S/MIME WG                              Blake Ramsdell, Brute Squad Labs
Internet Draft                                        Sean Turner, IECA
Intended Status: Standard Track                      September 18, 24, 2008
Obsoletes: 3850 (once approved)
Expires: March 18, 24, 2009

     Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) Version 3.2
                           Certificate Handling

Status of this Memo

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).


   This document specifies conventions for X.509 certificate usage by
   Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) agents.  S/MIME
   provides a method to send and receive secure MIME messages, and
   certificates are an integral part of S/MIME agent processing.  S/MIME
   agents validate certificates as described in RFC 5280, the Internet
   X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and CRL Profile.  S/MIME
   agents must meet the certificate processing requirements in this
   document as well as those in RFC 5280. This document obsoletes RFC


   This draft is being discussed on the 'ietf-smime' mailing list. To
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   for the mailing list at <http://www.imc.org/ietf-smime/>.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................2
      1.1. Definitions...............................................3
      1.2. Conventions used in this document.........................4
      1.3. Compatibility with Prior Practice S/MIME..................4
      1.4. Changes From S/MIME v3 to S/MIME v3.1.....................4
      1.5. Changes Since S/MIME v3.1.................................5
   2. CMS Options....................................................6
      2.1. Certificate Revocation Lists..............................6
      2.2. Certificate Choices.......................................6
         2.2.1. Historical Note About CMS Certificates...............6
      2.3. CertificateSet............................................7
   3. Using Distinguished Names For Internet Mail....................8
   4. Certificate Processing.........................................9
      4.1. Certificate Revocation Lists.............................10
      4.2. Certificate Path Validation..............................10
      4.3. Certificate and CRL Signing Algorithms and Key Sizes.....11
      4.4. PKIX Certificate Extensions..............................12
   5. IANA Considerations...........................................14
   6. Security Considerations.......................................14
   7. References....................................................16
      7.1. Normative References.....................................16
      7.2. Informative References...................................17
   Appendix A. Moving S/MIME v2 Certificate Handling to Historic
   Appendix B. Acknowledgements.....................................20 Acknowledgements.....................................19

1. Introduction

   S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions), described in
   [SMIME-MSG], provides a method to send and receive secure MIME
   messages.  Before using a public key to provide security services,
   the S/MIME agent MUST verify that the public key is valid.  S/MIME
   agents MUST use PKIX certificates to validate public keys as
   described in the Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure (PKIX)
   Certificate and CRL Profile [KEYM].  S/MIME agents MUST meet the
   certificate processing requirements documented in this document in
   addition to those stated in [KEYM].

   This specification is compatible with the Cryptographic Message
   Syntax [CMS] in that it uses the data types defined by CMS.  It also
   inherits all the varieties of architectures for certificate-based key
   management supported by CMS.

1.1. Definitions

   For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply.

   ASN.1: Abstract Syntax Notation One, as defined in ITU-T X.680

   Attribute Certificate (AC): An X.509 AC is a separate structure from
   a subject's public key X.509 Certificate.  A subject may have
   multiple X.509 ACs associated with each of its public key X.509
   Certificates.  Each X.509 AC binds one or more Attributes with one of
   the subject's public key X.509 Certificates.  The X.509 AC syntax is
   defined in [ACAUTH].

   Certificate: A type that binds an entity's name to a public key with
   a digital signature.  This type is defined in the Internet X.509
   Public Key Infrastructure (PKIX) Certificate and CRL Profile [KEYM].
   This type also contains the distinguished name of the certificate
   issuer (the signer), an issuer-specific serial number, the issuer's
   signature algorithm identifier, a validity period, and extensions
   also defined in that document.

   Certificate Revocation List (CRL): A type that contains information
   about certificates whose validity an issuer has prematurely revoked.
   The information consists of an issuer name, the time of issue, the
   next scheduled time of issue, a list of certificate serial numbers
   and their associated revocation times, and extensions as defined in
   [KEYM].  The CRL is signed by the issuer.  The type intended by this
   specification is the one defined in [KEYM].

   Receiving agent: Software that interprets and processes S/MIME CMS
   objects, MIME body parts that contain CMS objects, or both.

   Sending agent: Software that creates S/MIME CMS objects, MIME body
   parts that contain CMS objects, or both.

