Re: [secdir] SecDir review of draft-ietf-jose-cookbook-06

"Jim Schaad" <ietf@augustcellars.com> Tue, 02 December 2014 22:43 UTC

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From: "Jim Schaad" <ietf@augustcellars.com>
To: "'? Matt Miller'" <mamille2@cisco.com>, "'Yaron Sheffer'" <yaronf.ietf@gmail.com>, "'IETF Security Directorate'" <secdir@ietf.org>, "'The IESG'" <iesg@ietf.org>, <draft-ietf-jose-cookbook.all@tools.ietf.org>
References: <5470E68D.3040204@gmail.com> <547E36ED.1020205@cisco.com>
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Subject: Re: [secdir] SecDir review of draft-ietf-jose-cookbook-06
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: ? Matt Miller [mailto:mamille2@cisco.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 2:02 PM
> To: Yaron Sheffer; IETF Security Directorate; The IESG; draft-ietf-jose-
> cookbook.all@tools.ietf.org
> Subject: Re: [secdir] SecDir review of draft-ietf-jose-cookbook-06
> 
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA512
> 
> Hello Yaron,
> 
> Thank you very much for the review.  My other comments are inline.
> 
> On 11/22/14, 12:39 PM, Yaron Sheffer wrote:
> > I have reviewed this document as part of the security directorate's
> > ongoing effort to review all IETF documents being processed by the
> > IESG. These comments were written primarily for the benefit of the
> > security area directors.  Document editors and WG chairs should treat
> > these comments just like any other last call comments.
> >
> > This document contains a large set of examples of JOSE objects:
> > JWK, JWS and JWE. The document is purely informational, though in
> > "real life", I would expect developers to use it as an authoritative
> > source.
> >
> > Summary
> >
> > The document is ready to be published, with some issues.
> >
> > By the way, I really appreciate the large effort that surely went into
> > creating this document.
> >
> 
> Thank you!  It's always great to hear one's efforts are appreciated!
> 
> > Details
> >
> >   Unless I missed it, the document does not mention a machine readable
> > repository of these examples, which I am sure the author has created
> > while writing the draft. Making such a repository publicly available
> > would result in a much more useful resource than the current document,
> > which essentially requires testers to scrape the document when
> > creating their test cases.
> >
> 
> You did not miss it; I don't have a such a repository right now, but I can put
> one together.  Would something on github.com be acceptable, or is there a
> better suggestion?
> 
> >   (Not a comment to the current document:) I wonder why there is
> > nothing explicit to distinguish a public key from a private key, and
> > they are only distinguished by the presence or absence of several
> > parameters, something that will not be natural to most developers. PEM
> > is doing it very well: "-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----".
> >
> >   3.4: the text is contradictory re: zero-padding of the value "d".
> > Is it using the minimum number of octets, or exactly 256 octets (for a
> > 2048-bit key)?
> >
> 
> The intent is that "d" is not zero-padded, and I overqualified in my text.
> Would the following be acceptable?
> 
>    For a 2048-bit key, the field "n" is 256 octets in length when
>    decoded and the field "d" is not longer than 256 octets in
>    length when decoded.
> 
> 
> >   Why invent a new term "octet key", for a simple "symmetric key"?
> 
> Very good point.  Will fix in the next revision.
> 
> >
> >   4.2: the first sentence discusses PS256, the actual example is
> > PS384.
> >
> 
> Silly error that I thought I fixed long ago /-:
> 
> Will fix in the next revision.
> 
> >   4.7: "only the JSON serialization" - please clarify which of the
> > three serializations is meant. Ditto top of 4.8.
> >
> 
> Will fix in the next revision.
> 
> >   5.1.1: since this is a "cookbook", we should be using the public
> > key, not the private key. A private key would only be used in rare
> > cases. Similarly 5.2.1.
> >
> 
> The private keys are included for both reproduction (which only needs the
> public key) and verification (which necessitates the private key).
> 
> If I can put an online repository together, I can change the examples to just
> include the public keys; otherwise would the following in 5.1 (and 5.2) be
> sufficient?
> 
>    Note that only the RSA public key is necessary to perform the
>    encryption.  However, the example includes the RSA private key to
>    allow readers to validate the example's output.
> 

I believe that it makes far more sense to have the private keys as well as the public keys.  Historically in S/MIME people stated by trying to decrypt known good messages and then went on to try and encrypt and test against a known good decryption implementation.

Additionally, one would of course need to have private keys on the signing side as well.

Jim

> 
> >   5.3.1: the "plaintext content" is a list of keys, which is either
> > confusing to the reader, or an actual error in the document.
> >
> 
> It is not in error.  The most common usecase for password-based
> encryption was the import and export of key sets, and the Working
> Group desired a thorough example.
> 
> Would it help if the following is added to 5.3?
> 
>    A common use of password-based encryption is the import/export of
>    keys.  Therefore this example uses a JWK Set for the plaintext
>    content instead of the plaintext from figure 72.
> 
> 
> >   5.3.5: In the General Serialization version, I don't understand
> > why only the encrypted key is per-recipient. I would expect the
> > PBES2 parameters too (e.g., the salt)  to be per-recipient.
> > Presumably each of them is using a different password, and there's
> > no reason to use a common salt. Similarly in 5.4.5.
> >
> 
> For compatibility across serializations (compact, general JSON,
> flattened JSON), all of the parameters need to be in the JWE Protected
> Header.  In the general serialization, that means only the
> "encrypted_key" field is present for the (presumably) sole recipient.
> 
> Would it be acceptable if the following were added to 5.3?
> 
>    Note that if password-based encryption is used for multiple
>    recipients, it is expected that each recipient use different
>    values for the PBES2 parameters "p2s" and "p2c".
> 
> >   5.7: same as above, it makes sense for the per-recipient key to
> > have an ID, rather than the content encryption key (typically an
> > ephemeral key). And then that ID should be in the per-recipient
> > data in 5.7.5. And similarly for 5.8. The later Sec. 5.13 shows a
> > syntax for multiple recipients that's inconsistent with the
> > single-recipient case, which would make sense if we got rid of the
> > array.
> >
> 
> For compatibility across serializations (compact, general JSON,
> flattened JSON), all of the parameters need to be in the JWE Protected
> Header.  Also, the mixing of "recipients" and "encrypted_key"/"header"
> in the top-level object is not permitted for the general serialization.
> 
> >   5.11: this example seems strange to me - why would anybody NOT
> > want to integrity-protect the key ID and algorithm? I would prefer
> > a more realistic example, or failing that, a recommendation to
> > developers to avoid this practice. Similarly 5.12, which is an even
> > worse idea.
> >
> 
> Integrity protection was thoroughly discussed in the JOSE WG.  While
> there are some limited attacks possible when some parameters are
> unprotected, the WG felt there were enough use cases where these
> attacks are mitigated through other means that integrity protection of
> the part of all of the header is not always required.
> 
> 
> > Thanks, Yaron
> >
> > _______________________________________________ secdir
> mailing
> > list secdir@ietf.org https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/secdir
> > wiki: http://tools.ietf.org/area/sec/trac/wiki/SecDirReview
> 
> And thanks again for the thorough review.
> 
> - --
> - - m&m
> 
> Matt Miller < mamille2@cisco.com >
> Cisco Systems, Inc.
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