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Versions: 00                                                            
Transport Layer Security Working Group                 S. Farrell
INTERNET-DRAFT                                                SSE
Expires Feb. 20, 1999.                            August 20, 1998

               An Internet AttributeCertificate
                   Profile for Authorization


Status of this memo

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

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum
   of  six  months and  may  be  updated,  replaced, or
   obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is
   inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as  reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please
   check the "1id-abstracts.txt" listing contained in the
   Internet-Drafts Shadow Directories on ftp.is.co.za
   (Africa), nic.nordu.net (Europe), munnari.oz.au (Pacific
   Rim), ftp.ietf.org (US East Coast), or ftp.isi.edu (US
   West Coast).

   <<comments are contained in angle brackets like this>>


   Authorization support is required for various Internet
   protocols, for example, TLS, CMS and their consumers,
   and others. The X.509 AttributeCertificate provides a
   structure which can form the basis for such services
   [X.509]. This specification defines two profiles (a
   simple one and a "full" one)  for the use of X.509
   AttributeCertificates to provide such authorization

1.   Introduction

   The provision of authentication, data integrity and
   confidentiality services for current Internet protocols
   is well understood and many secure transports are defined
   (e.g. TLS, IPSEC etc.). In many applications these
   services are not sufficient (or too cumbersome to
   administer) to provide the type of authorization services

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  1]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   AttributeCertificates (ACs) provide a method of
   overcoming these problems. An AC is a structure which is
   similar to an X.509 public key certificate with the main
   difference being that it contains no public key. The AC
   typically contains group membership, role, clearance and
   other access control information associated with the AC

   In conjunction with authentication services ACs provide
   the means to securely transport authorization information
   to applications.

   The next section introduces some simple terminology. This
   is followed a brief statement of requirements, then by
   the definition of the "full" profile. The following
   section describes an algorithm for AC validation. Next a
   very limited, "simple" profile is defined and this is
   followed by a description of security considerations
   related to use of this specification. Appendices contain
   sample ACs and a compilable ASN.1 module.

2.   Terminology

   Term           Meaning

   AC             AttributeCertificate
   AC user        any entity that parses or processes an
   AC verifier    any entity that checks the validity of
                  an AC and then makes use of the result
   AC issuer      the entity which signs the AC
   AC owner       the entity indicated (perhaps
                  indirectly) in the subject field of the
   Client         the entity which is requesting the
                  action for which authorization checks
                  are to be made
   PKC            Public Key Certificate - uses the type
                  ASN.1 Certificate defined in X.509. This
                  (non-standard) acronym is used in order
                  to avoid confusion about the term "X.509
   Server         the entity which requires that the
                  authorization checks are made

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  2]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

3.   Requirements

   The following are the requirements which the "full"
   profile defined here meets.

   Time/Validity requirements:

   1. Support for short-lived or long-lived ACs is
      required. Typical validity periods might be measured in
      hours, as opposed to months for X.509 certificates. Short
      validity periods mean that ACs can be usable without
      mandating a revocation scheme.

   Attribute Types:

   2. Issuers of ACs should be able to define their own
      attribute types for use within closed domains.
   3. Some standard attribute types should be defined
      which can be contained within ACs, for example "access
      identity", "group", "role", "clearance", "audit
      identity", "charging id" etc.
   4. Standard attribute types should be defined so that
      it is possible for an AC verifier to distinguish between
      e.g. the "Administrators group" as defined by SSE and the
      "Administrators group" as defined by Widgets inc.
   5. ACs should support the encryption of some, or all,
      attributes (e.g. passwords for legacy applications). It
      should be possible for such an encrypted attribute to be
      deciphered by an appropriate AC verifier even where the
      AC has not been received directly from the AC owner (i.e.
      where the AC is delegated).

   Targeting of ACs:

   6. It should be possible to "target" an AC. This means
      that a given AC may be "targeted" at one, or a number of,
      servers/services in the sense that a trustworthy non-
      target will reject the AC for authorization decisions.


   7. It should be possible for a server to delegate an AC
      when it acts as a client (for another server) on behalf
      of the AC owner.
   8. Delegation should be under the AC issuer's control,
      so that not every AC is delegatable and so that a given
      delegatable AC can be delegated in a targeted fashion.
   9. Delegation should support chains of delegation where
      more than one intermediate server is used.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  3]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   Push vs. Pull

   10.  ACs should be defined so that they can either be
      "pushed" by the client to the server, or "pulled" by the
      server from a network service (whether the AC issuer or a
      directory service).

