[Docs] [txt|pdf] [draft-ietf-oauth-...] [Diff1] [Diff2]

PROPOSED STANDARD

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                       B. Campbell
Request for Comments: 7521                                 Ping Identity
Category: Standards Track                                   C. Mortimore
ISSN: 2070-1721                                               Salesforce
                                                                M. Jones
                                                               Y. Goland
                                                               Microsoft
                                                                May 2015


      Assertion Framework for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and
                          Authorization Grants

Abstract

   This specification provides a framework for the use of assertions
   with OAuth 2.0 in the form of a new client authentication mechanism
   and a new authorization grant type.  Mechanisms are specified for
   transporting assertions during interactions with a token endpoint;
   general processing rules are also specified.

   The intent of this specification is to provide a common framework for
   OAuth 2.0 to interwork with other identity systems using assertions
   and to provide alternative client authentication mechanisms.

   Note that this specification only defines abstract message flows and
   processing rules.  In order to be implementable, companion
   specifications are necessary to provide the corresponding concrete
   instantiations.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   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).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in 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/rfc7521.








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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 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.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
   2. Notational Conventions ..........................................4
   3. Framework .......................................................4
   4. Transporting Assertions .........................................7
      4.1. Using Assertions as Authorization Grants ...................7
           4.1.1. Error Responses .....................................8
      4.2. Using Assertions for Client Authentication .................9
           4.2.1. Error Responses ....................................10
   5. Assertion Content and Processing ...............................10
      5.1. Assertion Metamodel .......................................10
      5.2. General Assertion Format and Processing Rules .............12
   6. Common Scenarios ...............................................12
      6.1. Client Authentication .....................................13
      6.2. Client Acting on Behalf of Itself .........................13
      6.3. Client Acting on Behalf of a User .........................13
           6.3.1. Client Acting on Behalf of an Anonymous User .......14
   7. Interoperability Considerations ................................14
   8. Security Considerations ........................................15
      8.1. Forged Assertion ..........................................15
      8.2. Stolen Assertion ..........................................15
      8.3. Unauthorized Disclosure of Personal Information ...........16
      8.4. Privacy Considerations ....................................17
   9. IANA Considerations ............................................17
      9.1. "assertion" Parameter Registration ........................17
      9.2. "client_assertion" Parameter Registration .................18
      9.3. "client_assertion_type" Parameter Registration ............18
   10. References ....................................................18
      10.1. Normative References .....................................18
      10.2. Informative References ...................................18
   Acknowledgements ..................................................20
   Authors' Addresses ................................................20



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1.  Introduction

   An assertion is a package of information that facilitates the sharing
   of identity and security information across security domains.
   Section 3 provides a more detailed description of the concept of an
   assertion for the purpose of this specification.

   OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749] is an authorization framework that enables a
   third-party application to obtain limited access to a protected HTTP
   resource.  In OAuth, those third-party applications are called
   clients; they access protected resources by presenting an access
   token to the HTTP resource.  Access tokens are issued to clients by
   an authorization server with the (sometimes implicit) approval of the
   resource owner.  These access tokens are typically obtained by
   exchanging an authorization grant, which represents the authorization
   granted by the resource owner (or by a privileged administrator).
   Several authorization grant types are defined to support a wide range
   of client types and user experiences.  OAuth also provides an
   extensibility mechanism for defining additional grant types, which
   can serve as a bridge between OAuth and other protocol frameworks.

   This specification provides a general framework for the use of
   assertions as authorization grants with OAuth 2.0.  It also provides
   a framework for assertions to be used for client authentication.  It
   provides generic mechanisms for transporting assertions during
   interactions with an authorization server's token endpoint as well as
   general rules for the content and processing of those assertions.
   The intent is to provide an alternative client authentication
   mechanism (one that doesn't send client secrets) and to facilitate
   the use of OAuth 2.0 in client-server integration scenarios, where
   the end user may not be present.

   This specification only defines abstract message flows and processing
   rules.  In order to be implementable, companion specifications are
   necessary to provide the corresponding concrete instantiations.  For
   instance, "Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 Profile for
   OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants" [RFC7522]
   defines a concrete instantiation for Security Assertion Markup
   Language (SAML) 2.0 Assertions and "JSON Web Token (JWT) Profile for
   OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and Authorization Grants" [RFC7523]
   defines a concrete instantiation for JWTs.

