Last Call Review of draft-ietf-httpbis-auth-info-04

Request Review of draft-ietf-httpbis-auth-info
Requested rev. no specific revision (document currently at 05)
Type Last Call Review
Team Security Area Directorate (secdir)
Deadline 2015-04-07
Requested 2015-03-19
Authors Julian Reschke
Draft last updated 2015-04-09
Completed reviews Genart Last Call review of -04 by Robert Sparks (diff)
Genart Last Call review of -04 by Robert Sparks (diff)
Secdir Last Call review of -04 by Catherine Meadows (diff)
Opsdir Last Call review of -04 by David Black (diff)
Assignment Reviewer Catherine Meadows
State Completed
Review review-ietf-httpbis-auth-info-04-secdir-lc-meadows-2015-04-09
Reviewed rev. 04 (document currently at 05)
Review result Has Nits
Review completed: 2015-04-09


I have reviewed this document as part of the security directorate's 

ongoing effort to review all IETF documents being processed by the 

IESG.  These comments were written primarily for the benefit of the 

security area directors.  Document editors and WG chairs should treat 

these comments just like any other last call comments.

This draft defines the “Authentication-Info” and “Proxy-Authentication-Info” response header fields for use in HTTP authentication.

These are used for schemes that need to return information once a client’s authentication credentials have been accepted.

The document defines the syntax, and gives instructions on how it should be treated (e.g. proxies forwarding a response are

not allowed to modify it).  The actual semantics of the fields depend upon the protocols that use them.

In the Security Considerations section, the authors note that adding information to HTTP responses sent across an unencrypted

channel can affect security and privacy.  Indeed the presence of these header fields alone indicate that HTTP authentication is in use.  Additional information

could be exposed depending on the authentication scheme; but this is something that will need to be addressed in the definition of the schemes.

I only have one small question about the Security Considerations section: wouldn’t there be other headers that indicate authentication is being used, such

as a header indicating that a message contains the client’s credentials?  If so, I don’t see how the introduction of an additional header field adds any further risk.

I believe that this ID is ready with nits.



Catherine Meadows

Naval Research Laboratory

Code 5543

4555 Overlook Ave., S.W.

Washington DC, 20375

phone: 202-767-3490

fax: 202-404-7942


catherine.meadows at