   This profile specifically imposes no requirements for:

   1. The meaning of a chain of ACs
   2. AC revocation
   3. AC translation

   Support for such features may be part of some other

   From this point in the document, the use of MUST, SHOULD
   etc. is in conformance to [RFC2119]

4.   The AC Profile

   This section specifies the profile of the X.509 AC which
   is to be supported by conforming implementations.

4.1  X.509 AttributeCertificate Definition

   X.509 contains the definition of an AttributeCertificate
   given below. Types which are not defined can be found in

        AttributeCertificate ::=
                  SIGNED AttributeCertificateInfo

        AttributeCertificateInfo ::= SEQUENCE {
             version        Version   DEFAULT v1,
             subject        CHOICE {
                  baseCertificateID   [0]  IssuerSerial,
                  subjectName         [1]  GeneralNames
             issuer         GeneralNames,
             signature      AlgortihmIdentifier,
             serial         CertificateSerialNumber,
             validity       AttrCertValidityPeriod,
             attributes     SEQUENCE OF Attribute,
             issuerUID      UniqueIdentifier    OPTIONAL,
             extensions     Extensions          OPTIONAL

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  4]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

        AttrCertValidityPeriod ::= SEQUENCE {
             notBefore      GeneralizedTime,
             notAfter       GeneralizedTime

        IssuerSerial ::= SEQUENCE {
             issuer         GeneralNames,
             serial         INTEGER,
             issuerUID      UniqueIdentifier OPTIONAL

4.2  Object Identifiers

   The following OIDs are used:

   ietf-ac             OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= <<tbs>>
   ietf-ac-extensions  OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= { ietf-ac 1}
   ietf-ac-attributes  OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= { ietf-ac 2}

4.3  Profile of Standard Fields.

4.3.1     version

   This must be the default value of v1, i.e. not present in

4.3.2     subject

   For any protocol where the AC is passed in an
   authenticated message or session, and where the
   authentication is based on the use of an X.509 public key
   certificate (PKC), the subject field MUST use the

   With the baseCertificateID option, the subject's PKC
   serialNumber and issuer MUST be identical to the AC
   subject field. The PKC issuer MUST have a non-NULL X.500
   name which is to be present as the single value of the of
   the subject.issuerSerial.issuer construct in the
   directoryName field. The subject.issuerSerial.issuerUID
   field MUST only be used if the subject's PKC contains an
   issuerUniqueID field.

   The above means that the baseCertificateID is only usable
   with PKC profiles (like PKIX) which mandate that the PKC
   issuer field contain a value.

   If the subject field uses the subjectName option then
   only one name should be present.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  5]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   For all GeneralName fields in this profile the otherName,
   x400Address, ediPartyName and registeredId options MUST
   NOT be used

   Any protocol which uses this profile SHOULD specify which
   AC subject option is to be used and how this fits with
   e.g. peer-entity authentication in the protocol.

4.3.3     issuer

   ACs conforming to this profile MUST contain one and only
   one GeneralName which must contain its value in the
   directoryName field. This means that all AC issuers MUST
   have non-NULL X.500 names.

4.3.4     validity

   The validity field specifies the period for which the AC
   issuer expects that the binding between the subject and
   the attributes fields will be valid. There is no implied
   guarantee that the binding will actually be valid at any
   given moment during the validity period.

   GeneralizedTime encoding is restricted as specified in
   [PKIX-1] for the corresponding fields in a PKC.

   Note that AC users MUST be able to handle the case where
   an AC is issued, which (at the time of parsing), has its
   entire validity period in the future (a "post-dated" AC).
   This is valid for some applications, e.g. backup.

4.3.5     signature

   Contains the algorithm identifier used to validate the AC

   This MUST be one of:

          algorithm           OID

          rsaWithSHA1         tbs - from PKIX/CMS
          rsaWithMD5          tbs
          dsaWithSHA1         tbs
          dsaWithMD5          tbs

   dsaWithSHA1 MUST be supported by all AC users. The other
   algorithms SHOULD be supported.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  6]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

4.3.6     serial

   For any given AC issuer, the issuer/serial pair MUST form
   a unique combination, even if ACs are very short-lived
   (one second is the shortest possible validity according
   to the above).

