Re: [http-state] Security considerations overview

Adam Barth <ietf@adambarth.com> Tue, 02 March 2010 20:05 UTC

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From: Adam Barth <ietf@adambarth.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 12:05:05 -0800
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Subject: Re: [http-state] Security considerations overview
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On Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 11:42 AM, David Morris <dwm@xpasc.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 2 Mar 2010, Adam Barth wrote:
>>         <t>Transport-layer encryption, such as HTTPS, is insufficient to
>>         prevent a network attacker from altering a victim's cookies because
>>         the cookie protocol does not provide integrity.  By default, cookies
>>         are transmitted in the clear, where their confidentiality can be
>>         compromised by a network attacker.</t>
>
> I don't under stand how the second sentence extends the thought in the
> first sentence. It seems in conflict in the sense that HTTPS is not
> sending cookies in the clear and use of HTTPS is generally recommended
> as the way to avoid compromise by network hackers. What am I missing?

If even if you use the cookie protocol exclusively over HTTPS, the
default is still to send the cookies in the clear (i.e., the
secure-only-flag defaults to false).

Adam