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Re: XML Protocol: Proposals to address SOAPAction header

From: christopher ferris <chris.ferris@east.sun.com>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 08:12:42 -0400
Message-ID: <3B24B5BA.B2537F3C@east.sun.com>
To: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>
CC: Henrik Frystyk Nielsen <henrikn@microsoft.com>, Simon Fell <soap@zaks.demon.co.uk>, xml-dist-app@w3.org, xmlp-comments@w3.org
I echo Larry's concerns regarding this revised proposal.
It does little to improve the situation and still does not
address how SOAPAction is communicated across different 
transport protocols. If a SOAP message starts out being
communicated over the Frobnaz transport protocol, which does
NOT have a SOAPAction header (or even a place to put one)
and the message is being sent via a Frobnaz->HTTP gateway,
where does the gateway get the appropriate SOAPAction
to put in the HTTP headers when it forwards the message
to the ultimate destination?



Larry Masinter wrote:
> > - I would be interested in hearing what you think about that
> >
> >   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/xml-dist-app/2001May/0053.html
> >
> I don't see how this has fixed the problem, though:
> # The presence and content of the SOAPAction header field MAY be used by
> # servers such as firewalls to appropriately filter SOAP HTTP request
> # messages and it may be used by servers to facilitate dispatching of SOAP
> # messages to internal message handlers etc. It SHOULD NOT be used as an
> # insecure form of access authorization.
> * Exactly how is it that a firewall might use a SOAPAction header
>  to "appropriately" filter SOAP HTTP request messages?
>  As far as I can tell, there's not enough information to decide
>  which requests with which SOAP action headers the firewall should
>  accept, and which it should reject, or even what a firewall that
>  rejects such a message should signal its rejection. Treat it as
>  an attack? The main purpose of firewall filtering is to prevent
>  unwanted or malicious traffic, but there's no reason to believe that
>  malicious SOAP messages would contain a correct SOAPAction header.
>  So I don't think the first application "appropriate filter SOAP
>  HTTP request methods" has been reasonably justified, at least in
>  this fragment of text.
> * The second application for SOAPAction headers given is that
>   it "may be used by servers to facilitate dispatching", but
>   the only way that a server might use a SOAPAction header would
>   be if there were some specification of which kind of SOAPAction
>   headers should be dispatched and which should not, and where
>   they should be dispatched. Is the SOAPAction header like another
>   kind of RequestURI?
> So I think this attempted clarification does nothing
> to respond to the criticism that the value of the SOAPAction
> header is not specified well enough for it to be used for
> its stated purposes.
> Larry
> --
> http://larry.masinter.net
Received on Monday, 11 June 2001 08:14:51 UTC

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