   AC issuers MUST force the serial number to be a positive
   integer, that is, the topmost bit in the DER encoding of
   the INTEGER value MUST NOT be a `1'B - this is done by
   adding a leading (leftmost) `00'H octet if necessary.
   This removes a potential ambiguity in mapping between an
   string of octets and a serial number.

   Given the uniqueness and timing requirements above serial
   numbers can be expected to contain long integers, i.e. AC
   users MUST be able to handle more than 32 bit integers

   There is no requirement that the serial numbers used by
   any AC issuer follow any particular ordering, e.g.  they
   needn't be monotonically increasing with time.

4.3.7     attributes

   The attributes field gives information about the AC
   owner. When the AC is used for authorization this will
   often contain a set of privileges. However, authorization
   may also require support for "restrictions" - these are
   not carried within the attributes field (though they
   "belong" to the AC owner) but in the extensions field.

   The attributes field contains a SET OF Attribute. For a
   given AC each attribute type in the set MUST be unique,
   that is, only one instance of each attribute type can
   occur in a single AC. Each instance can however, be multi-

   AC consumers MUST be able to handle multiple values for
   all attribute types.

   Standard attribute types are defined in section 4.5.

4.3.8     issuerUID

   This field MUST NOT be used.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  7]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

4.3.9     extensions

   The extensions field generally gives information about
   the AC as opposed to information about the AC owner. The
   exception is where restrictions are to be supported. If
   one regards a restriction as a qualification on a
   privilege then it is clear that restrictions must be
   implemented as a critical extension.

   Section 4.4 defines the extensions which MAY be used with
   this profile. An AC which has no extensions conforms to
   the profile. If any other critical extension is used,
   then the AC does not conform to this profile. An AC which
   contains additional non-critical extensions still

4.4  Extensions.

4.4.1     Restrictions

   A restriction is a "negative" privilege, for example an
   AC may "state" that the AC owner is a member of the
   administrative group except for purposes of backup.
   Restrictions would more properly be implemented as a
   separate field of the AC, but with the current version
   can only be supported via the use of a critical

   The value of this extension will be a SEQUENCE OF
   Attribute. The rules stated above for the AC attributes
   field (only one instance of each type etc.) apply here

   In addition an attribute type which occurs in the
   attributes field MUST NOT occur in the restrictions field
   (if present). This ensures that the entire AC contains
   only one instance of any attribute type at the expense of
   forcing the definition of new OIDs for some restrictions.

   OID            { ietf-ac-extensions 1 }
   syntax         SEQUENCE OF Attribute
   criticality    MUST be TRUE

4.4.2     Audit Identity

   In some circumstances it is required (e.g. by data
   protection/data privacy legislation) that audit trails do
   not contain records which identify individuals. This
   makes the use of the subject field of the AC unsuitable
   for use in audit trails.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  8]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   In order to allow for such cases an AC MAY contain an
   audit identity extension. Ideally it SHOULD be impossible
   to derive the AC owner's identity from the audit identity

   The value of the audit identity plus the AC issuer/serial
   should then be used for audit/logging purposes. If the
   value of the audit identity is suitably chosen then a
   server/service administrator can track the behaviour of
   an AC owner without being able to identify the AC owner.

   The server/service administrator in combination with the
   AC issuer can presumably identify the AC owner in cases
   where mis-behaviour is detected.

   Of course, auditing could be based on the AC
   issuer/serial pair, however, this method doesn't allow
   tracking the same AC owner across different ACs. This
   means that an audit identity is only useful if it lasts
   for longer than the typical AC lifetime - how much longer
   is an issue for the AC issuer implementation.

   As the AC verifier might otherwise use the AC subject or
   some other  identifying value for audit purposes, this
   extension MUST be critical when used.

   Protocols which use ACs will often expose the identity of
   the AC owner in the bits on-the-wire. In such cases, an
   "opaque" audit identity does not make use of the AC
   anonymous, it simply ensures that the ensuing audit
   trails are "semi-anonymous".

   OID            { ietf-ac-extensions 3 }
   syntax         OCTET STRING
   criticality    must be TRUE

4.4.3     AC Targeting

   In order to allow that an AC is "targeted" the delegation
   information extension specifies a number of
   servers/services. The intent is that the AC should only
   be usable at these servers/services - an (honest) AC
   verifier who is not amongst the named servers/services
   MUST reject the AC.

