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Versions: 00 01 02 draft-ietf-websec-strict-transport-sec

Network Working Group                                          J. Hodges
Internet-Draft                                                    PayPal
Intended status: Standards Track                              C. Jackson
Expires: December 19, 2010                    Carnegie Mellon University
                                                                A. Barth
                                                University of California
                                                                Berkeley
                                                           June 17, 2010


                     HTTP Strict Transport Security
                  draft-hodges-strict-transport-sec-00

Abstract

   This specification defines a mechanism enabling Web sites to declare
   themselves accessible only via secure connections, and/or for users
   to be able to direct their user agent(s) to interact with given sites
   only over secure connections.  This overall policy is referred to as
   Strict Transport Security (STS).  The policy is declared by Web sites
   via the Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header Field.

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 19, 2010.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents



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   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.1.  Use Cases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  Strict Transport Security Policy Effects . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.3.  Threat Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       2.3.1.  Threats Addressed  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
         2.3.1.1.  Passive Network Attackers  . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
         2.3.1.2.  Active Network Attackers . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
         2.3.1.3.  Web Site Development and Deployment Bugs . . . . .  6
       2.3.2.  Threats Not Addressed  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
         2.3.2.1.  Phishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
         2.3.2.2.  Malware and Browser Vulnerabilities  . . . . . . .  7
     2.4.  Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
       2.4.1.  Overall Requirement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
         2.4.1.1.  Detailed Core Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
         2.4.1.2.  Detailed Ancillary Requirements  . . . . . . . . .  9
   3.  Conformance Criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.1.  Document Conventions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   4.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   5.  Syntax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     5.1.  Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header Field . . . 12
   6.  Server Processing Model  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     6.1.  HTTP-over-Secure-Transport Request Type  . . . . . . . . . 14
     6.2.  HTTP Request Type  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
   7.  User Agent Processing Model  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     7.1.  Strict-Transport-Security Response Header Field
           Processing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       7.1.1.  Noting a STS Server  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       7.1.2.  Known STS Server Domain Name Matching  . . . . . . . . 16
     7.2.  URI Loading  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     7.3.  Errors in Secure Transport Establishment . . . . . . . . . 18
     7.4.  HTTP-Equiv <Meta> Element Attribute  . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   8.  Domain Name ToASCII Conversion Operation . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   9.  Server Implementation Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   10. UA Implementation Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   11. Constructing an Effective Request URI  . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   12. Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     12.1. Denial of Service (DoS)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     12.2. Bootstrap MITM Vulnerability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22



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     12.3. Network Time Attacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     12.4. Bogus Root CA Certificate Phish plus DNS Cache
           Poisoning Attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   13. IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   14. Design Decision Notes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   15. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
     15.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
     15.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26









































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1.  Introduction

   The HTTP protocol [RFC2616] may be used over various transports,
   typically the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) [RFC0793].
   However, TCP does not provide channel integrity protection,
   confidentiality, nor secure server identification.  Thus the Secure
   Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol [I-D.ietf-tls-ssl-version3] and its
   successor Transport Layer Security (TLS) [RFC4346], were developed in
   order to provide channel-oriented security, and are typically layered
   between application protocols and TCP.  [RFC2818] specifies how HTTP
   is layered onto TLS, and defines the Universal Resource Identifier
   (URI) scheme of "https" (in practice however, HTTP user agents (UAs)
   typically offer their users choices among SSL2, SSL3, and TLS for
   secure transport).  URIs themselves are specified in [RFC3986].

   UAs employ various local security policies with respect to the
   characteristics of their interactions with web resources depending on
   (in part) whether they are communicating with a given web resource
   using HTTP or HTTP-over-a-Secure-Transport.  For example, cookies
   ([RFC2109] and [RFC2965]) may be flagged as Secure.  UAs are to send
   such Secure cookies to their addressed server only over a secure
   transport.  This is in contrast to non-Secure cookies, which are
   returned to the server regardless of transport (although modulo other
   rules).

   UAs typically annunciate to their users any issues with secure
   connection establishment, such as being unable to validate a server
   certificate trust chain, or if a server certificate is expired, or if
   a server's domain name appears incorrectly in the server certificate
   (see section 3.1 of [RFC2818]).  Often, UAs provide for users to be
   able to elect to continue to interact with a web resource in the face
   of such issues.  This behavior is sometimes referred to as
   "click(ing) through" security [GoodDhamijaEtAl05]
   [SunshineEgelmanEtAl09], and thus can be described as "click-through
   insecurity" .

   Jackson and Barth proposed an approach, in [ForceHTTPS], to enable
   web sites and/or users to be able to declare that such issues are to
   be treated as fatal and without direct user recourse.  The aim is to
   prevent users from unintentionally downgrading their security.

   This specification embodies and refines the approach proposed in
   [ForceHTTPS], e.g. a HTTP response header field is used to convey
   site policy to the UA rather than a cookie.







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2.  Overview

   This section discusses the use cases, summarizes the Strict Transport
   Security (STS) policy, and continues with a discussion of the threat
   model, non-addressed threats, and derived requirements.

