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Versions: 00 draft-ietf-httpbis-cache-header

Network Working Group                                      M. Nottingham
Internet-Draft                                                    Fastly
Intended status: Standards Track                       September 7, 2018
Expires: March 11, 2019


                     The Cache HTTP Response Header
                    draft-nottingham-cache-header-00

Abstract

   To aid debugging, HTTP caches often append headers to a response
   detailing how they handled the request.  This specification codifies
   that practice and updates it for HTTP's current caching model.

Note to Readers

   _RFC EDITOR: please remove this section before publication_

   The issues list for this draft can be found at
   https://github.com/mnot/I-D/labels/cache-header [1].

   The most recent (often, unpublished) draft is at
   https://mnot.github.io/I-D/cache-header/ [2].

   Recent changes are listed at https://github.com/mnot/I-D/commits/gh-
   pages/cache-header [3].

   See also the draft's current status in the IETF datatracker, at
   https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-nottingham-cache-header/ [4].

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 https://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 March 11, 2019.




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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 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
   (https://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.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  The Cache HTTP Response Header  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.3.  URIs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7

1.  Introduction

   To aid debugging, HTTP caches often append headers to a response
   detailing how they handled the request.

   Unfortunately, the semantics of these headers are often unclear, and
   both the semantics and syntax used vary greatly between
   implementations.

   This specification defines a single, new HTTP response header field,
   "Cache" for this purpose.

   For example:

  Cache: HIT_FRESH; node="reverse-proxy.example.com:80";
                    key="https://example.com/foo|Accept-Encoding:gzip",
         HIT_STALE; node="FooCDN parent"; fresh=-45; age=200; latency=3,
         MISS; node="FooCDN edge"; fresh=-45; age=200; latency=98






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1.1.  Notational Conventions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

   This document uses ABNF as defined in [RFC5234], along with the "%s"
   extension for case sensitivity defined in [RFC7405].

2.  The Cache HTTP Response Header

   The Cache HTTP response header indicates the handling of the request
   corresponding to the response it occurs within by caches along the
   path.

   Its value is a Parameterised List
   [I-D.ietf-httpbis-header-structure]:

   Cache   = sh-param-list

   Each member of the parameterised list represents a cache that has
   handled the request.

   The first member of the list represents the cache closest to the
   origin server, and the last member of the list represents the cache
   closest to the user agent (possibly including the user agent's cache
   itself, if it chooses to append a value).

   Caches determine when it is appropriate to add the Cache header field
   to a response.  Some might decide to add it to all responses, whereas
   others might only do so when specifically configured to, or when the
   request contains a header that activates a debugging mode.

   When adding a value to the Cache header field, caches SHOULD preserve
   the existing contents of the header, to allow debugging of the entire
   chain of caches handling the request.

   Identifiers in the parameterised list members are expected to be
   cache-actions:










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   cache-action   = %s"HIT_FRESH"
                  / %s"HIT_STALE"
                  / %s"HIT_REFRESH_MODIFIED"
                  / %s"HIT_REFRESH_NOT_MODIFIED"
                  / %s"HIT_REFRESH_STALE"
                  / %s"MISS"
                  / %s"MISS_CLIENT"
                  / %s"BYPASS"
                  / %s"ERROR"

   The semantics of cache-actions are:

   o  HIT_FRESH - The cache used a fresh stored response to satisfy the
      request without going forward

   o  HIT_STALE - The cache used a stale stored response to satisfy the
      request without going forward

   o  HIT_REFRESH_MODIFIED - The cache had a stale stored response, went
      forward to validate it, and used the new response to satisfy the
      request

   o  HIT_REFRESH_NOT_MODIFIED - The cache had a stale stored response,
      went forward to validate it, and used the stored response to
      satisfy the request

   o  HIT_REFRESH_STALE - The cache had a stale stored response, went
      forward to validate it, and encountered a problem, so the stored
      response was used to satisfy the request

   o  MISS - The cache did not have a stored response, so the request
      was forwarded

   o  MISS_CLIENT - The client included request directives (e.g.,
      Pragma, Cache-Control) that prevented the cache from returning a
      response, so the request was forwarded

   o  BYPASS - The cache was configured to forward the request without
      attempting to use a stored response

   o  ERROR - The cache was unable to use a stored response or obtain
      one by going forward

   Caches SHOULD use the most specific cache-action to a given response,
   but are not required to use all cache-actions.  Future updates to
   this specification can add additional cache-actions.