   This extension also controls delegation.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page  9]
INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   If this extension is not present then the AC is not
   delegatable. Any server which receives the AC such that
   the subject and the authenticated peer-entity do not
   match MUST reject the AC.

   When this extension is present we are essentially
   checking that the entity from which the AC was received
   was allowed to send it and that the AC is allowed to be
   used by this recipient.

   The targeting information consists of the direct
   information (targets field) and an optional set of
   delegate information (delegates field). If the "direct
   check" or any of the "delegate" checks (see below) pass
   then the "targeting check" as a whole is successful.

   Though the rules given below look complex, they aren't -
   the effect is that the AC owner can send to any valid
   target which can then only delegate to targets which are
   in one of the same delegate sets as itself.

   The following data structure is used to represent the
   targeting/delegation information.

   DelegationInfo ::= SEQUENCE {
        owner     CHOICE {
             baseCertificateID   [0]  IssuerSerial,
             subjectName         [1]  GeneralNames
        targets   Targets             OPTIONAL,
        delegates SEQUENCE OF Targets OPTIONAL
   Targets ::= SEQUENCE OF Target
   Target ::= CHOICE {
        targetName          [0] GeneralName,
        targetGroup         [1] GeneralName

   We represent a special target, called "ALL" which is a
   wildcard as a targetName with the OID choice and a value
   of {ietf-ac-extensions 4 1}.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 10]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   The direct check passes if:

        the identity of the client as established by the
        underlying authentication service matches the owner
            the targets field contains one targetName which
            is the "ALL" value
             the current server (recipient) is one of the
             targetName fields in the targets part
             the current server is a member of one of the
             targetGroup fields in the targets part.

   How the membership of a target within a targetGroup is
   determined is not defined here. It is assumed that any
   given target "knows" the names of the targetGroup's to
   which it belongs or can otherwise determine its

   A delegate check succeeds if

             the identity of the sender as established by
             the underlying authentication service matches
             the owner field
                  the current server "matches" any one of
                  the delegate sets (where "matches" is as
                  for the direct check above)
             the identity of the sender as established by
             the underlying authentication service "matches"
             one of the delegate sets (call it  set  "A")
             the current server is one of the targetName
             fields in the set "A"
             the current server is a member of one of the
             targetGroup fields in set "A".

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 11]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   Where an AC is delegated more than once a number of
   targets will be on the path from the original client
   which is normally, but not always, the AC owner. In such
   cases prevention of AC "stealing" requires that the AC
   verifier MUST check that all targets on the path are
   members of the same delegate set. It is the
   responsibility of the AC using protocol to ensure that a
   trustworthy list of targets on the path is available to
   the AC verifier.

   OID            { ietf-ac-extensions 4 }
   syntax         DelegationInfo
   criticality    must be TRUE

4.4.4     authorityKeyIdentifier

   The authorityKeyIdentifier extension as profiled in [PKIX-
   1] MAY be used to assist the AC verifier in checking the
   signature of the AC. The [PKIX-1] description should be
   read as if "CA" meant "AC issuer". As with PKCs this
   extension SHOULD be included in ACs.

   OID            { id-ce 35 }
   syntax         AuthorityKeyIdentifier
   criticality    MUST be FALSE

4.5  Attribute Types

   <<it'd be much nicer to inherit all of the attribute
   definitions instead of making new syntax - any suitable

   Some of the attribute types defined below make use of the
   IetfAttrSyntax type defined below. The reasons for using
   this type are:

   1.It allows a separation between the AC issuer and the
     attribute policy authority. This is useful for situations
     where a single policy authority (e.g. an organisation)
     allocates attribute values, but where multiple AC issuers
     are deployed for performance, network or other reasons.
   2.It allows the type of the attribute (privilege,
     restriction) to be made explicit which helps server
     implementations which provide an API on top of an AC
     validation module.
   3.The syntaxes allowed for values are restricted to
     OCTET STRING and OID which reduces some of the matching
     complexities associated with GeneralName.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 12]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

        IetfAttrSyntax ::= SEQUENCE OF {
             type      INTEGER {
                       DEFAULT privilege,
             policyAuthority[0] GeneralNames    OPTIONAL,
             values         SEQUENCE OF CHOICE {
                           octets    OCTET STRING,
                           oid       OBJECT IDENTIFIER

4.5.1     Service Authentication Info

   This attribute type identifies the AC owner to the
   server/service by a name and with optional authentication
   information. Typically this will contain a
   username/password pair for a "legacy" application (and
   hence MAY need to be encrypted).

