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I have a question dealing with the EAP-AKA' used in 5G to authenticate clients coming from a 3GPP-Network.

I read the latest specification on ETSI. The problem which I have is based on Step 2 on Page 37/38, where it says (at least I understood it like that), that when the UDM/ARPF got the SUCI it shall continue as shown in RFC 5448 (a description of a EAP-AKA'), otherwise it shall follows the EAP-AKA' shown in the specification (TS 133 501).

That's what confuses me. Are there really two different implementations of the EAP-AKA'? I tried to layer those two, but for me those two are different, due to the message flow. Is that correct?

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EAP-AKA' as specified for 5G by ETSI and other organizations under the 3GPP umbrella, is a slightly revised version of EAP-AKA' as specified by IETF in RFC 5448.

It is adapted for use in mobile wireless cellular networks. The version in TS 133 501 is designed for usage in 5G networks. Hence, it involves network functions like UDM, ARPF, etc., that are specific to 5G networks, but that are involved in the EAP-AKA' signalling in 5G networks.

RFC 5448 was published in 2009, and since then, privacy requirements, for example, have become more important, with the GPDR and other such frameworks emerging sometime after 2009. Identifiers like the SUCI are there in 5G for privacy purposes but were not originally in EAP-AKA' as specified in RFC 5448.

You asked about text like the following in TS 133 501

when the UDM/ARPF got the SUCI it shall continue as shown in RFC 5448 (a description of a EAP-AKA'), otherwise, it shall follow the EAP-AKA' shown in the specification (TS 133 501)

This is because EAP-AKA' for 5G is a slight revision of RFC 5448, so in some circumstances, part of the flow would follow exactly as described in RFC 5448, whereas in other places where there are changes or adaptations in EAP-AKA' for 5G, then that needs to be specified in TS 133 501.

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