   S/MIME agent: User software that is a receiving agent, a sending
   agent, or both.

1.2. Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [MUSTSHOULD].

   We define some additional terms here:

     SHOULD+ This term means the same as SHOULD.  However, the authors
      expect that a requirement marked as SHOULD+ will be promoted at
      some future time to be a MUST.

     SHOULD- This term means the same as SHOULD.  However, the authors
      expect a requirement marked as SHOULD- will be demoted to a MAY
      in a future version of this document.

     MUST- This term means the same as MUST.  However, the authors
      expect that this requirement will no longer be a MUST in a future
      document.  Although its status will be determined at a later
      time, it is reasonable to expect that if a future revision of a
      document alters the status of a MUST- requirement, it will remain
      at least a SHOULD or a SHOULD-.

1.3. Compatibility with Prior Practice S/MIME

   S/MIME version 3.2 agents should attempt to have the greatest
   interoperability possible with agents for prior versions of S/MIME.
   S/MIME version 2 is described in RFC 2311 through RFC 2315 inclusive
   [SMIMEv2], S/MIME version 3 is described in RFC 2630 through RFC 2634
   inclusive and RFC 5035 [SMIMEv3], and S/MIME version 3.1 is described
   in RFC 3850, RFC 3851, RFC 3852, RFC 2634, RFC4853, and RFC 5035
   [SMIMEv3.1].  RFC 2311 also has historical information about the
   development of S/MIME.

1.4. Changes From S/MIME v3 To S/MIME v3.1

   Version 1 and Version 2 CRLs MUST be supported.

   Multiple CA certificates with the same subject and public key, but
   with overlapping validity periods, MUST be supported.

   Version 2 attribute certificates SHOULD be supported, and version 1
   attributes certificates MUST NOT be used.

   The use of the MD2 digest algorithm for certificate signatures is
   discouraged and security language added.

   Clarified use of email address use in certificates.  Certificates
   that do not contain an email address have no requirements for
   verifying the email address associated with the certificate.

   Receiving agents SHOULD display certificate information when
   displaying the results of signature verification.

   Receiving agents MUST NOT accept a signature made with a certificate
   that does not have the digitalSignature or nonRepudiation bit set.

   Clarifications for the interpretation of the key usage and extended
   key usage extensions.

1.5. Changes Since S/MIME v3.1

   Conventions Used in This Document: Moved to section 1.2. Added
   definitions for SHOULD+, SHOULD-, and MUST-.

   Sec 1.2: Updated ASN.1 definition and reference.

   Sec 1.3: Added text about v3.1 RFCs.

   Sec 3: Updated note to indicate emailAddress IA5String upper bound is
   255 characters.

   Sec 4.2: Added text to indicate how S/MIME agents locate the correct
   user certificate.

   Sec 4.3: RSA with SHA-256 (PKCS #1 v1.5) added as MUST, DSA with SHA-
   256 added as SHOULD+, RSA with SHA-1 changed to SHOULD-, DSA with
   SHA-1, and RSA with MD5 changed to SHOULD-, and RSA-PSS with SHA-256
   added as SHOULD+. Updated key sizes and changed pointer from [KEYM]
   to [KEYMALG].

   Sec 4.4.1: Aligned with PKIX on use of basic constraints extension in
   CA certificates. Clarified which extension is used to constrain EEs
   from using their keys to perform issuing authority operations.

   Sec 6: Updated security considerations.

   Sec 7: Moved references from Appendix B to section 7. Updated the

   Appendix A: Moved Appendix A to Appendix B. Added Appendix A to move
   S/MIME v2 Certificate Handling to Historic Status.

2. CMS Options

   The CMS message format allows for a wide variety of options in
   content and algorithm support.  This section puts forth a number of
   support requirements and recommendations in order to achieve a base
   level of interoperability among all S/MIME implementations.  Most of
   the CMS format for S/MIME messages is defined in [SMIME-MSG].

2.1. Certificate Revocation Lists

   Receiving agents MUST support the Certificate Revocation List (CRL)
   format defined in [KEYM].  If sending agents include CRLs in outgoing
   messages, the CRL format defined in [KEYM] MUST be used.  In all
   cases, both v1 and v2 CRLs MUST be supported.

