Sample EAP Exchange

A sample EAP exchange is shown in Figure 6-5. It is unnecessarily complex to illustrate several features of the protocol. The EAP exchange is a series of steps beginning with a request for identity and ending with a success or failure message:

Figure 6-5. Sample EAP exchange

Figure 6-5. Sample EAP exchange

1. The authenticator issues a Request/Identity packet to identify the user.

2. The end user system prompts for input, collects the user identifier, and sends the user identifier in a Response/Identity message.

3. With the user identified, the authenticator can issue authentication challenges. In step 3 in the figure, the authenticator issues an MD-5 Challenge to the user with a Request/MD-5 Challenge packet.

4. The user system is configured to use a token card for authentication, so it replies with a Response/NAK, suggesting the use of Generic Token Card authentication.

5. The authenticator issues a Request/Generic Token Card challenge, prompting for the numerical sequence on the card.

6. The user types a response, which is passed along in a Response/Generic Token Card.

7. The user response was not correct, so authentication is not possible. However, the authenticator EAP implementation allows for multiple authentication Requests, so a second Request/Generic Token Card is issued.

8. Once again, the user types a response, which is passed along in a Response/Generic Token Card.

9. On the second try, the response is correct, so the authenticator issues a Success message.

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