   Note: The use of assertions for client authentication is orthogonal
   to and separable from using assertions as an authorization grant.
   They can be used either in combination or separately.  Client
   assertion authentication is nothing more than an alternative way for
   a client to authenticate to the token endpoint and must be used in
   conjunction with some grant type to form a complete and meaningful



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   protocol request.  Assertion authorization grants may be used with or
   without client authentication or identification.  Whether or not
   client authentication is needed in conjunction with an assertion
   authorization grant, as well as the supported types of client
   authentication, are policy decisions at the discretion of the
   authorization server.

2.  Notational Conventions

   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].

   Throughout this document, values are quoted to indicate that they are
   to be taken literally.  When using these values in protocol messages,
   the quotes must not be used as part of the value.

3.  Framework

   An assertion is a package of information that allows identity and
   security information to be shared across security domains.  An
   assertion typically contains information about a subject or
   principal, information about the party that issued the assertion and
   when was it issued, and the conditions under which the assertion is
   to be considered valid, such as when and where it can be used.

   The entity that creates and signs or integrity-protects the assertion
   is typically known as the "Issuer", and the entity that consumes the
   assertion and relies on its information is typically known as the
   "Relying Party".  In the context of this document, the authorization
   server acts as a relying party.

   Assertions used in the protocol exchanges defined by this
   specification MUST always be integrity protected using a digital
   signature or Message Authentication Code (MAC) applied by the issuer,
   which authenticates the issuer and ensures integrity of the assertion
   content.  In many cases, the assertion is issued by a third party,
   and it must be protected against tampering by the client that
   presents it.  An assertion MAY additionally be encrypted, preventing
   unauthorized parties (such as the client) from inspecting the
   content.

   Although this document does not define the processes by which the
   client obtains the assertion (prior to sending it to the
   authorization server), there are two common patterns described below.






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   In the first pattern, depicted in Figure 1, the client obtains an
   assertion from a third-party entity capable of issuing, renewing,
   transforming, and validating security tokens.  Typically, such an
   entity is known as a "security token service" (STS) or just "token
   service", and a trust relationship (usually manifested in the
   exchange of some kind of key material) exists between the token
   service and the relying party.  The token service is the assertion
   issuer; its role is to fulfill requests from clients, which present
   various credentials, and mint assertions as requested, fill them with
   appropriate information, and integrity-protect them with a signature
   or message authentication code.  WS-Trust [OASIS.WS-Trust] is one
   available standard for requesting security tokens (assertions).

     Relying
     Party                     Client                   Token Service
       |                          |                         |
       |                          |  1) Request Assertion   |
       |                          |------------------------>|
       |                          |                         |
       |                          |  2) Assertion           |
       |                          |<------------------------|
       |    3) Assertion          |                         |
       |<-------------------------|                         |
       |                          |                         |
       |    4) OK or Failure      |                         |
       |------------------------->|                         |
       |                          |                         |
       |                          |                         |

                Figure 1: Assertion Created by Third Party

   In the second pattern, depicted in Figure 2, the client creates
   assertions locally.  To apply the signatures or message
   authentication codes to assertions, it has to obtain key material:
   either symmetric keys or asymmetric key pairs.  The mechanisms for
   obtaining this key material are beyond the scope of this
   specification.

   Although assertions are usually used to convey identity and security
   information, self-issued assertions can also serve a different
   purpose.  They can be used to demonstrate knowledge of some secret,
   such as a client secret, without actually communicating the secret
   directly in the transaction.  In that case, additional information
   included in the assertion by the client itself will be of limited
   value to the relying party, and for this reason, only a bare minimum
   of information is typically included in such an assertion, such as
   information about issuing and usage conditions.




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     Relying
     Party                     Client
       |                          |
       |                          | 1) Create
       |                          |    Assertion
       |                          |--------------+
       |                          |              |
       |                          | 2) Assertion |
       |                          |<-------------+
       |    3) Assertion          |
       |<-------------------------|
       |                          |
       |    4) OK or Failure      |
       |------------------------->|
       |                          |
       |                          |

                      Figure 2: Self-Issued Assertion

   Deployments need to determine the appropriate variant to use based on
   the required level of security, the trust relationship between the
   entities, and other factors.

