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Re: Moving forward on improving HTTP's security

From: Zhong Yu <zhong.j.yu@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 15:04:14 -0600
Message-ID: <CACuKZqE75pAp7eBApQR4HvDJf3xvCb2GiAtqxN_GxzGL0=-h-Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com>
Cc: William Chan (陈智昌) <willchan@chromium.org>, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com>, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com>, James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com>, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
I don't think anybody is "arguing against TLS". You like TLS, more power to you.

However isn't it kind of presumptuous for some people to mandate it
for everybody, for the greater good of course, even though a lot of
people, perhaps not super smart, but possessing basic analytic skills
nevertheless, decide for themselves that TLS is not the best choice,
based on their own constraints and interests?

Zhong Yu

On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 2:41 PM, Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com> wrote:
> <off topic conspiracy theory>
>
> I wonder how many of those on this list arguing against TLS are either
>     a) hackers
>     b) working for the NSA or some other government agency
>     c) otherwise actively leveraging plaintext HTTP today for business or
> pleasure
>
> Because honestly, unless you're one of those people, there is no good reason
> not to be 100% encrypted now.
>
> And I'm tired of hearing the "backoffice" argument - recent developments
> prove that even the backoffice needs to be 100% encrypted.  Ok - sorry, I'm
> ranting now...:-)
>
> </off topic>
>
>
> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 12:25 PM, Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM, William Chan (陈智昌)
>> <willchan@chromium.org> wrote:
>>>
>>> Well, it should be no surprise that the Chromium project is still
>>> planning on supporting HTTP/2 only over a secure channel (aka TLS unless
>>> something better comes along...). So, that's (C).
>>>
>>> As to opportunistic encryption, we have mixed opinions on the team on
>>> that. Mike, Tim, can you explain why you like (A)? Here are some concerns
>>> I've heard on it:
>>> * The marginal security benefit of unauthenticated encryption is fairly
>>> marginal. Which adversary is this intended to defeat? It might defeat
>>> something like Firesheep for now, until tools like that get updated to MITM
>>> as well. Does it shift the economics very much on passive pervasive
>>> monitoring? What wins do y'all foresee here?
>>
>>
>> That's exactly right.  The argument that we shouldn't do it because it
>> only works "until tools get updated to MITM" doesn't work for me, because
>> that's just  the way security is.  You never finish "security", you just
>> keep raising the bar.
>>
>> Given the widespread snooping that has been so widely publicized in recent
>> months, I think it is imperative that we raise the bar here now.
>>
>>
>>>
>>> * As for downsides, will people read too much into the marginal security
>>> benefit and thus think that it's OK not to switch to HTTPS? If so, that
>>> would be terrible. It's hard to assess how large this risk is though. Do you
>>> guys have thoughts here?
>>
>>
>> I hadn't even considered this - its so odd!  I can't see anyone not using
>> TLS because of this - if you don't know when you need TLS, then you probably
>> won't notice that we're encrypting your HTTP.  So I see it as something that
>> just protects users automagically without them even knowing.   I don't
>> believe this as a serious concern.
>>
>> Mike
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM, Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Agree with Tim; I am also in support of 100% TLS all the time.
>>>>
>>>> I would like us to do both Mark's proposals:
>>>>    (A)  opportunistic upgrade of http to SSL
>>>> and
>>>>    (C) HTTP/2.0 is TLS all the time.
>>>>
>>>> Mike
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM, Tao Effect <contact@taoeffect.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> On Nov 13, 2013, at 12:31 PM, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
>>>>>
>>>>> FWIW, here’s one voice in support of HTTP/2==TLS.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Not much content there supporting your vote. :-(
>>>>>
>>>>> A vote doesn't count (in my book at least), if it doesn't have strong
>>>>> rationale before it.
>>>>>
>>>>> To me this also comes across as security theater (what a wonderful
>>>>> expression).
>>>>>
>>>>> Let's get this clear:
>>>>>
>>>>> 1. Perfection is not being requested. Just something other than
>>>>> "abysmal".
>>>>>
>>>>> 2. TLS that depends on CAs is not by any means "good". It is bad. Very
>>>>> bad. I would even support a viewpoint that says it's worse than HTTP because
>>>>> of the false sense of security that it gives people.
>>>>>
>>>>> - Greg
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Please do not email me anything that you are not comfortable also
>>>>> sharing with the NSA.
>>>>>
>>>>> On Nov 13, 2013, at 12:31 PM, Tim Bray <tbray@textuality.com> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM, James M Snell <jasnell@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To be honest, much of this comes across to me as knee-jerk security
>>>>>> theater. Sure, using TLS is a good thing, but by itself it doesn't