2.1.  Use Cases

   The overall applicable use case here is a combination of these two
   use cases:

   o  Web browser user wishes to discover, or be introduced to, and/or
      utilize various web sites (some arbitrary, some known) in a secure
      fashion.

   o  Web site deployer wishes to offer their site in an explicitly
      secure fashion for both their own, as well as their users',
      benefit.

2.2.  Strict Transport Security Policy Effects

   The characteristics of the Strict Transport Security policy, as
   applied by a UA in its interactions with a web site wielding STS
   Policy, known as a STS Server, is summarized as follows:

   1.  Insecure ("http") connections to a STS Server are redirected by
       the STS Server to be secure connections ("https").

   2.  The UA terminates, without user recourse, any secure transport
       connection attempts upon any and all secure transport errors or
       warnings, including those caused by a site wielding self-signed
       certificates.

   3.  UAs transform insecure URI references to a STS Server into secure
       URI references before dereferencing them.

2.3.  Threat Model

   STS is concerned with three threat classes: passive network
   attackers, active network attackers, and imperfect web developers.
   However, it is explicitly not a remedy for two other classes of
   threats: phishing and malware.  Addressed and not addressed threats
   are briefly discussed below.  Readers may wish refer to [ForceHTTPS]
   for details as well as relevant citations.







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2.3.1.  Threats Addressed

2.3.1.1.  Passive Network Attackers

   When a user browses the web on a wireless network, a nearby attacker
   can eavesdrop on unencrypted connections, such as HTTP requests.
   Such a passive network attacker can steal session identifiers and
   hijack the user's session, by obtaining cookies containing
   authentication credentials for example.  Such passive eavesdropping
   attacks are easily performed using wireless sniffing toolkits.

   To mitigate this threat, some sites permit, but usually do not force,
   access using secure transport -- e.g. by employing "https" URIs.
   This can lead users to believe that accessing such services using
   secure transport protects them from passive network attackers.
   Unfortunately, this is often not the case in real-world deployments
   as session identifiers are often stored in non-Secure cookies to
   permit interoperability with versions of the service offered over
   insecure transport.  For example, if the session identifier for a web
   site (an email service, say) is stored in a non-Secure cookie, it
   permits an attacker to hijack the user's session if the user makes a
   single insecure HTTP request to the site.

2.3.1.2.  Active Network Attackers

   A determined attacker can mount an active attack, either by
   impersonating a user's DNS server or, in a wireless network, by
   spoofing network frames or offering a similarly-named evil twin
   access point.  If the user is behind a wireless home router, an
   attacker can attempt to reconfigure the router using default
   passwords and other vulnerabilities.  Some sites, such as banks, rely
   on secure transport to protect themselves and their users from such
   active attackers.  Unfortunately, browsers allow their users to
   easily opt-out of these protections in order to be usable for sites
   that incorrectly deploy secure transport, for example by generating
   and self-signing their own certificates (without also distributing
   their CA certificate to their users' browsers).

2.3.1.3.  Web Site Development and Deployment Bugs

   The security of an otherwise uniformly secure site (i.e. all of its
   content is materialized via "https" URIs), can be compromised
   completely by an active attacker exploiting a simple mistake, such as
   the loading of a cascading style sheet or a SWF movie over an
   insecure connection (both cascading style sheets and SWF movies can
   script the embedding page, to the surprise of many web developers --
   most browsers do not issue mixed content warnings when insecure SWF
   files are embedded).  Even if the site's developers carefully



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   scrutinize their login page for mixed content, a single insecure
   embedding anywhere on the site compromises the security of their
   login page because an attacker can script (control) the login page by
   injecting script into the page with mixed content.

   Note:  "Mixed content" here refers to the same notion referred to as
          "mixed security context" later elsewhere in this
          specification.

2.3.2.  Threats Not Addressed

2.3.2.1.  Phishing

   Phishing attacks occur when an attacker solicits authentication
   credentials from the user by hosting a fake site located on a
   different domain than the real site, perhaps driving traffic to the
   fake site by sending a link in an email message.  Phishing attacks
   can be very effective because users find it difficult to distinguish
   the real site from a fake site.  STS is not a defense against
   phishing per se; rather, it complements many existing phishing
   defenses by instructing the browser to protect session integrity and
   long-lived authentication tokens [ForceHTTPS].

2.3.2.2.  Malware and Browser Vulnerabilities

   Because STS is implemented as a browser security mechanism, it relies
   on the trustworthiness of the user's system to protect the session.
   Malicious code executing on the user's system can compromise a
   browser session, regardless of whether STS is used.

2.4.  Requirements

   This section identifies and enumerates various requirements derived
   from the use cases and the threats discussed above, and lists the
   detailed core requirements Strict Transport Security addresses, as
   well as ancillary requirements that are not directly addressed.

2.4.1.  Overall Requirement

   o  Minimize the risks to web browser users and web site deployers
      that are derived from passive and active network attackers, web
      site development and deployment bugs, as well as insecure user
      actions.








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2.4.1.1.  Detailed Core Requirements

   These core requirements are derived from the overall requirement, and
   are addressed by this specification.

