Minutes of CA/B Forum Teleconference – October 29, 2015
Attendees: Atsushi Inaba, Ben Wilson, Billy VanCannon, Bruce Morton, Cecilia Kam, Dean Coclin, Dimitris Zacharopoulos, Doug Beattie, Eddy Nigg, Gervase Markham, Jody Cloutier, Kirk Hall, Li-Chun Chen, Mads Hernriksveen, Marcelo Silva, Peter Miskovic, Rick Andrews, Robin Alden, Sissel Hoel, Stephen Davidson, Tim Shirley, Tyler Myers, Wayne Thayer, Wendy Brown, Neil Dunbar
- Antitrust Statement Read
- Roll Call completed
- Agenda Reviewed. Guest from AT&T could not join this time. Perhaps next call
- Minutes of F2F Istanbul: The minutes were approved after some clarifications from Dimitris and Ben on the Matthias Wiedenhorst section. They will be posted to the website along with any associated presentation.
- Ballot Status: The policy working group has 2 ballots (154 and 155) which now have endorsers and will be presented to the forum shortly. These are to convert the current format to RFC 3647 for EV and Network Security. A ballot on Short Lived certs (153) has started the discussion period which ends on Nov. 3rd.
- Help with Forum Tasks: Dean stated that forum could use some volunteers to help with various tasks. Currently, the chair, vice-chair and chair emeritus perform most of the admin tasks (with assistance for specific tasks from Wayne-email lists, Eddy-questions). We could use help with our website updates (Word Press), Github, and Bugzilla. Marcelo stated that he would be willing to help with WordPress. Kirk suggested we enumerate the tasks with specific duties so that people can have a chance to review and volunteer. Ben said that the git piece is becoming more crucial as we use it for ballots and BRs. That requires more technical expertise. Gerv said he would discuss with Ryan (the git piece). Dean will take a stab at producing a complete list.
- CAA: Dean said we had a ballot last year (Oct 2014) where an “optional” effort for CAA was approved. Rick mentioned in the spring that he would like to see it become mandatory but got pushback from those that said it needed more time before that could be put forth. Rick said that Symantec has implemented it and it hasn’t caused any performance problems and would like to restart the discussion about doing more with CAA. Robin said they also support it without any issues but understands why there would be resistance. Rick said he would start discussing it again via email. Kirk asked how many CAA records have been encountered. The answer was “very few”. Kirk asked if customers valued it. Dean said it may be an education issue, are customers aware of it? Robin said some large customers have policies about what CAs they can use and this enables them to express that policy. Rick said CAA isn’t a mandate on all customers. Anyone can self-select and implement. Rick said that Ryan Sleevi voiced support in the past because he thought it was a way that large enterprises (like Google) could enforce this CA policy as new acquisitions were made. Discussions will continue on the mailing list.
- SHA-1 Deadline: Dean commented that he and Rick have been on 5-6 calls with F50 companies and governments since the Istanbul meeting that are having major issues with the Dec 31 issuance deadline. The options given are: (1) Get all your SHA-1 certs before 12/31/15 because the sale will be over at midnight, (2) look at using private roots that were once in browsers but have been removed at the request of the CA. The latter option may work with non-browser applications that trusted those roots at one time. Examples such as IBM MQ series and older Java versions were mentioned. Non-browser applications seem to be the larger problem and these customers don’t understand why these are being restricted by the forum. Dean invited some of these customers with these use cases to speak on a forum call. Unfortunately many need clearance from their corporate security to do so. Some customers did not understand how stopping issuance on 12/31/15 yet having valid SHA1 certs till 12/31/16 made sense. Bruce stated there are 2 different attacks: the collision attack happens at the time of issuance. The longer we issue, then you are not mitigating the collision attack. The latest research report indicates that this possibility is much closer than we thought it would be. For certs that are already out there, those are subject to pre-image or second image attack which are not yet realistic. Doug asked if there is sufficient entropy in the cert, are we really susceptible to the pre-image attack? Bruce said the entropy will drastically reduce that attack. He also said if you only issue SHA-1 certs to specific customers, this mitigates the attack because the customers are known entities. Rick said while that was possible, browser vendors are considering pulling in the timelines to distrust SHA-1 certs. Bruce didn’t understand that because what are you mitigating from certs that have already been issued? How does bringing in the deadline help anything? Geoff said the lesson learned from the MD5 case was that it’s never over till the browser shuts it down. There will always be someone that “never got the memo”. You have to turn it off in the browser. If you wait too long and it becomes too painful for customers, it will never get shut off. Rick said that many customers are using it for server to server (w/o browser) and they can’t move fast enough because the vendor support for SHA2 is poor. Marcelo said VISA has exactly this problem and that for this environment, it doesn’t matter if the browser trusts it or not. They would be very interested in being able to get SHA1 certs for non-browser use cases. Geoff said they intend to shut it off not just in the browser but also in the OS and that users have been warned. Rick asked that browser/OS vendors should be cognizant of these large enterprises when making decisions. Dean summed up by stating there was a misunderstanding of how the CA/Browser forum works, among large enterprises, and that they all asked who was speaking on behalf of them in the forum? He explained to them how they can participate and follow the forum, barring another governance reform.
- PAG Update: A deadline of Oct 31st is coming whereby domain validation patent holders (CAB members) need to inform the forum.
- Validation WG Update: No other updates other than the ballots discussed above
- Code Signing WG Update: No further updates to the draft are being accepted. There will be a meeting next week to prepare the document for final shipment to the forum.
- Policy WG Update: Update already given above in terms of the ballots.
- Information WG Update: CISA bill is being addressed in the US Government and is moving forward. Group is monitoring that.
- Other Business: Let’s Encrypt membership question: A question was received whether a Point in Time Readiness Audit (PITRA) is sufficient for membership. Jody said he didn’t think so and they need a full audit. Gerv thought it was odd that an organization that is capable of issuing certificates to any domain, and is trusted by the browsers and is covered by other’s audits, cannot be qualified for membership. Eddy said there were other CAs that had to wait until their audits were done, namely WoSign and AffirmTrust. Gerv said those circumstances were slightly different and we should look at equivalent precedent. A discussion ensued between Eddy and Gerv citing various examples. Kirk pointed out several technical questions with their sub CA and would like to know more info. He suggested we go back and tell them what they need to do. Dean disagreed and said we should answer their question since they haven’t applied yet. Once they apply, if members have questions, then we can pose them. Gerv said a helpful answer would be to include other reasons why they may not be qualified. Rick said that we should stick to the bylaws. Gerv asked what other reasons we should give that may be helpful in their future application. A discussion about the audit ensued. In the end the group felt that the PITRA was not sufficient for membership. Dean will respond to the question with some advice which Kirk will enumerate.
- Next teleconference scheduled for November 12th
- Meeting Adjourned