   All agents MUST be capable of performing revocation checks using CRLs
   as specified in [KEYM].  All agents MUST perform revocation status
   checking in accordance with [KEYM].  Receiving agents MUST recognize
   CRLs in received S/MIME messages.

   Agents SHOULD store CRLs received in messages for use in processing
   later messages.

2.2. Certificate Choices

   Receiving agents MUST support v1 X.509 and v3 X.509 certificates as
   profiled in [KEYM].  End entity certificates MAY include an Internet
   mail address, as described in section 3.

   Receiving agents SHOULD support X.509 version 2 attribute
   certificates.  See [ACAUTH] for details about the profile for
   attribute certificates.

2.2.1. Historical Note About CMS Certificates

   The CMS message format supports a choice of certificate formats for
   public key content types: PKIX, PKCS #6 Extended Certificates [PKCS6]
   and PKIX Attribute Certificates.

   The PKCS #6 format is not in widespread use.  In addition, PKIX
   certificate extensions address much of the same functionality and
   flexibility as was intended in the PKCS #6.  Thus, sending and
   receiving agents MUST NOT use PKCS #6 extended certificates.

   X.509 version 1 attribute certificates are also not widely
   implemented, and have been superseded with version 2 attribute
   certificates.  Sending agents MUST NOT send version 1 attribute

2.3. CertificateSet

   Receiving agents MUST be able to handle an arbitrary number of
   certificates of arbitrary relationship to the message sender and to
   each other in arbitrary order.  In many cases, the certificates
   included in a signed message may represent a chain of certification
   from the sender to a particular root.  There may be, however,
   situations where the certificates in a signed message may be
   unrelated and included for convenience.

   Sending agents SHOULD include any certificates for the user's public
   key(s) and associated issuer certificates.  This increases the
   likelihood that the intended recipient can establish trust in the
   originator's public key(s).  This is especially important when
   sending a message to recipients that may not have access to the
   sender's public key through any other means or when sending a signed
   message to a new recipient.  The inclusion of certificates in
   outgoing messages can be omitted if S/MIME objects are sent within a
   group of correspondents that has established access to each other's
   certificates by some other means such as a shared directory or manual
   certificate distribution.  Receiving S/MIME agents SHOULD be able to
   handle messages without certificates using a database or directory
   lookup scheme.

   A sending agent SHOULD include at least one chain of certificates up
   to, but not including, a Certificate Authority (CA) that it believes
   that the recipient may trust as authoritative.  A receiving agent
   MUST be able to handle an arbitrarily large number of certificates
   and chains.

   Agents MAY send CA certificates, that is, cross-certificates, self-
   issued certificates, and self-signed certificates. Note that
   receiving agents SHOULD NOT simply trust any self-signed certificates
   as valid CAs, but SHOULD use some other mechanism to determine if
   this is a CA that should be trusted.  Also note that when
   certificates contain DSA public keys the parameters may be located in
   the root certificate.  This would require that the recipient possess
   both the end-entity certificate as well as the root certificate to
   perform a signature verification, and is a valid example of a case
   where transmitting the root certificate may be required.

   Receiving agents MUST support chaining based on the distinguished
   name fields.  Other methods of building certificate chains MAY be

   Receiving agents SHOULD support the decoding of X.509 attribute
   certificates included in CMS objects.  All other issues regarding the
   generation and use of X.509 attribute certificates are outside of the
   scope of this specification.  One specification that addresses
   attribute certificate use is defined in [SECLABEL].

3. Using Distinguished Names For Internet Mail

   End-entity certificates MAY contain an Internet mail address as
   described in [IMF].  The address must be an "addr-spec" as defined in
   Section 3.4.1 of that specification.  The email address SHOULD be in
   the subjectAltName extension, and SHOULD NOT be in the subject
   distinguished name.

   Receiving agents MUST recognize and accept certificates that contain
   no email address.  Agents are allowed to provide an alternative
   mechanism for associating an email address with a certificate that
   does not contain an email address, such as through the use of the
   agent's address book, if available.  Receiving agents MUST recognize
   email addresses in the subjectAltName field.  Receiving agents MUST
   recognize email addresses in the Distinguished Name field in the PKCS
   #9 [PKCS9] emailAddress attribute:

   pkcs-9-at-emailAddress OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::=
    { iso(1) member-body(2) us(840) rsadsi(113549) pkcs(1) pkcs-9(9) 1 }

   Note that this attribute MUST be encoded as IA5String and has an
   upper bound of 255 characters.

