W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-encryption@w3.org > August 2000

Re: encryption in XML & in SMIME

From: Malte Borcherding <Malte.Borcherding@brokat.com>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 09:25:23 +0200
Message-ID: <39AB6563.32D73474@brokat.com>
To: Don Davis <dtd@world.std.com>
CC: Ed Simon <ed.simon@entrust.com>, xml-encryption@w3.org
Don Davis wrote:
> the problem i describe arises wherever:
>    * signing and public-key encryption are used together,
>      and
>    * the plaintext document fails to name the signer or
>      the intended decryptor.
> if, when signing & encrypting are to be used together,
> neither XML Signature nor XML Encryption mandates any naming,
> then compliant applications will be free to prepare insecure
> XML documents, and XML's security extensions will be rendered
> impotent.


I do not think that the encryption layer should be used as a means to securely
transport information about the intended recipient, in the sense that the
meaning of the document depends on this information. It should be possible to
peel off the encryption layer without losing information relevant to the
document. So, if the name of the intended recipient is important for the
interpretation of the document, then it should be stated in the plaintext. But I
think this decision is application-dependent, and I do not consider a system
insecure which does not mandate sign/wrap/sign security.


Malte Borcherding              Technical Research Manager
Brokat AG                      Voice: (+49)711-78844 231
Industriestr. 3                Fax:   (+49)711-78844 779
70565 Stuttgart                WWW:   http://www.brokat.com
Germany                        email: Malte.Borcherding@brokat.com
Received on Tuesday, 29 August 2000 03:24:39 UTC

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