   From the perspective of what must be done by the entity presenting
   the assertion, there are two general types of assertions:

   1.  Bearer Assertions: Any entity in possession of a bearer assertion
       (the bearer) can use it to get access to the associated resources
       (without demonstrating possession of a cryptographic key).  To
       prevent misuse, bearer assertions need to be protected from
       disclosure in storage and in transport.  Secure communication
       channels are required between all entities to avoid leaking the
       assertion to unauthorized parties.

   2.  Holder-of-Key Assertions: To access the associated resources, the
       entity presenting the assertion must demonstrate possession of
       additional cryptographic material.  The token service thereby
       binds a key identifier to the assertion, and the client has to
       demonstrate to the relying party that it knows the key
       corresponding to that identifier when presenting the assertion.

   The protocol parameters and processing rules defined in this document
   are intended to support a client presenting a bearer assertion to an
   authorization server.  They are not directly suitable for use with
   holder-of-key assertions.  While they could be used as a baseline for
   a holder-of-key assertion system, there would be a need for





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   additional mechanisms (to support proof-of-possession of the secret
   key), and possibly changes to the security model (e.g., to relax the
   requirement for an Audience).

4.  Transporting Assertions

   This section defines HTTP parameters for transporting assertions
   during interactions with a token endpoint of an OAuth authorization
   server.  Because requests to the token endpoint result in the
   transmission of clear-text credentials (in both the HTTP request and
   response), all requests to the token endpoint MUST use Transport
   Layer Security (TLS), as mandated in Section 3.2 of OAuth 2.0
   [RFC6749].

4.1.  Using Assertions as Authorization Grants

   This section defines the use of assertions as authorization grants,
   based on the definition provided in Section 4.5 of OAuth 2.0
   [RFC6749].  When using assertions as authorization grants, the client
   includes the assertion and related information using the following
   HTTP request parameters:

   grant_type
      REQUIRED.  The format of the assertion as defined by the
      authorization server.  The value will be an absolute URI.

   assertion
      REQUIRED.  The assertion being used as an authorization grant.
      Specific serialization of the assertion is defined by profile
      documents.

   scope
      OPTIONAL.  The requested scope as described in Section 3.3 of
      OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].  When exchanging assertions for access
      tokens, the authorization for the token has been previously
      granted through some out-of-band mechanism.  As such, the
      requested scope MUST be equal to or less than the scope originally
      granted to the authorized accessor.  The authorization server MUST
      limit the scope of the issued access token to be equal to or less
      than the scope originally granted to the authorized accessor.

   Authentication of the client is optional, as described in
   Section 3.2.1 of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749], and consequently, the
   "client_id" is only needed when a form of client authentication that
   relies on the parameter is used.






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   The following example demonstrates an assertion being used as an
   authorization grant (with extra line breaks for display purposes
   only):

     POST /token HTTP/1.1
     Host: server.example.com
     Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

     grant_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth%3Agrant-type%3Asaml2-bearer&
     assertion=PHNhbWxwOl...[omitted for brevity]...ZT4

   An assertion used in this context is generally a short-lived
   representation of the authorization grant, and authorization servers
   SHOULD NOT issue access tokens with a lifetime that exceeds the
   validity period of the assertion by a significant period.  In
   practice, that will usually mean that refresh tokens are not issued
   in response to assertion grant requests, and access tokens will be
   issued with a reasonably short lifetime.  Clients can refresh an
   expired access token by requesting a new one using the same
   assertion, if it is still valid, or with a new assertion.

   An IETF URN for use as the "grant_type" value can be requested using
   the template in [RFC6755].  A URN of the form
   urn:ietf:params:oauth:grant-type:* is suggested.

4.1.1.  Error Responses

   If an assertion is not valid or has expired, the authorization server
   constructs an error response as defined in OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].  The
   value of the "error" parameter MUST be the "invalid_grant" error
   code.  The authorization server MAY include additional information
   regarding the reasons the assertion was considered invalid using the
   "error_description" or "error_uri" parameters.

   For example:

     HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
     Content-Type: application/json
     Cache-Control: no-store

     {
       "error":"invalid_grant",
       "error_description":"Audience validation failed"
     }







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4.2.  Using Assertions for Client Authentication

   The following section defines the use of assertions as client
   credentials as an extension of Section 2.3 of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].
   When using assertions as client credentials, the client includes the
   assertion and related information using the following HTTP request
   parameters:

   client_assertion_type
      REQUIRED.  The format of the assertion as defined by the
      authorization server.  The value will be an absolute URI.

   client_assertion
      REQUIRED.  The assertion being used to authenticate the client.
      Specific serialization of the assertion is defined by profile
      documents.

   client_id
      OPTIONAL.  The client identifier as described in Section 2.2 of
      OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].  The "client_id" is unnecessary for client
      assertion authentication because the client is identified by the
      subject of the assertion.  If present, the value of the
      "client_id" parameter MUST identify the same client as is
      identified by the client assertion.

