Re: [OAUTH-WG] draft-ietf-oauth-jwt-bearer-08 & subject issue

Brian Campbell <bcampbell@pingidentity.com> Fri, 25 April 2014 17:17 UTC

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From: Brian Campbell <bcampbell@pingidentity.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 11:17:01 -0600
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To: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] draft-ietf-oauth-jwt-bearer-08 & subject issue
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I believe, from the thread referenced earlier and prior discussion and
draft text, that the WG has reached (rough) consensus to require the
subject claim. So text that says "Subject element MUST NOT be included"
isn't workable.

It seems what's needed here is some better explanation of how, in cases
that need it, the value of the subject can be populated without using a PII
type value. A simple static value like "ANONYMOUS-SUBJECT" could be used.
Or, more likely, some kind of pairwise persistent pseudonymous identifier
would be utilized, which would not directly identify the subject but would
allow the relying party to recognize the same subject on subsequent
transactions. A transient pseudonym might also be appropriate in some
cases. And any of those approaches could be used with or without additional
claims (like age > 18 or membership in some group) that get used to make an
authorization decision.

I wasn't sure exactly how to articulate all that in text for the draft(s)
but that's more of what I was asking for when I asked if you could propose
some text.






On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 6:48 AM, Hannes Tschofenig <
hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net> wrote:

> Hi Brian,
>
> Thanks for pointing to the assertion framework document. Re-reading the
> text it appears that we have listed the case that in Section 6.3.1 but
> have forgotten to cover it elsewhere in the document.
>
>
> In Section 6.3.1 we say:
>
> "
>
> 6.3.1.  Client Acting on Behalf of an Anonymous User
>
>    When a client is accessing resources on behalf of an anonymous user,
>    the Subject indicates to the Authorization Server that the client is
>    acting on-behalf of an anonymous user as defined by the Authorization
>    Server.  It is implied that authorization is based upon additional
>    criteria, such as additional attributes or claims provided in the
>    assertion.  For example, a client may present an assertion from a
>    trusted issuer asserting that the bearer is over 18 via an included
>    claim.
>
> *****
>     In this case, no additional information about the user's
>    identity is included, yet all the data needed to issue an access
>    token is present.
> *****
> "
> (I marked the relevant part with '***')
>
>
> In Section 5.2, however, we say:
>
>
>    o  The assertion MUST contain a Subject.  The Subject identifies an
>       authorized accessor for which the access token is being requested
>       (typically the resource owner, or an authorized delegate).  When
>       the client is acting on behalf of itself, the Subject MUST be the
>       value of the client's "client_id".
>
>
> What we should have done in Section 5.2 is to expand the cases inline
> with what we have written in Section 6.
>
> Here is my proposed text:
>
> "
> o  The assertion MUST contain a Subject.  The Subject identifies an
> authorized accessor for which the access token is being requested
> (typically the resource owner, or an authorized delegate).
>
>
> When the client is acting on behalf of itself, as described in Section
> 6.1 and Section 6.2, the Subject MUST be the value of the client's
> "client_id".
>
> When the client is acting on behalf of an user, as described in Section
> 6.3, the Subject element MUST be included in the assertion and
> identifies an authorized accessor for which the access token is being
> requested.
>
> When the client is acting on behalf of an anonymous user, as described
> in Section 6.3.1, the Subject element MUST NOT be included in the
> assertion. Other elements within the assertion will, however, provide
> enough information for the authorization server to make an authorization
> decision.
> "
>
> Does this make sense to you?
>
> Ciao
> Hannes
>
>
> On 04/24/2014 02:30 PM, Brian Campbell wrote:
> > There is some discussion of that case in the assertion framework
> > document at
> > http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-oauth-assertions-15#section-6.3.1
> >
> > Do you feel that more is needed? If so, can you propose some text?
> >
> >
> > On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 1:09 AM, Hannes Tschofenig
> > <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net <mailto:hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>> wrote:
> >
> >     Hi Brian,
> >
> >     I read through the thread and the Google case is a bit different
> since
> >     they are using the client authentication part of the JWT bearer spec.
> >     There I don't see the privacy concerns either.
> >
> >     I am, however, focused on the authorization grant where the subject
> is
> >     in most cases the resource owner.
> >
> >     It is possible to put garbage into the subject element when privacy
> >     protection is needed for the resource owner case but that would need
> to
> >     be described in the document; currently it is not there.
> >
> >     Ciao
> >     Hannes
> >
> >
> >     On 04/24/2014 12:37 AM, Brian Campbell wrote:
> >     > That thread that Antonio started which you reference went on for
> some
> >     > time
> >     >
> >     (
> http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/oauth/current/threads.html#12520)
> >     > and seems to have reached consensus that the spec didn't need
> >     normative
> >     > change and that such privacy cases or other cases which didn't
> >     > explicitly need a subject identifier would be more appropriately
> dealt
> >     > with in application logic:
> >     > http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/oauth/current/msg12538.html
> >     >
> >     >
> >     >
> >     >
> >     > On Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 2:39 AM, Hannes Tschofenig
> >     > <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net <mailto:hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>
> >     <mailto:hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net
> >     <mailto:hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>>> wrote:
> >     >
> >     >     Hi all,
> >     >
> >     >     in preparing the shepherd write-up for
> >     draft-ietf-oauth-jwt-bearer-08 I
> >     >     had to review our recent email conversations and the issue
> >     raised by
> >     >     Antonio in
> >     >
> >     http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/oauth/current/msg12520.htmlbelong
> >     >     to it.
> >     >
> >     >     The issue was that Section 3 of draft-ietf-oauth-jwt-bearer-08
> >     says:
> >     >     "
> >     >        2.   The JWT MUST contain a "sub" (subject) claim
> >     identifying the
> >     >             principal that is the subject of the JWT.  Two cases
> >     need to be
> >     >             differentiated:
> >     >
> >     >             A.  For the authorization grant, the subject SHOULD
> >     identify an
> >     >                 authorized accessor for whom the access token is
> being
> >     >                 requested (typically the resource owner, or an
> >     authorized
> >     >                 delegate).
> >     >
> >     >             B.  For client authentication, the subject MUST be the
> >     >                 "client_id" of the OAuth client.
> >     >     "
> >     >
> >     >     Antonio pointed to the current Google API to illustrate that
> >     the subject
> >     >     is not always needed. Here is the Google API documentation:
> >     >
> https://developers.google.com/accounts/docs/OAuth2ServiceAccount
> >     >
> >     >     The Google API used the client authentication part (rather
> >     than the
> >     >     authorization grant), in my understanding.
> >     >
> >     >     I still believe that the subject field has to be included for
> >     client
> >     >     authentication but I am not so sure anymore about the
> >     authorization
> >     >     grant since I could very well imagine cases where the subject
> >     is not
> >     >     needed for authorization decisions but also for privacy
> reasons.
> >     >
> >     >     I would therefore suggest to change the text as follows:
> >     >
> >     >     "
> >     >        2.   The JWT contains a "sub" (subject) claim identifying
> the
> >     >             principal that is the subject of the JWT.  Two cases
> >     need to be
> >     >             differentiated:
> >     >
> >     >             A.  For the authorization grant, the subject claim MAY
> >     >                 be included. If it is included it MUST identify the
> >     >                 authorized accessor for whom the access token is
> being
> >     >                 requested (typically the resource owner, or an
> >     authorized
> >     >                 delegate). Reasons for not including the subject
> claim
> >     >                 in the JWT are identity hiding (i.e., privacy
> >     protection
> >     >                 of the identifier of the subject) and cases where
> >     >                 the identifier of the subject is irrelevant for
> making
> >     >                 an authorization decision by the resource server.
> >     >
> >     >             B.  For client authentication, the subject MUST be the
> >     >                 included in the JWT and the value MUST be populated
> >     >                 with the "client_id" of the OAuth client.
> >     >     "
> >     >
> >     >     What do you guys think?
> >     >
> >     >     Ciao
> >     >     Hannes
> >     >
> >     >
> >     >     _______________________________________________
> >     >     OAuth mailing list
> >     >     OAuth@ietf.org <mailto:OAuth@ietf.org> <mailto:OAuth@ietf.org
> >     <mailto:OAuth@ietf.org>>
> >     >     https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/oauth
> >     >
> >     >
> >
> >
>
>