Re: [secdir] secdir review of draft-ietf-httpbis-tunnel-protocol-04

Martin Thomson <> Tue, 09 June 2015 21:33 UTC

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Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2015 14:33:32 -0700
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From: Martin Thomson <>
To: Scott Kelly <>
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Subject: Re: [secdir] secdir review of draft-ietf-httpbis-tunnel-protocol-04
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On 5 June 2015 at 05:24, Scott Kelly <>; wrote:
> Sorry that this review is a few days late, I hope it is still useful.

Of course it is :)

> The ALPN header allows the client to tell the proxy which protocol(s) it intends to encapsulate. This ALPN header is not authenticated, and the draft makes no reference to client authentication and/or other protocol security mechanisms, so I assume this exchange is not secured in any way.

Correct.  It's a "forward-looking statement" that couldn't be validated anyway.

> Things I think should change:
> The draft never says what the proxy should do if the client makes one claim in the ALPN header, but then does something different (including using different ALPNs in encapsulated TLS negotiations). Seems like it should.
> Also, the draft seems to suggest that it is okay to use the ALPN for policy/authorization decisions. This is unreliable from a security perspective. At minimum, I think the draft should explicitly call this out.

Stephen made similar comments in his review.  Those lead to the
addition of text:

Does that help at all?  The intent is not to let this be used for
authorization decisions, but to allow a quick, clean "deny" decision
to be issued.  The current state of play is pretty messy in that

Other changes (based on other reviews) resulted in more emphasis on
this being a hint, or an indication of intent.