[Openid-specs-fapi] Alive and kicking: draft-cavage-http-signatures

Joseph Heenan joseph at authlete.com
Thu Mar 14 09:55:47 UTC 2019


Thanks for the detail Dave. That was a lot more issues than I expected.

Is it worth us starting a wiki page on our bitbucket (or is a markdown doc in git easier?) with a list of all the requirements, choices and pros/cons? I think I’d be in favour of that as I suspect there will be a lot of repetition in the conversation otherwise. I’m sure we discussed this previously at the face to face in Tokyo last year but it’s not mentioned in the minutes.

We’ve had a couple of previous discussions:

 https://bitbucket.org/openid/fapi/issues/100/signing-api-response-payloads

https://bitbucket.org/openid/fapi/wiki/FAPI_Meeting_Notes_2018-04-25#rst-header-id8

I think there’s also always been a feeling the IETF oauth working group might be a better place to discuss it, but I’m not sure if there’s been any progress discussing it there. I don’t obviously see anything on the mailing list in the last few months and don’t see anything relevant on the agenda for Prague.

Thanks

Joseph


> On 13 Mar 2019, at 20:56, Dave Tonge <dave.tonge at momentumft.co.uk> wrote:
> 
> Hi Joseph
> 
> The problem is that there is lots of non-standard stringification and parsing as well as other weirdness.
> 
> Here are the problems I encountered:
> 1. the draft defines its own set of algorithms rather than just using the JWA
> 2. the signing material should be new line separated (why?)
> 3. the header which specifies the alg, what is being signed and the signature should be of the form 'Signature key="value",key="value"' 
> 4. the header names are case sensitive (against http specs and caused me no end of grief as some http client libraries automatically lowercase http header names)
> 5. requirement on a date header in a non-standard form
> 6. requirement that http body is completely untouched or the digest will break
> 7. relies on the http digest spec (https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3230 <https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3230>) for actual content integrity
> 8. uses a custom header to pass the http method and path (but leaves out host?)
> 
> When we are mainly talking about signing JSON API requests and responses I really don't think its the right way to go.
> 
> I agree that it would be a good topic for discussion at the OAuth Security Workshop.
> 
> Dave
> 
> On Wed, 13 Mar 2019 at 17:25, Joseph Heenan via Openid-specs-fapi <openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net <mailto:openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net>> wrote:
> I presume the interoperability issues are solvable one way or another?
> 
> The early reports about OBUK’s signing algorithm seem to be cautiously pessimistic. I’m not sure if OB gave any reasons for not using the IETF cavage draft.
> 
> I know we’ve discussed it before, but it does seem like the FAPI working group should try and favour one standard, which would also allow us to build interoperability/certification tests for that standard. I think the oauth working group feels similarly. Justin Richer pulled together some of the thoughts at IETF 101 ( https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/101/materials/slides-101-oauth-sessa-http-signing-00 <https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/101/materials/slides-101-oauth-sessa-http-signing-00> ) but I’m not sure if the conversation moved on from there.
> 
> Perhaps it’s one to put on the agenda for the oauth security workshop face-to-face?
> 
> Joseph
> 
> 
> 
>> On 13 Mar 2019, at 16:15, Dave Tonge via Openid-specs-fapi <openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net <mailto:openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net>> wrote:
>> 
>> Having integrated against it - the draft is terrible.
>> 
>> I highly doubt that it is being implemented in an interoperable way.
>> 
>> We need a better solution and I'm very much in favour of JSON based signatures - cleartext json would be great, but detached JWTs are still a lot better than http-signatures.
>> 
>> On Wed, 13 Mar 2019 at 16:41, Anders Rundgren via Openid-specs-fapi <openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net <mailto:openid-specs-fapi at lists.openid.net>> wrote:
>> After posting https://cyberphone.github.io/ietf-signed-http-requests/hotrfc-shreq.pdf <https://cyberphone.github.io/ietf-signed-http-requests/hotrfc-shreq.pdf> in the https://open-banking-global.slack.com <https://open-banking-global.slack.com/> forum it became clear that quite a bunch of API builders in the financial sector (including Starling) indeed have settled on https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-cavage-http-signatures-10 <https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-cavage-http-signatures-10>.
>> 
>> Under those circumstances it seems a bit premature suggesting that other entities should not use it.  That a draft has expired doesn't make it worthless.
>> 
>> What's surprising is that I found no traces of any discussions within the IETF regarding this draft (which IMO doesn't look that bad).
>> 
>> Note: I'm not advocating for adoption of http-signatures, but for a more open discussion about the alternatives.
>> 
>> Thanx,
>> Anders
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