Re: [OAUTH-WG] JWT Response for OAuth Token Introspection and nonce

Neil Madden <> Thu, 18 March 2021 07:44 UTC

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From: Neil Madden <>
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Date: Thu, 18 Mar 2021 07:44:48 +0000
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To: Andrii Deinega <>
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] JWT Response for OAuth Token Introspection and nonce
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> On 18 Mar 2021, at 05:33, Andrii Deinega <> wrote:
> The Cache-Control header, even with its strongest directive "no-store", is pretty naive protection... Below is an excerpt from RFC 7234 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol: Caching).
>> This directive is NOT a reliable or sufficient mechanism for ensuring privacy.  In particular, malicious or compromised caches might not recognize or obey this directive, and communications networks might be vulnerable to eavesdropping.

This quote is about privacy. Your concerns so far have been about replay protection. TLS protects both. 

> Regarding TLS, I've mentioned that we don't always have the luxury to see what is going on with the infrastructure. A bright example would be an AS implemented as a serverless application and hosted by one of the cloud providers.

Right, but (as I’ve said before) the same reasoning applies to a JWT too. The infrastructure could just as easily “terminate JWS” as it currently terminates TLS. As I keep saying, it’s much better to spend your time ensuring end-to-end TLS than end-to-end JWT. We should try to avoid writing specs just to work around badly configured infrastructure. 

(The counterexample to this is IoT applications, where messages often have to traverse protocol-translating proxies. But that’s not the case here).

> As for,
>> Right - so trying to solve this issue by replacing TLS with another technology that is just as susceptible to the problem is not a real solution. 
> Following your logic, other RFCs such as 8555 (Automatic Certificate Management Environment) went the wrong way with their mandatory anti-replay built-in mechanism in quite similar circumstances.

The only justification of the replay nonce given in RFC8555 is for protection of 0RTT early-data (which does not benefit from TLS’s normal replay protections). As to why a protocol that can typically tolerate latencies of several weeks (for cert renewal) needs 0RTT, you’ll have to ask the authors of that RFC. It makes little sense to me. 

— Neil

ForgeRock values your Privacy <>