   1.  Web sites need to be able to declare to UAs that they should be
       interacted with using a strict security policy.

   2.  Web sites need to be able to instruct UAs that contact them
       insecurely to do so securely.

   3.  UAs need to note web sites that signal strict security policy
       enablement, for a web site declared time span.

   4.  UAs need to re-write all insecure UA "http" URI loads to use the
       "https" secure scheme for those web sites for which secure policy
       is enabled.

   5.  Web site administrators need to be able to signal strict security
       policy application to subdomains of higher-level domains for
       which strict security policy is enabled, and UAs need to enforce
       such policy.

   6.  For example, both example.com and foo.example.com could set
       policy for bar.foo.example.com.

   7.  UAs need to disallow security policy application to peer domains,
       and/or higher-level domains, by domains for which strict security
       policy is enabled.

   8.  For example, neither bar.foo.example.com nor foo.example.com can
       set policy for example.com, nor can bar.foo.example.com set
       policy for foo.example.com.  Also, foo.example.com cannot set
       policy for sibling.example.com.

   9.  UAs need to prevent users from clicking-through security
       warnings.  Halting connection attempts in the face of secure
       transport exceptions is acceptable.

   Note:  A means for uniformly securely meeting the first core
          requirement above is not specifically addressed by this
          specification (see Section 12.2 "Bootstrap MITM
          Vulnerability").  It may be addressed by a future revision of
          this specification or some other specification.  Note also
          that there are means by which UA implementations may more
          fully meet the first core requirement, see Section 10 "UA
          Implementation Advice".




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2.4.1.2.  Detailed Ancillary Requirements

   These ancillary requirements are also derived from the overall
   requirement.  They are not normatively addressed in this
   specification, but could be met by UA implementations at their
   implementor's discretion, although meeting these requirements may be
   complex.

   1.  Disallow "mixed security context" (also known as "mixed-content")
       loads (see section 5.3 "Mixed Content" in
       [W3C.WD-wsc-ui-20100309]).

   2.  Facilitate user declaration of web sites for which strict
       security policy is enabled, regardless of whether the sites
       signal STS Policy.


3.  Conformance Criteria

   This specification is written for servers and user agents (UAs).

   As well as sections and appendices marked as non-normative, all
   diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-
   normative.  Everything else in this specification is normative.

   In this specification, the words MUST, MUST NOT, MAY, and SHOULD are
   to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   A conformant server is one that implements all the requirements
   listed in this specification that are applicable to servers.

   A conformant user agent is one that implements all the requirements
   listed in this specification that are applicable to user agents.

3.1.  Document Conventions

   Note:  ..is a note to the reader.  These are points that should be
          expressly kept in mind and/or considered.

   Warning:  This is how a warning is shown.  These are things that can
             have suboptimal downside risks if not heeded.

   [[XXXn: Some of the more major known issues are marked like this
   (where "n" in "XXXn" is a number). --JeffH]]

   [[TODOn: Things to fix (where "n" in "TODOn" is a number). --JeffH]]





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4.  Terminology

   Terminology is defined in this section.

   ASCII case-insensitive comparison
                     means comparing two strings exactly, codepoint for
                     codepoint, except that the characters in the range
                     U+0041 ..  U+005A (i.e.  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to
                     LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z) and the corresponding
                     characters in the range U+0061 ..  U+007A (i.e.
                     LATIN SMALL LETTER A to LATIN SMALL LETTER Z) are
                     considered to also match.  See [Unicode5] for
                     details.

   codepoint         is a colloquial contraction of Code Point, which is
                     any value in the Unicode codespace; that is, the
                     range of integers from 0 to 10FFFF(hex) [Unicode5].

   Domain Name       Domain Names, also referred to as DNS Names, are
                     defined in [RFC1035] to be represented outside of
                     the DNS protocol itself (and implementations
                     thereof) as a series of labels separated by dots,
                     e.g. "example.com" or "yet.another.example.org".
                     In the context of this specification, Domain Names
                     appear in that portion of a URI satisfying the reg-
                     name production in "Appendix A.  Collected ABNF for
                     URI" in [RFC3986], and the host component from the
                     Host HTTP header field production in section 14.23
                     of [RFC2616].

                     Note:  The Domain Names appearing in actual URI
                            instances and matching the aforementioned
                            production components may or may not be
                            FQDNs.

   Domain Name Label is that portion of a Domain Name appearing "between
                     the dots", i.e. consider "foo.example.com": "foo",
                     "example", and "com" are all domain name labels.

   Effective Request URI
                     is a URI that can be constructed by an HTTP server
                     for any given HTTP request sent to it.  Some HTTP
                     requests do not contain a contiguous representation
                     of the URI identifying the resource being addressed
                     by the HTTP request.  Rather, different portions of
                     a resource's URI may be mapped to both the Request-
                     Line header field and the Host header field in an
                     HTTP request message



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                     [I-D.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging].  The HTTP server
                     coalesces these URI fragments and constructs an
                     equivalent of the Request-URI that was used by the
                     UA to generate the received HTTP request message.
                     See Section 11 "Constructing an Effective Request
                     URI", below.

