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RE: Chained proxies, persistent connections, authentication

From: Rob Maidment <rob.maidment@clearswift.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 16:44:31 +0100
Message-ID: <2F9121839AC40648B42FBC550E932A71673A30@farnsworth.EUROPE.CLEARSWIFT.COM>
To: "'ietf-http-wg@w3.org'" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>

Just to throw some more fuel on the fire, this is an excerpt from WRL
Research Report 95/4 "The Case for Persistent-Connection HTTP" (Jeffrey
Mogul, May 95):

"A persistent-connection model for Web access potentially provides the
opportunity for other
improvements to HTTP [20]. For example, if authentication could be done
per-connection rather
than per-request, that should significantly reduce the cost of robust
authentication, and so might
speed its acceptance."


>  -----Original Message-----
> From: 	Rob Maidment  
> Sent:	23 October 2003 15:32
> To:	'ietf-http-wg@w3.org'
> Subject:	Chained proxies, persistent connections, authentication
> I am currently investigating a problem that occurs in this type of
> scenario:
> browser -> proxy1 -> proxy2 -> server
> Proxy1 is actually a Squid proxy, it is passing though the end-user
> authentication to proxy2.  The problem occurs because proxy1 is reusing
> connections to proxy2 for requests from different users, but proxy2 is
> only authenticating the first request on each new connection.  This means
> that subsequent requests are not being authenticated, and these requests
> are being treated as if they originated from the first user to use the
> connection.  
> Which proxy is at fault?  I understood that one of the intended benefits
> of persistent connections was that a proxy would only have to authenticate
> the first request on each connection, which is a huge performance benefit.
> But ths assumes that a downstream proxy that passes through user
> authentication will not re-use the connection for different users.  Having
> said that, so far I have been unable to find any specification that says a
> proxy need only authenticate the first request on each connection.
> I'd appreciate any thoughts on the matter,
> Rob Maidment.

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Received on Thursday, 23 October 2003 11:44:36 UTC

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