Re: Security for various IETF services

Douglas Otis <> Fri, 04 April 2014 00:14 UTC

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Subject: Re: Security for various IETF services
From: Douglas Otis <>
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Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2014 17:13:49 -0700
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To: "Fred Baker (fred)" <>
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On Apr 3, 2014, at 4:40 PM, Fred Baker (fred) <> wrote:

> In view of recent issues in TurkTelecom and Indosat, it seems like the simplest reason would be to ensure that data putatively obtained from the IETF would in fact be obtained from the IETF.
> From my perspective, I would support a statement to the effect that IETF technology should be obtainable using https or whatever else we are recommending as "secure.” I’d also be in favor of asking IETF contributors to obtain and use PGP keys and/or DKIM encodings to sign messages. And of asking that IETF tools not reformat email in ways that corrupt data that has been signed.
> To that end, I could imagine a requirement for some kind of roadmap. “The tools that access the IETF SMTP and HTTP sites use protocols X, Y, and Z. After <date>, we require them to use Secure X, Secure Y, and Secure Z, and traffic originated by the IETF sites shall use such protocols."

Dear Fred,

XMPP provides an interesting feature called server federation.  It would be good to see the excellent work of Dukhovni and Parsons extended to include authentication of sending servers (clients) to support federation.  This is something TLS supports but is rarely used.  Such a feature could significantly improve overall security especially in the wake of RTF messages exposing users to remote code execution.  

DKIM only covers message fragments and is unrelated to the actual sender by design.  A malicious link might be found in the Subject line that can be followed with user clicks which may not have been signed or users might see prepended From header fields which don't impact DKIM signature validity.

Douglas Otis