   Sending agents SHOULD make the address in the From or Sender header
   in a mail message match an Internet mail address in the signer's
   certificate.  Receiving agents MUST check that the address in the
   From or Sender header of a mail message matches an Internet mail
   address, if present, in the signer's certificate, if mail addresses
   are present in the certificate.  A receiving agent SHOULD provide
   some explicit alternate processing of the message if this comparison
   fails, which may be to display a message that shows the recipient the
   addresses in the certificate or other certificate details.

   A receiving agent SHOULD display a subject name or other certificate
   details when displaying an indication of successful or unsuccessful
   signature verification.

   All subject and issuer names MUST be populated (i.e., not an empty
   SEQUENCE) in S/MIME-compliant X.509 certificates, except that the
   subject DN in a user's (i.e., end-entity) certificate MAY be an empty
   SEQUENCE in which case the subjectAltName extension will include the
   subject's identifier and MUST be marked as critical.

4. Certificate Processing

   S/MIME agents need to provide some certificate retrieval mechanism in
   order to gain access to certificates for recipients of digital
   envelopes.  There are many ways to implement certificate retrieval
   mechanisms.  [X.500] directory service is an excellent example of a
   certificate retrieval-only mechanism that is compatible with classic
   X.500 Distinguished Names.  Another method under consideration by the
   IETF is to provide certificate retrieval services as part of the
   existing Domain Name System (DNS).  Until such mechanisms are widely
   used, their utility may be limited by the small number of the
   correspondent's certificates that can be retrieved. At a minimum, for
   initial S/MIME deployment, a user agent could automatically generate
   a message to an intended recipient requesting the recipient's
   certificate in a signed return message.

   Receiving and sending agents SHOULD also provide a mechanism to allow
   a user to "store and protect" certificates for correspondents in such
   a way so as to guarantee their later retrieval.  In many
   environments, it may be desirable to link the certificate
   retrieval/storage mechanisms together in some sort of certificate
   database.  In its simplest form, a certificate database would be
   local to a particular user and would function in a similar way as an
   "address book" that stores a user's frequent correspondents.  In this
   way, the certificate retrieval mechanism would be limited to the
   certificates that a user has stored (presumably from incoming
   messages).  A comprehensive certificate retrieval/storage solution
   may combine two or more mechanisms to allow the greatest flexibility
   and utility to the user.  For instance, a secure Internet mail agent
   may resort to checking a centralized certificate retrieval mechanism
   for a certificate if it can not be found in a user's local
   certificate storage/retrieval database.

   Receiving and sending agents SHOULD provide a mechanism for the
   import and export of certificates, using a CMS certs-only message.
   This allows for import and export of full certificate chains as
   opposed to just a single certificate.  This is described in [SMIME-

   Agents MUST handle multiple valid Certification Authority (CA)
   certificates containing the same subject name and the same public
   keys but with overlapping validity intervals.

4.1. Certificate Revocation Lists

   In general, it is always better to get the latest CRL information
   from a CA than to get information stored away from incoming messages.
   A receiving agent SHOULD have access to some certificate revocation
   list (CRL) retrieval mechanism in order to gain access to certificate
   revocation information when validating certification paths.  A
   receiving or sending agent SHOULD also provide a mechanism to allow a
   user to store incoming certificate revocation information for
   correspondents in such a way so as to guarantee its later retrieval.

   Receiving and sending agents SHOULD retrieve and utilize CRL
   information every time a certificate is verified as part of a
   certification path validation even if the certificate was already
   verified in the past.  However, in many instances (such as off-line
   verification) access to the latest CRL information may be difficult
   or impossible.  The use of CRL information, therefore, may be
   dictated by the value of the information that is protected.  The
   value of the CRL information in a particular context is beyond the
   scope of this specification but may be governed by the policies
   associated with particular certification paths.

   All agents MUST be capable of performing revocation checks using CRLs
   as specified in [KEYM].  All agents MUST perform revocation status
   checking in accordance with [KEYM].  Receiving agents MUST recognize
   CRLs in received S/MIME messages.