   The following example demonstrates a client authenticating using an
   assertion during an access token request, as defined in Section 4.1.3
   of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749] (with extra line breaks for display purposes
   only):

     POST /token HTTP/1.1
     Host: server.example.com
     Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

     grant_type=authorization_code&
     code=n0esc3NRze7LTCu7iYzS6a5acc3f0ogp4&
     client_assertion_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth
     %3Aclient-assertion-type%3Asaml2-bearer&
     client_assertion=PHNhbW...[omitted for brevity]...ZT

   Token endpoints can differentiate between assertion-based credentials
   and other client credential types by looking for the presence of the
   "client_assertion" and "client_assertion_type" parameters, which will
   only be present when using assertions for client authentication.

   An IETF URN for use as the "client_assertion_type" value may be
   requested using the template in [RFC6755].  A URN of the form
   urn:ietf:params:oauth:client-assertion-type:* is suggested.



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4.2.1.  Error Responses

   If an assertion is invalid for any reason or if more than one client
   authentication mechanism is used, the authorization server constructs
   an error response as defined in OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].  The value of
   the "error" parameter MUST be the "invalid_client" error code.  The
   authorization server MAY include additional information regarding the
   reasons the client assertion was considered invalid using the
   "error_description" or "error_uri" parameters.

   For example:

     HTTP/1.1 400 Bad Request
     Content-Type: application/json
     Cache-Control: no-store

     {
       "error":"invalid_client"
       "error_description":"assertion has expired"
     }

5.  Assertion Content and Processing

   This section provides a general content and processing model for the
   use of assertions in OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].

5.1.  Assertion Metamodel

   The following are entities and metadata involved in the issuance,
   exchange, and processing of assertions in OAuth 2.0.  These are
   general terms, abstract from any particular assertion format.
   Mappings of these terms into specific representations are provided by
   profiles of this specification.

   Issuer
      A unique identifier for the entity that issued the assertion.
      Generally, this is the entity that holds the key material used to
      sign or integrity-protect the assertion.  Examples of issuers are
      OAuth clients (when assertions are self-issued) and third-party
      security token services.  If the assertion is self-issued, the
      Issuer value is the client identifier.  If the assertion was
      issued by a security token service (STS), the Issuer should
      identify the STS in a manner recognized by the authorization
      server.  In the absence of an application profile specifying
      otherwise, compliant applications MUST compare Issuer values using
      the Simple String Comparison method defined in Section 6.2.1 of
      RFC 3986 [RFC3986].




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   Subject
      A unique identifier for the principal that is the subject of the
      assertion.

      *  When using assertions for client authentication, the Subject
         identifies the client to the authorization server using the
         value of the "client_id" of the OAuth client.

      *  When using assertions as an authorization grant, the Subject
         identifies an authorized accessor for which the access token is
         being requested (typically, the resource owner or an authorized
         delegate).

   Audience
      A value that identifies the party or parties intended to process
      the assertion.  The URL of the token endpoint, as defined in
      Section 3.2 of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749], can be used to indicate that
      the authorization server is a valid intended audience of the
      assertion.  In the absence of an application profile specifying
      otherwise, compliant applications MUST compare the Audience values
      using the Simple String Comparison method defined in Section 6.2.1
      of RFC 3986 [RFC3986].

   Issued At
      The time at which the assertion was issued.  While the
      serialization may differ by assertion format, it is REQUIRED that
      the time be expressed in UTC with no time zone component.

   Expires At
      The time at which the assertion expires.  While the serialization
      may differ by assertion format, it is REQUIRED that the time be
      expressed in UTC with no time zone component.

   Assertion ID
      A nonce or unique identifier for the assertion.  The Assertion ID
      may be used by implementations requiring message de-duplication
      for one-time use assertions.  Any entity that assigns an
      identifier MUST ensure that there is negligible probability for
      that entity or any other entity to accidentally assign the same
      identifier to a different data object.











