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

Adriano Santoni adriano.santoni at staff.aruba.it
Tue Oct 24 08:31:12 UTC 2023


to facilitate discussion and understanding by everyone, could you 
explain in detail what worries you?

What exactly is the difficulty that, in your opinion, the revision that 
Dimitris and I (not sure if Martijn is endorsing as well) are proposing 
would entail?


Il 24/10/2023 10:14, Christophe Bonjean ha scritto:
> Hi Adriano,
> There’s no definition to support that a mailbox address is an 
> individual attribute in all cases, but as you indicated there are 
> circumstances where it is (i.e. If the Subscriber or the Enterprise RA 
> assert this is a mailbox address for an individual). I'm not convinced 
> that this is sufficient reason to ban it completely.
> Although the purpose might be to align with the definition, we are 
> changing the permitted contents of the CommonName, which is a 
> significant change. I also think it’s up to the wider community to 
> indicate whether this is a niche use case, before we consider this a fact.
> Can we put this on the agenda for further discussion?
> Christophe
> *From:*Adriano Santoni <adriano.santoni at staff.aruba.it>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, October 24, 2023 9:43 AM
> *To:* Christophe Bonjean <christophe.bonjean at globalsign.com>; SMIME 
> Certificate Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>; Ashish Dhiman 
> <ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com>; Martijn Katerbarg 
> <martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [External Sender] RE: [Smcwg-public] RE: Re: Re: Re: SV 
> certificates devoid of individual attributes
> Hi Christophe,
> frankly, it seems obvious to me that an email address is not, 
> generally speaking, an individual attribute. Would you argue that 
> info at example.com is a natural person's attribute? It may be so in 
> specific cases (for example when it is of the type 
> givenname.surname at example.com and the email service provider applies a 
> rule that ensures proper attribution to users and disambiguation of 
> similar names), but it certainly is not so by definition.
> Evidently a natural person (or more likely more than one) can have 
> access to the mailbox at an address like info at example.com, but it is 
> evident that such address is not specific to any particular natural 
> person in the same sense and in the same way in which givenname and 
> surname are attributes of a natural person.
> And no, no intent at all to modify the SV profile; quite the opposite: 
> to respect its definition even in the legacy case (where among other 
> things, the needs of niche use cases can very well be satisfied by OV 
> certificates).
> Adriano
> Il 24/10/2023 09:25, Christophe Bonjean ha scritto:
>     Hi Adriano,
>     From your proposed change, it seems that you are not considering a
>     mailbox address as an individual (natural person) attribute? Could
>     you provide some context on that?
>     We should also keep in mind the initial purpose of the legacy
>     profile. Even though the suggestion of using an OV profile for
>     CN=email, O=Company might be sensible, we’re still fundamentally
>     modifying the legacy SV profile.
>     Christophe
>     *From:*Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org>
>     <mailto:smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org> *On Behalf Of *Adriano
>     Santoni via Smcwg-public
>     *Sent:* Friday, October 20, 2023 10:33 AM
>     *To:* Ashish Dhiman <ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com>
>     <mailto:ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com>; SMIME Certificate Working
>     Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>     <mailto:smcwg-public at cabforum.org>; Martijn Katerbarg
>     <martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com> <mailto:martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>
>     *Subject:* Re: [Smcwg-public] [External Sender] RE: Re: Re: Re: SV
>     certificates devoid of individual attributes
>     Ashish,
>     my intent would not be to prohibit anything, but rather to make
>     two types of certificates (OV, SV) distinguishable that otherwise
>     are not, and to make the S/MIME baseline requirements consistent
>     with the definition of Sponsor-Validated.
>     Furthermore, I don't understand why what I'm proposing could cause
>     problems for those who need, for their legacy use case, S/MIME
>     certificates that simultaneously contain Subject.organizationName
>     AND /any type /of email address in the Subject.commonName (like
>     department at example.com or ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com to quote
>     your examples), plus of course locality and
>     organizationIdentifier. In fact, in such use case you can very
>     well use OV-type S/MIME certificates. Don't you?
>     Adriano
>     Il 20/10/2023 10:20, Ashish Dhiman ha scritto:
>         NOTICE:Pay attention - external email - Sender is
>         ashish.dhiman at globalsign.com
>         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
>         in sponsor profile as email address and also use
>         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.
>         Ashish
>         *From:* Smcwg-public <smcwg-public-bounces at cabforum.org>
>         <mailto: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>
>         <mailto:martijn.katerbarg at sectigo.com>; SMIME Certificate
>         Working Group <smcwg-public at cabforum.org>
>         <mailto: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.
>         https://github.com/cabforum/smime/pull/218
>         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.
>         Adriano
>         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.
>             Regards,
>             Martijn
>             *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
>             <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.
>             Adriano
>             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
>                 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,
>                 _______________________________________________
>                 Smcwg-public mailing list
>                 Smcwg-public at cabforum.org
>                 https://lists.cabforum.org/mailman/listinfo/smcwg-public
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