Re: [OAUTH-WG] JWT BCP on Compression in JWE

Yaron Sheffer <> Sat, 29 July 2017 05:57 UTC

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From: Yaron Sheffer <>
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Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 08:57:53 +0300
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] JWT BCP on Compression in JWE
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Hi Brian,

These two attacks on TLS are only examples of the breakage that can 
occur when the adversary can control the plaintext to some degree (even 
a small piece of the plaintext, e.g. a malleable HTTP cookie can result 
in decryption of the whole message). Similar attacks were demonstrated 
in IPsec. Can you please add details on why typical use of JWT would not 
be susceptible to these attacks?


> On critique of JWT I've seen a few times can be paraphrased as "JWT
> supports compressed plaintext so, because of CRIME and BREACH, it is
> dangerous and stupid."  It's very possible that I am stupid (many on this
> list will likely attest to it) but I don't see the applicability of those
> kinds of chosen plaintext attacks aimed at recovering sensitive data to how
> JWT/JWE are typically used.
> I think it would be useful, if during the development of the JWT BCP, the
> authors or chairs or WG could somehow engage some experts (CFRG?) to
> understand if there's any real practical advice that can be given about
> using compression with JWE and the risks involved.