Re: comments on web crypto API: Side effects of a low-level API [1/6]

On 2013-05-23 10:35, Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos wrote:
> Hello,
>   Our comments on the available Web Cryptography API are given below and 
> on the few next e-mails.
> === Side effects of a low-level API ===
> A low level API into javascript moves the notion of standards' based 
> web communications security (which is now only available via the TLS 
> protocol), to a web site-based communications security. Any website can 
> advertise security features such as encrypted uploading of files, but a 
> user can never verify whether the algorithms used are standards' based, 
> or are correctly used. Most importantly he can barely verify that the 
> algorithms are used at all. As it is now the API looks suitable for 
> javascript plugins inside browsers or to intranet applications, but not 
> for the public Internet.
> A solution to that approach would be to offer high level API to handle 
> the common of the expected use cases of the low level API, and that high 
> level API will use standardized protocols, implemented in the browser. 
> For example:
> * An API to upload an encrypted and authenticated file
>   -> the browser uses the standardized procedure and the user is 
> notified by the browser that his file will be encrypted prior to 
> uploading

What you are indirectly saying is that there are cryptographic methods
that can guide an average "neticen".  Although I can't speak for the
WG (since I'm not a member), I don't think this is the general feeling.

You essentially have to trust a web-site for "Doing the right thing(tm)".
The specific use-case suffers from the fact that a user cannot know
how the encrypted document is dealt with _after_ it has been received.

However, you are perfectly right that the a low-level API gives more
options to screw-up but creating specific protocols for secure upload
is something that could be supplied as third-party libraries.



Received on Thursday, 23 May 2013 12:11:57 UTC