[Servercert-wg] Final Minutes for Server Certificate Working Group Teleconference - October 17 2019

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Thu Oct 31 08:51:47 MST 2019

These are the final Minutes of the Teleconference described in the 
subject of this message.

    Attendees (in alphabetical order)

Arno Fiedler (D-TRUST), Ben Wilson (Digicert), Bruce Morton (Entrust 
Datacard), Chris Kemmerer (SSL.com), Curt Spann (Apple), Daniela Hood 
(GoDaddy), Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA), Doug Beattie (GlobalSign), 
Enrico Entschew (D-TRUST), Gordon Bock (Microsoft), Inaba Atsushi 
(GlobalSign), Jos Purvis (Cisco Systems), Kenneth Myers (US Federal PKI 
Management Authority), Kirk Hall (Entrust Datacard), Li-Chun Chen 
(Chunghwa Telecom), Mike Reilly (Microsoft), Niko Carpenter 
(SecureTrust), Peter Miskovic (Disig), Rich Smith (Sectigo), Robin Alden 
(Sectigo), Ryan Sleevi (Google), Scott Rea (Dark Matter), Shelley Brewer 
(Digicert), Timo Schmitt (SwissSign), Tobias Josefowitz (Opera Software 
AS), Trevoli Ponds-White (Amazon), Wayne Thayer (Mozilla), Wendy Brown 
(US Federal PKI Management Authority).


      1. Roll Call

The Chair took attendance.

      2. Read Antitrust Statement

The Antitrust Statement was read.

      3. Review Agenda

No changes to the agenda.

      4. Approval of minutes from previous teleconference

The minutes from the previous teleconference were approved and will be 
circulated to the public list.

      5. Validation Subcommittee Update

Doug gave the update. There was a long meeting discussing about LEI, the 
pros and cons LEI and usefulness. Draft meeting minutes have been 
circulated on the validation subcommittee list and Doug will need to 
listen to conversations and send a final version of the minutes.

There is also a ballot in process for method 6.

Finally, the clean up ballot was discussed and has now been circulated 
to the public list.

      6. NetSec Subcommittee Update

Ben reported that there was a call 2 weeks ago. Some edits were made on 
log retention and log continuous monitoring.

During the call on doc organization, some definitions like Zones were 
discussed. The subcommittee thought it would be better to split out 
secure zone definition "logical and physical security". More specific 
wording will be in future revisions of the NSRs. They considered 
defining "physical security" as a physical secure facility or secure 
room. For "secure network" they discussed about secure segments to 
incorporate the notion of VLANs. Ben asked if there are experts in this 
area to assist with the definitions.

The subcommittee will send an email to the larger group for exceptions 
related to offline keys (there are about 10 provisions that presume the 
systems are online). Like continuous offline.

Kirk reminded the group that one of the mandate of the subcommittee was 
to deal with certain portions of the Network Security Requirements for 
which Members were dissatisfied and that were hard to implement or hard 
to understand. Ben replied that the subcommittee is working on these 
items. He also mentioned that these topics come up whenever they try to 
"touch" sections of the NSRs. For example, when they discussed about 
network security it was mentioned that this is not limited only to 
physical segmented networks, it's also VLANs.

      7. Ballot Status

No further discussion.

        _Ballots in Discussion Period_

/SC23 Ballot: Precertificates and OCSP/ (Wayne)

Wayne explained that there are two outstanding issues for SC23 v2
1. There could be compliance concerns if this ballot doesn't have an 
effective date. If the rest of the ballot language as is, it seems 
reasonable to add an effective date.
2. different approach quite a bit more comprehensive and a little bit 
more difficult to get right. Rob Stradling as one of the endorsers will 
need to discuss more about the alternative approach. Wayne will send 
another version in a week or so.

Mike mentioned that they are having some internal conversations in 
Microsoft for the definition of precert vs cert and noted some 
challenges from MS's end.

Wayne replied that there was a very nuanced discussion at the m.d.s.p 
mailing list. The expectations from a Root Store Program's perspective 
are that if a precert exists, then a certificate is assumed to exist and 
a valid OCSP response must exist for that cert. The language in the BRs 
at this point are contradictory. A pre-certificate is not a certificate. 
The purpose for this statements was to avoid the RFC 5280 restrictions 
for duplicate Certificate serial numbers. If this is combined with 
language from 4.9.10, it says that a CA cannot issue good OCSP response 
for a certificate that has not been issued.

Curt added that we might have similar language for "test certificates" 
because the are not considered "Certificates" and asked if we could use 
similar language for the precertificates. Ryan replied that the only 
definition we have for "test certificates" was in relation with a Domain 
Validation method which has been forbidden. He also mentioned that part 
of the "cleanup" ballot is related to the definition of "test 
certificates" and there is some confusion because we have a definition 
of a "test certificate" without a corresponding validation method for 
which it was created, and CAs think that they can issue these Test 
Certificates outside this validation method. We actually don't have a 
definition for "test certificates" and they are currently seen as 
Certificates. Ryan explained the OCSP pre-certificate issue further and 
that there is an attempt to remove the definition of "test certificate" 
completely so that there is no confusion.

Kirk asked why can't we fix only the OCSP section to allow for CAs to 
issue good responses for precertificates. Wayne explained that depending 
on the perspective of the reader, there is one valid interpretation that 
does not allow a CA to issue a "good" response for a precertificate if a 
corresponding certificate has not been issued. The original ballot was 
pretty simple, trying to make the minimum changes to the BRs to make it 
clear that what is required by the Root programs and by RFC 6962 is 
permitted by the BRs.