4.2. Certificate Path Validation

   In creating a user agent for secure messaging, certificate, CRL, and
   certification path validation SHOULD be highly automated while still
   acting in the best interests of the user.  Certificate, CRL, and path
   validation MUST be performed as per [KEYM] when validating a
   correspondent's public key.  This is necessary before using a public
   key to provide security services such as: verifying a signature;
   encrypting a content-encryption key (ex: RSA); or forming a pairwise
   symmetric key (ex: Diffie-Hellman) to be used to encrypt or decrypt a
   content-encryption key.

   Certificates and CRLs are made available to the path validation
   procedure in two ways: a) incoming messages, and b) certificate and
   CRL retrieval mechanisms.  Certificates and CRLs in incoming messages
   are not required to be in any particular order nor are they required
   to be in any way related to the sender or recipient of the message
   (although in most cases they will be related to the sender). Incoming
   certificates and CRLs SHOULD be cached for use in path validation and
   optionally stored for later use.  This temporary certificate and CRL
   cache SHOULD be used to augment any other certificate and CRL
   retrieval mechanisms for path validation on incoming signed messages.

   When verifying a signature and the certificates are included in the
   message, if a signingCertificate or a signingCertificateV2 attribute
   is found in an S/MIME message, it SHALL be used to identify the
   signer's certificate.  Otherwise, the certificate is identified in an
   S/MIME message, either using the issuerAndSerialNumber which
   identifies the signer's certificate by the issuer's distinguished
   name and the certificate serial number, or the subjectKeyIdentifier
   which identifies the signer's certificate by a key identifier.

   When decrypting an encrypted message, if a
   SMIMEEncryptionKeyPreference attribute is found in an encapsulating
   SignedData, it SHALL be used to identify the originator's certificate
   found in OriginatorInfo. Otherwise, a) See [CMS] for DH encrypted messages the
   certificate is identified by the KeyAgreeRecipientInfo originator
   field using either the issuer and serial number or subject public key
   identifier choice or the certificate is omitted and the originator's
   public key is included in originatorKey b) for RSA encrypted messages CMS fields that reference
   the originator's certificate is not required for decryption. and recipient's certificates.

4.3. Certificate and CRL Signing Algorithms and Key Sizes

   Certificates and Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs) are signed by
   the certificate issuer.  Receiving agents:

    - MUST support RSA with SHA-256, as specified in [CMS-SHA2]

    - SHOULD+ support DSA with SHA-256, as specified in [CMS-SHA2]

    - SHOULD+ support RSA-PSS with SHA-256, as specified in [RSAPSS]

    - SHOULD- support RSA with SHA-1, as specified in [CMSALG]

    - SHOULD- support DSA with SHA-1, as specified in [CMSALG]

    - SHOULD- support RSA with MD5, as specified in [CMSALG]

   The following are the RSA key size requirements for S/MIME receiving
   agents during certificate and CRL signature verification:

      0 <  key size <   512 : MAY  (see Section 6)
    512 <= key size <= 4096 : MUST (see Section 6)
   4096 <  key size         : MAY  (see Section 6)
   The following are the DSA key size requirements for S/MIME receiving
   agents during certificate and CRL signature verification:

    512 <= key size <= 1024 : MAY  (see Section 6)

4.4. PKIX Certificate Extensions

   PKIX describes an extensible framework in which the basic certificate
   information can be extended and describes how such extensions can be
   used to control the process of issuing and validating certificates.
   The PKIX Working Group has ongoing efforts to identify and create
   extensions which have value in particular certification environments.
   Further, there are active efforts underway to issue PKIX certificates
   for business purposes.  This document identifies the minimum required
   set of certificate extensions which have the greatest value in the
   S/MIME environment.  The syntax and semantics of all the identified
   extensions are defined in [KEYM].

   Sending and receiving agents MUST correctly handle the basic
   constraints, key usage, authority key identifier, subject key
   identifier, and subject alternative names certificate extensions when
   they appear in end-entity and CA certificates.  Some mechanism SHOULD
   exist to gracefully handle other certificate extensions when they
   appear in end-entity or CA certificates.

   Certificates issued for the S/MIME environment SHOULD NOT contain any
   critical extensions (extensions that have the critical field set to
   TRUE) other than those listed here.  These extensions SHOULD be
   marked as non-critical unless the proper handling of the extension is
   deemed critical to the correct interpretation of the associated
   certificate.  Other extensions may be included, but those extensions
   SHOULD NOT be marked as critical.

