W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webcrypto@w3.org > May 2012

Re: ECC vs RSA, and Similar Conflicts

From: David McGrew <mcgrew@cisco.com>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 05:23:30 -0400
Cc: public-webcrypto@w3.org
Message-Id: <05459D6E-8669-4C54-9C98-21FF21A8EB17@cisco.com>
To: Anil Saldhana <Anil.Saldhana@redhat.com>
On May 10, 2012, at 10:36 AM, Anil Saldhana wrote:

> Giving direct access to private keys to the JS api is trouble.
> 
> I support David's thoughts on just allowing references to IDs of Private Keys.

+1 

It will also be important that the API itself not allow manipulations of the secret and private keys that allow an attacker to cause one of those keys to be revealed by executing a (possibly convoluted) sequence of operations on it, as has been shown to be the case for PKCS#11 (see for instance <http://www.lsv.ens-cachan.fr/~steel/pkcs11/>)

David

> We definitely can trust the browser to do the right thing, right?
> 
> On 05/10/2012 09:30 AM, David Dahl wrote:
>> One of the reasons for establishing this WG is to try and provide a more secure way of using crypto on the web. Keeping the private keys private is at the top of this list. We can establish a spec that only ever references private key IDs, making this much more secure than existing JS crypto libraries that have access to private key material.
>> 
>> David
>> 
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Richard L. Barnes"<rbarnes@bbn.com>
>> To: "Cullen Jennings"<fluffy@cisco.com>
>> Cc: "Nadim"<nadim@nadim.cc>, public-webcrypto@w3.org
>> Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 9:18:44 AM
>> Subject: Re: ECC vs RSA, and Similar Conflicts
>> 
>> Note, however, that that approach would require that private keys be exposed to the JS layer.  It seems like we have at least some use cases (e.g., the Netflix cases) where maintaining the secrecy of the private key is important.
>> 
>> --Richard
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On May 10, 2012, at 9:42 AM, Cullen Jennings wrote:
>> 
>>> One way to deal with the ECC / RSA issues is instead provide the underlining big math libraries that are needed to implement these and leave the actually IPR encumbered implementation to an JS library. If done right, this would could have approximately the same performance as a native implementation.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On May 9, 2012, at 11:33 AM, Nadim wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Hi everyone,
>>>> I think we need to have a discussion regarding whether the API will exclusively implement (and rely on) newer, faster standards (such as ECDH, ECDSA) or whether there will be a larger dependence on RSA, either for fallback or stronger compatibility reasons.
>>>> 
>>>> If it is eventually decided that not only the best available per-task algorithm is implemented, but rather, all possible algorithms, where do we draw the line? Do we implement SHA1 in addition to SHA2? Does that also warrant an MD5 implementation?
>>>> 
>>>> Personally, I believe that focusing only on the newer, more efficient standards (such as ECC) is a better idea, but I stand very humbly by my opinion and a much more interested in listening to the group's opinions.
>>>> 
>>>> Thank you,
>>>> NK
>>> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 12:46:21 UTC

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