W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webid@w3.org > November 2014

Re: Simple Page-Owner Token (SPOT) Authentication

From: Melvin Carvalho <melvincarvalho@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2014 11:47:31 +0100
Message-ID: <CAKaEYh+VbU9yzgrvrknNd9WviF3PGtZ7FUsRvzsGDPaUY0MbZg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Cc: public-webid <public-webid@w3.org>, public-rww <public-rww@w3.org>
On 12 November 2014 05:36, Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org> wrote:

>  On 11/10/2014 06:39 AM, Melvin Carvalho wrote:
>
> Just wanted to highlight this interesting work from sandro
>
>
> Thanks.   I should say the design came out of discussions with Andrei
> Sambra, trying to avoid the problems with poor browser support of client
> certificates.
>

Sando, could you outline which part of certificate support you feel could
be improved?  Is it the UI, or lack or coverage, or something else?

Surely SPOT would require browser modification to work in the browser?

- How does the browser send header fields?  -- maybe AJAX
- How does the browser remember your URI, esp. cross origin? -- maybe stuff
it somewhere like in web crypto
- How does the browser and your server maintain a shared secret? -- maybe
HTTPS

Are you not replacing one set of problems with another?

Would it maybe be an idea to focus on mockups and a design for a better UX
with an extension?


>
>        -- Sandro
>
>
>
> https://github.com/sandhawke/spot/blob/master/spec.md
>
> This document specifies an HTTP authentication mechanism suitable for use
> in situations where the HTTP client is tightly coupled with another HTTP
> server. It is very easy to implement and requires no extra crypto.
>
> For illustration purposes, we'll say Alice is a process which serves the
> web resource at http://alice.example/alice and wants to act as a client
> to access a protected resource http://bob.example/bob, which is served by
> a different process, Bob.
>
> For non-trivial use, to provide some resistance against attackers who can
> view or intercept network traffic or subvert the DNS, HTTPS URIs should be
> used, and clients should check that the server DNS name matches the
> certificate.
>  Status
>
> Not yet implemented.
>
> Before wide deployment, the new authentication type Page-Owner-Token and
> the two new HTTP headers (Page-Owner-Token-Check and Page-Owner-Token-OK)
> should be registered with the IETF.
>  Walkthrough
>
> *Step 1.* Alice performs an HTTP GET on an access-controlled page served
> by Bob, but does not authenticate herself, so Bob returns a 401 error. The
> response includes a header telling Alice she can authenticate using this
> protocol and try again.
>
> > GET /bob HTTP/1.1
> > Host: bob.example
> ...
> < HTTP/1.1 401 Authorization Required
> < WWW-Authenticate: Page-Owner-Token
> ...
>
> This uses the standard WWW-Authenticate HTTP header with a new keyword for
> this new authentication type.
>
> *Step 2.* Alice generates a cryptographicly random token, a nonce. In
> this example, I'll write it as xyz123. It should use only the Base64
> characters.
>
> *Step 3.* Alice repeats the GET, this time including a header which
> identifies her via a web page and includes the nonce:
>
> > GET /bob HTTP/1.1
> > Host: bob.example
> > Authorization: Page-Owner-Token client="http://alice.example/alice" token="xyz123"
> ...
>
> ISSUE: Should it just be http://alice.example/ ? What does it mean to
> include the /alice?
>
> Alice can include multiple headers like this, since it might be that only
> one of her multiple identies actually has access to /bob and she doesn't
> now which. The identity strings must be dereferenceable. They can be either
> an Information resource IRI (returning 200 OK) or a non-information
> resource IRI (returning 303, or having a hash). Either works fine for this
> protocol.
>
> Note that sending identity strings like this may reveal more to Bob than
> desirable.
>
> *Step 4.* Bob checks to see if the request provides a valid token:
>
> > HEAD /alice HTTP/1.1
> > Host: alice.example
> > Page-Owner-Token-Check: token="xyz123" relying-party="http://bob.example/bob"
> ...
>
> The verb could be GET (instead of HEAD) if the Bob is interested in the
> content of /alice.
>
> *Step 5.* Alice confirms:
>
> < HTTP/1.1 200 OK
> < Page-Owner-Token-OK: true
> < Set-Cookie: [whatever, optional]
> ...
>
> Alice only does this if the token was in fact the one she generated for
> her GET to Bob.
>
> Only a response containing the header "Page-Owner-Token-OK: true" is taken
> as confirmation.
>
> The Set-Cookie is an optional shortcut. With this cookie, Alice can give
> Bob some secret to use in future communications, so that Bob can act as an
> HTTP client accessing alice.example in the future without needing to go
> through his own SPOT handshake.
>
> *Step 6.* Bob returns the protected content requested in Step 3
>
> < HTTP/1.1 200 OK
> < Set-Cookie: [whatever, optional]
> ... content ...
>
> The Set-Cookie is an optional shortcut. With this cookie, Bob can give
> Alice some secret to use in future communications, so that Alice and Bob do
> not have to repeat this handshake every time.
>
>
>
Received on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 10:48:00 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:54:50 UTC