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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 RFC 6585

Network Working Group                                      M. Nottingham
Internet-Draft                                                 Rackspace
Updates: 2616 (if approved)                                  R. Fielding
Intended status: Standards Track                                   Adobe
Expires: April 20, 2012                                 October 18, 2011


                      Additional HTTP Status Codes
                  draft-nottingham-http-new-status-02

Abstract

   This document specifies additional HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
   status codes for a variety of common situations.

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 April 20, 2012.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2011 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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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.





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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  428 Precondition Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  429 Too Many Requests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   5.  431 Request Header Fields Too Large . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   6.  511 Network Authentication Required . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   8.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   Appendix B.  Issues Raised by Captive Portals . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9



































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1.  Introduction

   This document specifies additional HTTP [RFC2616] status codes for a
   variety of common situations, to improve interoperability and avoid
   confusion when other, less precise status codes are used.

   Feedback should occur on the ietf-http-wg@w3.org mailing list,
   although this draft is NOT a work item of the IETF HTTPbis Working
   Group.


2.  Requirements

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].


3.  428 Precondition Required

   This status code indicates that the origin server requires the
   request to be conditional.

   Its typical use is to avoid the "lost update" problem, where a client
   GETs a resource's state, modifies it, and PUTs it back to the server,
   when meanwhile a third party has modified the state on the server,
   leading to a conflict.  By requiring requests to be conditional, the
   server can assure that clients are working with the correct copies.

   Responses using this status code SHOULD explain how to resubmit the
   request successfully.  For example:

   HTTP/1.1 428 Precondition Required
   Content-Type: text/html

   <html>
    <head>
     <title>Precondition Required</title>
    </head>
    <body>
     <h1>Precondition Required</h1>
      <p>This request is required to be conditional;
         try using "If-Match".</p>
    </body>
   </html>

   Responses with the 428 status code MUST NOT be stored by a cache.




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4.  429 Too Many Requests

   This status code indicates that the user has sent too many requests
   in a given amount of time ("rate limiting").

   The response representations SHOULD include details explaining the
   condition, and MAY include a Retry-After header indicating how long
   to wait before making a new request.

   For example:

   HTTP/1.1 429 Too Many Requests
   Content-Type: text/html
   Retry-After: 3600

   <html>
      <head>
         <title>Too Many Requests</title>
      </head>
      <body>
         <h1>Too many Requests</h1>
         <p>I only allow 50 requests per hour to this Web site per
            logged in user. Try again soon.</p>
      </body>
   </html>

   Note that this specification does not define how the origin server
   identifies the user, nor how it counts requests.  For example, an
   origin server that is limiting request rates can do so based upon
   counts of requests on a per-resource basis, across the entire server,
   or even among a set of servers.  Likewise, it might identify the user
   by its authentication credentials, or a stateful cookie.

   Responses with the 429 status code MUST NOT be stored by a cache.


5.  431 Request Header Fields Too Large

   This status code indicates that the server is unwilling to process
   the request because its header fields are too large.  The request MAY
   be resubmitted after reducing the size of the request header fields.

   It can be used both when the set of request header fields in total
   are too large, and when a single header field is at fault.  In the
   latter case, the response representation SHOULD specify which header
   field was too large.

   For example:



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   HTTP/1.1 431 Request Header Fields Too Large
   Content-Type: text/html

   <html>
      <head>
         <title>Request Header Fields Too Large</title>
      </head>
      <body>
         <h1>Request Header Fields Too Large</h1>
         <p>The "Example" header was too large.</p>
      </body>
   </html>

   Responses with the 431 status code MUST NOT be stored by a cache.


6.  511 Network Authentication Required

   This status code indicates that the client needs to authenticate to
   gain network access.

   The response representation SHOULD indicate how to do this; e.g.,
   with an HTML form for submitting credentials.

   The 511 status SHOULD NOT be generated by origin servers; it is
   intended for use by intercepting proxies that are interposed as a
   means of controlling access to the network.

   Responses with the 511 status code MUST NOT be stored by a cache.

6.1.  The 511 Status Code and Captive Portals

   A network operator wishing to require some authentication, acceptance
   of terms or other user interaction before granting access usually
   does so by identify clients who have not done so ("unknown clients")
   using their MAC addresses.

   Unknown clients then have all traffic blocked, except for that on TCP
   port 80, which is sent to a HTTP server (the "login server")
   dedicated to "logging in" unknown clients, and of course traffic to
   the login server itself.

