On the (in)security of IPsec in MAC-then-encrypt configurations
IPsec allows a huge amount of flexibility in the ways in which its component cryptographic mechanisms can be combined to build a secure communications service. This may be good for supporting different security requirements but is potentially bad for security. We demonstrate the reality of this by describing efficient, plaintext-recovering attacks against all configurations of IPsec in which integrity protection is applied prior to encryption -- so-called MAC-then-encrypt configurations. We report on the implementation of our attacks against a specific IPsec implementation, and reflect on the implications of our attacks for real-world IPsec deployments as well as for theoretical cryptography.