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RE: delegation and passwordsInTheClear-52

From: Doyle, Bill <wdoyle@mitre.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2008 09:42:42 -0400
Message-ID: <4DE292A150B5CA48BDDA9658300E753878CCA5@IMCSRV8.MITRE.ORG>
To: "Chris Drake" <christopher@pobox.com>, "Dan Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: "www-tag" <www-tag@w3.org>, <public-usable-authentication@w3.org>

Chris,

I will second Dan's comment "Can be redesigned for the desired
functionality without a cleartext password transmission" 

Just because it is easier to use cleartext transmission of passwords
does not mean that it is the correct way to secure the application. I
will also add the statement that the use of cleartext transmission of
passwords without other security mechanisms to enforce Information
Assurance (IA) provides no additional protection to the application. An
application design with no IA can be OK if the user has no risk, one
example of this is where data is considered public.

Kind Regards
Bill Doyle
wdoyle@mitre.org


-----Original Message-----
From: public-usable-authentication-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-usable-authentication-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Chris
Drake
Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 10:12 PM
To: Dan Connolly
Cc: www-tag; public-usable-authentication@w3.org
Subject: Re: delegation and passwordsInTheClear-52


Hi Dan,

It is not trivially possible to redesign functionality to protect
passwords.

That statement both wrong and misleading:
DC> "Every scenario that involves possibly transmitting passwords in
the
DC> clear can be redesigned for the desired functionality without a
DC> cleartext password transmission."

You can't use hashing because of dictionary attack risks, so the only
possible "redesign" requires some kind of two-way secure session
initiation to be negotiated.  That's obviously never possible in
"Every scenario".

A more accurate statement would be:-

  "Preventing cleartext or equivalent password transmission requires
   SSL or custom server/client components designed to negotiate secure
   sessions."

Kind Regards,
Chris Drake


Thursday, June 26, 2008, 12:30:20 AM, you wrote:


DC> I wonder about this:

DC> "Every scenario that involves possibly transmitting passwords in
the
DC> clear can be redesigned for the desired functionality without a
DC> cleartext password transmission."
DC>   --
DC> http://www.w3.org/2001/tag/doc/passwordsInTheClear-52-20080602

DC> W3C has tried to stamp out cleartext passwords on its own
DC> web site a few times, but one of the main blockers, aside from
DC> buggy support for digest in various bits of software, is
delegation.

DC> W3C has a few forms-based services that use
DC> cleartext passwords for delegation; e.g. our XSLT service
DC>   http://www.w3.org/2005/08/online_xslt/#authinfo

DC> If you want to use the service on password-protected pages,
DC> you just put the credentials in a form and it uses them.

DC> The main use case is password-protected pages inside w3.org
DC> (though I'm not sure that's technically enforced) so it's
DC> not really all *that* much less secure than sending credentials
DC> to get the actual password-protected page. Still, yes,
DC> it makes many of us uncomfortable.

DC> How can these delegated services be "redesigned for the desired
DC> functionality without a cleartext password transmission."

DC> The W3C systems team has been looking at this for several
DC> years without finding a solution.
Received on Thursday, 26 June 2008 13:43:26 GMT

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