Re: [http-state] Ticket 6: host-only cookies

Adam Barth <ietf@adambarth.com> Fri, 22 January 2010 17:36 UTC

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From: Adam Barth <ietf@adambarth.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 09:36:29 -0800
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To: Dan Winship <dan.winship@gmail.com>
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Cc: http-state <http-state@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: [http-state] Ticket 6: host-only cookies
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On Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 6:37 AM, Dan Winship <dan.winship@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 3) Allow both behaviors.  This alternative is the worst for security
>> because it makes the cookie protocol less predictable.  When all the
>> other browsers agree on a behavior that's better than the IE behavior,
>> I think we can require the non-IE behavior.
>
> Well... allowing both behaviors doesn't *make* the protocol less
> predictable, because the protocol already *is* less predictable, and
> will continue to be for several years at least, regardless of what we
> say. So we should document the unpredictability, so that server authors
> will know that they have to take steps to protect themselves against
> unintended cookie leakage in some cases.
>
> So my vote is, require clients to implement host-only cookies (as the
> Netscape spec did), but note in the corresponding server-side section
> that some clients don't do this, with some discussion of the security
> issues.

We're also going to write an informative deviation description
document that catalogs all the places we know of where user agents
diverge from the specification.  Do you think that would be a more
appropriate place to warn servers about IE's behavior?

Adam