W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webcrypto@w3.org > May 2014

[Bug 25721] extractable keys should be disabled by default

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2014 23:50:12 +0000
To: public-webcrypto@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-25721-7213-8plfWiIqjA@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=25721

--- Comment #15 from Ryan Sleevi <sleevi@google.com> ---
(In reply to elijah from comment #14)
> Ryan, I understand that you don't personally like the idea of placing
> restrictions on extractable keys, but the topic is clearly "within scope". I
> just found this in the WebCrypto Charter:
> 
> > Primary API Features in scope are... the API should be asynchronous and
> > must prevent or control access to secret key material and other sensitive
> > cryptographic values and settings.
> 
> (http://www.w3.org/2011/11/webcryptography-charter.html)
> 
> In light of this, I wish to make a formal objection to the inclusion of
> extractable private keys in the WebCrypto API without user agent
> requirements to disable this by default or require user consent.

>From the same document:

"Out of scope ... access-control mechanisms beyond the enforcement of the
same-origin policy"

This API sufficiently meets it's primary API feature, by allowing application
developers and site authors to choose whether or not they wish access to the
generated key material. As these site authors are responsible for the code
executing and using the Web Cryptography API, and are equally responsible for
the security boundary (through the use of HTTPS, CSP, XSS mitigations, and
other equivalent restrictions), they are equally capable and cognizant of
determining whether or not they require persistent, extractable access to key
material.

There are use cases that cannot be met without extractability - such as the
safe escrow of keys, or of key wrapping in general between two peers.

I leave it to the chairs to note your formal objection. However, the technical
reasons for why your request is unnecessary, unrealistic, and unfortunately
based in misunderstanding the web security and privacy model have been
explained, and I am confident that the WG will continue in the current path.

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Received on Monday, 19 May 2014 23:50:14 UTC

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