed to allow alternative security mechanisms over the Gm interface as well. Allowing such an openness usually creates backward compatibility problems because, for example, a Release 6-compliant UE would not be able to understand any alternative security mechanism, while it could be attached to a P-CSCF of a higher release that would already support alternatives to IPsec.

Therefore, the SIP Security Mechanism Agreement (Sip-Sec-Agree) was introduced to allow the UE and the P-CSCF to negotiate a common security mechanism for use between them. For current releases the only security mechanism is IPsec; however, it might be that some entities already support alternative mechanisms on a proprietary basis.

10.8.2. Overview

To make the example not too simple and boring, we assume that the UE supports IPsec and the HTTP digest, and that the P-CSCF supports IPsec and Transport Layer Security (TLS), with a preference toward TLS. It is not necessary for the reader of this chapter to have any knowledge of any of these mechanisms.

As we have seen, the initial REGISTER request is sent without any protection from the UE to the P-CSCF. To guarantee that a common security mechanism can be established, Tobias's UE advertises ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required