   For example, a user agent might connect to a network and make the
   following HTTP request on TCP port 80:

   GET /index.htm HTTP/1.1
   Host: www.example.com




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   Upon receiving such a request, the login server would generate a 511
   response:

   HTTP/1.1 511 Network Authentication Required
   Refresh: 0; url=https://login.example.net/
   Content-Type: text/html

   <html>
      <head>
         <title>Network Authentication Required</title>
      </head>
      <body>
         <p>You need to <a href="https://login.example.net/">
         authenticate with the local network</a> in order to get
         access.</p>
      </body>
   </html>

   Here, the 511 status code assures that non-browser clients will not
   interpret the response as being from the origin server, and the
   Refresh header redirects the user agent to the login server (an HTML
   META element can be used for this as well).

   Note that the 511 response can itself contain the login interface,
   but it may not be desirable to do so, because browsers would show the
   login interface as being associated with the originally requested
   URL, which may cause confusion.


7.  Security Considerations

7.1.  428 Precondition Required

   The 428 status code is optional; clients cannot rely upon its use to
   prevent "lost update" conflicts.

7.2.  429 Too Many Requests

   Servers are not required to use the 429 status code; when limiting
   resource usage, it may be more appropriate to just drop connections,
   or take other steps.

7.3.  431 Request Header Fields Too Large

   Servers are not required to use the 431 status code; when under
   attack, it may be more appropriate to just drop connections, or take
   other steps.




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7.4.  511 Network Authentication Required

   In common use, a response carrying the 511 status code will not come
   from the origin server indicated in the request's URL.  This presents
   many security issues; e.g., an attacking intermediary may be
   inserting cookies into the original domain's name space, may be
   observing cookies or HTTP authentication credentials sent from the
   user agent, and so on.

   However, these risks are not unique to the 511 status code; in other
   words, a captive portal that is not using this status code introduces
   the same issues.


8.  IANA Considerations

   The HTTP Status Codes Registry should be updated with the following
   entries:

   o  Code: 428
   o  Description: Precondition Required
   o  Specification: [ this document ]

   o  Code: 429
   o  Description: Too Many Requests
   o  Specification: [ this document ]

   o  Code: 431
   o  Description: Request Header Fields Too Large
   o  Specification: [ this document ]

   o  Code: 511
   o  Description: Network Authentication Required
   o  Specification: [ this document ]


9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [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.





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9.2.  Informative References

   [RFC4791]  Daboo, C., Desruisseaux, B., and L. Dusseault,
              "Calendaring Extensions to WebDAV (CalDAV)", RFC 4791,
              March 2007.

   [RFC4918]  Dusseault, L., "HTTP Extensions for Web Distributed
              Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)", RFC 4918, June 2007.


Appendix A.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Jan Algermissen for his suggestions and feedback.

   The authors take all responsibility for errors and omissions.


Appendix B.  Issues Raised by Captive Portals

   Since clients cannot differentiate between a portal's response and
   that of the HTTP server that they intended to communicate with, a
   number of issues arise.

   One example is the "favicon.ico"
   <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon> commonly used by browsers to
   identify the site being accessed.  If the favicon for a given site is
   fetched from a captive portal instead of the intended site (e.g.,
   because the user is unauthenticated), it will often "stick" in the
   browser's cache (most implementations cache favicons aggressively)
   beyond the portal session, so that it seems as if the portal's
   favicon has "taken over" the legitimate site.

   Another browser-based issue comes about when P3P
   <http://www.w3.org/TR/P3P/> is supported.  Depending on how it is
   implemented, it's possible a browser might interpret a portal's
   response for the p3p.xml file as the server's, resulting in the
   privacy policy (or lack thereof) advertised by the portal being
   interpreted as applying to the intended site.  Other Web-based
   protocols such as WebFinger
   <http://code.google.com/p/webfinger/wiki/WebFingerProtocol>, CORS
   <http://www.w3.org/TR/cors/> and OAuth
   <http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-oauth-v2> may also be
   vulnerable to such issues.

   Although HTTP is most widely used with Web browsers, a growing number
   of non-browsing applications use it as a substrate protocol.  For
   example, WebDAV [RFC4918] and CalDAV [RFC4791] both use HTTP as the
   basis (for network filesystem access and calendaring, respectively).



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   Using these applications from behind a captive portal can result in
   spurious errors being presented to the user, and might result in
   content corruption, in extreme cases.

   Similarly, other non-browser applications using HTTP can be affected
   as well; e.g., widgets <http://www.w3.org/TR/widgets/>, software
   updates, and other specialised software such as Twitter clients and
   the iTunes Music Store.

   It should be noted that it's sometimes believed that using HTTP
   redirection to direct traffic to the portal addresses these issues.
   However, since many of these uses "follow" redirects, this is not a
   good solution.


Authors' Addresses

   Mark Nottingham
   Rackspace

   Email: mnot@mnot.net
   URI:   http://www.mnot.net/


   Roy T. Fielding
   Adobe Systems Incorporated
   345 Park Ave
   San Jose, CA  95110
   USA

   Email: fielding@gbiv.com
   URI:   http://roy.gbiv.com/



















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