[OAUTH-WG] OAuth Security Advisory: Authorization Server Mix-Up

Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net> Sun, 10 January 2016 18:59 UTC

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From: Hannes Tschofenig <hannes.tschofenig@gmx.net>
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Subject: [OAUTH-WG] OAuth Security Advisory: Authorization Server Mix-Up
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In November 2015 the OAuth WG chairs had been informed about new attacks
against OAuth clients using multiple authorization servers. Such a setup
may exist in OAuth as well as in OpenID Connect. To discuss the details
of the (not yet published) attacks a small group met at Deutsche Telekom
in Darmstadt/Germany in December and brainstormed about mitigation
techniques.

On a high-level the attack can be described as an OAuth / OpenID Connect
client that gets confused about which authorization server (AS) issued
tokens, which leads to a failure in authentication and authorization.
Details about the attack can be found at http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.01229
and http://arxiv.org/pdf/1508.04324.pdf.

As a quick and immediate self-mitigation, which requires manual
configuration, a client that has client ids issued by more than one AS
MUST register a "redirect_uri" value with each AS containing a distinct
AS specific component. Client implementations must verify that the AS
specific component received in the authorization response correlates
with state information stored internally at the client for that request.
If the authorization response does not contain the anticipated
AS-specific component then it MUST be rejected.

A strawman proposal for a protocol-based mitigation technique that
relies on a new issuer parameter within the authorization response will
be submitted to the OAuth working group in the next few days.

We encourage the OAuth WG members to carefully study the attack and the
proposed mitigation mechanism. We believe that the working group should
standardize a solution with high priority and therefore ask for feedback
by January 31st 2016. The solution technique will be developed within
the IETF OAuth working group using our regular working group process.

The chairs would like to thank Guido Schmitz (University of Trier),
Daniel Fett (University of Trier), Christian Mainka (Ruhr-University
Bochum) and Vladislav Mladenov (Ruhr-University  Bochum) for contacting
us and for providing us a possibility to investigate the attack and to
develop mitigation techniques. We would also like to thank Torsten
Lodderstedt (from Deutsche Telekom) for hosting our meeting.

Receiving security review from the research community helps to improve
the quality of our protocols. We anticipate a much closer working
relationship with these research groups to tackle potential security
issues before the publication of our specifications as finished RFCs.

To make it easier to contact our working group for security related
issues we have created a dedicated mailing list
<oauth-security-reports@ietf.org>. For implementation specific bugs we
will attempt to forward the appropriate developers.

Ciao
Hannes & Derek