[Smcwg-public] [External Sender] Re: Re: Re: SV certificates devoid of individual attributes

Ashish Dhiman ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com
Fri Oct 20 08:20:54 UTC 2023

Respected: CA/B – S/MIME Forum Members.
I feel the problem that we are trying to solve by prohibiting email address from CN in Legacy will only make things complex rather than solve it. During our discussion, the intent for legacy, always was to have minimum impact on existing practices and give time for wider industry to move to multipurpose or strict profile. I feel, we are defeating the whole purpose of legacy with suggested change, as I am trying to understand how; eliminating email address from CN will help us differentiate a sponsor profile from organization profile. As, Technically, people can still use department at example.com<mailto:department at example.com> in sponsor profile as email address and also use ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com<mailto:ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com> in Organization Profile as email address.
On the other hand, this change will also deviate from current practices for CN use for legacy use cases Also, during implementation, we see in most of the cases; email address used in Sponsor profiles are correct.
I think removing email in CN makes legacy no longer like legacy and seems to make it stricter than multi and strict where its allowed. There is also no indication that the intent for changes, will be achieved without mandatory use of Given Name and Sur Name in Legacy profile, which is again a big change considering legacy intent, and make these profiles similar to multi and strict version. Overall, this change seems to defeat its goal of supporting wider ecosystem for a while.

From: Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> On Behalf Of Adriano Santoni via Smcwg-public
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2023 5:00 PM
To: Martijn Katerbarg <martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>; SMIME Certificate Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
Subject: Re: [Smcwg-public] [External Sender] Re: Re: Re: SV certificates devoid of individual attributes

I have created the pull request below.


Even if there exists some niche legacy uses cases, I believe it would be highly preferable to avoid allowing SV certificates that do not match the SV definition and are indistinguishable from OV certs. Besides, it appears that in such particular contexts OV certificates would still meet the need.

Looking for endorsers.


Il 16/10/2023 18:38, Martijn Katerbarg ha scritto:
Happy to work with you on that. I do wonder what the cause and original intent behind this was.

I wonder if they key lies in the Note added to section
“Legacy Generation profiles MAY omit the subject:givenName, subject:surname, and subject:pseudonym attributes and include only the subject:commonName as described in Section<https://github.com/cabforum/smime/blob/main/SBR.md#71422-subject-distinguished-name-fields>.”

Could it be that the original intent here was that subject:givenName, subject:surname and subject:pseudonym are allowed to be left out, only if subject:commonName was included and had either the pseudonym or givenName+surname in it?

I could see that as a possible legacy use case, with the intend to deprecate. I’m not sure if any CA needs that use case at current though.



From: Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org><mailto:smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> on behalf of Adriano Santoni via Smcwg-public <smcwg-public at cabforum.org><mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
Date: Monday, 16 October 2023 at 18:09
To: smcwg-public at cabforum.org<mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org> <smcwg-public at cabforum.org><mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
Subject: Re: [Smcwg-public] [External Sender] Re: Re: SV certificates devoid of individual attributes
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

I would suggest an amendment in order to correct this unintended result; I'm available to dratf a proposal it if there are any endorsers.


Il 16/10/2023 17:17, Dimitris Zacharopoulos via Smcwg-public ha scritto:
NOTICE: Pay attention - external email - Sender is 0100018b3910b1a1-5f63e11d-cb86-4599-8385-07abf817d4d1-000000 at amazonses.com<mailto:0100018b3910b1a1-5f63e11d-cb86-4599-8385-07abf817d4d1-000000 at amazonses.com>

I agree it's not a good thing. The SV profile was to support certificates that include attributes of individuals validated by the Enterprise RA. If we allow those to be missing, making it effectively an OV Certificate, seems like an unintended result.

Best regards,


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