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Re: Semantics of HTTPS

From: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 23:23:59 +0200
To: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Cc: "ietf-http-wg@w3.org Group" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20120806212359.GC7647@1wt.eu>
On Mon, Aug 06, 2012 at 04:16:48PM -0500, Mark Nottingham wrote:
> 
> On 06/08/2012, at 4:14 PM, Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu> wrote:
> 
> >> Right. That's a big change from the semantics of HTTPS today, though; right
> >> now, when I see that, I know that I have end-to-end TLS.
> > 
> > No, you *believe* you do, you really don't know. That's clearly the problem
> > with the way it works, man-in-the middle proxies are still able to intercept
> > it and to forge certs they sign with their own CA and you have no way to know
> > if your communications are snooped or not.
> 
> It's a really big logical leap from the existence of an attack to changing
> the fundamental semantics of the URI scheme. And, that's what a MITM proxy is
> -- it's not legitimate, it's not a recognised role, it's an attack. We
> shouldn't legitimise it. 

That's clearly what I'm suggesting : offer a clean way to have a proxy inspect
contents with the users' consent in the browser policy (using GET https://) or
ask for a tunnel to be established, assuming it should be end-to-end. There
will be no more solution than today to detect there's an MITM, but at least
there will be far less incentive for product authors to do that if it's only
for a handful of trustable websites.

At the moment the state of affairs has created MITM proxies and we'd better
get rid of them by offering a solution to the problem they try to solve.

Willy
Received on Monday, 6 August 2012 21:24:22 GMT

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