Re: Moving forward on improving HTTP's security

On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 2:36 PM, Adrien de Croy <> wrote:

> I thought we already did the mandatory TLS argument to death many times.

We did :) And I don't think we're going to convince one another here. I
feel like I understand your position and disagree with it. And I think the
vice versa is true. I stated my preference earlier, but I don't expect to
convince you. As much as it'd be nice to have the spec mandate this, so I
could use it as a weak hammer to beat people on the head with when they
don't want to use TLS, I don't really think we'll achieve rough consensus.
But I'll impose my will insofar as I can affect Chromium policy and push
more HTTPS adoption as much as I can.

> We added MITM in WinGate mostly because Google and FB went to https.
>  Google and FB you may take a bow.

FWIW, I'm happy those companies went HTTPS, and I'm sad that y'all are
offering MITM features in your products. I suppose that if I ask you not to
MITM traffic, you wouldn't listen, would you? :P If you feel that MITM is
bad for the web, why are you implementing this? Is it simply because if you
don't, then someone else will and people will switch from your product?

> Does this improve security of the web overall?  IMO no.  People can now
> snaffle banking passwords with a filter plugin.

Just to be clear, the MITM works because the enterprises are adding new SSL
root certificates to the system cert store, right? I agree that that is
terrible. I wouldn't use that computer :) I hope we increase awareness of
this issue.

> You really want to scale this out?  How will that make it any better?

I believe that making communications secure by default will overall improve
the security of the web as long as most devices don't have these additional
SSL root certificates used by the MITM proxies. You are taking a cynical
view on the outcome when communications become secure by default. I
disagree. I think that it's worthwhile to force entities that want to
examine communications to have to MITM SSL. I think that the negative PR of
a government or ISP or whatever trying to force installations of additional
root certificates on end users' machines would be a strong disincentive to
employ these policies. I agree it might lead more enterprises to MITM their
employees who use corporate devices. It is a sad world indeed if it's the
status quo for everyone to use devices with extra root certs so
intermediaries can MITM SSL connections.

> You're suggesting anyone wanting to run an http2 server now has to
> purchase, and pay for the ongoing maintenance of a cert, and take the cost
> on additional CPU to handle the load?

Yes, I want to use HTTP/2 as a carrot to incentivize server operators to
use HTTPS. There are tradeoffs that prevent folks from adopting HTTPS. I'm
hoping HTTP/2 helps adjust the tradeoffs in HTTPS' favor somewhat, due to
its reduced user perceived latency and improved connection reuse leading to
improved scalability compared to HTTP/1.X over TLS.

> Organisations have to live with the pain in the neck of deploying signing
> certs to clients, dealing with visitor devices etc etc.  This = reduction
> in user experience.

You mean the additional root certs installed on client machines? Good, I'm
glad it's a PITA for y'all, so maybe you'll stop doing it or do it less
often, and maybe corporations will stop asking you to do this for them.
This is terrible and I'm personally not interested in making it easier for
organizations to snoop on their members/employees/students/etc. I'm in
favor of reduced user experience where the user is someone who wants to
MITM SSL traffic.

> So, IMO making TLS mandatory = reduced security, worse user experience,
> and increased costs.
> That's progress I guess.

I respectfully disagree with your outcome prediction.

> ------ Original Message ------
> From: "Stephen Farrell" <>
> To: "Willy Tarreau" <>; "Mike Belshe" <>
> Cc: "William Chan (?????????)" <>; "Tao Effect" <
>>; "Tim Bray" <>; "James M
> Snell" <>; "Mark Nottingham" <>; "HTTP
> Working Group" <>
> Sent: 14/11/2013 10:57:46 a.m.
> Subject: Re: Moving forward on improving HTTP's security
>> I have to agree that the logic here is hard to find.
>> On 11/13/2013 09:54 PM, Willy Tarreau wrote:
>>>  On Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 01:23:41PM -0800, Mike Belshe wrote:
>>>>  To paraphrase, you're saying:
>>>>     "I don't like TLS because I use the presence of TLS to know that I
>>>> could
>>>>  be hacked right now. But if you turn on TLS always, I won't be able to
>>>>  tell if I can get hacked."
>>>  Huh ? No. I mean "The TLS model is fine for me as long as it's used
>>> where
>>>  needed and if it's not abused because I expect all actors in the chain
>>> to
>>>  care about security". Let's ensure we don't break that weak link from
>>> the
>>>  root CAs to me by making its use mandatory for all no-value stuff that
>>>  nobody cares about and which will make it normal for everyone to deploy
>>>  broken configs and rogue CAs everywhere for the sake of simplicity.
>> Break the link by making it mandatory sounds like wild supposition.
>> S
>>>   To summarize:
>>>>    1) You're happy with the security you get with TLS to Paypal now
>>>>    2) You're unhappy with that same security (TLS) enforced everywhere
>>>>  because it is suddenly less secure.
>>>  Exactly.
>>>   This is also illogical. We're not changing TLS.
>>>  Yes you are. You're not changing the protocol but the economics and
>>>  the actors' motives to deliver certs the proper way. When certs are
>>>  needed to connect to my printer, I doubt I'll have to order a new
>>>  cert every year to connect to it once every 3 years at most to change
>>>  its IP address. Instead the manufacturer will want a 10 years cert,
>>>  and since he won't be able to get that, some CAs will start to offer
>>>  this (possibly at a high price). We'll possibly find it much easier
>>>  and cheaper to become a valid CA and to issue certs for anyone. I'm
>>>  sorry but the day I can issue a paypal cert myself and have my browser
>>>  accept it without me having to do anything with its configuration, I'll
>>>  start to get a little bit scared.
>>>  Right now it's simple : TLS is annoying to deploy so you do it where
>>>  it matters. It can be free but at least it requires some care and you
>>>  are willing to accept that for the sites you value. Once you don't
>>>  value anymore the certs you are installing and users start to do wrong
>>>  things such as clicking 100 times a day "Ignore this cert error" because
>>>  everyone uses crappy certs, the TLS model will be useless.
>>>  Willy

Received on Thursday, 14 November 2013 00:10:02 UTC