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5.2.  General Assertion Format and Processing Rules

   The following are general format and processing rules for the use of
   assertions in OAuth:

   o  The assertion MUST contain an Issuer.  The Issuer identifies the
      entity that issued the assertion as recognized by the
      authorization server.  If an assertion is self-issued, the Issuer
      MUST be the value of the client's "client_id".

   o  The assertion MUST contain a Subject.  The Subject typically
      identifies an authorized accessor for which the access token is
      being requested (i.e., the resource owner or an authorized
      delegate) but, in some cases, may be a pseudonymous identifier or
      other value denoting an anonymous user.  When the client is acting
      on behalf of itself, the Subject MUST be the value of the client's
      "client_id".

   o  The assertion MUST contain an Audience that identifies the
      authorization server as the intended audience.  The authorization
      server MUST reject any assertion that does not contain its own
      identity as the intended audience.

   o  The assertion MUST contain an Expires At entity that limits the
      time window during which the assertion can be used.  The
      authorization server MUST reject assertions that have expired
      (subject to allowable clock skew between systems).  Note that the
      authorization server may reject assertions with an Expires At
      attribute value that is unreasonably far in the future.

   o  The assertion MAY contain an Issued At entity containing the UTC
      time at which the assertion was issued.

   o  The authorization server MUST reject assertions with an invalid
      signature or MAC.  The algorithm used to validate the signature or
      message authentication code and the mechanism for designating the
      secret used to generate the signature or message authentication
      code over the assertion are beyond the scope of this
      specification.

6.  Common Scenarios

   The following provides additional guidance, beyond the format and
   processing rules defined in Sections 4 and 5, on assertion use for a
   number of common use cases.






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6.1.  Client Authentication

   A client uses an assertion to authenticate to the authorization
   server's token endpoint by using the "client_assertion_type" and
   "client_assertion" parameters as defined in Section 4.2.  The Subject
   of the assertion identifies the client.  If the assertion is self-
   issued by the client, the Issuer of the assertion also identifies the
   client.

   The example in Section 4.2 shows a client authenticating using an
   assertion during an access token request.

6.2.  Client Acting on Behalf of Itself

   When a client is accessing resources on behalf of itself, it does so
   in a manner analogous to the Client Credentials Grant defined in
   Section 4.4 of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749].  This is a special case that
   combines both the authentication and authorization grant usage
   patterns.  In this case, the interactions with the authorization
   server should be treated as using an assertion for Client
   Authentication according to Section 4.2, while using the "grant_type"
   parameter with the value "client_credentials" to indicate that the
   client is requesting an access token using only its client
   credentials.

   The following example demonstrates an assertion being used for a
   client credentials access token request, as defined in Section 4.4.2
   of OAuth 2.0 [RFC6749] (with extra line breaks for display purposes
   only):

     POST /token HTTP/1.1
     Host: server.example.com
     Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

     grant_type=client_credentials&
     client_assertion_type=urn%3Aietf%3Aparams%3Aoauth
     %3Aclient-assertion-type%3Asaml2-bearer&
     client_assertion=PHNhbW...[omitted for brevity]...ZT

6.3.  Client Acting on Behalf of a User

   When a client is accessing resources on behalf of a user, it does so
   by using the "grant_type" and "assertion" parameters as defined in
   Section 4.1.  The Subject identifies an authorized accessor for which
   the access token is being requested (typically, the resource owner or
   an authorized delegate).





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   The example in Section 4.1 shows a client making an access token
   request using an assertion as an authorization grant.

6.3.1.  Client Acting on Behalf of an Anonymous User

   When a client is accessing resources on behalf of an anonymous user,
   a mutually agreed-upon Subject identifier indicating anonymity is
   used.  The Subject value might be an opaque persistent or transient
   pseudonymous identifier for the user or be an agreed-upon static
   value indicating an anonymous user (e.g., "anonymous").  The
   authorization may be based upon additional criteria, such as
   additional attributes or claims provided in the assertion.  For
   example, a client might present an assertion from a trusted issuer
   asserting that the bearer is over 18 via an included claim.  In this
   case, no additional information about the user's identity is
   included, yet all the data needed to issue an access token is
   present.

   More information about anonymity, pseudonymity, and privacy
   considerations in general can be found in [RFC6973].

7.  Interoperability Considerations

   This specification defines a framework for using assertions with
   OAuth 2.0.  However, as an abstract framework in which the data
   formats used for representing many values are not defined, on its
   own, this specification is not sufficient to produce interoperable
   implementations.

