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Re: Gen2 access restrictions

From: Isaac Agudo Ruiz <isaac@lcc.uma.es>
Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2020 16:31:10 +0100
Message-Id: <2FA5A296-B026-4240-8112-BA5EBDCC6922@lcc.uma.es>
Cc: "Schildt Sebastian (CR/AEX1)" <Sebastian.Schildt@de.bosch.com>, "public-automotive@w3.org" <public-automotive@w3.org>
To: Ulf Bjorkengren <ulfbjorkengren@geotab.com>
Hi,

When I first saw the term “authLevel" in Ulf e-mail I immediately thought about Mandatory Access Control policies (MAC), where documents are graded according to its security level, and people are granted access to all documents below/above (depending on you point of view …) their own security level, but after reading this mail I see it is also related to the how deep in the tree is the node. I think we should avoid mixing deep and security level or sensitivity.


SELinux implements MAC access control policies using tags instead of plain numbers, https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_enterprise_linux/7/html/selinux_users_and_administrators_guide/mls <https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_enterprise_linux/7/html/selinux_users_and_administrators_guide/mls>. From my perspective, it makes more sense to use Tags for authorization instead of numbers, mainly because it simplifies the definition of policies. For example, one tag could be OEM, another could be OWNER. That way, less sensitive node would be granted to several tags (including OEM and OWNER), whereas more sensitive nodes only to OEM. We could also maintain some kind of ontology on the tags, so that permissions could be inherited from one Tag to another, e.g. OEM could inherit permission DRIVER, in such a way that all nodes accessible by anyone assigned the Tag DRIVER will automatically be accesible to OEM too.

If we elaborate that model a bit more we are moving to having full support to Role Based Access Control (RBAC), which is far more flexible than MAC. Of course, implementing it becomes also more complex and challenging, but we could do some compromises to have enough expressivity in the authorization policies at a reasonable complexity cost.

The main advantage of using Tags instead of number is that by defining an ontology for those authorization tags, we are also producing some meaningful information that can help deciding when granting access to particular tags. It could also help grouping nodes under the same tag when knowing who might be granted access to the tag.

Best,

Isaac Agudo
www.nics.uma.es/isaac <http://www.nics.uma.es/isaac> 
Network, Information and Computer Security Lab.
University of Málaga
Spain

