Re: [jose] Stephen Farrell's Discuss on draft-ietf-jose-json-web-algorithms-33: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)

"Jim Schaad" <> Mon, 06 October 2014 21:01 UTC

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From: Jim Schaad <>
To: 'Mike Jones' <>, 'Stephen Farrell' <>, 'The IESG' <>
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Date: Mon, 06 Oct 2014 13:59:15 -0700
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Subject: Re: [jose] Stephen Farrell's Discuss on draft-ietf-jose-json-web-algorithms-33: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: jose [] On Behalf Of Mike Jones
> Sent: Monday, October 06, 2014 12:54 AM
> To: Stephen Farrell; The IESG
> Cc:;; draft-ietf-jose-json-web-
> Subject: Re: [jose] Stephen Farrell's Discuss on draft-ietf-jose-json-web-
> algorithms-33: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)
> Thanks for your review, Stephen.  I've included the working group on the thread
> so they're aware of your comments.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Stephen Farrell []
> > Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2014 3:37 AM
> > To: The IESG
> > Cc:; draft-ietf-jose-json-web-
> >
> > Subject: Stephen Farrell's Discuss on draft-ietf-jose-json-web-algorithms-33:
> > (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)
> >
> > Stephen Farrell has entered the following ballot position for
> > draft-ietf-jose-json-web-algorithms-33: Discuss
> >
> > When responding, please keep the subject line intact and reply to all
> > email addresses included in the To and CC lines. (Feel free to cut
> > this introductory paragraph, however.)
> >
> >
> > Please refer to
> >
> > for more information about IESG DISCUSS and COMMENT positions.
> >
> >
> > The document, along with other ballot positions, can be found here:
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
> > Sorry to pile on, but I guess such a detailed and broad piece of work
> > is likely to attract many comments and discusses.
> > Mine should be cleared up easily enough I hope.
> >
> > (1) Hmm, where was that discussed on the list?  I think it'd
> > be better if >2 prime RSA was considered a separate algorithm. (I
> > vaguely recall some IPR with such moduli for some uses too, but not
> > sure.) I'd recommend dropping the whole "oth" parameter entirely.
> > (I'll clear this discuss once its clear that this was discussed by the
> > WG, I just want to check as I don't recall it.)
> This was discussed in the thread "private keys, leading zeros" initiated by James
> Manger on August 15, 2012.  (Sorry, I can't get you the archive URL reference
> at present because I'm writing this offline on an airplane over the Pacific.)  It
> was also discussed as issue #153.  This feature was directly modelled on RFC
> 3447.  Applications are free to profile the JWK spec to prohibit the use of such
> keys, so I don't see a compelling case to remove it.

Mike, I may be missing some messages in my archive, however the last message I see on this was you said that unless there was a demand for it you saw no need to include this.  It then got included.  Do you have a message I am missing?

> > (2) Instructions to DEs: would registering DES be considered ok or
> > not? What about myJustInventedPrivateAlg?  What about a request for 10
> > ccTLD specific Algs? I think these need a bit more clarity wrt
> > cryptographic "goodness." As a nit, "makes sense" isn't going to help
> > too much, we've seen that reasonable folks can differ on that here.
> > Again I don't recall that discussion on the list, but please point me at it if it
> happened.
> Registering DES with the Implementation Requirements value "Prohibited"
> would be permitted.  The instructions on the "JOSE Implementation
> Requirements" registry field include:
>     Any identifiers registered for non-authenticated encryption algorithms
>     or other algorithms that are otherwise unsuitable for direct use
>     as JWS or JWE algorithms must be registered as "Prohibited".
> Note that this capability was added at the request of the W3C WebCrypto WG.
> (WebCrypto is choosing to support some algorithms that JOSE explicitly chose
> not to, including some non-authenticated encryption algorithms.)  "Deprecated"
> is also a value available to registrants and the DEs.
> If you want to supply additional proposed language to the DEs, that would be
> welcomed.

I would tend to say that registering algorithms that we know now are blah would not be acceptable.   (Note that you would need to create an AEAD version of DES but that is doable.)  However, I would say that registration of vanity algorithms would not necessarily be verboten.  I would hope that the DEs did some small due diligence that the algorithm has been analyzed and is not trivially bad.

It is not clear to me that it is possible to give language beyond "Do the right thing" that would be usable.

> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >
> > Col 1 of the final 3 rows are unfortunate.
> I don't know how to teach xml2rfc to not do what it did to the final 3 rows, but I
> can make a note to have the RFC editor manually address this if the tool can't.

Add a width attribute to the ttcol with either "digits" (for fixed width) or "digits%" (for percent width) to the column in question.

> > - Surprised there was no need for integer DH. Can be added later I guess.
> No one has previously asked about it.  But there registry will be there for it to
> be added, if wanted/needed.

Everybody is going EC these days.

> > - 6.2.1: Given that the point compression IPR is now expired
> > (right?) did the WG consider now allowing that? I wondered how much
> > work it would be to add now, vs to add later. If "later" would cause a
> > lot of duplication, then maybe "now"
> > would actually be worth it. ("Later" might also be fine considering
> > the current work in CFRG on additional curves.)
> I recall that in the discussions, people were happier having a single
> representation than multiple representations.  Given the curve discussions,
> that's also another reason I'd opt for "later".

There was discussion on having compressed points.  Richard suggested it in his message to change how points were done.  Mike said that he wanted a single method and Russ said that the uncompressed method had to be mandatory.  The group kinda drifted into just having the uncompressed format.

> > - allowing the extra 0x00 would be a better choice IMO, but
> whatever.
> > Those were historically added so that buggy decoders wouldn't wrongly
> > think numbers negative, which could still happen maybe.
> Yeah, I realize why the Java library does this.  This was another case where we
> decided that having a single representation would create less interop problems
> down the road than allowing multiple representations.

They were also added for ASN.1 because these were positive numbers and not negative numbers.  This affects prefix removal for integers.  Would not have been an issue if they had been octet strings.  I am agnostic about removal or keeping.  Knowing the length of the key by doing a simple strlen seems to me to be a win.

> > - 7.1, 2nd para: why not RSA2048 earlier then?
> I don t actually recall.  I think the two choices reasonably available to us at this
> point are to either keep or delete this paragraph.  Which would you prefer?

Might be better to say.  If multiple variations of an algorithms are being registered that vary only in key length (for example AES128 and AES256) and the key length needs to be fixed (for example because it will be created by a KDF), then....

> > - 8.3: Is 65537 considered a "low" e?  "Low" is too vague there.
> No, it's not "low", but I can't back that up with a reference off the top of my
> head.  Working group, what are the relevant documents here that we could
> reference for this information?

Boneh, Dan (1999). "Twenty Years of attacks on the RSA Cryptosystem". Notices of the American Mathematical Society 46 (2): 203–213.

> > - 8.6: suggesting a CA as a cure for oversized keys is odd, I think
> > those are separable things and e.g. TOFU might be just as or more
> > effective then X.509 here.
> Sean Turner suggested adding that text on July 6, 2012.  Proposed edits would
> be welcomed.

Yeah, I tend to agree.  It might be better to just say that implementations should set an upper limit on the key sizes they accept and enforce it.

> 				-- Mike
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