[TLS] [Editorial Errata Reported] RFC8446 (6205)

RFC Errata System <rfc-editor@rfc-editor.org> Thu, 04 June 2020 02:04 UTC

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Subject: [TLS] [Editorial Errata Reported] RFC8446 (6205)
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The following errata report has been submitted for RFC8446,
"The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.3".

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You may review the report below and at:
https://www.rfc-editor.org/errata/eid6205

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Type: Editorial
Reported by: Martin Thomson <mt@lowentropy.net>

Section: 4.3.2

Original Text
-------------
   Servers which are authenticating with a PSK MUST NOT send the
   CertificateRequest message in the main handshake, though they MAY
   send it in post-handshake authentication (see Section 4.6.2) provided
   that the client has sent the "post_handshake_auth" extension (see
   Section 4.2.6).

Corrected Text
--------------
   Servers which are authenticating with a resumption PSK MUST NOT send the
   CertificateRequest message in the main handshake, though they MAY
   send it in post-handshake authentication (see Section 4.6.2) provided
   that the client has sent the "post_handshake_auth" extension (see
   Section 4.2.6).  Servers which are authenticating with an external PSK
   MUST NOT send the CertificateRequest message either in the main handshake
   or request post-handshake authentication. Future specifications MAY
   provide an extension to permit this. 

Notes
-----
The lack of qualification on "authenticating with a PSK" implies that the statement applies equally to both external and resumption PSKs.  However, there are two conditions being governed: whether a certificate can be requested during the handshake, and whether a certificate can be requested post-handshake.  The latter of these requires different rules depending on the type of PSK.

We know from the analysis of resumption (see https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/tls/TugB5ddJu3nYg7chcyeIyUqWSbA/) that combining a PSK handshake of either type with a client certificate is not safe.  Thus, the prohibition on CertificateRequest during the handshake applies equally to both resumption and external PSKs.

For post-handshake, Appendix E.1 already discusses the risks of combining PSKs with certificates, citing the same analysis as above.

   [...]  It is unsafe to use certificate-based client
   authentication when the client might potentially share the same
   PSK/key-id pair with two different endpoints.

For this reason an external PSK is not safe to use with post-handshake authentication.  A resumption PSK does not have this property, so the same prohibition doesn't apply.

Splitting the requirements as proposed makes this split clearer.

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--------------------------------------
RFC8446 (draft-ietf-tls-tls13-28)
--------------------------------------
Title               : The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol Version 1.3
Publication Date    : August 2018
Author(s)           : E. Rescorla
Category            : PROPOSED STANDARD
Source              : Transport Layer Security
Area                : Security
Stream              : IETF
Verifying Party     : IESG