Re: [websec] #54: Specify a report-only mode

Chris Palmer <palmer@google.com> Fri, 19 October 2012 00:17 UTC

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Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 17:17:56 -0700
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From: Chris Palmer <palmer@google.com>
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Subject: Re: [websec] #54: Specify a report-only mode
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On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 4:56 PM, websec issue tracker
<trac+websec@trac.tools.ietf.org> wrote:

> #54: Specify a report-only mode
>
>  Should there be a "report-only" mode, allowing site operators to see how
>  using HPKP would affect their site's operation in browsers supporting
>  HPKP? (Probably.)
>
>  If so, specify how that mode would work.

What are people's thoughts on this? The motivation for a report-only
mode is twofold: (1) site operators want to see what would happen
before going live with pinning; and (2) site operators often don't
know all their keys, or all their intermediate signers' keys, or all
their trust anchors' keys, and a reporting mode could help them find
out.

(2) implies that the reporting interface would have to allow the UA to
tell the site not just "pin validation succeeded/failed", but also why
(probably by simply reporting the entire validated certificate chain
that the UA computed/observed).

The reporting interface must be one that is easy for site operators to
implement — writing code to collect the reports should not be a huge
burden for developers. Perhaps a simple JSON blob:

{
  "pin-validation-succeeded": (true|false),
  "expected-pins": [ "sha1/blahblah", "sha256/foobar", ... ],
  "validated-chain": [ "PEM blob of EE", "PEM blob of intermediate",
..., "PEM blob of anchor" ]
}

The next issue is, should the site be able to specify a URL to which
the UA will POST the JSON blob, or should we specify a single,
well-known URL path? Using a well-known path seems simpler and less
error-prone generally.