W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > April 2011

Authentication workflow draft.

From: Andrei Sambra <andrei@fcns.eu>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 15:36:58 +0200
To: WebID XG <public-xg-webid@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1302615418.16207.50.camel@rena>
After a chat with Henry today, we decided to draft a "workflow" to
describe how the authentication process takes place from the moment a
user is accessing the service.

We are assuming the user possesses a client certificate which is
installed in his browser, as well as a publicly accessible WebID on the
web. The URI of the webid is found in the certificate's subjectAltName. 

Note: GOTO is used for the sake of simplicity and should not be
generally used! :-)

Feel free to comment/add/change stuff if you consider it important.

-----------

Step 0. Init / no authentication / authentication failed (implementation
independent)

Step 1. The user connects to the authentication server (service) and is
asked to provide a certificate. 

Step 2. The user selects the certificate and clicks the submit button.
If the user does not provide a certificate, GOTO Step 0.

Step 3. Using TLS, the server verifies that the public key found in the
certificate matches the user's private key. If the keys do not match,
(print an error maybe) GOTO Step 0.

Step 4. The server verifies the validity date of the certificate. If the
certificate has expired, GOTO Step 0.

Step 5. The server extracts any URI found in the certificate's
subjectAltName field, ignoring everything else (like email, etc.). If no
URIs are found, (print an error maybe) GOTO Step 0.

Step 6. For each URI found, the server fetches and parses the profile
file located at that particular URI, looking for resources pointing to a
public key (i.e. rsa#RSAPublicKey?). If no resources are found, (print
an error maybe) GOTO Step 0.

Step 7. If a public key resource is found, the server will try to check
if the contents of "cert:identity" match the WebID's owner. If no match
is found for any URI, then GOTO Step 0.

Step 8. If the identity matches the WebID, the server will try to match
the WebID's modulus and exponent values to the ones provided by the
user's certificate. It is possible to have multiple modulus values
(belonging to several keys) therefore the server should cycle through
all of them. If no match is found for any modulus/exponent of any URI,
GOTO Step 0.

Step 9. If the modulus values match, the client is authenticated.

---------------

Andrei
 
Received on Tuesday, 12 April 2011 13:37:58 UTC

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