   FQDN              is an acronym for Fully-qualified Domain Name.  A
                     FQDN is a Domain Name that includes all higher
                     level domains relevant to the named entity
                     (typically a STS Server in the context of this
                     specification).  If one thinks of the DNS as a
                     tree-structure with each node having its own Domain
                     Name Label, a FQDN for a specific node would be its
                     label followed by the labels of all the other nodes
                     between it and the root of the tree.  For example,
                     for a host, a FQDN would include the label that
                     identifies the particular host, plus all domains of
                     which the host is a part, up to and including the
                     top-level domain (the root domain is always null)
                     [RFC1594].

   Known STS Server  is a STS Server for which the UA has an STS Policy
                     in effect.

   Local policy      is comprised of policy rules deployers specify and
                     which are often manifested as "configuration
                     settings".

   MITM              is an acronym for man-in-the-middle.  See "man-in-
                     the-middle attack" in [RFC4949].

   Request URI       is the URI used to cause a UA to issue an HTTP
                     request message.

   Strict Transport Security
                     is the overall name for the combined UA- and
                     server-side security policy defined by this
                     specification.

   Strict Transport Security Server
                     is a HTTP server implementing the server aspects of
                     the STS policy.








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   Strict Transport Security Policy
                     is the name of the combined overall UA- and server-
                     side facets of the behavior specified by this
                     specification.

   STS               See Strict Transport Security.

   STS Policy        See Strict Transport Security Policy.

   STS Server        See Strict Transport Security Server.

   UA                is a an acronym for user agent.  For the purposes
                     of this specification, a UA is an HTTP client
                     application typically actively manipulated by a
                     user [RFC2616] .


5.  Syntax

   This section defines the syntax of the new header this specification
   introduces.  It also provides a short description of the function the
   header.

   The Section 6 "Server Processing Model" section details how servers
   are to use this header.  Likewise, the Section 7 "User Agent
   Processing Model" section details how user agents are to use this
   header.

5.1.  Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header Field

   The Strict-Transport-Security HTTP response header field indicates to
   a UA that it MUST enforce the STS Policy in regards to the server
   emitting the response message containing this header field.

   The ABNF syntax for the Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response
   Header field is:















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Strict-Transport-Security =

           "Strict-Transport-Security" ":"  OWS  STS-v  OWS

; STS value
STS-v      = STS-d
           / STS-d  *( OWS ";" OWS STS-d  OWS)

; STS directive
STS-d      = STS-d-cur / STS-d-ext

; defined STS directives
STS-d-cur  = maxAge / includeSubDomains

maxAge     = "max-age" "=" delta-seconds v-ext

includeSubDomains = [ "includeSubDomains" ] v-ext


; extension points
STS-d-ext  = name      ; STS extension directive

v-ext      = value     ; STS extension value

name       = token

value      = OWS / %x21-3A  /  %x3C-7E   ; i.e. optional white space, or
           ;     [ ! .. : ]  [ < .. ~ ] any visible chars other than ";"

;  productions imported from [ID.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging]:

token

OWS        ; Optional White Space


   Note:  [I-D.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging] is used as the ABNF basis in
          order to ensure that the new header has equivalent parsing
          rules to the header fields defined in that same specification.
          Also:

          1.     Quoted-string literals in the above ABNF stanza are
                 case-insensitive.

          2.     In order to correctly match the grammar above, the
                 Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header MUST
                 include at least a max-age directive with at least a
                 single-digit value for delta-seconds.



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   max-age  specifies the number of seconds, after the recption of the
            Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header, during which
            the UA regards the host the message was received from as a
            Known STS Server (see also Section 7.1.1 "Noting a STS
            Server", below).  The delta-seconds production is specified
            in [RFC2616].

   [[TODO1: The above para wrt max-age may need further refinement.
   --JeffH]]

   includeSubDomains is a flag which, if present, signals to the UA that
                     the STS Policy applies to this STS Server as well
                     as any subdomains of the server's FQDN.


6.  Server Processing Model

   This section describes the processing model that STS Servers
   implement.  The model is comprised of two facets: the first being the
   processing rules for HTTP request messages received over a secure
   transport (e.g.  TLS [RFC4346], SSL [I-D.ietf-tls-ssl-version3], or
   perhaps others, the second being the processing rules for HTTP
   request messages received over non-secure transports, i.e. over
   TCP/IP [RFC0793].

6.1.  HTTP-over-Secure-Transport Request Type

   When replying to an HTTP request that was conveyed over a secure
   transport, a STS Server SHOULD include in its response message a
   Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header that MUST satisfy the
   grammar specified above in Section 5.1 "Strict-Transport-Security
   HTTP Response Header Field".  If a Strict-Transport-Sec HTTP Response
   Header is included, the STS Server MUST include only one such header.

   Note:  Including the Strict-Transport-Sec HTTP Response Header is
          stipulated as a "SHOULD" in order to accomodate various
          server- and network-side caches and load-balancing
          configurations where it may be difficult to uniformly emit
          Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Headers on behalf of a
          given STS Server.

