Re: [OAUTH-WG] DPoP - Downgrades, Transitional Rollout & Mixed Token Type Deployments

Torsten Lodderstedt <> Thu, 11 June 2020 06:36 UTC

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From: Torsten Lodderstedt <>
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Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2020 08:36:16 +0200
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Cc: oauth <>, Justin Richer <>
To: Francis Pouatcha <>
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Subject: Re: [OAUTH-WG] DPoP - Downgrades, Transitional Rollout & Mixed Token Type Deployments
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I generally agree with the proposal, but I would suggest to limit it to public clients. 

In case of confidential clients, the refresh token is (via the client_id) already bound to the client’s secret(s) and those can be rotated. Additionally binding the refresh token to a DPoP key would limit it’s applicability w/o a benefit. 

> On 11. Jun 2020, at 01:35, Francis Pouatcha <> wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 4:32 PM Justin Richer <> wrote:
> What if we simply declare that refresh tokens are always bound to the DPoP key used to request them? Is there value in NOT binding the refresh token?
> Fully agree. I will add a refresh_token shall always be PoP bound. Independent of the type of PoP.
> As for access tokens, the way I read it, all of this is true:
> - The AS could still decide to issue a Bearer token, using the token_type field, for whatever policy reason.
> - A client getting back a Bearer token from a DPoP request would do Bearer headers. 
> - A client getting a DPoP token from a DPoP request would do DPoP headers.
> - An client should never send a DPoP token as a Bearer header.
> - An RS should ALWAYS look for a DPoP binding signature from a DPoP scheme token. Missing that is an error.
> So if we just declare that a refresh token must always be DPoP bound when DPoP is used to request it and a refresh token is issued, then we’re in the clear here, as best as I can tell, and it allows the AS some flexibility.
> Some problems with this:
> 1) Pretty much every single OAuth client in the world ignores the “token_type” field. But clients being updated to support DPoP wouldn’t ignore it, so that’s probably ok.
> 2) If we wanted to make refresh token binding switchable we’d need a “refresh_token_type” field or similar, and the client would need to know how to understand it and deal with its absence (since most servers won’t send it).
> 3) This presumes the client will not rotate its key before using the refresh token. If it does it’ll have to do a whole new grant.
> 4) None of this prevents an RS from ignoring the DPoP signature, but I think that’s a separate problem.
> 5) It’s arguable that we’d want a client to be able to bind a NEW DPoP key during a refresh, using the old key as proof for the refresh token and the new key going forward. Is this a case we want to enable?
> Key rotation shall be handled separately from the refresh_token process. If a refresh_token is bound to a key, the client shall keep that key till the refresh_token is consumed. A key rotation process shall be designed such as to allow the key holder to keep obsolete keys for the completion of pending processes.
>  — Justin
>> On Jun 7, 2020, at 3:22 AM, Torsten Lodderstedt <> wrote:
>> That’s correct for confidential clients.
>> For a public client, the refresh token is just bound to the client id. DPoP allows binding to an ephemeral key pair for this kind of clients.
> -- 
> Francis Pouatcha
> Co-Founder and Technical Lead at adorys