W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webauthn@w3.org > March 2019

Re: webauthn post on NANOG

From: Nicholas Steele <nick@nicksteele.net>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2019 11:19:41 -0400
Message-ID: <CAEegQo4RuqGqny3vtX+8hy-Pgang31b8a8O1WPLLTiUM5rs5mg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Akshay Kumar <Akshay.Kumar@microsoft.com>
Cc: Emil Lundberg <emil@yubico.com>, Anthony Nadalin <tonynad@microsoft.com>, Samuel Weiler <weiler@w3.org>, W3C Web Authn WG <public-webauthn@w3.org>
With regards to the NANOG post, I don't think we've been promoting any
messaging in the specification or elsewhere that local password
authentication is to be avoided or is being "solved" with WebAuthn. Unsure
how this work can be misconstrued.

I agree with Emil's latter point: I think this is tangentially related to issue
#1175 <https://github.com/w3c/webauthn/issues/1175> in that we should have
some further messaging around supporting software-defined authenticators,
but don't need to change the API to support those authenticators.

That being said, updating the spec to include a client extension that
delegates authentication to a local/remote software-defined authenticator
or service could be useful. Something like this was brought up in issue 1125
<https://github.com/w3c/webauthn/issues/1125>. Will write up an issue/PR to
capture these thoughts.

On Mon, Mar 25, 2019 at 10:25 AM Akshay Kumar <Akshay.Kumar@microsoft.com>

> Platforms already have software authenticators, so there is no need to
> over specify here. Based on my reading of below text, it is saying slightly
> different. It looks like it is saying that **local** password is probably
> on par with external hardware based solutions. Which is how platform
> authenticators work. From the large scale attack perspective, that is
> correct. But I don’t see any reason to change the spec. We don’t have to
> specify one way or another what RPs will prefer. Its up to them.
> *From:* Emil Lundberg <emil@yubico.com>
> *Sent:* Monday, March 25, 2019 4:29 AM
> *To:* Anthony Nadalin <tonynad@microsoft.com>
> *Cc:* Samuel Weiler <weiler@w3.org>; W3C Web Authn WG <
> public-webauthn@w3.org>
> *Subject:* Re: webauthn post on NANOG
> It sounds to me like this echoes the same concerns as
> https://github.com/w3c/webauthn/issues/1175
> <https://nam06.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fgithub.com%2Fw3c%2Fwebauthn%2Fissues%2F1175&data=02%7C01%7CAkshay.Kumar%40microsoft.com%7C02d7863fc142472068b208d6b11541c6%7C72f988bf86f141af91ab2d7cd011db47%7C1%7C0%7C636891102188519636&sdata=0EMapoHM80UO7nqsYFHJ4%2BDDQdOJWDEoy2etNcqUgjo%3D&reserved=0>
> . Maybe we need the spec to more clearly point out software authenticators
> as a possible implementation?
> /Emil
> On Mon, Mar 25, 2019 at 9:41 AM Anthony Nadalin <tonynad@microsoft.com>
> wrote:
> Just wondering what you want us to do here as there is no real information
> in this this message relative to WebAuthn
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Samuel Weiler <weiler@w3.org>
> Sent: Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:30 AM
> To: W3C Web Authn WG <public-webauthn@w3.org>
> Subject: webauthn post on NANOG
> FYI.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:50:29 -0700
> From: Michael Thomas <mike@mtcc.com>
> To: NANOG list <nanog@nanog.org>
> Subject: webauthn
> I know it's a little tangential, but it's a huge operational issue for
> network operations too. Have any NANOG folks been paying attention to
> webauthn? i didn't know about until yesterday, though i wrote a proof of
> concept of something that looks a lot like webauthn in 2012. The thing that
> is kind of concerning to me is that there seems to be some amount of
> misconception (I hope!) that you need hardware or biometric or some
> non-password based authentication on the user device in the many write ups
> i've been reading. i sure hope that misconception doesn't take hold because
> there is nothing wrong with *local* password based authentication to unlock
> your credentials. i fear that if the misconception takes hold, it will
> cause the entire effort to tank. the issue with passwords is transmitting
> them over the wire, first and foremost. strong *local* passwords that
> unlock functionality is still perfectly fine for many many applications,
> IMO.
> Which isn't to say that hardware/biometric is bad, it's just to say that
> they are separable problems with their own set of tradeoffs. NANOG folks
> sound like prime examples of who should be using 2 factor, etc. But we
> don't want to discourage, oh say, Epicurious to implement webauthn to get
> to my super-secret recipe box because they don't think people will buy id
> dongles.
> Mike
> --
> *Emil Lundberg*
> Software Developer | *Yubico*
> <https://nam06.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yubico.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7CAkshay.Kumar%40microsoft.com%7C02d7863fc142472068b208d6b11541c6%7C72f988bf86f141af91ab2d7cd011db47%7C1%7C0%7C636891102188529630&sdata=bZn5rxVNxsamYNFgOzkmmSirqRNJiDDcMMH2q1SIGYo%3D&reserved=0>

Nick Steele
Received on Monday, 25 March 2019 15:21:33 UTC

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