There was more discussion describing the issues related to the two 
proposals (allow for "good" OCSP responses for precertificates, or treat 
precertificates as certificates). Ryan suggested that we try to solve 
both but they can be treated separately. He suggested we try to solve 
the first problem (allow for "good" OCSP responses for precertificates) 
and defer the other (treat pre-certificates as certificates). He 
recommended working on 4.9.10 to fix the first issue without "touching" and work on the "holistic" issue later. He will work on some 
draft language to send to the list. Mike seconded that this approach 
would be useful. Wayne was indifferent but mentioned that the discussion 
about what a precertificate is would take longer. Ryan said he would 
send a more "targeted" change to the OCSP issue and Wayne said he would 
need to discuss with the other endorsers as this is a different approach 
than the original one.

_*Ballots in Voting Period*_

_*Ballots in Review Period*_
/SC21: NSR section 3 (Log Integrity Controls)(Review until Nov 3, 2019)/

        _Draft Ballots under Consideration_

/Improvements for Method 6, website control/ (Tim H.)
No additional comments
SC20 Ballot (NSR 2): System Configuration Management/
Tobi reported discussing this topic in SC and subgroup meetings and the 
motivation as described on the mailing list is not enough for what they 
are trying to do. The subgroup has an important question to ask which is 
addressed to Ryan. They would like his interpretation of what the 
"vision" actually is. You could interpret this as actual configuration 
changes intentionally made at the CA that needs to be reviewed, in order 
to have something like 4-eyes principle, or say that the change was as 
good as it seemed when it was made? Or does it mean to review every week 
every configuration on your system and check if nobody (including the 
admins) has changed it.

Ryan was a bit unclear about the question. He mentioned sending an email 
on Oct 3rd to the list to describe what he was trying to understand. He 
repeated that it would be helpful to follow:
- What the CAs want
- Why it's not permitted
- Why it should be permitted
- How the proposed change tries to address this issue.

He mentioned an example about the requirement to use an antivirus where 
a CA was running their software on a read-only media. So, in that case 
running an antivirus weekly made no sense to run on a read-only media. 
There should be a way to allow a CA to not having to run an antivirus on 
a read-only media. That was the process.

That description is missing from SC20. We may need to avoid a silly 
requirement or prevent a smart requirement, and here is what we're 
trying to do to fix that.

The group re-iterated the examples of good ballots. Knowing upfront what 
we are trying to solve will avoid unexpected ambiguities.

/LEI Ballot/ (Tim H.)
No additional comments.

/Cleanups /(Ryan)/
/Ryan has everything on GitHub, all changes are in the rationale of the 
ballot so he is looking for someone to run the ballot process. Wayne 
volunteered to do that so we should expect a cleanup ballot to be on the 
public list soon.

/Aligning the BRs with existing Browser Requirements /(Ryan)
Ryan went through the Root Programs of Microsoft and Mozilla and 
identified some differences. This is not a topic that is ready for 
extensive discussion, at least on this call, as Microsoft is currently 
working on some updates to their Root Program requirements. At this 
time, there is a GitHub branch that lists the differences that have been 
identified from the Mozilla and Microsoft root policies and try to map 
to BR related changes. He is not pushing to make a ballot with these 
changes but he encourages members to at least review the proposed 
changes to see if they match people's understanding. Worse case it will 
be useful for folks that have not been paying so much attention to Root 
program requirements and understand the issues. It is very possible that 
not everything on this list is correct so Ryan encourages the review and 
feedback. It is a list of things that have either resulted in a list of 
non-compliance or normative requirements where the baseline requirements 
have otherwise been more permissible. Mike also encouraged members to 
look at the draft language regardless of their internal work at Microsoft.

Dimitris asked if Ryan thought of adding some cases where the BRs were 
misunderstood or misinterpreted, and highlight them so we could 
hopefully make them more clear.

Ryan agreed that we should do that but that was not part of this 
attempt. We need to find opportunities to provide more clear language. 
He debated about how much of the RFC 5280 language are we going to 
replicate in the BRs, one example being the subjectKeyIdentifier and 
authorityKeyIdentifier. In any case, this attempt is about adding some 
hard and unambiguous requirements that already exist today. He would use 
separate and targeted ballots for clarifications and interpretations of 
ambiguous requirements.

For the previous discussion about OCSP and precerts, one of the ballots 
should add expectations about precerts. The same about "Test 
Certificates", improving validation methods that have resulted in 
different interpretations. This long list of such issues will be tackled 
in the future.

Ryan also brought up the non-critical Name Constraints issue which is 
currently allowed in the BRs as an exception to RFC 5280. He cares about 
removing that ambiguity, so there is a discussion on the public list 
about making this extension critical. Some feedback from Apple is 
expected about the implications.

Finally, Ryan mentioned about another discussion on the mailing list 
regarding the "Default-deny", "default-allow" on how to read the BRs. 
How should that be read in the requirements. Ryan wants to get feedback 
from members so he can see a different perspective about how some of the 
requirements in the BRs are read so to establish the "default state". He 
would also like some feedback about the critical/non-critical Name 
Constraints issue.

      8. F2F 48 Agenda

The draft agenda is up on the wiki. Dimitris already announced the guest 
speakers. Any changes should be communicated by the next meeting so we 
can approve the agenda. There was no further feedback from participants.

      9. Any Other Business


      10. Next call

October 31, 2019 at 11:00 am Eastern Time.


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