W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-xg-webid@w3.org > February 2011

Re: step 6 spec, section 3.1

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:30:36 +0100
Cc: WebID Incubator Group WG <public-xg-webid@w3.org>, Stéphane Corlosquet <scorlosquet@gmail.com>
Message-Id: <3A0FB6BF-50A5-4D7F-8325-747849512799@bblfish.net>
To: peter williams <home_pw@msn.com>
Btw, I find it very difficult to read section 6. There are too many underlines in there, and too much repetition. Is that necessary?

On 21 Feb 2011, at 19:39, peter williams wrote:

> http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/webid/spec/#authorization
> step 6 in section 3.1 needs to be eliminated, or otherwise fundamentally re-characterized. Authentication must complete (having done current step #7) before one attempts to perform authorization.
> In a typical security course, a student who intersperses authentication with authorization generally fails the class (often railing about the injustice, and how everyone is stupid…because they ignored KISS). One needs the assurance of authentication, so that authorization has a basis on which to stand. HTTP web-auth  is a famous case of poor security architecture, conflating topics.

I agree I am not quite sure what this section is about myself.
"If theVerification Agent does not have access to the TLS layer, a digital signature challenge must be provided by the Verification Agent."

I think that may have been an attempt to speak about something like foafssl.org's verification mechanism, but if so I think that should be a seperate topic. 

> Now, if it helps, within authentication there is indeed the step of getting assurance that the authentication claims are valid. (If authentication depends on a control system, you need evidence that the control system itself is not being spoofed.) The act of garnering assurance is often confused with the term: authorization. You hear folks new to the space say things like: I need to know the authority for authentication was authorized, else how can I trust it?

yes, agree we should not confuse authentication and authorization.

> If one wants a professional-level conversation with security specialists (what are these anyway? And, do they include the 75,000 CISSPs of ISC2?) don’t fight the security ontology. It’s got 30+ years of thought built into it, 15 years of which thought long and hard about applying it to the [commercial] web.
> In summary, step 6 is wrong formally, and its wrong in order. Its placement implies that some about SSL mutual authn should occur, long after the webid has been obtained (from) a cert) and a document recovered. Its wrong if its trying to capture something about authz, since authn has yet to complete.

Do you have some text you want to suggest? 


Social Web Architect

Received on Monday, 21 February 2011 19:31:11 UTC

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