Re: What ASN.1 got right

Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com> Thu, 04 March 2021 19:03 UTC

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Subject: Re: What ASN.1 got right
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From: Keith Moore <moore@network-heretics.com>
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Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2021 14:03:06 -0500
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On 3/4/21 1:56 PM, Michael Thomas wrote:
>> It's silly to dismiss those as if they didn't exist or weren't 
>> important. They're quite often parts of critical infrastructure.
>>
>
> Online != Internet connected. If you're using TLS you are online 
> definitionally. You may be on a stub air-gapped network but you're 
> still using internet protocols to communicate. That stub network can 
> have all it needs to support its infrastructure. It's just as online 
> as anything else.

Usually, "all it needs to support its infrastructure" is an Ethernet 
switch or WiFi access point.   DNS is often considered an operational 
hazard in such environments, sometimes DHCP is also, as is firmware update.

> X.509 comes from a time where you couldn't even make that assumption. 
> Applications that require that assumption are pretty far and few 
> between these days.

I don't think it makes sense to waste otherwise good protocol 
engineering just because it doesn't fit someone's idea of "how the 
network works".   TLS can be profiled to work well in such environments 
(without change to the TLS stack), and so can X.509. Why re-invent the 
wheels?

Keith