   In order to establish a given host as a Known STS Server in the
   context of a given UA, the host must correctly return, per this
   specification, at least one valid Strict-Transport-Security HTTP
   Response Header to the UA.






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6.2.  HTTP Request Type

   If a STS Server receives a HTTP request message over a non-secure
   transport, it SHOULD send a HTTP response message containing a
   Status-Code of 301 and a Location header field value containing
   either the HTTP request's original Effective Request URI (see
   Section 11 Constructing an Effective Request URI, below) altered as
   necessary to have a URI scheme of "https", or a URI generated
   according to local policy (which SHOULD employ a URI scheme of
   "https").

   A STS Server MUST NOT include the Strict-Transport-Security HTTP
   Response Header in HTTP responses conveyed over a non-secure
   transport.


7.  User Agent Processing Model

   This section describes the Strict Transport Security processing model
   for UAs.  There are several facets to the model, enumerated by the
   following subsections.

   Also, this processing model assumes that all Domain Names manipulated
   in this specification's context are already in ASCII Compatible
   Encoding (ACE) format as specified in [RFC3490].  If this is not the
   case in some situation, use the operation given in Section 8 "Domain
   Name ToASCII Conversion Operation" to convert any encountered
   internationalized Domain Names to ACE format before processing them.

7.1.  Strict-Transport-Security Response Header Field Processing

   If an HTTP response, received over a secure transport, includes a
   Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header field, conforming to
   the grammar specified in Section 5.1 "Strict-Transport-Security HTTP
   Response Header Field" (above), and there are no underlying secure
   transport errors or warnings, the UA MUST either:

   o  Note the server as a Known STS Server if it is not already so
      noted (see Section 7.1.1 "Noting a STS Server", below),

   or,

   o  Update its cached information for the Known STS Server if the max-
      age and/or includeSubDomains header field value tokens are
      conveying information different than that already maintained by
      the UA.





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   Note:  The max-age value is essentially a "time to live" value
          relative to the reception time of the Strict-Transport-
          Security HTTP Response Header.

   [[TODO2: Decide UA behavior in face of encountering multiple STS
   headers in a message.  Use first header?  Last? --=JeffH]]

   Otherwise:

   o  If an HTTP response is received over insecure transport, the UA
      MUST ignore any present Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response
      Header(s).

   o  The UA MUST ignore any Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response
      Headers not conforming to the grammar specified in Section 5.1
      "Strict-Transport-Security HTTP Response Header Field" (above).

7.1.1.  Noting a STS Server

   If the substring matching the host production from the Request-URI,
   that the server responded to, syntactically matches the IP-literal or
   IPv4address productions from section 3.2.2 of [RFC3986], then the UA
   MUST NOT note this server as a Known STS Server.

   Otherwise, if the substring does not congruently match a presently
   known STS Server, per the matching procedure specified in
   Section 7.1.2 "Known STS Server Domain Name Matching" below, then the
   UA MUST note this server as a Known STS Server, caching the STS
   Server's Domain Name and noting along with it the expiry time of this
   information, as effectively stipulated per the given max-age value,
   as well as whether the includeSubDomains flag is asserted or not.

7.1.2.  Known STS Server Domain Name Matching

   A UA determines whether a Domain Name represents a Known STS Server
   by looking for a match between the query Domain Name and the UA's set
   of Known STS Servers.

   1.  Compare the query Domain Name string with the Domain Names of the
       UA's set of Known STS Servers.  For each Known STS Server's
       Domain Name, the comparison is done with the query Domain Name
       label-by-label using an ASCII case-insensitive comparison
       beginning with the rightmost label, and continuing right-to-left,
       and ignoring separator characters (see clause 3.1(4) of
       [RFC3986].

       *  If a label-for-label match between an entire Known STS
          Server's Domain Name and a right-hand portion of the query



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          Domain Name is found, then the Known STS Server's Domain Name
          is a superdomain match for the query Domain Name.

          For example:

             Query Domain Name:       bar.foo.example.com

           Superdomain matched
           Known STS Server DN:           foo.example.com


          At this point, the query Domain Name is ascertained to
          effectively represent a Known STS Server.  There may also be
          additional matches further down the Domain Name Label tree, up
          to and including a congruent match.

       *  If a label-for-label match between a Known STS Server's Domain
          Name and the query domain name is found, i.e. there are no
          further labels to compare, then the query Domain Name
          congruently matches this Known STS Server.

          For example:

             Query Domain Name:           foo.example.com

           Congruently matched
           Known STS Server DN:           foo.example.com


          The query Domain Name is ascertained to represent a Known STS
          Server.  However, if there are also superdomain matches, the
          one highest in the tree asserts the STS Policy for this Known
          STS Server.

       *  Otherwise, if no matches are found, the query Domain Name does
          not represent a Known STS Server.

7.2.  URI Loading

   Whenever the UA prepares to "load", also known as "dereference", any
   URI where the host production of the URI [RFC3986] matches that of a
   Known STS Server -- either as a congruent match or as a superdomain
   match where the superdomain Known STS Server has includeSubDomains
   asserted -- and the URI's scheme is "http", then replace the URI
   scheme with "https" before proceeding with the load.






