[cabfpub] Ballot 221: Two-Factor Authentication and Password Improvements

Tim Hollebeek tim.hollebeek at digicert.com
Wed Mar 28 19:39:00 UTC 2018

Thank you.


From: Ryan Sleevi [mailto:sleevi at google.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 3:29 PM
To: Tim Hollebeek <tim.hollebeek at digicert.com>; CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org>
Subject: Re: [cabfpub] Ballot 221: Two-Factor Authentication and Password Improvements


Note, the redline doc doesn't quite align with this ballot text - look for "Multi-Ffactor" in the doc :)


On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 3:25 PM, Tim Hollebeek via Public <public at cabforum.org <mailto:public at cabforum.org> > wrote:


Ballot 221: Two-Factor Authentication and Password Improvements


Purpose of Ballot: The Network Security Working Group met a number of times to 

improve the Network Security Guidelines requirements around authentication,

specifically by requiring two-factor authentication, and improving the password 

requirements in line with more recent NIST guidelines.


While CAs are encouraged to improve their password requirements as soon as 

possible, a two year grace period is being given to allow organizations to 

develop and implement policies to implement the improved requirements, especially

since some organizations may have to simultaneously comply with other

compliance frameworks that have not been updated yet and are based on older NIST 

guidance about passwords.


The following motion has been proposed by Tim Hollebeek of DigiCert and endorsed 

by Dimitris Zacharopoulos of Harica and Neil Dunbar of TrustCor.




This ballot modifies the “Network and Certificate System Security Requirements” 

as follows, based upon Version 1.1:


In the definitions, add a definition for Multifactor Authentication:


"Multi-Factor Authentication: An authentication mechanism consisting of two or 

more of the following independent categories of credentials (i.e. factors) to 

verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction: something you know 

(knowledge factor), something you have (possession factor), and something you 

are (inherence factor).  Each factor must be independent.  Certificate-based 

authentication can be used as part of Multifactor Authentication only if the 

private key is stored in a Secure Key Storage Device."


Add a definition for Secure Key Storage Device:


"Secure Key Storage Device: A device certified as meeting at least FIPS 140-2

level 2 overall, level 3 physical, or Common Criteria (EAL 4+)."


In section 1.j., capitalize Multi-Factor Authentication, and strike the 

parenthetical reference to subsection 2.n.(ii).


In section 2.f., add "(for accountability purposes, group accounts or shared

role credentials SHALL NOT be used)" after "authenticate to Certificate Systems".


Change section 2.g. to read:


"g. If an authentication control used by a Trusted Role is a username and password, 

    then, where technically feasible, implement the following controls:

  i.           For accounts that are accessible only within Secure Zones or High Security 

               Zones, require that passwords have at least twelve (12) characters; 

  ii.          For accounts that are accessible from outside a Secure Zone or High Security 

               Zone, require Multi-Factor Authentication, with passwords that have at least 

               eight (8) characters and are not be one of the user's previous four (4) 

               passwords; and implement account lockout for failed access attempts in 

               accordance with subsection k;

  iii.        When developing password policies, CAs SHOULD take into account the password 

               guidance in NIST 800-63B Appendix A.

  iv.         If passwords are required to be changed periodically, that period SHOULD be 

               at least two years.  Effective April 1, 2020, if passwords are required to 

               be changed periodically, that period SHALL be at least two years."


In section 2.h., change "Require" to "Have a policy that requires"


In section 2.i., change "Configure" to "Have a procedure to configure"


Change section 2.k. to read:


"k. Lockout account access to Certificate Systems after no more than five (5) failed access attempts, provided that this security measure:

  i.           is supported by the Certificate System,

  ii.          Cannot be leveraged for a denial of service attack, and

  iii.        does not weaken the security of this authentication control;"


Change section 2.n. to read:


"Enforce Multi-Factor Authentication for all Trusted Role accounts on Certificate

Systems (including those approving the issuance of a Certificate, which equally

applies to Delegated Third Parties) that are accessible from outside a Secure Zone

or High Security Zone; and”




The procedure for approval of this ballot is as follows:


Discussion (7+ days)


Start Time: 2018-03-28  15:30:00 EDT


End Time: after 2018-04-04 15:30:00 EDT


Vote for approval (7 days)


Start Time: TBD


End Time: TBD

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