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Magic Signatures

From: Martin, Cynthia E. <cemartin@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2010 14:41:04 -0400
To: XMLSec WG Public List <public-xmlsec@w3.org>
Message-ID: <6A913BB6ED2E2C43AC275462A83E68490C6DD0D5DE@IMCMBX3.MITRE.ORG>

Is anyone familar with Magic Signatures?


According to the document, Magic Signatures is a lightweight, robust mechanism for digitally signing nearly arbitrary messages, along with a basic public key infrastructure for discovering the signing keys.

The primary goal of Magic Signatures is to enable lightweight and robust public key signing for messages that may be transformed, converted, stored, and reconstituted in arbitrary ways. In order to make this mechanism useful, it also defines a public key discovery protocol that enables recipients to reliably map between pseudonyms for authors and their corresponding public keys.

This mechanism is an alternative to XML-DSig. In the field, XML-DSig has proven to be problematic in applications such as syndication of feeds. Compared to XML-DSig, Magic Signatures offers the following features:

- Can handle any data format; not tied to XML.

- Does not require any canonicalization beyond removal of whitespace, so it is much easier to verify messages correctly.

- Can survive message disassembly, storage into arbitrary systems, and re-constitution without invalidating the signature.

- Significantly smaller and simpler specification.

Magic Signatures does not attempt to address every XML-DSig use case, so it is best described as a lightweight, robust, and minimal form of digital signatures that can be used and deployed where XML-DSig cannot be relied on. Note that for XML, it is possible to combine both mechanisms.

Any information on the claims would be very helpful.


Received on Thursday, 15 July 2010 18:44:20 UTC

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