[Servercert-wg] Ballot SC3: Improvements to Network Security Guidelines

Ben Wilson ben.wilson at digicert.com
Wed Jul 11 11:50:02 MST 2018

The default setting for this list is “moderated”.  Here is the process (if someone has a better suggestion, let me know).  


I occasionally review the list of people who have signed the IPR Agreement and who have formally declared their participation in the Server Certificate Working Group (SCWG).  If I identify someone who has subscribed to the list, who has signed the IPR Agreement and  declared participation in the SCWG, then I uncheck the “moderate” bit.  If I miss someone, they are moderated until they let me know that they are having trouble posting.  Then I log into the server and uncheck their “moderate” bit.  This is the same process for subscribing to the Public List.  There is more work at first while the unmoderated group is identified, but then the work tapers off.


From: Servercert-wg <servercert-wg-bounces at cabforum.org> On Behalf Of Dimitris Zacharopoulos
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 11:45 AM
To: servercert-wg at cabforum.org
Subject: Re: [Servercert-wg] Ballot SC3: Improvements to Network Security Guidelines


Are all members who have declared participation to this WG, able to post to this list without moderation?


On 10/7/2018 12:44 πμ, Tim Hollebeek wrote:

TL;DR: Ballot SC3 is exactly the same as Ballot 221, the only changes are to include a redline, and to make the requirements around password lifetimes a bit easier to read.




From: Servercert-wg [mailto:servercert-wg-bounces at cabforum.org] On Behalf Of Tim Hollebeek
Sent: Monday, July 9, 2018 5:05 PM
To: servercert-wg at cabforum.org <mailto:servercert-wg at cabforum.org> 
Subject: [Servercert-wg] Ballot SC3: Improvements to Network Security Guidelines





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 Multi-Factor 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."


Capitalize all instances of the defined term "Multi-Factor Authentication".


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 authentications which cross a zone boundary into a Secure Zone or High 

               Security Zone, require Multi-Factor Authentication.  For accounts accessible 

               from outside a Secure Zone or High Security Zone require 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.         Frequent password changes have been shown to cause users to select less 

               secure passwords.  If passwords are required to be changed periodically, 

               that period SHOULD NOT be less than two years.  Effective April 1, 2020, 

               if passwords are required to be changed periodically, that period SHALL NOT 

               be less than 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: 2018-07-09  17:00:00 EST


End Time: not before 2018-07-16 17:00:00 EST


Vote for approval (7 days)


Start Time: TBD


End Time: TBD


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