[Servercert-wg] SC-59 Weak Key Guidance

Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) dzacharo at harica.gr
Mon May 29 05:17:37 UTC 2023

Hi Clint,

On 26/5/2023 6:45 μ.μ., Clint Wilson wrote:
> Hi Tom, Dimitris,
> I continue to be opposed to the SCWG trying to limit effective dates 
> to 2 per year. I think it’s entirely reasonable to align on a day of 
> the month (I think the 15th has broadly been the only one I’ve heard 
> proposed). I think it’s reasonable to try to avoid January and 
> December. I also think there may be value in trying to reduce the 
> overall number of effective dates somewhat. The dates I’m personally 
> in favor of aligning on are February, April, June, August, and October 
> 15th.
> If there’s a particular penchant towards March and September, however, 
> then I’d be unopposed to March, May, July, September, and November 15th.
> For this ballot in particular, I think October 15 or November 15 2023 
> are feasible targets for implementing these changes and would greatly 
> prefer closing this issue (open now for _more than 3 years_) sooner 
> than later, especially given the number of incidents we’ve seen in the 
> last years related to weak key vulnerabilities and CAs issuing 
> certificates with weak keys.

It's fine for me also to close this issue sooner than later which is why 
I recommended even the September 15, 2023 effective date.

On the 2 document releases per year issue, this is a preliminary result 
after having long discussions. I was not aware of any opposition until 
now, but perhaps your opposition didn't consider the emergency options 
of the proposal? The "standardized release cycle for Guidelines" 
proposal addresses a series of concerns about the frequency and number 
of document updates, as highlighted in the presentation shared in my 
previous reply. If you recall, the proposal still allows the release of 
"Emergency Guidelines" that bypasses the 6-month regular release cycle. 
We still need to work on the details which I hope to make progress on 
after passing the first Bylaws updates that are already prepared, but 
I'm confident that all concerns will be addressed.

If we use this ballot as an example for applying the "standardized 
release cycle for Guidelines", Apple would propose that this is an 
Emergency Guideline and specify an effective date that would not be one 
of March 15 or September 15. If there was no opposition, we would 
proceed with a ballot that would result in an emergency guideline 
release and the proposed effective date exactly as we normally do today.

I plan to start a separate thread to continue this discussion at the 
Forum level after we make some progress with the recently proposed 
Bylaws changes.


> Thanks,
> -Clint
>> On May 26, 2023, at 7:37 AM, Tom Zermeno via Servercert-wg 
>> <servercert-wg at cabforum.org> wrote:
>> Hello Dimitris,
>> Thank you for the input.  We feel that September 15^th does not 
>> provide enough time for CAs to implement these changes, but we are 
>> not against the March 15,^2024 effective date, if there is consensus 
>> from the Community.
>> Thank you,
>> Tom
>> SSL.com <http://ssl.com/>
>> *From:*Servercert-wg <servercert-wg-bounces at cabforum.org>*On Behalf 
>> Of*Dimitris Zacharopoulos (HARICA) via Servercert-wg
>> *Sent:*Friday, May 26, 2023 1:54 AM
>> *To:*servercert-wg at cabforum.org
>> *Subject:*Re: [Servercert-wg] SC-59 Weak Key Guidance
>> Hi Tom,
>> Historically, the SCWG has been trying to avoid effective dates 
>> during January or December. I recommend using September 15, 2023 or 
>> March 15, 2024 as possible effective dates. These two dates seem to 
>> bemore favorable 
>> <https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1oTGVYqggQpQMR4Lktbu_L6DhuBVJzeuiFGd9EAU1zsE>than 
>> others.
>> Thanks,
>> Dimitris.
>> On 25/5/2023 10:51 μ.μ., Tom Zermeno via Servercert-wg wrote:
>>     Purpose of Ballot SC-059 V3
>>     Several events within the community have led to concerns that the
>>     Baseline Requirements for the Issuance and Management of
>>     Publicly-Trusted Certificates (BRs) lacked a specificity required
>>     to properly guide CAs on matters dealing with the identification
>>     and processing of digital certificates based on private keys
>>     considered weak, or easy to ascertain.  In the hopes that
>>     elaboration and clarity on the subject would be beneficial to the
>>     community, we are presenting updates to §“Reasons for
>>     Revoking a Subscriber Certificate) and § (Subscriber Key
>>     Pair Generation) of the BRs.
>>     The first update is to § and is made to expand the scope
>>     of easily computable Private Keys from “Debian weak keys” to
>>     “those listed in section”.  While the initial language
>>     in the BRs did not exclude other concerns, the use of a single
>>     example could be interpreted to mean that other easily computable
>>     Private Keys are few and far between.  The next update was to
>>     §, wherein we added specific actions to be taken for
>>     ROCA vulnerability, Debian weak keys - both RSA and ECDSA – and
>>     Close Primes vulnerability.  We also added a link to suggested
>>     tools to be used for checking weak keys. Finally, an
>>     implementation date of December 1, 2023 was added to allow CAs
>>     time to update processes to meet the requirements.
>>     The following motion has been proposed by Thomas Zermeno
>>     ofSSL.com <http://ssl.com/>and endorsed by Ben Wilson of Mozilla
>>     and Martijn Katerbarg of Sectigo.
>>     --Motion Begins—
>>     This ballot is intended to clarify CA responsibilities regarding
>>     weak key vulnerabilities, including specific guidance for Debian
>>     weak key, ROCA and Close Primes attack vulnerabilities, and
>>     modifies the “Baseline Requirements for the Issuance and
>>     Management of Publicly-Trusted Certificates” as follows, based on
>>     Version 2.0.0.
>>     Notes: Upon beginning discussion for SC-59, the then-current
>>     version of the BRs was 1.8.4; since that time several ballots
>>     have been approved, leading to the increment of the version to
>>     1.8.7 and eventually 2.0.0, which is the latest approved version
>>     of the BRs.  The changes introduced in SC-59 do not conflict with
>>     any of the recent ballots. As observed with other ballots in the
>>     past, minor administrative updates must be made to the proposed
>>     ballot text before publication such that the appropriate Version
>>     # and Change History are accurately represented (e.g., to
>>     indicate these changes will be represented in Version 2.0.1).
>>     MODIFY the Baseline Requirements as specified in the following
>>     Redline:https://github.com/cabforum/servercert/compare/a0360b61e73476959220dc328e3b68d0224fa0b3...SSLcom:servercert:3b0c6de32595d02fbd96762cda98cdc88addef00
>>     <https://github.com/cabforum/servercert/compare/a0360b61e73476959220dc328e3b68d0224fa0b3...SSLcom:servercert:3b0c6de32595d02fbd96762cda98cdc88addef00>
>>     --Motion Ends—
>>     This ballot proposes a Final Maintenance Guideline. The procedure
>>     for approval of this ballot is as follows:
>>     Discussion (11+ days) • Start time: 2023-05-25 19:00:00 UTC • End
>>     time: 2023-06-08 18:59:00 UTC
>>     Vote for approval (7 days) • Start time: TBD • End time: TBD
>>     _______________________________________________
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>>     Servercert-wg at cabforum.org
>>     https://lists.cabforum.org/mailman/listinfo/servercert-wg
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