   Interpretation and syntax for all extensions MUST follow [KEYM],
   unless otherwise specified here.

4.4.1. Basic Constraints

   The basic constraints extension serves to delimit the role and
   position that an issuing authority or end-entity certificate plays in
   a certification path.

   For example, certificates issued to CAs and subordinate CAs contain a
   basic constraint extension that identifies them as issuing authority
   certificates.  End-entity certificates contain the key usage
   extension which restrains EEs from using the key to performing
   issuing authority operations (see Section 4.4.2).

   As per [KEYM], Certificates MUST contain a basicConstraints extension
   in CA certificates, and SHOULD NOT contain that extension in end
   entity certificates.

4.4.2. Key Usage Certificate Extension

   The key usage extension serves to limit the technical purposes for
   which a public key listed in a valid certificate may be used. Issuing
   authority certificates may contain a key usage extension that
   restricts the key to signing certificates, certificate revocation
   lists and other data.

   For example, a certification authority may create subordinate issuer
   certificates which contain a key usage extension which specifies that
   the corresponding public key can be used to sign end user
   certificates and sign CRLs.

   If a key usage extension is included in a PKIX certificate, then it
   MUST be marked as critical.

   S/MIME receiving agents MUST NOT accept the signature of a message if
   it was verified using a certificate which contains the key usage
   extension without either the digitalSignature or nonRepudiation bit
   set.  Sometimes S/MIME is used as a secure message transport for
   applications beyond interpersonal messaging.  In such cases, the
   S/MIME-enabled application can specify additional requirements
   concerning the digitalSignature or nonRepudiation bits within this

   If the key usage extension is not specified, receiving clients MUST
   presume that the digitalSignature and nonRepudiation bits are set.

4.4.3. Subject Alternative Name

   The subject alternative name extension is used in S/MIME as the
   preferred means to convey the RFC-2822 email address(es) that
   correspond(s) to the entity for this certificate.  Any RFC-2822 email
   addresses present MUST be encoded using the rfc822Name CHOICE of the
   GeneralName type.  Since the SubjectAltName type is a SEQUENCE OF
   GeneralName, multiple RFC-2822 email addresses MAY be present.

4.4.4. Extended Key Usage Extension

   The extended key usage extension also serves to limit the technical
   purposes for which a public key listed in a valid certificate may be
   used.  The set of technical purposes for the certificate therefore
   are the intersection of the uses indicated in the key usage and
   extended key usage extensions.

   For example, if the certificate contains a key usage extension
   indicating digital signature and an extended key usage extension
   which includes the email protection OID, then the certificate may be
   used for signing but not encrypting S/MIME messages.  If the
   certificate contains a key usage extension indicating digital
   signature, but no extended key usage extension then the certificate
   may also be used to sign but not encrypt S/MIME messages.

   If the extended key usage extension is present in the certificate
   then interpersonal message S/MIME receiving agents MUST check that it
   contains either the emailProtection or the anyExtendedKeyUsage OID as
   defined in [KEYM].  S/MIME uses other than interpersonal messaging
   MAY require the explicit presence of the extended key usage extension
   or other OIDs to be present in the extension or both.

5. IANA Considerations

   None: All identifiers are already registered.  Please remove this
   section prior to publication as an RFC.

6. Security Considerations

   All of the security issues faced by any cryptographic application
   must be faced by a S/MIME agent.  Among these issues are protecting
   the user's private key, preventing various attacks, and helping the
   user avoid mistakes such as inadvertently encrypting a message for
   the wrong recipient.  The entire list of security considerations is
   beyond the scope of this document, but some significant concerns are
   listed here.

   When processing certificates, there are many situations where the
   processing might fail.  Because the processing may be done by a user
   agent, a security gateway, or other program, there is no single way
   to handle such failures.  Just because the methods to handle the
   failures has not been listed, however, the reader should not assume
   that they are not important.  The opposite is true: if a certificate
   is not provably valid and associated with the message, the processing
   software should take immediate and noticeable steps to inform the end
   user about it.