   OID       { ietf-ac-attributes 1}
   Syntax    SvceAuthInfo
   values:   Multiple allowed

        SvceAuthInfo ::=    SEQUENCE {
             service   GeneralName,
             ident     GeneralName,
             authInfo  OCTET STRING OPTIONAL

4.5.2     Access Identity

   An access identity identifies the AC owner to the
   server/service. For this attribute the authInfo field
   MUST NOT be present.

   OID       { ietf-ac-attributes 2}
   syntax    SvceAuthInfo
   values:   Multiple allowed

4.5.3     Charging Identity

   This attribute type identifies the AC owner for charging

   OID       { ietf-ac-attributes 3}
   syntax    IetfAttrSyntax
   values:   Multiple allowed

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 13]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

4.5.4     Group

   This attribute carries information about group
   memberships of the AC owner.

   <<might be more useful to defined OS specific group
   attribute types which map to UNIX gids or NT SIDs?>>

   OID       { ietf-ac-attributes 4}
   syntax    IetfAttrSyntax
   values:   Multiple allowed

4.5.5     Role

   This attribute carries information about role allocations
   of the AC owner.

   OID       { ietf-ac-attributes 5}
   syntax    IetfAttrSyntax
   values:   Multiple allowed

4.5.6     Clearance

   This attribute carries clearance (security labelling)
   information about the AC owner.

   OID       { id-aa-securityLabel }
            { iso(1) member-body(2) us(840) rsadsi(113549)
            pkcs(1) pkcs-9(9) smime(16) id-aa(2) 2}
   syntax    ESSSecurityLabel - imported from [ESS]
   values    Multiple allowed

4.5.7     EncryptedAttributes

   Where an AC will be carried in clear within an
   application protocol or where an AC which may be
   delegated contains some sensitive information (e.g. a
   legacy application username/password) then encryption of
   AC attributes MAY be needed.

   When a set of attributes are to be encrypted within an
   AC, the cryptographic message syntax, EnvelopedData
   structure [CMS] is used to carry the ciphertext(s) and
   associated per-recipient keying information.

   This type of attribute encryption is targeted which means
   that before the AC is signed the attributes have been
   encrypted for a set of predetermined recipients.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 14]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   The AC then contains the ciphertext(s) inside its signed

   The "enveloped-data" (id-envelopedData) ContentType is
   used and the content field will contain the EnvelopedData

   Only one encrytpedAttributes attribute can be present in
   an AC - however it MAY be multi-valued and each of its
   values will contain an EnvelopedData.
   Each value can contain a set of attributes (each possibly
   a multi-valued attribute) encrypted for a set of

   The cleartext which is encrypted has the type:

   ACClearAttrs ::= SEQUENCE {
        acIssuer  GeneralName,
        acSerial  INTEGER,
        attrs     SEQUENCE OF Attribute

   The DER encoding of the ACClearAttrs structure is used as
   the encryptedContent field of the EnvelopedData, i.e. the
   DER encoding MUST be embedded in an OCTET STRING.

   The acIssuer and serial fields are present to prevent
   ciphertext stealing - when an AC verifier has
   successfully decrypted an encrypted attribute it MUST
   then check that the AC issuer and serial fields contain
   the same values. This prevents a malicious AC issuer from
   copying ciphertext from another AC issuer's AC into an AC
   issued by the malicious AC issuer.

   The procedure for an AC issuer when encrypting attributes
   is illustrated by the following (any other procedure
   which gives the same result is fine):

   1.Identify the sets of attributes which are to be
     encrypted for each set of recipients.
   2.For each attribute set which is to be encrypted:
      2.1. Create an EnvelopedData structure for the data for
          this set of recipients.
      2.2. Encode the EnvelopedData as a value of the
          EncryptedAttributes attribute
      2.3. Ensure the cleartext attribute(s) are not present in
          the to-be-signed AC
   3.Add the EncryptedAttribute (with its multiple
     values) to the AC

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 15]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   OID       { ietf-ac-attributes 6}
   Syntax    ContentInfo
   values    Multiple Allowed

5.   AttributeCertificate Validation

   This section describes a basic set of rules which all
   "valid" ACs MUST satisfy. Some additional checks are also
   described which AC verifiers MAY choose to implement.

