Re: [pkix] Why is the crlNumber an OCTET STRING?

Peter Gutmann <pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz> Wed, 21 April 2021 15:49 UTC

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From: Peter Gutmann <pgut001@cs.auckland.ac.nz>
To: Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>
CC: IETF PKIX <pkix@ietf.org>
Thread-Topic: [pkix] Why is the crlNumber an OCTET STRING?
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Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2021 15:47:53 +0000
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Archived-At: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/pkix/2YO7vE_0uzFUFlvg__dkFWyehs4>
Subject: Re: [pkix] Why is the crlNumber an OCTET STRING?
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Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com> writes:

>The CRL number is helpful in any situation where the CRL issuer produces CRLs
>with different scopes.

How would the crlNumber help there?  And in particular, since thisUpdate is a
monotonically increasing sequence number, why is there a need for a second
parallel monotonically increasing sequence number?  It looks like an easy way
to implement crlNumber is:

  crlNumber := thisUpdate;

Which, in effect, is what the 8601-based implementation that's causing the
problem is doing, it's literally just copying the value of thisUpdate into
crlNumber.

Peter.