   Some of the many places where signature and certificate checking
   might fail include:

    - no Internet mail addresses in a certificate matches the sender of
      a message, if the certificate contains at least one mail address

    - no certificate chain leads to a trusted CA

    - no ability to check the CRL for a certificate

    - an invalid CRL was received

    - the CRL being checked is expired

    - the certificate is expired

    - the certificate has been revoked

   There are certainly other instances where a certificate may be
   invalid, and it is the responsibility of the processing software to
   check them all thoroughly, and to decide what to do if the check

   It is possible for there to be multiple unexpired CRLs for a CA.  If
   an agent is consulting CRLs for certificate validation, it SHOULD
   make sure that the most recently issued CRL for that CA is consulted,
   since an S/MIME message sender could deliberately include an older
   unexpired CRL in an S/MIME message.  This older CRL might not include
   recently revoked certificates, which might lead an agent to accept a
   certificate that has been revoked in a subsequent CRL.

   When determining the time for a certificate validity check, agents
   have to be careful to use a reliable time.  Unless it is from a
   trusted agent, this time MUST NOT be the SigningTime attribute found
   in an S/MIME message.  For most sending agents, the SigningTime
   attribute could be deliberately set to direct the receiving agent to
   check a CRL that could have out-of-date revocation status for a
   certificate, or cause an improper result when checking the Validity
   field of a certificate.

   In addition to the Security Considerations identified in [KEYM],
   caution should be taken when processing certificates which have not
   first been validated to a trust anchor.  Certificates could be
   manufactured by untrusted sources for the purpose of mounting denial
   of service or other attacks.  For example, keys selected to require
   excessive cryptographic processing, or extensive lists of CDP and/or
   AIA addresses in the certificate, could be used to mount denial of
   service attacks.  Similarly, attacker-specified CRL Distribution
   Point (CRLDP) and/or Authority Information Access (AIA) addresses
   could be included in fake certificates to allow the originator to
   detect receipt of the message even if signature verification fails.

   The 4096-bit RSA key size requirement for certificate and CRL
   verification is larger than the 2048-bit RSA key sizes for message
   signature generation/verification or message encryption/decryption in
   [SMIME-MSG] because many Root CAs included in certificate stores have
   already issued Root certificates with 4096-bit key.  The standard
   that defines comparable key sizes for DSA is not yet available.  In
   particular, [FIPS186-3] only defines DSA key sizes up to 1024 bits.
   A revision to support larger key sizes is being developed, and once
   it is available, implementors ought to support DSA key sizes
   comparable to the RSA key sizes recommended in this specification.

   Today, 512-bit RSA and DSA keys are considered by many experts to be
   cryptographically insecure.

7. References

7.1. Normative References

   [ACAUTH]     Farrell, S. and R. Housley, "An Internet Attribute
                Certificate Profile for Authorization", RFC 3281, April

   [CMS]        Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)", RFC
                3852, July 2004.

                Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)
                Multiple Signer Clarification", RFC 4852, April 2007.

   [CMSALG]     Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)
                Algorithms", RFC 3370, August 2002.

   [CMS-SHA2]   Turner. S., "Using SHA2 Algorithms with Cryptographic
                Message Syntax", draft-ietf-smime-sha2, work-in-

   [FIPS186-3]   National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),
                 "Digital Signature Standard (DSS)", FIPS Publication
                 186-3, March 2006.

   [KEYM]       Cooper, D., Santesson, S., Farrell, S., Boeyen, S.
                Housley, R., and W. Polk, "Internet X.509 Public Key
                Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation
                List (CRL) Profile", RFC 5280, May 2008.

   [KEYMALG]    Bassham, L., Polk, W., and R. Housley, "Algorithms and
                Identifiers for the Internet X.509 Public Key
                Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation
                List (CRL) Profile", RFC 3279, April 2002.

   [MUSTSHOULD] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [PKCS9]      Nystrom, M. and B. Kaliski, "PKCS #9: Selected Object
                Classes and Attribute Types Version 2.0", RFC 2985,
                November 2000.

   [IMF]        Resnick, P., "Internet Message Format", work-in-

   [RSAPSS]     Schaad, J., "Use of RSASA-PSS Signature Algorithm in
                Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)", RFC 4056, June

   [SMIME-MSG]  Ramsdell, B., and S. Turner, "S/MIME Version 3.2
                Message Specification", draft-ietf-smime-3851bis, work-
                in-progress. draft-ietf-smime-3851bis-
                07.txt, work-in-progress.

