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Network Working Group                                        Rob Weltman
INTERNET-DRAFT                             Netscape Communications Corp.
Intended Category: Standards Track                          October 2001

                   LDAP Proxied Authorization Control

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
   all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Task Force
   (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that other groups
   may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts.

   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."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

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   This document defines support for the Proxied Authorization Control.
   Controls are an LDAP protocol version 3 extension, to allow passing
   arbitrary control information along with a standard request to a
   server, and to receive arbitrary information back with a standard
   result. The Proxied Authorization Control allows a client to request
   that an operation be processed under a provided authorization
   identity [AUTH] instead of as the current authorization identity
   associated with the connection.

1. Introduction

   Version 3 of the LDAP protocol provides a means of supplying
   arbitrary additional information along with a request to an LDAP
   server, and receiving arbitrary additional response information. The
   Control protocol extension is described in [LDAPV3], section 4.1.12.
   This document defines support for proxied authorization using the
   Control mechanism.

   The key words "MUST", "SHOULD", and "MAY" used in this document  are
   to be interpreted as described in [KEYWORDS].

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2. Publishing support for the Proxied Authorization Control

   Support for the Proxied Authorization Control is indicated by the
   presence of the OID "2.16.840.1.113730.3.4.18" in the
   supportedControl attribute of a server's root DSE.

3. Proxied Authorization Control

   This control may be included in any search, compare, modify, add,
   delete, modDN or extended operation request message as part of the
   controls field of the LDAPMessage, as defined in [LDAPV3].

   The controlType of the proxied authorization control is

   The criticality MUST be included and MUST be TRUE.

   The control value is the BER encoded authorization identity to use
   for the request.

4. Permission to execute as proxy

   An LDAP server supporting the Proxied Authorization Control may
   choose to honor or not honor a particular request. If the control is
   supported but a particular request is denied, the server MUST return
   the error code insufficientAccessRights.

   A typical implementation will evaluate if the requester has proxy
   access rights at the base DN of the request. If the requester has
   proxy access rights, and if the authorization identity is recognized
   by the server, the request will be honored. If the request is
   honored, it will be executed as if submitted by the proxy identity.

   During evaluation of a search request, an entry which would have been
   returned for the search if submitted by the proxy identity directly
   may not be returned if the server finds that the requester does not
   have proxy rights to the entry, even if the entry is within the scope
   of a search request under a base DN which does imply such rights.
   This means that fewer results, or no results, may be returned
   compared to the case where the proxy identity issued the request
   directly. An example of such a case may be a system with fine-grained
   access control, where the proxy right requester has proxy rights at
   the top of a search tree, but not at or below a point or points
   within the tree.

5. Security Considerations

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   The Proxied Authorization Control method is subject to standard LDAP
   security considerations. The control may be passed over a secure as
   well as over an insecure channel.

   The control allows for an additional authorization identity to be
   passed. In some deployments, these identities may contain
   confidential information which require privacy protection.

   Note that the server is responsible for determining if a proxied
   authorization request is to be honored.

6. Copyright

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (date). All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the  purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

7. Bibliography

   [LDAPV3] M. Wahl, T. Howes, S. Kille, "Lightweight Directory Access
        Protocol (v3)", RFC 2251, December 1997.

   [KEYWORDS] Bradner, Scott, "Key Words for use in RFCs to Indicate
        Requirement Levels", draft-bradner-key-words-03.txt, January,

   [AUTH] M. Wahl, H. Alvestrand, J. Hodges, R. Morgan, "Authentication
        Methods for LDAP", RFC 2829, May 2000

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8. Author's Address

   Rob Weltman
   Netscape Communications Corp.
   466 Ellis Street
   Mountain View, CA 94043
   +1 650 937-3194

9. Acknowledgements

   Mark Smith of Netscape Communications Corp., Mark Wahl of Sun
   Microsystems, Inc, and Kurt Zeilenga of OpenLDAP Foundation have
   contributed with reviews of this draft.

10. Changes from draft-weltman-ldapv3-proxy-05.txt

   The control also applies to add and extended operations.

   The control value is an authorization ID, not necessarily a DN.

   Confidentiality concerns are mentioned.

11. Changes from draft-weltman-ldapv3-proxy-04.txt

   The control does not apply to bind, unbind, or abandon operations.

   The proxy DN is represented as a string in the control, rather than
   embedded in a sequence.

   Support for the control is published in the supportedControl
   attribute of the root DSE, not in supportedExtensions.

   The security section mentions confidentiality issues with exposing an
   additional identity.

12. Changes from draft-weltman-ldapv3-proxy-03.txt


13. Changes from draft-weltman-ldapv3-proxy-02.txt

13.1 Renamed Control

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   The Control is now called Proxied Authorization Control, rather than
   Proxied Authentication Control, to reflect that no authentication
   occurs as a consequence of processing the Control.

13.2 Control envelope

   Rather than containing an LDAPDN as the Control value, the Control
   contains a Sequence (which contains an LDAPDN). This is to provide
   for future extensions.

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