W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdfa-wg@w3.org > November 2010

Possible issue w/ @profile and http vs. https

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2010 16:37:07 -0400
Message-ID: <4CD1C7F3.5020409@digitalbazaar.com>
To: RDFa WG <public-rdfa-wg@w3.org>
Just noting this here as it popped into my head while dealing with some
SSL-related browser issues.

When a web page and its associated resources are loaded over TLS, the
browser will provide a graphical warning (usually in the URL bar website
icon) if there are some resources that were loaded over a non-TLS
connection into the page. This is usually triggered whenever there are
images, or CSS files that were loaded over an HTTP vs. and HTTPS
connection. The browsers do this because an image or CSS file might
trick the person browsing into doing something that is unsafe.

@profile falls into this category, if a @profile is compromised, it may
generate the wrong triples in a page. If one is operating on RDF triples
via the RDFa API on a page that was loaded via HTTPS, and the @profile
was loaded via HTTP, there is a possible security vulnerability there.

I can't think of an attack that could do a serious amount of damage at
this point, as the RDFa API does not exist and RDF page data is probably
not used to drive logic at this point in time.

Just throwing this out there as I do think that we would want to ensure
that the browsers that implement RDFa Core "fail to load a profile" when
a profile is loaded from an HTTPS page in non-HTTPS mode. It's really
implementation guidance, but perhaps something that should be placed
into the RDFa API spec or the RDFa Core spec?


-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny)
President/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: Making Payments Frictionless, Saving Journalism
Received on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 20:37:37 UTC

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