[Openid-specs-ab] Verifiable presentation question

Nat Sakimura nat at nat.consulting
Fri May 14 16:51:25 UTC 2021

On Sat, May 15, 2021 at 12:19 AM David Chadwick <
d.w.chadwick at verifiablecredentials.info> wrote:

> On 14/05/2021 15:54, Nat Sakimura wrote:

> Additionally, it may contain a Holder identifier.
>> How this is performed is currently not standardised. So lets keep it
>> simple for now and assume that the subject is the holder.
> OK.  One reason I tend to try to delineate Holder and the Subject is that
> I do think of a Malicious or Compromised Holder besides PoA etc.
> I don't know of any way to determine if the holder's device has been
> compromised and whether the RP is talking to the real owner or to a
> thief/attacker. FIDO tries to do this with its ceremony, but that can be
> broken. Even worse, the RP cannot tell if it is the real holder with a gun
> held to his head by an attacker or a holder freely entering into the
> relationship with the RP. So, it is impossible to protect against every
> conceivable threat. We should document our assumptions so that people know
> what the boundaries of our proposal are, and what is out of scope.
Agreed. We have to set the expectations at the right level.
At the same time, I am in the opinion that this information asymmetry is
one of the factors that RPs really did not buy-in into the previous similar
schemes so some kind of trust mechanism needs to be implemented. e.g.,
Hardware and OS assisted remote attestations, over-writable presentations,

That was one of the reasons why I was interested in the Trust Framework
discussion this Thursday, by the way.

>> At a later point in time, Verifier asks for Verifiable Presentation to
>> the subject through the Holder.
>> Holder creates proof with the consent of the Subject (where is it
>> documented?),
>> this is not documented an any standard as far as I know. The W3C standard
>> suggests several ways in which the relationship between the holder and
>> subject can be identified, but these are only suggestions.
> Hmmm.
>> This is why I suggest we keep it simple for now, and only cater for
>> subject=holder. Once this is documented to your satisfaction we can move on
>> to the more complex cases of delegation of authority and power of attorney
>> (guardianship).
>> constructs a VP that includes claims included in VC and presents it to
>> the Verifier.
>> If the subject is OK to be correlated, the story is simple. However, if
>> the subject wants to remain pseudonymous or anonymous, it gets complicated.
>> It is IMPOSSIBLE for the subject to remain 100% anonymous. The fact that
>> the claims (in most cases) contain one or more identifying attributes means
>> that some PII is transferred from the issuer to the verifier. Pseudonymous
>> is more realistic. Furthermore the issuer always knows who it has issued
>> the VC to, and this has a unique serial number.
> Re: "IMPOSSIBLE", I suppose you are talking about long term VC. Am I
> right?
> No short lived as well. Because the issuer always knows who it has issued
> the VC to. And the RP knows who the issuer is. So the RP can ask the Issuer
> to reveal the holder in cases of abuse. I believe that even the ZKP
> anonymous credentials scheme wanted to (or did) build this into their group
> signature scheme.
Ah, it is the case of CP+RP–U Unlinkability (unlinkability of multiple
visits of U to RP even if CP and RP collude) per ISO/IEC 27551.
That's a good point. By using partially anonymous, partially unlikable
authentication per ISO/IEC 29191, such that the holder and the serial are
blinded to the RP and the presentation is signed by a group signature, it
may be possible, but that is going to be pretty complicated. If I find
time, I might ask about it to my co-editor of ISO/IEC 27551 Pascal
Pailler and the editor of ISO/IEC 29191 Prof. Kazue Sako.


> (2) How can Verifier verify the signature on VC?
>> With jwt the verifier gets the signature on the VC to verify. So that is
>> easy. The same goes for the VP.
>> But that is not the interesting question. It is how can the verifier
>> prove possession?. There are multiple ways the verifier can independently
>> authenticate the holder if it needs to e.g. it can request that its un/pw
>> be in the VP, it can look at the photo in the VC and compare it to the face
>> of the person presenting the VP etc. But this is outside the scope of the
>> W3C standard.
>> I see.
>> Yes, ZKP etc., but then VC itself should not be present in the VP. Even
>> the signature itself of VC will break pseudonymity, not to mention
>> anonymity.
>> ZKPs only prove that the presenter knows a master secret and this can be
>> shared between multiple users.
>> (3) Also, if there is a one-to-one relationship between the Holder and
>> Subject, Hoder cannot reveal its persistent identifiers or keys.
>> this is why our implementation uses ephemeral keys
> Got it. One of the reasons I wrote about the delineation of the subject
> and the holder is that I was wondering if Holders can share the identifiers
> and use group signature to avoid the linking of the subject through the
> holder identification. Has there been any discussion on something like it?
> I am not that knowledgable about the various ZKP schemes. You need to ask
> a cryptographer.
Got it. I will ask Pascal and Kazue.


Best regards,

Nat Sakimura
NAT.Consulting LLC
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