   Two other specifications that profile this framework for specific
   assertions have been developed: [RFC7522] uses SAML 2.0 Assertions
   and [RFC7523] uses JSON Web Tokens (JWTs).  These two instantiations
   of this framework specify additional details about the assertion
   encoding and processing rules for using those kinds of assertions
   with OAuth 2.0.

   However, even when profiled for specific assertion types, agreements
   between system entities regarding identifiers, keys, and endpoints
   are required in order to achieve interoperable deployments.  Specific
   items that require agreement are as follows: values for the Issuer
   and Audience identifiers, supported assertion and client
   authentication types, the location of the token endpoint, the key
   used to apply and verify the digital signature or MAC over the
   assertion, one-time use restrictions on assertions, maximum assertion
   lifetime allowed, and the specific Subject and attribute requirements
   of the assertion.  The exchange of such information is explicitly out
   of the scope of this specification.  Deployments for particular trust
   frameworks, circles of trust, or other uses cases will need to agree



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   among the participants on the kinds of values to be used for some
   abstract fields defined by this specification.  In some cases,
   additional profiles may be created that constrain or prescribe these
   values or specify how they are to be exchanged.  The "OAuth 2.0
   Dynamic Client Registration Core Protocol" [OAUTH-DYN-REG] is one
   such profile that enables OAuth Clients to register metadata about
   themselves at an authorization server.

8.  Security Considerations

   This section discusses security considerations that apply when using
   assertions with OAuth 2.0 as described in this document.  As
   discussed in Section 3, there are two different ways to obtain
   assertions: either as self-issued or obtained from a third-party
   token service.  While the actual interactions for obtaining an
   assertion are outside the scope of this document, the details are
   important from a security perspective.  Section 3 discusses the high-
   level architectural aspects.  Many of the security considerations
   discussed in this section are applicable to both the OAuth exchange
   as well as the client obtaining the assertion.

   The remainder of this section focuses on the exchanges that concern
   presenting an assertion for client authentication and for the
   authorization grant.

8.1.  Forged Assertion

   Threat:
      An adversary could forge or alter an assertion in order to obtain
      an access token (in the case of the authorization grant) or to
      impersonate a client (in the case of the client authentication
      mechanism).

   Countermeasures:
      To avoid this kind of attack, the entities must assure that proper
      mechanisms for protecting the integrity of the assertion are
      employed.  This includes the issuer digitally signing the
      assertion or computing a MAC over the assertion.

8.2.  Stolen Assertion

   Threat:
      An adversary may be able obtain an assertion (e.g., by
      eavesdropping) and then reuse it (replay it) at a later point in
      time.






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   Countermeasures:
      The primary mitigation for this threat is the use of secure
      communication channels with server authentication for all network
      exchanges.

      An assertion may also contain several elements to prevent replay
      attacks.  There is, however, a clear trade-off between reusing an
      assertion for multiple exchanges and obtaining and creating new,
      fresh assertions.

      Authorization servers and resource servers may use a combination
      of the Assertion ID and Issued At/Expires At attributes for replay
      protection.  Previously processed assertions may be rejected based
      on the Assertion ID.  The addition of the validity window relieves
      the authorization server from maintaining an infinite state table
      of processed Assertion IDs.

8.3.  Unauthorized Disclosure of Personal Information

   Threat:
      The ability for other entities to obtain information about an
      individual, such as authentication information, role in an
      organization, or other authorization-relevant information, raises
      privacy concerns.

   Countermeasures:
      To address this threat, two cases need to be differentiated:

      First, a third party that did not participate in any of the
      exchange is prevented from eavesdropping on the content of the
      assertion by employing confidentiality protection of the exchange
      using TLS.  This ensures that an eavesdropper on the wire is
      unable to obtain information.  However, this does not prevent
      legitimate protocol entities from obtaining information that they
      are not allowed to possess from assertions.  Some assertion
      formats allow for the assertion to be encrypted, preventing
      unauthorized parties from inspecting the content.

      Second, an authorization server may obtain an assertion that was
      created by a third-party token service and that token service may
      have placed attributes into the assertion.  To mitigate potential
      privacy problems, prior consent for the release of such attribute
      information from the resource owner should be obtained.  OAuth
      itself does not directly provide such capabilities, but this
      consent approval may be obtained using other identity management
      protocols or user consent interactions; it may also be obtained in
      an out-of-band fashion.




