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INFORMATIONAL

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                      L. Johansson
Request for Comments: 6711                                      NORDUNet
Category: Informational                                      August 2012
ISSN: 2070-1721


         An IANA Registry for Level of Assurance (LoA) Profiles

Abstract

   This document establishes an IANA registry for Level of Assurance
   (LoA) Profiles.  The registry is intended to be used as an aid to
   discovering such LoA definitions in protocols that use an LoA
   concept, including Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 and
   OpenID Connect.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6711.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 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
   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.





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RFC 6711                      LoA Registry                   August 2012


Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Name of Registry ................................................3
   3. Registration Template ...........................................3
      3.1. Example Registration .......................................4
      3.2. Note on the Example ........................................5
   4. Registration Policy .............................................5
      4.1. Reviewer Expectations ......................................5
   5. Registry Semantics ..............................................6
   6. IANA Considerations .............................................6
   7. Security Considerations .........................................7
   8. Acknowledgements ................................................7
   9. References ......................................................7
      9.1. Normative References .......................................7
      9.2. Informative References .....................................7

1.  Introduction

   This document establishes an IANA registry for Level of Assurance
   (LoA) Profiles.

   [SAML] provides the following definition of the concept of "level of
   assurance":

      Many existing (and potential) SAML federation deployments have
      adopted a "levels of assurance" (or LOA) model for categorizing
      the wide variety of authentication methods into a small number of
      levels, typically based on some notion of the strength of the
      authentication.  Federation members (service providers or "relying
      parties") then decide which level of assurance is required to
      access specific protected resources, based on some assessment of
      "value" or "risk".

   Another definition of an "assurance level" is given in RFC 4949
   [RFC4949], which also identifies the roots of such profiles in the
   NIST special publication series, in particular SP 800-63 [SP63].
   Level of Assurance Profiles are used in various protocols, including
   the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) version 2.0 and OpenID
   Connect.

   Several so-called trust frameworks and identity federations now
   exist, some of which define one or more LoAs.  The purpose of this
   specification is to create an IANA registry where such LoA
   definitions can be discovered.  While the quote above references
   SAML, the notion of a level of assurance has gained widespread
   acceptance and should be treated as a protocol-independent concept.
   The newly created IANA registry attempts to reflect this.



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RFC 6711                      LoA Registry                   August 2012


   Although the registry will contain URIs that reference SAML
   Authentication Context Profiles, other protocols may use such URIs to
   identify level of assurance definitions without relying on or
   transmitting their SAML XML definitions.  Use of the registry by
   protocols other than SAML is encouraged.

   For instance, OpenID Connect defines the standard claim 'acr' as a
   identifier that may reference a SAML Authentication Context Class
   even though OpenID Connect is not itself based on XML or SAML.

   Protocol designers who want to reference the registry should be aware
   that registered LoAs may depend on assumptions that do not carry over
   to all protocols and that such assumptions may vary among the
   protocols for which the LoAs were originally registered.

2.  Name of Registry

   The name of the registry shall be "Level of Assurance (LoA) Profile",
   in plural "Level of Assurance (LoA) Profiles".

3.  Registration Template

   The following information must be provided with each registration:

   URI:  A URI referencing a Level of Assurance Profile.  This is the
      registry key.

   Context Class:  A valid XML schema definition for the SAML 2.0 LoA
      Context Class fulfilling the requirements of [SAML].  The registry
      key (the URI) is the unique identifier for the Context Class.

   Name:  A string uniquely and unambiguously identifying the LoA for
      use in protocols where URIs are not appropriate.

   Informational URL:  A URL containing auxiliary information.  This URL
      must minimally reference contact information for the
      administrative authority of the level of assurance definition and
      must use either the http or https scheme.

   Note that it is possible for a single SAML Authentication Context
   Class to contain definitions of multiple URIs.  In that case, a
   separate registration is to be used for each URI.  Both the name and
   the URI are to uniquely and unambiguously identify the LoA.  The name
   is meant to be used in protocols where URIs are not appropriate.  In
   addition the requester is expected to provide basic contact
   information and the name of the organization on behalf of which the
   LoA definition is registered.




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RFC 6711                      LoA Registry                   August 2012


   The name is defined by the following ABNF (as defined in RFC 5234
   [RFC5234]):

   label = ( ALPHA / DIGIT )
   name = label 1*( label / "-" / "." / "_" )

   The elements defined by the following ABNF productions represent a
   set of reserved values for the name element and are not to be
   registered:

   reserved = loa / al / num
   loa = ( "l" / "L" ) ( "o" / "O" ) ( "a" / "A") *DIGIT
   al = ( "a" / "A") ( "l" / "L") *DIGIT
   num = *DIGIT

   The reason for excluding these productions is a desire to avoid a
   race to register overly generic LoA Profiles under names like "AL1"
   or "LOA2".