> El 21 ene 2020, a las 14:47, Ulf Bjorkengren <ulfbjorkengren@geotab.com <mailto:ulfbjorkengren@geotab.com>> escribió:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> >> 1 will only happen in development (and maybe better not even implement it), and I am not sure I understand the authlevels, I think access is more complex that just separating a tree (of thousands of elements) to n authlevels.
> I am not convinced 1 will only happen i development. Remember that the transports according to spec must be the secure versions (https, wss). During dev it is quite convenient, so I think it should be kept. 
> 
> Authlevels makes it possible to "layer" the tree into n levels, where authlevel=0 provides accessibility to the smallest set of tree nodes, then growing for each level to the complete tree at authlevel=9 (analogy could be an onion, where authlevel=9 is the complete onion). Authlevel=9 would typically only be assigned to OEM controlled clients, while authlevel=0 would be for third party apps, or the like. The authlevel would also control what is returned to the client when requesting a service discovery. On top of this there is also the access restriction model.
> 
> >> but I think the information WHO actually can access what can not be stored in the data model / tree annotations itself.
> Both the access restriction metadata and the authlevel metadata are added to the tree by the layering mechanism, it is not part of the generic VSS tree. So how it is deployed in the tree is typically OEM specific. 
> 
> BR
> Ulf
> 
> On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 3:56 PM Schildt Sebastian (CR/AEX1) <Sebastian.Schildt@de.bosch.com <mailto:Sebastian.Schildt@de.bosch.com>> wrote:
> Hi,
> 
> I may be not up to speed, with all discussion going on here recently, but from what I see from here, I feel
> 
>  
> 
> 1 will only happen in development (and maybe better not even implement it), and I am not sure I understand the authlevels, I think access is more complex that just separating a tree (of thousands of elements) to n authlevels.
> 
>  
> 
> I agree an access should differentiate between read and/or write and on the level of individual elements in the tree (so leafs, or subtrees), and an access token needs to describe it (the scp and acs in your model), but I think the information WHO actually can access what can not be stored in the data model / tree annotations itself.
> 
>  
> 
> Rationale: I may have a VSS Gen2 system providing lots of data, but when I ship it, I do not yet know who will need/be allowed to access what. So it would be hard to stratify the data model using “access levels”. I would rather assume the the token (scsp and acs) will be signed in such a way, that the VSS implementation processing the token, can check whether it trusts that CA (and it may have some idea what kind of data this specific CA might even be allowed to give access to -> like your levels), but I would see this rules as outside VSS scope and more like implementation specific.
> 
>  
> 
> The annotation of read/write is still useful, because apart from security it is generally useful (meta-)information describing what could (provided you have the right token) be done with a specific data point.
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
> Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Best Regards
> 
>  
> 
> Sebastian Schildt
> 
> CR/AEX1
> 
> Threema <> / Threema Work <>: T8YWYXJ9
> 
>  
> 
> Von: Ulf Björkengren <ulf.bjorkengren@gmail.com <mailto:ulf.bjorkengren@gmail.com>> 
> Gesendet: Donnerstag, 16. Januar 2020 10:55
> An: public-automotive <public-automotive@w3.org <mailto:public-automotive@w3.org>>
> Betreff: Gen2 access restrictions
> 
>  
> 
> Below is an attempt to formulate a requirement list for the Gen2 access restrictions.
> 
>  
> 
> 1. No restriction, read/write is allowed without any token validation.
> 
> 2. Write-only restriction, write requests require valid token, read requests without token validation.
> 
> 3. Read-write restriction, both read and write requests require valid token.
> 
> 4. Restriction can be applied to separate nodes, or to groups of nodes (subtree).
> 
> 5. Client authorization is provided for a group of nodes (subtree). 
> 
> 6. The general access to the tree for a client, with or without access restrictions, can be limited to a subtree. This general access can be set per client.
> 
>  
> 
> These requirements can be enforced by the following design.
> 
>  
> 
> Two new properties are added to the VSS2.0 model:
> 
> - "validate": "xxx" // where xxx can be either "write-only" or "read-write"
> 
> - "authLevel": X // where X is 0..9
> 
>  
> 
> Three fields are added to the Access token:
> 
> - "scp": "path" // where path is a valid VSS path
> 
> - "acs": "access" // where access is either "read-only" or "read-write"
> 
> - "authLev": Y // where Y is 0..9
> 
>  
> 
> The "validate" property can be set in branch nodes, or leaf nodes. In branch nodes it leads to that it is inherited in all underlying nodes (may be overridden by a "validate" in any of these nodes). A  node without access restriction set, either through inheritance or explicitly, has no access restriction. 
> 
> The "authLevel" property follows the same inheritance rules as "validate", with the difference that overriding is only possible with a higher value than the inherited, and that a node without authorization level set through inheritance or explicitly, is assigned the value 0. 
> 
>  
> 
> With the described information a Gen2 server will then be able to enforce the access restriction requirements 1 through 6 mentioned above. 
> 
> Requirement 6 has the limitation that clients with higher authorization levels can only be allowed to access a superset of what a client with a lower level has access to, i.e. it will always have access to the parts that clients with lower levels have. 
> 
>  
> 
> Please comment if you think that the requirements 1-6 are incorrect, or more reqs needs to be added, or if you see any flaws in the design. 
> 
>  
> 
> BR
> 
> Ulf
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Ulf Bjorkengren
> Geotab
> Senior Connectivity Strategist | Ph. D.
> Mobile	+45 53562142
> Visit	www.geotab.com <https://www.geotab.com/>
> 
> 


Received on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 15:32:17 UTC

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