   [X.680]      ITU-T Recommendation X.680 (2002) | ISO/IEC 8824-
                1:2002. Information Technology - Abstract Syntax
                Notation One (ASN.1):  Specification of basic notation.

7.2. Informative References

   [PKCS6]      RSA Laboratories, "PKCS #6: Extended-Certificate Syntax
                Standard", November 1993.

   [SECLABEL]   Nicolls, W., "Implementing Company Classification
                Policy with the S/MIME Security Label", RFC 3114, May

   [SMIMEv2]    Dusse, S., Hoffman, P., Ramsdell, B., Lundblade, L. and
                L. Repka, "S/MIME Version 2 Message Specification", RFC
                2311, March 1998.

                Dusse, S., Hoffman, P., Ramsdell, B., and J. Weinstein,
                "S/MIME Version 2 Certificate Handling", RFC 2312,
                March 1998.

                Kaliski, B., "PKCS #1: RSA Encryption Version 1.5", RFC
                2313, March 1998.

                Kaliski, B., "PKCS #10: Certificate Request Syntax
                Version 1.5", RFC 2314, March 1998.

                Kaliski, B., "PKCS #7: Certificate Message Syntax
                Version 1.5", RFC 2315, March 1998.

   [SMIMEv3]    Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax", RFC 2630,
                June 1999.

                Rescorla, E., "Diffie-Hellman Key Agreement Method",
                RFC 2631, June 1999.

                Ramsdell, B., "S/MIME Version 3 Certificate Handling",
                RFC 2632, June 1999.

                Ramsdell, B., "S/MIME Version 3 Message Specification",
                RFC 2633, June 1999.

                Hoffman, P., "Enhanced Security Services for S/MIME",
                RFC 2634, June 1999.

                Schaad, J., "ESS Update: Adding CertID Algorithm
                Agility", RFC 5035, August 2007.

   [SMIMEv3.1]  Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax", RFC 3852,
                July 2004.

                Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)
                Multiple Signer Clarification", RFC 4853, April 2007.

                Ramsdell, B., "S/MIME Version 3.1 Certificate
                Handling", RFC 3850, July 2004.

                Ramsdell, B., "S/MIME Version 3.1 Message
                Specification", RFC 3851, July 2004.

                Hoffman, P., "Enhanced Security Services for S/MIME",
                RFC 2634, June 1999.

                Schaad, J., "ESS Update: Adding CertID Algorithm
                Agility", RFC 5035, August 2007.

   [X.500]      ITU-T Recommendation X.500 (1997) | ISO/IEC 9594-
                1:1997, Information technology - Open Systems
                Interconnection - The Directory:  Overview of concepts,
                models and services.

Appendix A. Moving S/MIME v2 Certificate Handling to Historic Status

   The S/MIME v3 [SMIMEv3], v3.1 [SMIMEv3.1], and v3.2 (this document)
   are backwards compatible with the S/MIME v2 Certificate Handling
   Specification [SMIMEv2], with the exception of the algorithms
   (dropped RC2/40 requirement and added DSA and RSA-PSS requirements).
   Therefore, it is recommended that RFC 2312 [SMIMEv2] be moved to
   Historic status.

Appendix B. Acknowledgements

   Many thanks go out to the other authors of the S/MIME v2 RFC: Steve
   Dusse, Paul Hoffman and Jeff Weinstein.  Without v2, there wouldn't
   be a v3, v3.1 or v3.2.

   A number of the members of the S/MIME Working Group have also worked
   very hard and contributed to this document.  Any list of people is
   doomed to omission and for that I apologize.  In alphabetical order,
   the following people stand out in my mind due to the fact that they
   made direct contributions to this document.

   Bill Flanigan, Trevor Freeman, Elliott Ginsburg, Alfred Hoenes, Paul
   Hoffman, Russ Housley, David P. Kemp, Michael Myers, John Pawling,
   Denis Pinkas, and Jim Schaad.

Author's Addresses

   Blake Ramsdell
   Brute Squad Labs, Inc.

   Email: blaker@gmail.com

   Sean Turner

   IECA, Inc.
   3057 Nutley Street, Suite 106
   Fairfax, VA 22031

   Email: turners@ieca.com

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