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      For the cases where a third-party token service creates assertions
      to be used for client authentication, privacy concerns are
      typically lower, since many of these clients are Web servers
      rather than individual devices operated by humans.  If the
      assertions are used for client authentication of devices or
      software that can be closely linked to end users, then privacy
      protection safeguards need to be taken into consideration.

      Further guidance on privacy friendly protocol design can be found
      in [RFC6973].

8.4.  Privacy Considerations

   An assertion may contain privacy-sensitive information and, to
   prevent disclosure of such information to unintended parties, should
   only be transmitted over encrypted channels, such as TLS.  In cases
   where it is desirable to prevent disclosure of certain information to
   the client, the assertion (or portions of it) should be encrypted to
   the authorization server.

   Deployments should determine the minimum amount of information
   necessary to complete the exchange and include only such information
   in the assertion.  In some cases, the Subject identifier can be a
   value representing an anonymous or pseudonymous user, as described in
   Section 6.3.1.

9.  IANA Considerations

   This section registers three values, as listed in the subsections
   below, in the IANA "OAuth Parameters" registry established by RFC
   6749 [RFC6749].

9.1.  "assertion" Parameter Registration

   o  Name: assertion

   o  Parameter Usage Location: token request

   o  Change Controller: IESG

   o  Specification Document(s): RFC 7521










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9.2.  "client_assertion" Parameter Registration

   o  Name: client_assertion

   o  Parameter Usage Location: token request

   o  Change Controller: IESG

   o  Specification Document(s): RFC 7521

9.3.  "client_assertion_type" Parameter Registration

   o  Name: client_assertion_type

   o  Parameter Usage Location: token request

   o  Change Controller: IESG

   o  Specification Document(s): RFC 7521

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC3986]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
              RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3986>.

   [RFC6749]  Hardt, D., Ed., "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework",
              RFC 6749, DOI 10.17487/RFC6749, October 2012,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6749>.

10.2.  Informative References

   [OASIS.WS-Trust]
              Nadalin, A., Ed., Goodner, M., Ed., Gudgin, M., Ed.,
              Barbir, A., Ed., and H. Granqvist, Ed., "WS-Trust",
              February 2009, <http://docs.oasis-open.org/ws-sx/
              ws-trust/v1.4/ws-trust.html>.






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   [OAUTH-DYN-REG]
              Richer, J., Ed., Jones, M., Bradley, J., Machulak, M., and
              P. Hunt, "OAuth 2.0 Dynamic Client Registration Protocol",
              Work in Progress, draft-ietf-oauth-dyn-reg-29, May 2015.

   [RFC6755]  Campbell, B. and H. Tschofenig, "An IETF URN Sub-Namespace
              for OAuth", RFC 6755, DOI 10.17487/RFC6755, October 2012,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6755>.

   [RFC6973]  Cooper, A., Tschofenig, H., Aboba, B., Peterson, J.,
              Morris, J., Hansen, M., and R. Smith, "Privacy
              Considerations for Internet Protocols", RFC 6973,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6973, July 2013,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6973>.

   [RFC7522]  Campbell, B., Mortimore, C., and M. Jones, "Security
              Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 Profile for OAuth 2.0
              Client Authentication and Authorization Grants", RFC 7522,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7522, May 2015,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7522>.

   [RFC7523]  Jones, M., Campbell, B., and C. Mortimore, "JSON Web Token
              (JWT) Profile for OAuth 2.0 Client Authentication and
              Authorization Grants", RFC 7523, DOI 10.17487/RFC7523, May
              2015, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7523>.


























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Acknowledgements

   The authors wish to thank the following people who have influenced or
   contributed to this specification: Paul Madsen, Eric Sachs, Jian Cai,
   Tony Nadalin, Hannes Tschofenig, the authors of the OAuth WRAP
   specification, and the members of the OAuth working group.

Authors' Addresses

   Brian Campbell
   Ping Identity

   EMail: brian.d.campbell@gmail.com


   Chuck Mortimore
   Salesforce.com

   EMail: cmortimore@salesforce.com


   Michael B. Jones
   Microsoft

   EMail: mbj@microsoft.com
   URI:   http://self-issued.info/


   Yaron Y. Goland
   Microsoft

   EMail: yarong@microsoft.com



















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