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Re: Mandatory encryption

From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <hallam@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2012 23:32:25 -0400
Message-ID: <CAMm+LwgUr_ykGKA2u9_29wjSHKHdkv5bO3eHMSnabJFf-o5TSA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com>
Cc: Paul Hoffman <paul.hoffman@gmail.com>, grahame@healthintersections.com.au, "ietf-http-wg@w3.org" <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Umm pretty much every Web Server has SSL support, the issue is that
only about 2% of deployments turn it on. Or is the idea that we are
going to mandate turning it on? If so, who is going to define the
trust criteria for accepting certs?

I am a big supporter of TLS. I just don't see anything good coming
from a mandate that is superfluous.

As an example, we have had a mandate in PKIX to check CRLs and/or OCSP
for over a decade and to reject a certificate if the client cannot
perform validation. Most browsers try to check but accept the
certificate if there is no response to the OCSP request. So virtually
every deployed browser has been out of compliance with a fundamental
PKIX control for over a decade despite repeated attempts by the CAs to
persuade the providers to change this.

I can't see how DANE is going to solve anything either since DANE
poses an even more disruptive hard-fail criteria.

I don't want to tie an application layer protocol version to a
transport layer protocol version or vice versa. If you tie HTTP 2.0 to
TLS 1.2 then you are going to have to revise HTTP when you revise TLS.

I don't see any value in a Canute/sea act here.

What would be valuable is to have a suite of standards for a specific
application that could be identified as a set. Something like 'best
practices for Web server hosting, IPv6 +HTTP 2.0 + TLS 1.2 with
AES+SHA2 + DNSSEC'. It would also be nice to see a similar draft for
best practices for email clients and servers, and yes, support for
STARTTLS would be high on my list of requirements. A draft like that
would be very useful as a contract term for outsourcing Web hosting or
mail service.

But that is a totally different prospect to trying to tie HTTP to a
particular security solution.

Implementing TLS in a product is far from trivial. Getting the code is
easy, selecting trust anchors is not. Is the specification going to
mandate a particular choice of trust anchor? that is not going to
happen. Nor is defining a minimum Certification Policy or locking the
whole HTTP trust infrastructure to the ICANN PKI root by trying to
mandate DNSSEC and DANE as well as TLS.

TLS requires a PKI to work and every PKI comes with a set of policy
and legal questions that have to be understood if the scheme is going
to provide any security.

On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 10:30 PM, Mike Belshe <mike@belshe.com> wrote:
> Mandatory SSL is +1 and very forward thinking.
> On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM, Phillip Hallam-Baker <hallam@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> -1
>> I don't want to have a mandatory requirement unless it is going to
>> change behavior.
> I don't think we can change behavior with protocols.  All we can do is offer
> new features.  If the features are compelling, people will upgrade.  If the
> features are not compelling, they won't.
> People used to tell me SPDY would never get people to "upgrade".  Even after
> touching a half a billion users, people still tell me that.  I think the
> evidence of adoption speaks for itself.
>> We already have ubiquitous deployment of TLS in browsers. The code is
>> freely available, everyone knows the benefit.
>> The only HTTP servers or clients I am aware of that don't have TLS
>> support are either toolsets that the provider expects to be used with
>> OpenSSL or the like and embedded systems.
> I'll ask the google crawler guys to weigh in on this.  They have pretty good
> stats.  I believe your assertion is provably false.
>> Incidentally, suport for IPSEC is mandatory in IPv6 but that does not
>> seem to do any good either. It just means that IPv6 is harder to
>> deploy as implementations are required to support a security layer
>> almost nobody uses as TLS has proved better.
>> Making TLS a mandatory requirement seems like a feelgood approach to
>> security to me. Instead of doing something useful, we pass a
>> resolution telling people to do what they plan to do anyway.
> You imply there is something else that would be useful - what would it be?
> (don't feel obliged to answer :-)
> To me mandating security is a great first step.  Nobody should think this
> 'fixes' security. But if we believe the net ever needs to be secure, we need
> to start taking steps toward that.
> Mandating SSL is a simple step we can take which solves most of the
> eavesdropping problem right now.  But more importantly, it poises us to
> address the next set of security issues, including CA/verification problems,
> distribution of video over ssl, handshake latency, etc.  Until we start
> trying to be secure, of course we'll never be secure.
> Mike
>> On Tue, Jul 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM, Paul Hoffman <paul.hoffman@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > +1 to what seems to be a lot of developers: make TLS mandatory.
>> >
>> >>  so, even when used in an internal application protocol, it's going to
>> >>  be end to end
>> >>  encrypted to make it super hard to debug?
>> >
>> > In an internal application protocol, why would it be "super hard to
>> > debug"? The client can do an HTTP dump before TLS, the server can do
>> > an HTTP dump after TLS; either of the sides could debug the TLS.
>> >
>> >>  http is about more than users using
>> >>  web browsers.
>> >
>> > Completely true, and not relevant. Insecure HTTP for non-browser
>> > applications still has the same bad properties, no?
>> >
>> --
>> Website: http://hallambaker.com/

Website: http://hallambaker.com/
Received on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 03:32:52 UTC

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