Re: [Cfrg] considering new topics for CFRG

Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> Mon, 06 January 2014 22:51 UTC

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Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2014 22:50:53 +0000
From: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
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Cc: Sean Turner <turners@ieca.com>, "cfrg@irtf.org" <cfrg@irtf.org>
Subject: Re: [Cfrg] considering new topics for CFRG
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Oops - and I forgot one of my own WGs:-) The DANE WG [0]
has developed PKI based on DNS and depending on DNSSEC
and is doing work on a few extensions still.

S.

[0] http://tools.ietf.org/wg/dane/


On 01/06/2014 10:39 PM, Stephen Farrell wrote:
> 
> 
> On 01/06/2014 08:32 PM, Paul Lambert wrote:
>>>> This is an intriguing thought, but probably something out of scope for
>>>> CFRG.   (Seems more like a PKNG thing if I understand you right.)
>>
>> There was an IETF PKNG that died with no visible results. 
> 
> That was an IRTF RG. IMO it never had a cadre of researchers
> nor a sufficient set of IETF participants who were interested
> in a nextgen thing.
> 
>> This is an area where the IETF seems either too unfocused or mired
>> in existing PKI to make progress.  Hence it's on my wish list ...
>> Let me know if you have any suggestion for other viable forums in IETF
>> for such a topic.
> 
> We have a list where we discussed certificate transparency but
> which has a broader remit. [1] That's discussing whether or
> not to start a new CT WG in the IETF at the moment.
> 
> There's the wpkops WG for operational issues related to the
> web PKI. [2] They could do with help in terms of cycles to do
> already-identified work (not hugely interesting for a
> security/crypto researcher though probably).
> 
> The PKIX list [3] is still open, and would be a good place to
> talk about any X.509-related PKI stuff. Not so good for non
> X.509 based PKI though maybe unless for an approach that's
> very much evolutionary and starts from X.509.
> 
> And there's the saag list [4] which is for general security
> topics if none of the above fit.
> 
> So stuff is happening and there are places to discuss and
> propose stuff. And Sean and I would be quite happy to try
> help PKI nextgen stuff progress in the IETF should there
> be credible proposals.
> 
> However, current PKI is not an easy thing to displace, no
> matter how much you dislike parts or all of it. The main
> reasons IMO are that replacements are likely to suffer a lot
> of the same (or equivalent) complexity since its a complex
> problem, and that any credible replacement will take at least
> a few years to work out and them 5-10 to get deployed which
> seems to be beyond the horizon for researchers (speaking as
> one who chases funding;-). One could argue that that's why
> of all the "large DB of public keys" approaches, only CT
> seems to be left standing.
> 
> One other thing - listing the problems with the current PKI
> is not likely to be a useful place to start. We know those,
> and any credible approach would start with a fairly well
> worked out proposal, including consideration of that 5-10
> year overlap period. Its not easy;-)
> 
> Having said all that though, CT is I think a good proof of
> concept that the large-DB-of-public-keys thing could be
> a runner, and we have learned a lot about the wrinkles in
> X.509 based PKI over the years so there is hope maybe.
> 
> S.
> 
> PS: For any of [1]-[4] please check the archives before
> diving in, or ask someone who might be familiar, which
> could include me.
> 
> [1] https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/therightkey
> [2] http://tools.ietf.org/wg/wpkops/
> [3] https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/pkix
> [4] https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/saag
> 
> 
> 
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