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   Each member of the Cache header can also have any (or all, or none)
   of the following parameters:

   node           = sh-string
   fresh          = sh-integer
   age            = sh-integer
   cacheable      = sh-boolean
   key            = sh-string
   latency        = sh-integer
   cl_nm          = sh-boolean

   Their semantics are:

   o  "node" - a string identifying for the cache node.  MAY be a
      hostname, IP address, or alias.

   o  "fresh" - an integer indicating the cache's estimation of the
      freshness lifetime ([RFC7234], Section 4.2.1) of this response in
      seconds, including any locally applied configuration.  MAY be
      negative.

   o  "age" - an integer indicating the cache's estimation of the age
      ([RFC7234], Section 4.2.3) of this response in seconds.  MUST be 0
      or greater.

   o  "cacheable" - a boolean indicating whether the cache can store
      this response, according to [RFC7234], Section 3 and any locally
      applied configuration.

   o  "key" - a string representing the key that the cache has
      associated with this response.  This might include the request
      URL, request headers, and other values.

   o  "latency" - an integer indicating the amount of time in
      milliseconds between the receipt of a complete set of request
      headers and sending the complete set of response headers of this
      response, from the viewpoint of the cache.  Note that this may not
      include buffering time in transport protocols and similar delays.

   o  "cl_nm" - a boolean indicating whether the response to the client
      had a 304 Not Modified status code.

   While all of these parameters are OPTIONAL, caches are encouraged to
   use the 'node' parameter to identify themselves.







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3.  Security Considerations

   Information about a cache's content can be used to infer the activity
   of those using it.  Generally, access to sensitive information in a
   cache is limited to those who are authorised to access that
   information (using a variety of techniques), so this does not
   represent an attack vector in the general sense.

   However, if the Cache header is exposed to parties who are not
   authorised to obtain the response it occurs within, it could expose
   information about that data.

   For example, if an attacker were able to obtain the Cache header from
   a response containing sensitive information and access were limited
   to one person (or limited set of people), they could determine
   whether that information had been accessed before.  This is similar
   to the information exposed by various timing attacks, but is arguably
   more reliable, since the cache is directly reporting its state.

   Mitigations include use of encryption (e.g., TLS [RFC8446])) to
   protect the response, and careful controls over access to response
   headers (as are present in the Web platform).  When in doubt, the
   Cache header field can be omitted.

4.  References

4.1.  Normative References

   [I-D.ietf-httpbis-header-structure]
              Nottingham, M. and P. Kamp, "Structured Headers for HTTP",
              draft-ietf-httpbis-header-structure-07 (work in progress),
              July 2018.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5234, January 2008,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5234>.

   [RFC7234]  Fielding, R., Ed., Nottingham, M., Ed., and J. Reschke,
              Ed., "Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Caching",
              RFC 7234, DOI 10.17487/RFC7234, June 2014,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7234>.




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   [RFC7405]  Kyzivat, P., "Case-Sensitive String Support in ABNF",
              RFC 7405, DOI 10.17487/RFC7405, December 2014,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7405>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

4.2.  Informative References

   [RFC8446]  Rescorla, E., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol
              Version 1.3", RFC 8446, DOI 10.17487/RFC8446, August 2018,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8446>.

4.3.  URIs

   [1] https://github.com/mnot/I-D/labels/cache-header

   [2] https://mnot.github.io/I-D/cache-header/

   [3] https://github.com/mnot/I-D/commits/gh-pages/cache-header

   [4] https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-nottingham-cache-header/

Author's Address

   Mark Nottingham
   Fastly

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




















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