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7.3.  Errors in Secure Transport Establishment

   When connecting to a Known STS Server, the UA MUST terminate the
   connection with no user recourse if there are any errors (e.g.
   certificate errors), whether "warning" or "fatal" or any other error
   level, with the underlying secure transport.

7.4.  HTTP-Equiv <Meta> Element Attribute

   UAs MUST NOT heed http-equiv="Strict-Transport-Security" attribute
   settings on <meta> elements in received content.


8.  Domain Name ToASCII Conversion Operation

   This operation converts a string-serialized Domain Name possibly
   containing arbitrary Unicode characters [Unicode5] into a string-
   serialized Domain Name in ASCII Compatible Encoding (ACE) format as
   specified in [RFC3490].

   The operation is:

   o  Apply the IDNA conversion operation (section 4 of [RFC3490]) to
      the string, selecting the ToASCII operation and setting both the
      AllowUnassigned and UseSTD3ASCIIRules flags.


9.  Server Implementation Advice

   STS Policy expiration time considerations:

   o  Server implementations and deploying web sites need to consider
      whether they are setting an expiry time that is a constant value
      into the future, e.g. by constantly sending the same max-age value
      to UAs.  Or, whether they are setting an expiry time that is a
      fixed point in time, e.g. by sending max-age values that represent
      the remaining time until the expiry time.

   o  A consideration here is whether a deployer wishes to have signaled
      STS Policy expiry time match that for the web site's domain
      certificate.

   Considerations for using Strict Transport Security in conjunction
   with self-signed public-key certificates:

   o  If a web site/organization/enterprise is generating their own
      secure transport public-key certificates for web sites, and that
      organization's root certificate authority (CA) certificate is not



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      typically embedded by default in browser CA certificate stores,
      and if STS Policy is enabled on a site wielding that
      organization's certificates, then secure connections to that site
      will fail without user recourse, per the STS design.  This is to
      protect against various active attacks, as discussed above.

   o  However, if said organization strongly wishes to employ self-
      signed certificates, and their own CA in concert with STS, they
      can do so by deploying their root CA certificate to their users'
      browsers.  There are various ways in which this can be
      accomplished (details are out of scope for this specification).
      Once their root CA cert is installed in the browsers, they may
      employ STS Policy on their site(s).

      Note:  Interactively distributing root CA certs to users, e.g. via
             email, and having the users install them, is arguably
             training the users to be susceptible to a possible form of
             phishing attack, see Section 12.4 "Bogus Root CA
             Certificate Phish plus DNS Cache Poisoning Attack".


10.  UA Implementation Advice

   Notes for STS Server implementors:

   o  A simplistic approach to enabling STS policy for one's web site is
      to configure one's web server to return a Strict-Transport-
      Security HTTP Response Header with a constant max-age value.  For
      exmple:

        Strict-Transport-Security: max-age=778000

      A max-age value of 778000 is 90 days.  Note that each receipt of
      this header by a UA will require the UA to update its notion of
      when it must delete its knowledge of this Known STS Server.  The
      specifics of how this is accomplished is out of the scope of this
      specification.

   In order to provide users and web sites more effective protection, UA
   implementors should consider including features such as:

   o  Disallowing "mixed security context" (also known as "mixed-
      content") loads (see section 5.3 "Mixed Content" in
      [W3C.WD-wsc-ui-20100309]).







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      Note:  In order to provide behavioral uniformity across UA
             implementations, the notion of mixed security context aka
             mixed-content will require (further) standardization work,
             e.g. to more clearly define the term(s) and to define
             specific behaviors with respect to it.

   In order to provide users effective controls for managing their UA's
   caching of STS Policy, UA implementors should consider including
   features such as:

   o  Ability to delete UA's cached STS Policy on a per STS Server
      basis.

   In order to provide users and web sites more complete protection, UAs
   could offer advanced features such as these:

   o  Ability for users to explicitly declare a given Domain Name as
      representing a STS Server, thus seeding it as a Known STS Server
      before any actual interaction with it.  This would help protect
      against the Section 12.2 "Bootstrap MITM Vulnerability".

      Note:  Such a feature is difficult to get right on a per-site
             basis -- see the discussion of "rewrite rules" in section
             5.5 of [ForceHTTPS].  For example, arbitrary web sites may
             not materialize all their URIs using the "https" scheme,
             and thus could "break" if a UA were to attempt to access
             the site exclusively using such URIs.  Also note that this
             feature would complement, but is independent of the
             following described facility.

   o  Facility whereby web site administrators can have UAs pre-
      configured with STS Policy for their site(s) by the UA vendor(s)
      -- in a manner similar to how root CA certificates are embedded in
      browsers "at the factory".  This would help protect against the
      Section 12.2 "Bootstrap MITM Vulnerability".

      Note:  Such a facility complements the preceding described
             feature.