   To be valid an AC MUST satisfy all of the following:

   1. the time of evaluation MUST be within validity (if
      the evaluation time is equal to either notBefore or
      notAfter then the AC is timely, i.e. this check succeeds)
   2. the signature must be valid - based on a PKC for the
      AC issuer
   3. the AC validity.notBefore must be within the
      validity period of the AC issuer's PKC
   4. if an AC contains attributes apparently encrypted
      for the AC verifier then the decryption process MUST not
      fail - if decryption fails then the AC MUST be rejected
   5. the AC targeting check MUST pass (see section 4.4.3
   6. the AC issuer MUST be explicitly trusted - this is
      NOT the same as the AC having a valid PKC - the AC
      verifier will require some additional
      configuration/parameterisation in order to determine this
   7. if the AC contains any "unsupported" critical
      extensions then the AC MUST be rejected.

   "Support" for an extension in this context means:

   1.the AC verifier MUST be able to parse the extension
   2.where the extension value SHOULD cause the AC to be
     rejected, the AC verifier MUST reject the AC

   Additional Checks:

   1.The AC MAY be rejected on the basis of further AC
     verifier configuration, for example an AC verifier may be
     configured to reject ACs which contain or lack certain
     attribute types
   2.If the AC verifier provides an interface which
     allows applications to query the contents of the AC, then
     the AC verifier MAY filter the attributes from the AC on
     the basis of configured information, e.g. an AC verifier
     might be configured not to return certain attributes to
     certain targets.

Farrell, S.                Expires Feb. 20,      1999   [Page 16]

INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

6.   Conformance

   This specification defines two levels of conformance,
   simple and full. For each level the actors involved must
   meet different requirements. The intention is that
   support for the simple level should allow for freely
   interoperable but fairly inflexible and "featureless" AC
   based authorization. Full conformance requires more
   effort from implementors, may not be as widely
   interoperable and is harder to administer, but does offer
   much more flexibility and many more features.

   A fully conformant AC issuer MUST be able to produce all
   of the attribute types and extensions specified above. A
   fully conformant AC verifier MUST "support" all of the
   attribute types and extensions specified above. "Support"
   in the previous sentence means more than just parsing -
   it means that the AC verifier (which is part of a target)
   MUST be able to reject any AC which should not be valid
   at that target and MUST be able to make any attributes
   and extensions which were not fully processed available
   to the calling application.

   A fully conformant AC issuer is responsible to ensure
   that no AC produced could be accepted by a simply
   conformant AV verifier in such a way as to cause a
   security breach.

   <<dunno if that can happen but I should think about it>>

   Simple conformance for an AC issuer means support for
   production of ACs which:

   1.always use the baseCertificateID subject name
   2.are never post-dated
   3.can contain AccessIdentity, Group and/or Role
     attributes with multiple values
   4.do not contain any other attributes which cannot
     safely be ignored by an AC verifier
   5.can contain the AuthorityKeyIdentifier extension
   6.contain no critical extensions (and hence is not
   7.do not contain encrypted attributes

   Simple conformance for an AC verifier means support for
   the validation of ACs which are produced by simply
   conformant AC issuers. A simply comformant AC verifier
   can ignore the presence of any unsupported attributes or

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INTERNET-DRAFT                AC PROF              August 20 1998

   extensions (of course it must reject all ACs which
   contain critical extensions) and need only make the
   values of the above attributes available to applications.

7.   Security Considerations


8.   References

   [CMS]      Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax",
              draft-ietf-smime-cms-05.txt, May 1998.
   [ESS]      Hoffman, P., "Enhanced Security Services for
              draft-ietf-smime-ess-05.txt, April 1998.
   [PKIX-1]   Housley, R., Ford, W., Polk, T, & Solo, D.,
              "Internet Public Key Infrastructure - X.509
              Certificate and CRL profile",
              draft-ietf-pkix-ipki-part1-07.txt, March
   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to
              Indicate Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, March

Author's Address

   Stephen Farrell,
   SSE Ltd.
   Fitzwilliam Court,
   Leeson Close,
   Dublin 2,

   tel: +353-1-676-9089
   email: stephen.farrell@sse.ie

Appendix 1:    Samples


Appendix 2:    "Compilable" ASN.1 Module


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