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Re: A Somewhat Critical View of SOP (Same Origin Policy)

From: <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2015 11:00:55 +0100
Cc: Dave Longley Longley <dlongley@digitalbazaar.com>, public-web-security@w3.org, "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>
Message-Id: <B2B36239-473E-46D4-AFF2-BA911217E380@bblfish.net>
To: Halpin Harry <hhalpin@w3.org>

> On 24 Sep 2015, at 06:07, Harry Halpin <hhalpin@w3.org> wrote:
> On 09/23/2015 11:56 PM, Dave Longley wrote:
>> As this has degenerated into what I consider flaming, I've removed
>> others from the CC list and I don't plan on responding further.
>> On 09/23/2015 09:12 PM, Harry Halpin wrote:
>>> TL;DR
>>> As its pretty clear we're just rehashing known problems with 
>>> violating same origin policy and basic crypto key management issues,
>>> I will now turn my spam filter back on :)
>> I do agree we're getting no where, but for different reasons. Accusing
>> someone of positions they don't hold and then telling them any response
>> will be considered spam isn't a discussion. No wonder the motivations of
>> others are unclear to you.
> I apologize if I've misconstrued your position from specs you've
> written, code you've written, or blog posts. If your views, or Manu's,
> have changed then you should simply update your specs and write new blog
> posts.
> However, I see relatively recent posts like this:
> http://manu.sporny.org/2015/credentials-retrospective/
> In which it is noted that WebID+TLS is given higher 'ratings' than OAuth
> 2.0, and it is incorrectly notes that OAuth 2.0 is not used with digital
> signatures or used for the transfer of verified credentials, when it is
> used by almost all major sites. There are probably ways to simplify the
> flow (as shown Eran's Oz) and all sorts of privacy improvements.

Good find. Nice article :-)

There is a big sign at the top of the blog saying "DRAFT DRAFT ... ",
so I suppose Manu will appreciate your feedback. 

Note that I also have an issue to it, so I'll BCC Manu.
In the WebID-TLS section Manu writes that it "depends on 
the KEYGEN HTML element in a non-trivial way". This is a misunderstanding.
<keygen> is important because it makes it possible to create 
$0.00 certificates in a way that enables the user to be in control, 
and can runs in current browser. 

The issue with WebCrypto's manner of making a public/private key
is that the private key can be stored on the server ( bad practice ),
and there is no browser UI tie in at all at the moment, so the User 
can only be in control in so far as he chooses an Origin.

The discussion here was to find for example a principled explanation
of why that is ok or not.

> Thus, again, I recommend doing a good deal of background reading and
> understanding of the work the IETF and others have done in this space
> before re-inventing the wheel. The current work of the Credentials CG
> would not pass any kind of security or privacy review, and so I don't
> see why it or related work would justify getting rid of the Same Origin
> Policy.

Harry you have a philosophy degree, not a degree in cryptography. So I 
am not sure that you are in a position to judge here, and I am not sure
why you find it necessary to do so. Many others from different areas 
have disagreed with your attempt to close down the conversation here.
To name just a few:

- Dave Longley who has written the most level headed messages to this
 list requiring a zen like skills when replying to you, and who 
 has experience actually implementing security protocols such as TLS [0]
- Virginie Galando co-Chair of the Web Security mailing list [1]
- Martin Paljak, Cybersec R&D of the estonian https://www.ria.ee/en/ [2]
- Hadi Nahari, Chief Security Architect at NVidia [3]
- Adrian Hope-Bailie Web Payments officer to Ripple Labs, is actually 
  interested in the question of how SOP might affect web payments [5]
- Anders Rundgreen who has worked on various possible improvements to
  keygen, and implemented a lot of the technologies you mention including
  JOSE .

As pointed out by Brad Hill [6] this space is complicated and a lot
of efforts have failed. That means that there is a lot of invention 
still to be made, and that will always of course start off by a 
few people coming together to scratch and itch. OpenID did not have
security reviews for a long time, nor did OAuth.

But if we put all that aside, in the messages [7] I mentioned 
draft-cavage-http-signatures [8] the point was not that that
draft spec was the be-all-end-all solution to everything, that
it had security reviews, etc... but rather that whatever you make
of it it seems very likely that WebCrypto can be used to 
implement it. 

Now if you think that protocols like this are supercookies
that leak huge amount of information, that this is a catastrophe, 
as you seem to do in your previous mail [9] then 

          WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!

Because WebCrypto is a W3C standard that is shipped in actual
browsers, and that has passed I suppose security reviews.

So what gives?  Do we stop thinking in stereotypes and do actual
conceptual analysis supported by working code, or should we throw 
the baby out with the bath water and close down WebCrypto ?


[0] https://www.npmjs.com/package/node-forge
[1] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-web-security/2015Sep/0051.html
[2] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-web-security/2015Sep/0050.html
[3] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-web-security/2015Sep/0054.html
[4] https://ripple.com/blog/welcome-web-payments-officer-adrian-hope-bailie-to-ripple-labs/
[5] https://ripple.com/blog/welcome-web-payments-officer-adrian-hope-bailie-to-ripple-labs/
[6] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-web-security/2015Sep/0059.html
[7] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-web-security/2015Sep/0061.html
[8] https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-cavage-http-signatures-04
[9] https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-web-security/2015Sep/0066.html
>         cheers,
>>> However, action was necessitated as I have had complaints from 
>>> various members and non-members (including members of the Bitcoin 
>>> community) over excessive emails both on-list and off-list from 
>>> WebID+TLS Community Group members, Credentials Community Group, and 
>>> Anders - and even harassment of W3C Team members via Skype and 
>>> Facebook asking for "support" of these specs. At least personally 
>>> I've had to block members of the WebID and Credentials CG on popular 
>>> social media sites due to the level of spam and due to abuse remove 
>>> one member from a Working Group. Strangely, this really seems 
>>> motivated by about a dozen people with emotional attachment to 
>>> certain specs, not a huge upsurge of grassroots support from 
>>> end-users.
>> The implication that a member of the Credentials CG or the entire group
>> is guilty, by association, of harassment is quite unbecoming. Did they
>> also have mustaches? As you know, W3C Community Groups are freely open
>> to all on the Internet.

Social Web Architect
Received on Thursday, 24 September 2015 10:01:32 UTC

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