3.1.  Example Registration

   1.  Name of requester: J. Random User

   2.  Email address of requester: jrandom@example.com

   3.  Organization of requester: Example Trust Frameworks LLP

   4.  Requested registration:

   URI  http://foo.example.com/assurance/loa-1

   Name  foo-loa-1

   Informational URL  https://foo.example.com/assurance/

   SAML 2.0 Authentication Context Class Definition

   <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
   <xs:schema
       targetNamespace="http://foo.example.com/assurance/loa-1"
       xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema"
       xmlns="http://foo.example.com/assurance/loa-1"
       finalDefault="extension"
       blockDefault="substitution"
       version="2.0">
     <xs:redefine
        schemaLocation="saml-schema-authn-context-loa-profile.xsd">
         <xs:annotation>



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             <xs:documentation>
                 Class identifier:
                     http://foo.example.com/assurance/loa-1
                     Defines Level 1 of the Foo Assurance Framework
             </xs:documentation>
         </xs:annotation>
         <xs:complexType name="GoverningAgreementRefType">
           <xs:complexContent>
             <xs:restriction base="GoverningAgreementRefType">
               <xs:attribute name="governingAgreementRef"
                 type="xs:anyURI"
                 fixed="https://foo.example.com/assurance/"
                 use="required"/>
               </xs:restriction>
           </xs:complexContent>
         </xs:complexType>
     </xs:redefine>
   </xs:schema>

3.2.  Note on the Example

   The example is borrowed (slightly modified) from [SAML].  The example
   should not be registered.

4.  Registration Policy

   The registry is to be operated under the "Expert Review" policy from
   RFC 5226 [RFC5226], employing a pool of experts.  IANA will be kindly
   asked to do rough, randomized load-balancing among the experts and
   also to perform an initial review of each submission to ensure that
   the name and URI are unique within the registry.  The review criteria
   are outlined below.

   For registrations that reference multiple LoAs in a consistent set of
   policies -- for instance, when a trust framework defines multiple
   levels of assurance -- the registered LoA name and URIs should be
   consistently named so that they can be identified as belonging to the
   same set of registrations.  For instance, fruitLoA1, fruitLoA2, and
   fruitLoA3 are preferred over apple, pear, and banana when these names
   refer to a single set of policies defining three LoAs.

4.1.  Reviewer Expectations

   The expectation of the IANA LoA Registry is that it will contain
   registrations of bona fide Level of Assurance Profiles while not
   presenting a very high bar for entry.





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   Expert reviewers are expected to verify that:

   o  the registration is consistent and that the provided XML fulfills
      the requirements of [SAML].

   o  the name element is clearly associated with the registered LoA
      Profile and is not a reserved value.

   o  the URI and name elements are not already registered.

   o  the Informational URL can be expected to be stable and permanent.

   Note that multiple registrations may share a common Informational
   URL.

   The reviewers should exclude registrations where the name does not
   unambiguously identify the LoA definition or where the name is a
   simple variation on one of the reserved names.

   Expert reviewers are expected to allow registrations made in good
   faith that fulfill these requirements.

5.  Registry Semantics

   The intended use for this registry is to serve as a basis for
   discovery of LoA definitions that might, for instance, be used by
   protocol-specific (e.g., SAML 2.0 or OpenID Connect) management
   tools.

   Note that consumers of the registry, being implementations of [SAML],
   are expected to allow configuration of LoA URIs at system deployment
   time.  If multiple sources of LoA URIs are permitted in addition to
   the registry (e.g., manual input), then it is important to avoid
   collisions with URIs found in the registry.

   The presence of an entry in the registry does not imply any semantics
   or quality beyond that which results from the review done by the
   expert reviewer as part of the registration process.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document sets up a registry with IANA, making the whole document
   a set of considerations for IANA.








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7.  Security Considerations

   The registry is not a federation or trust framework.  Consumers of
   the registry are strongly advised to review the information about an
   LoA before relying on it.

8.  Acknowledgements

   RL "Bob" Morgan, Scott Cantor, Lucy Lynch, and John Bradley were
   involved in the initial discussions around this idea and contributed
   to the semantics of the registry.  The various versions of the
   document were socialized in the Kantara Federation Interoperability
   WG and in other parts of the identity community.

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008.

   [SAML]     Morgan, RL., Madsen, PM., and S. Cantor, "SAML V2.0
              Identity Assurance Profiles, Version 1.0", November 2010,
              <http://docs.oasis-open.org/security/saml/Post2.0/
              sstc-saml-assurance-profile.html>.

9.2.  Informative References

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

   [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226,
              May 2008.

   [SP63]     NIST, "Electronic Authentication Guideline, NIST Special
              Publication 800-63", June 2004.

Author's Address

   Leif Johansson
   NORDUNet
   Tulegatan 11
   Stockholm
   Sweden

   EMail: leifj@nordu.net




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