W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > February 2011

Re: Impending web-arch issue?

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 17:59:23 +0000
Message-ID: <4D499B7B.5040702@webr3.org>
To: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
CC: "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>, Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
Since it's came up again (and always will until it's addressed), 
here's a new reply to an old mail from last year, now that I'm not so 
wet behind the ears :)

Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> On Mon, 10 May 2010 11:16:54 +0200, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:
>> long-term though, surely it's quite an issue that a web application, 
>> running in a web browser, conforming to all the standards and the 
>> design principals of the web, can't use the web?
> It's certainly annoying, but unless we start over I do not really see 
> how we can change the (arguably broken) security fundamentals of the 
> platform.

why not start over? the security fundamentals are broken, the browsers 
do not constitute "the web platform", and CORS is inconsistent with 
the web.

> (What is being protected here are servers on an intranet that do not 
> require authentication and servers that use IP-based authentication. 
> Without the same-origin protection evil.example could get data from 
> intranet.corp.example if a user that is on an intranet with access to 
> intranet.corp.example visits evil.example (e.g. via a phishing attack).)

That's incorrect, they are not being protected, you are creating an 
illusion of "no problem", when the problem still exists, and the 
illusion only encourages bad form and keeps these intranets vulnerable 
(surely you don't believe that /only/ web browsers can access the web 
and intranets?!)

(1) insecure authentication methods
(2) stateful use of a stateless protocol
(3) using safe methods unsafely

Essentially, every issue that the browser vendors have found and 
patched against is an existing and hidden issue in somebodies software 
or network that can be taken advantage of at any time by any malicious 

You are attempting to protect companies from fire by using a bit of 
paper, remove the paper and let them put the fire out.


Received on Wednesday, 2 February 2011 18:01:23 UTC

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