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Re: Moving forward on improving HTTP's security

From: Willy Tarreau <w@1wt.eu>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2013 22:54:04 +0100
To: Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com>
Cc: "William Chan (?????????)" <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>
Message-ID: <20131113215404.GH31577@1wt.eu>
On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 01:23:41PM -0800, Mike Belshe wrote:
> To paraphrase, you're saying:
>    "I don't like TLS because I use the presence of TLS to know that I could
> be hacked right now.   But if you turn on TLS always, I won't be able to
> tell if I can get hacked."

Huh ? No. I mean "The TLS model is fine for me as long as it's used where
needed and if it's not abused because I expect all actors in the chain to
care about security". Let's ensure we don't break that weak link from the
root CAs to me by making its use mandatory for all no-value stuff that
nobody cares about and which will make it normal for everyone to deploy
broken configs and rogue CAs everywhere for the sake of simplicity.

> To summarize:
>   1) You're happy with the security you get with TLS to Paypal now
>   2) You're unhappy with that same security (TLS) enforced everywhere
> because it is suddenly less secure.

Exactly.

> This is also illogical.  We're not changing TLS.

Yes you are. You're not changing the protocol but the economics and
the actors' motives to deliver certs the proper way. When certs are
needed to connect to my printer, I doubt I'll have to order a new
cert every year to connect to it once every 3 years at most to change
its IP address. Instead the manufacturer will want a 10 years cert,
and since he won't be able to get that, some CAs will start to offer
this (possibly at a high price). We'll possibly find it much easier
and cheaper to become a valid CA and to issue certs for anyone. I'm
sorry but the day I can issue a paypal cert myself and have my browser
accept it without me having to do anything with its configuration, I'll
start to get a little bit scared.

Right now it's simple : TLS is annoying to deploy so you do it where
it matters. It can be free but at least it requires some care and you
are willing to accept that for the sites you value. Once you don't
value anymore the certs you are installing and users start to do wrong
things such as clicking 100 times a day "Ignore this cert error" because
everyone uses crappy certs, the TLS model will be useless.

Willy
Received on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 21:54:36 UTC

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