   [[XXX2: These latter items beg the question of having some means of
   secure web site metadata and policy discovery and acquisition.  There
   is extant work that may be of interest, e.g. the W3C POWDER work,
   OASIS XRI/XRD work (as well as XRDS-Simple), and "Link-based Resource
   Descriptor Discovery" (draft-hammer-discovery). --JeffH]]







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11.  Constructing an Effective Request URI

   This section specifies how an STS Server must construct the Effective
   Request URI for a received HTTP request.

   The first line of an HTTP request message is specified by the
   following ABNF ([I-D.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging] section 4.1):

     Request-Line   = Method SP request-target SP HTTP-Version CRLF

   The request-target is following ABNF ([I-D.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging]
   section 4.1.2):

     request-target = "*"
                    / absolute-URI
                    / ( path-absolute [ "?" query ] )
                    / authority

   Additionally, many HTTP requests contain an additional Host request
   header field.  It is specified by the following ABNF
   ([I-D.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging] section 4.1.2):

     Host = "Host:" OWS Host-v
     Host-v = uri-host [ ":" port ]

   Thus an example HTTP message containing the above header fields is:

     GET /hello.txt HTTP/1.1
     Host: www.example.com

   Another example is:

     GET HTTP://www.example.com/hello.txt  HTTP/1.1

   An STS Server constructs the Effective Request URI using the
   following ABNF grammar (which imports some productions from the above
   ABNF for Request-Line, request-target, and Host:


   Effective-Request-URI = absolute-URI-present / path-absolute-form

   absolute-URI-present  = absolute-URI

   path-absolute-form  = scheme "://" Host-v path-absolute [ "?" query ]

   where:

     scheme is &quot;http&quot; if the request was received over



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     insecure transport, or scheme is &quot;https&quot; if the
     request was received over secure transport.


   For example, if the request message contains a request-target
   component that matches the grammar of absolute-URI, then the
   Effective-Request-URI is simply the value of the absolute-URI
   component.  Otherwise, the Effective-Request-URI is a combination,
   per the path-absolute-form production, of the Host-v, path-absolute,
   and query components from the request-target and Host components of
   the request message.

   [[TODO3: This is a first SWAG at this section.  Fix/add prose as
   appropriate, fix ABNF as needed per review. --JeffH]]


12.  Security Considerations

12.1.  Denial of Service (DoS)

   STS could be used to mount certain forms of DoS attacks, where
   attackers set fake STS headers on legitimate sites available only
   insecurely (e.g. social network service sites, wikis, etc.).

12.2.  Bootstrap MITM Vulnerability

   The bootstrap MITM (Man-In-The-Middle) vulnerability is a
   vulnerability users and STS Servers encounter in the situation where
   the user manually enters, or follows a link, to a STS Server using a
   "http" URI rather than a "https" URI.  Because the UA uses an
   insecure channel in the initial attempt to interact with the
   specified serve, such an initial interaction is vulnerable to various
   attacks [ForceHTTPS] .

   Note:  There are various features/facilities that UA implementations
          may employ in order to mitigate this vulnerability.  Please
          see Section 10 UA Implementation Advice.

12.3.  Network Time Attacks

   Active network attacks can subvert network time protocols (like NTP)
   - making this header less effective against clients that trust NTP
   and/or lack a real time clock.  Network time attacks are therefore
   beyond the scope of the defense.  Note that modern operating systems
   use NTP by default.






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12.4.  Bogus Root CA Certificate Phish plus DNS Cache Poisoning Attack

   If an attacker can convince users of, say, https://bank.example.com
   (which is protected by STS Policy), to install their own version of a
   root CA certificate purporting to be bank.example.com's CA, e.g. via
   a phishing email message with a link to such a certificate -- then,
   if they can perform an attack on the users' DNS, e.g. via cache
   poisoning, and turn on STS Policy for their fake bank.example.com
   site, then they have themselves some new users.


13.  IANA Considerations

   Below is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Provisional
   Message Header Field registration information per [RFC3864].

   Header field name:           Strict-Transport-Security
   Applicable protocol:         HTTP
   Status:                      provisional
   Author/Change controller:    TBD
   Specification document(s):   this one


14.  Design Decision Notes

   This appendix documents various design decisions.

   1.  Cookies aren't appropriate for STS Policy expression as they are
       potentially mutable (while stored in the UA), therefore an HTTP
       header field is employed.

   2.  We chose to not attempt to specify how "mixed security context
       loads" (aka "mixed-content loads") are handled due to UA
       implementation considerations as well as classification
       difficulties.

   3.  A STS Server may update UA notions of STS Policy via new STS
       header field values.  We chose to have UAs honor the "freshest"
       information received from a server because there is the chance of
       a web site sending out an errornous STS Policy, such as a multi-
       year max-age value, and/or an incorrect includeSubDomains flag.
       If the STS Server couldn't correct such errors over protocol, it
       would require some form of annunciation to users and manual
       intervention on their part, which could be a non-trivial problem.

   4.  STS Servers are identified only via Domain Names -- explicit IP
       address identification of all forms is excluded.  This is for
       simplification and also is in recognition of various issues with



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       using direct IP address identification in concert with PKI-based
       security.


