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A Somewhat Critical View of SOP (Same Origin Policy)

From: Anders Rundgren <anders.rundgren.net@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2015 10:21:12 +0200
To: "public-web-security@w3.org" <public-web-security@w3.org>, "public-webappsec@w3.org" <public-webappsec@w3.org>
Message-ID: <55E16B78.2040602@gmail.com>
A core part of the Web Security model is based on SOP.

However, the world (outside of the Web) isn't working according this model; it is rather ad-hoc.

This has lead to the "App-explosion" which is better aligned (for good or for worse) to needs of the world than a SOP-crippled Web.

Since SOP (if taken literally) would more or less kill the Web, the "Super-Providers" have come to rescue.  That is, browsers still adhere to SOP but this is effectively short-circuited by services like PayPal which enable payments to any domain.

This is where it (IMO) gets wrong.  If Super-Providers are trusted for mediating access to arbitrary domains, why couldn't [properly designed] applications also perform this task?

In addition, payments and authentication (to take an example), typically exhibit quite different privacy- and security-characteristics making the SOP-hammer a pretty blunt tool.

-- Anders
Received on Saturday, 29 August 2015 08:21:48 UTC

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