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RE: DNSSEC indicator

From: <michael.mccormick@wellsfargo.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 13:24:14 -0500
Message-ID: <8A794A6D6932D146B2949441ECFC9D6802B4D394@msgswbmnmsp17.wellsfargo.com>
To: <ses@ll.mit.edu>, <public-wsc-wg@w3.org>
Cc: <dan.schutzer@fstc.org>

Hi Stuart,

I remember that discussion at the March 2006 meeting.  I think it's an
intriguing proposal.  I definitely see a need for sites to define
security parameters they want browsers to adhere to (e.g., "MS IE can
only access my web site if Security Level is set to High").  Ideally
this kind of security metadata would be exchanged as part of the TLS
handshake so server & browser can negotiate and come to agreement (e.g.,
"3DES cipher is acceptable if you really can't do AES").

However I'm not convinced DNS records are the optimal way to publish
security metadata because it's not real conducive to a 2-way negotiation
dialog between agent & server.  Also I'm concerned about putting
security metadata in DNS because it's vulnerable to poisoning & other
attacks (yes, DNSSEC would help here) and because propagation of record
changes is unpredictable.

I'm also not persuaded that any such solution is needed for sites to
force agents to use SSL.  That can be achieved more easily by either
turning off port 80, or by responding to http requests with a redirect
response to https.

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org]
On Behalf Of Stuart E. Schechter
Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 10:06 AM
To: 'Web Security Context WG'
Cc: Dan Schutzer
Subject: Re: DNSSEC indicator


This is the proposal I first discussed at the W3C meeting at Citibank in
March of last year.  I'd be happy to share the draft individually with
working group participants, but I haven't received approval to post it
on publicly archived lists.

The proposal adds a new record to the domain name system.  Browsers can
query the DNS for this record before contacting a named site, just as
they would query the address record for the site.  If the record is
present and certain flags are set, browsers will activate HTTPS before
initiating a web connection to the site's domain name.  Users are thus
freed from the responsibility of activating HTTPS or ensuring that HTTPS
was activated.

The proposal is closely tied to DNSSEC because DNSSEC protects this
records against attacks that would modify it or make it appear to be
absent.

Cheers

Stuart

> From: Dan Schutzer <dan.schutzer@fstc.org>
> Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 07:03:06 -0400
> To: "'Stuart E. Schechter'" <ses@ll.mit.edu>
> Cc: 'Web Security Context WG' <public-wsc-wg@w3.org>, 'Dan Schutzer'
> <dan.schutzer@fstc.org>
> Subject: DNSSEC indicator
> 
> Stuart can you elaborate on:
> 
>  
> 
> I have been working on a new standard that would employ DNSSEC to 
> reduce,
> 
> rather than increase, the amount of security information that users 
> need to
> 
> be made aware of.  The standard removes the need for users to pay 
> attention
> 
> to the browser padlock icon and other HTTPS indicators.
> 
>  
> 
> Thanks
> 
>  
> 
> Dan Schutzer
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org 
> [mailto:public-wsc-wg-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Stuart E. Schechter
> Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2007 3:58 PM
> To: Web Security Context WG
> Subject: Re: DNSSEC indicator
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
> I just realized I followed suit in sending this to the wrong address. 
> -s
> 
>  
> 
> ------ Forwarded Message
> 
> From: "Stuart E. Schechter" <ses@ll.mit.edu>
> 
> Subject: Re: DNSSEC indicator
> 
>  
> 
>> From: <michael.mccormick@wellsfargo.com>
> 
>  
> 
>> One issue SwedBank has run into as DNSSEC rolls out in Sweden 
>> (quoting
> Kjell's
> 
>> presentation): "Will Microsoft and Mozilla implement a DNSSEC 
>> indicator in
> 
>> their browsers?"
> 
> ...  
> 
>> My personal opinion is DNSSEC should probably be another input to the
> agent
> 
>> security context display along with the others we've talked about 
>> (e.g.,
> 
>> SSL/TLS).  There are some practical obstacles to overcome -- for 
>> instance
> the
> 
>> name resolver built into the client OS or browser has to be 
>> DNSSEC-capable
> as
> 
>> a prerequisite for this -- but it seems it ought to be on the 
>> roadmap.  I
> 
>> believe DNSSEC has more potential benefit if it's visible to end
users.
> 
>  
> 
> Michael:
> 
>  
> 
>    I'm a strong advocate of DNSSEC, but I'm certain it will fail users

> are
> 
> required to notice an indictor of its presence or absence.  SSL 
> indicators
> 
> are visible to end users and users don't notice them.
> 
>  
> 
>    I have been working on a new standard that would employ DNSSEC to 
> reduce,
> 
> rather than increase, the amount of security information that users 
> need to
> 
> be made aware of.  The standard removes the need for users to pay 
> attention
> 
> to the browser padlock icon and other HTTPS indicators.  When I've 
> talked to
> 
> folks at Mozilla and on Microsoft's IE team, I've found the generally 
> agree
> 
> that this is the area where DNSSEC can provide value to them.  Alas, 
> because
> 
> it introduces a new record into the DNS, it is out of scope for this 
> working
> 
> group.
> 
>  
> 
>    When it comes to security indicators, more is not necessarily
better.
> 
>  
> 
>    Cheers
> 
>  
> 
>    Stuart
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
Received on Friday, 13 April 2007 18:24:55 GMT

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