15.  References

15.1.  Normative References

   [I-D.ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging]
              Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Nielsen, H.,
              Masinter, L., Leach, P., Berners-Lee, T., and J. Reschke,
              "HTTP/1.1, part 1: URIs, Connections, and Message
              Parsing", draft-ietf-httpbis-p1-messaging-09 (work in
              progress), March 2010.

   [RFC1035]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - implementation and
              specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, November 1987.

   [RFC1594]  Marine, A., Reynolds, J., and G. Malkin, "FYI on Questions
              and Answers - Answers to Commonly asked "New Internet
              User" Questions", RFC 1594, March 1994.

   [RFC1983]  Malkin, G., "Internet Users' Glossary", RFC 1983,
              August 1996.

   [RFC2109]  Kristol, D. and L. Montulli, "HTTP State Management
              Mechanism", RFC 2109, February 1997.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2616]  Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H.,
              Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Berners-Lee, "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2616, June 1999.

   [RFC2818]  Rescorla, E., "HTTP Over TLS", RFC 2818, May 2000.

   [RFC2965]  Kristol, D. and L. Montulli, "HTTP State Management
              Mechanism", RFC 2965, October 2000.

   [RFC3454]  Hoffman, P. and M. Blanchet, "Preparation of
              Internationalized Strings ("stringprep")", RFC 3454,
              December 2002.

   [RFC3490]  Faltstrom, P., Hoffman, P., and A. Costello,
              "Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications (IDNA)",
              RFC 3490, March 2003.




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   [RFC3492]  Costello, A., "Punycode: A Bootstring encoding of Unicode
              for Internationalized Domain Names in Applications
              (IDNA)", RFC 3492, March 2003.

   [RFC3864]  Klyne, G., Nottingham, M., and J. Mogul, "Registration
              Procedures for Message Header Fields", BCP 90, RFC 3864,
              September 2004.

   [RFC3986]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
              RFC 3986, January 2005.

   [RFC4346]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.1", RFC 4346, April 2006.

   [RFC4949]  Shirey, R., "Internet Security Glossary, Version 2",
              RFC 4949, August 2007.

   [Unicode5]
              The Unicode Consortium, "The Unicode Standard, Version
              5.0", Boston, MA, Addison-Wesley ISBN 0-321-48091-0, 2007.

   [W3C.WD-html5-20100304]
              Hyatt, D. and I. Hickson, "HTML5", World Wide Web
              Consortium WD WD-html5-20100304, March 2010,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/WD-html5-20100304>.

15.2.  Informative References

   [ForceHTTPS]
              Jackson, C. and A. Barth, "ForceHTTPS:  Protecting High-
              Security Web Sites from Network Attacks", In Proceedings
              of the 17th International World Wide Web Conference
              (WWW2008) , 2008,
              <https://crypto.stanford.edu/forcehttps/>.

   [GoodDhamijaEtAl05]
              Good, N., Dhamija, R., Grossklags, J., Thaw, D.,
              Aronowitz, S., Mulligan, D., and J. Konstan, "Stopping
              Spyware at the Gate: A User Study of Privacy, Notice and
              Spyware", In Proceedings of Symposium On Usable Privacy
              and Security (SOUPS) Pittsburgh, PA, USA, July 2005, <http
              ://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~rachna/papers/
              spyware_study.pdf>.

   [I-D.ietf-tls-ssl-version3]
              Freier, A., Karlton, P., and P. Kocher, "The SSL Protocol
              Version 3.0", draft-ietf-tls-ssl-version3 (work in



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              progress), November 1996, <http://tools.ietf.org/html/
              draft-ietf-tls-ssl-version3-00>.

   [RFC0793]  Postel, J., "Transmission Control Protocol", STD 7,
              RFC 793, September 1981.

   [RFC2396]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC 2396,
              August 1998.

   [SunshineEgelmanEtAl09]
              Sunshine, J., Egelman, S., Almuhimedi, H., Atri, N., and
              L. Cranor, "Crying Wolf: An Empirical Study of SSL Warning
              Effectiveness", In Proceedings of 18th USENIX Security
              Symposium Montreal, Canada, Augus 2009, <http://
              www.usenix.org/events/sec09/tech/full_papers/
              sunshine.pdf>.

   [W3C.WD-wsc-ui-20100309]
              Saldhana, A. and T. Roessler, "Web Security Context: User
              Interface Guidelines", World Wide Web Consortium
              LastCall WD-wsc-ui-20100309, March 2010,
              <http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/WD-wsc-ui-20100309>.


Appendix A.  Acknowledgments

   This appendix is non-normative.

   The authors thank Michael Barrett, Sid Stamm, Maciej Stachowiak, Andy
   Steingrubl, Brandon Sterne, Daniel Veditz for their review and
   contributions.


Authors' Addresses

   Jeff Hodges
   PayPal

   Email: Jeff.Hodges@PayPal.com


   Collin Jackson
   Carnegie Mellon University

   Email: collin.jackson@sv.cmu.edu





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   Adam Barth
   University of California Berkeley

   Email: abarth@eecs.berkeley.edu















































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