>>>>>> come even remotely close to dealing with the range of fundamental
>>>>>> security and privacy issues that have come to light over the past few
>>>>>> months. If not handled properly, it could definitely give a false
>>>>>> sense of security.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Let’s not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
>>>>>
>>>>> FWIW, here’s one voice in support of HTTP/2==TLS.  And another saying
>>>>> let’s not give up on opportunistic encryption.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 2:01 AM, Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> [snip]
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > The most relevant proposals were:
>>>>>> >
>>>>>>
>>>>>> FWIW, I intend to make another proposal once (a) the base http/2
>>>>>> protocol is complete and (b) protocol extensions have been dealt with
>>>>>> properly.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> [snip]
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > As a result, I believe the best way that we can meet the goal of
>>>>>> > increasing use of TLS on the Web is to encourage its use by only using
>>>>>> > HTTP/2.0 with https:// URIs.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -1. HTTP/2 should not be limited to TLS only. If someone wishes to
>>>>>> craft text that strongly encourages use of TLS in specific
>>>>>> applications of HTTP/2, then that would be fine. But the protocol
>>>>>> itself should not require it.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> > This can be effected without any changes to our current document;
>>>>>> > browser vendors are not required to implement HTTP/2.0 for http:// URIs
>>>>>> > today. However, we will discuss formalising this with suitable requirements
>>>>>> > to encourage interoperability; suggestions for text are welcome.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>>
>>>>>> FWIW, I have to concur with the others on this thread, Mark. The
>>>>>> language you're using here makes it sound like the decision has
>>>>>> already been made.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> > To be clear - we will still define how to use HTTP/2.0 with http://
>>>>>> > URIs, because in some use cases, an implementer may make an informed choice
>>>>>> > to use the protocol without encryption. However, for the common case --
>>>>>> > browsing the open Web -- you'll need to use https:// URIs and if you want to
>>>>>> > use the newest version of HTTP.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Again, -1 to making this a normative requirement. Our task ought to be
>>>>>> ensuring that people who bother to read the specification are fully
>>>>>> informed of the choices they are making, and not to make those choices
>>>>>> for them. Yes, I get it, some security is better than no security, but
>>>>>> adding constraints that only partially address the problem, just
>>>>>> because it makes us feel good or because it looks better from a PR
>>>>>> perspective, is not the right approach.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> What I think would be helpful is taking some time to draw up a
>>>>>> description of:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   1. The specific types of threats to HTTP/1.1 and HTTP/2 we feel are
>>>>>> significant.
>>>>>>   2. The specific types of threats we collectively feel ought to be
>>>>>> addressed by HTTP/2, and the ones we feel are beyond our scope
>>>>>>   3. A broader list of options for how those threats can be mitigated
>>>>>>
>>>>>> In other words, an I-D describing the relevant threat model.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Once we have that, we can make a more informed collective decision.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> - James
>>>>>>
>>>>>> > This is by no means the end of our security-related work. For
>>>>>> > example:
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > * Alternate approaches to proxy caching (such as peer-to-peer
>>>>>> > caching protocols) may be proposed here or elsewhere, since traditional
>>>>>> > proxy caching use cases will no longer be met when TLS is in wider use.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > * As discussed in the perpass BoF, strengthening how we use TLS
>>>>>> > (e.g., for Perfect Forward Security) is on the table.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > * A number of people expressed interest in refining and/or extending
>>>>>> > how proxies work in HTTP (both 1.0 and 2.0), as discussed in
>>>>>> > draft-nottingham-http-proxy-problem (among many other relevant drafts).
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Furthermore, other security-related work in the IETF (see the
>>>>>> > perpass BoF) and elswhere (e.g., W3C) may affect HTTP. For example, a number
>>>>>> > of people have pointed out how weaknesses in PKIX affect the Web.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> > Your input, as always, is appreciated. I believe this approach is as
>>>>>> > close to consensus as we're going to get on this contentious subject right
>>>>>> > now. As HTTP/2 is deployed, we will evaluate adoption of the protocol and
>>>>>> > might revisit this decision if we identify ways to further improve security.
>>>>>> >
>>>>>> >
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>
>
Received on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 21:04:41 UTC

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