Re: [websec] default value for max-age ? (was: Re: Strict-Transport-Security syntax redux)

Yoav Nir <ynir@checkpoint.com> Tue, 03 January 2012 06:26 UTC

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From: Yoav Nir <ynir@checkpoint.com>
To: =JeffH <Jeff.Hodges@KingsMountain.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 08:26:36 +0200
Thread-Topic: [websec] default value for max-age ? (was: Re: Strict-Transport-Security syntax redux)
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Subject: Re: [websec] default value for max-age ? (was: Re: Strict-Transport-Security syntax redux)
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On Jan 3, 2012, at 1:29 AM, =JeffH wrote:

> Julian wondered..
>> 
>> wouldn't it make sense to have a default for max-age so it
>> can be made OPTIONAL?
> 
> hm ... I lean towards keeping max-age as REQUIRED (without a default value) and 
> thus hopefully encouraging deployers to think a bit about this and its 
> ramifications, and also because its value is so site-specific in terms of a web 
> application's needs, deployment approach, and tolerance for downside risk of 
> breaking itself.

I tend to agree, but it's not deployers who are going to do the thinking - it's the implementers of web servers. 

So somewhere, in some control panel for IIS, or a config file for Apache, or some WebUI for some SSL-VPN, there's going to be a configuration to turn on HSTS, and that product is going to have a default max-age. The deployers are just going to check the box.

I think we should provide guidance for those implementers as to what is a good default there.

Yoav