W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > July 2014

Re: BitAuth

From: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2014 22:20:56 -0400
Message-ID: <53B60F88.7030402@digitalbazaar.com>
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
On 07/03/2014 02:58 PM, Adrian Hope-Bailie wrote:
> Am I missing something or is this HTTP-Signatures with a small 
> twist?

If you're missing something, I'm missing it too. It seems like a really
restricted subset of HTTP-Signatures with a lock-in to the crypto
algorithm and "things that you can sign" with a few major security holes
thrown in.

Features that are missing from the solution that HTTP Signatures has:

* Ability to digitally sign HTTP headers (because you can do a lot of
  nasty things by modifying important headers... like 'Location:' ).
* Ability to not sign the body if that doesn't make sense (like when
  you're streaming GBs of data or using trailers or ...)
* Ability to sign the HTTP method, which is really important:
  GET /me/accounts/life-savings
  DELETE /me/accounts/life-savings
* Ability to identify keys in a greater variety of ways
  (URL, fingerprint, etc.)
* The server can specify when it expects a digital signature when
  accessing a resource.
* Easy to share keys between clusters of clients.
* HMAC support, because there are legitimate uses of it even though
  it's bad in general.
* Ability to select the key format and signing algorithm

I'm going to stop there, but the solution seems questionable. There's
nothing in there that I can see that the HTTP Signatures spec doesn't
already do.

> The only thing that makes it similar in any way to BitCoin is the
> use of a ECDSA secp256k1 keypair

Bitcoin is great so this must be great if it even uses a fraction of
Bitcoin technology, right? Marketing, marketing, marketing! :P

-- manu

Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu Sporny)
Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc.
blog: The Marathonic Dawn of Web Payments
Received on Friday, 4 July 2014 02:21:25 UTC

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