Re: [Acme] ACME or EST?

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Thu, 27 November 2014 16:58 UTC

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Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:58:24 -0500
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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
To: Randy Bush <>
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Cc: Richard Barnes <>, "" <>, Paul Hoffman <>, "Joe Hildebrand \(jhildebr\)" <>
Subject: Re: [Acme] ACME or EST?
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On Thu, Nov 27, 2014 at 7:19 AM, Randy Bush <> wrote:
>> I would also like to ensure that the operational model that is implied
>> by ACME is congruent enough with EST that an operator might be able to
>> use both in parallel - if possible.
> could you explain why?  transition?
> Tony Arcieri <> wrote:
>> ASN.1 is *not* "LANGSEC-friendly". JOSE comes a lot closer. For that reason
>> alone, ASN.1 is inferior.
> are there pure LR parsers for jose?
> Stephen Farrell wrote:
>> Frankly, I couldn't give a rat's arse if its asn.1 or xml or json or
>> punch cards via courier, or pigeons, so long as it works well enough,
>> as a default, and at scale.
> i would think you, of the farrelous brothers, would be concerned about
> the langsec-friendly aspect.

One of the many reasons to drop ASN.1, particularly the Deranged Encoding Rules.

The type of coding error that comes up is as follows:

Tag Length[ Tag Length [Value]]

Lets say each atom has a length of 1 byte, this would be coded

xx 03 xx 01 xx

Now what happens if the coder is wrong and instead gives:

xx 99 xx 01 xx

Buffer overrun error time!

ASN.1 has the added stupidity of the tags being variable lengths which
makes it quite likely that there will be an error in the encoding.

What this means is that you can not tell folk 'just use an ASN.1
package'. It is a bitch to write the code and you cannot rely on
others to get it right.

ASN.1 is deprecated. It is not for use in new projects. This is a new
project. Ergo no ASN.1