RFC 8812  COSE & JOSE Registrations for WebAuthn Algs  August 2020 
Jones  Standards Track  [Page] 
 Stream:
 Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
 RFC:
 8812
 Category:
 Standards Track
 Published:
 ISSN:
 20701721
RFC 8812
CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) and JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) Registrations for Web Authentication (WebAuthn) Algorithms
Abstract
The W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) specification and the FIDO Alliance FIDO2 Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP) specification use CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) algorithm identifiers. This specification registers the following algorithms (which are used by WebAuthn and CTAP implementations) in the IANA "COSE Algorithms" registry: RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA256, SHA384, SHA512, and SHA1; and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) using the secp256k1 curve and SHA256. It registers the secp256k1 elliptic curve in the IANA "COSE Elliptic Curves" registry. Also, for use with JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE), it registers the algorithm ECDSA using the secp256k1 curve and SHA256 in the IANA "JSON Web Signature and Encryption Algorithms" registry and the secp256k1 elliptic curve in the IANA "JSON Web Key Elliptic Curve" registry.¶
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 7841.¶
Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc8812.¶
Copyright Notice
Copyright (c) 2020 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 (https://trustee.ietf.org/licenseinfo) 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.¶
1. Introduction
This specification defines how to use several algorithms with CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) [RFC8152] that are used by implementations of the W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) [WebAuthn] and FIDO Alliance FIDO2 Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP) [CTAP] specifications. This specification registers these algorithms in the IANA "COSE Algorithms" registry [IANA.COSE.Algorithms] and registers an elliptic curve in the IANA "COSE Elliptic Curves" registry [IANA.COSE.Curves]. This specification also registers a corresponding algorithm for use with JSON Object Signing and Encryption (JOSE) [RFC7515] in the IANA "JSON Web Signature and Encryption Algorithms" registry [IANA.JOSE.Algorithms] and registers an elliptic curve in the IANA "JSON Web Key Elliptic Curve" registry [IANA.JOSE.Curves].¶
1.1. Requirements Notation and Conventions
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.¶
2. RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 Signature Algorithm
The RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 signature algorithm is defined in [RFC8017]. The RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 signature algorithm is parameterized with a hash function (h).¶
A key of size 2048 bits or larger MUST be used with these algorithms. Implementations need to check that the key type is 'RSA' when creating or verifying a signature.¶
The RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 algorithms specified in this document are in the following table.¶
Name  Value  Hash  Description  Recommended 

RS256  257  SHA256  RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA256  No 
RS384  258  SHA384  RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA384  No 
RS512  259  SHA512  RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA512  No 
RS1  65535  SHA1  RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA1  Deprecated 
Security considerations for use of the first three algorithms are in Section 5.2. Security considerations for use of the last algorithm are in Section 5.3.¶
Note that these algorithms are already present in the IANA "JSON Web Signature and Encryption Algorithms" registry [IANA.JOSE.Algorithms], and so these registrations are only for the IANA "COSE Algorithms" registry [IANA.COSE.Algorithms].¶
3. Using secp256k1 with JOSE and COSE
This section defines algorithm encodings and representations enabling the Standards for Efficient Cryptography Group (SECG) elliptic curve secp256k1 [SEC2] to be used for JOSE [RFC7515] and COSE [RFC8152] messages.¶
3.1. JOSE and COSE secp256k1 Curve Key Representations
The SECG elliptic curve secp256k1 [SEC2] is represented in a JSON Web Key (JWK) [RFC7517] using these values:¶
plus the values needed to represent the curve point, as defined in
Section 6.2.1 of [RFC7518]. As a
compressed point encoding representation is not defined for JWK
elliptic curve points, the uncompressed point encoding defined there
MUST be used. The x
and y
values
represented MUST both be exactly 256 bits, with any
leading zeros preserved. Other optional values such as alg
MAY also be present.¶
It is represented in a COSE_Key [RFC8152] using these values:¶
plus the values needed to represent the curve point, as defined in
Section 13.1.1 of [RFC8152].
Either the uncompressed or compressed point encoding representations
defined there can be used. The x
value represented
MUST be exactly 256 bits, with any leading zeros
preserved. If the uncompressed representation is used, the
y
value represented MUST likewise be exactly
256 bits, with any leading zeros preserved; if the compressed
representation is used, the y
value is a boolean value, as
specified in Section 13.1.1 of [RFC8152]. Other optional values such as alg
(3) MAY also be present.¶
3.2. ECDSA Signature with secp256k1 Curve
The ECDSA signature algorithm is defined in [DSS]. This specification defines the ES256K
algorithm identifier, which is used to specify the use of ECDSA with
the secp256k1 curve and the SHA256 [DSS] cryptographic hash function. Implementations
need to check that the key type is EC
for JOSE or
EC2
(2) for COSE and that the curve of the key is secp256k1
when creating or verifying a signature.¶
The ECDSA secp256k1 SHA256 digital signature is generated as follows:¶
 Generate a digital signature of the JWS Signing Input or the COSE Sig_structure using ECDSA secp256k1 SHA256 with the desired private key. The output will be the pair (R, S), where R and S are 256bit unsigned integers.¶
 Turn R and S into octet sequences in bigendian order, with each array being 32 octets long. The octet sequence representations MUST NOT be shortened to omit any leading zero octets contained in the values.¶
 Concatenate the two octet sequences in the order R and then S. (Note that many ECDSA implementations will directly produce this concatenation as their output.)¶
 The resulting 64octet sequence is the JWS Signature or COSE signature value.¶
Implementations SHOULD use a deterministic algorithm to generate the ECDSA nonce, k, such as the algorithm defined in [RFC6979]. However, in situations where devices are vulnerable to physical attacks, deterministic ECDSA has been shown to be susceptible to fault injection attacks [KUDELSKI17] [EUROSP18]. Where this is a possibility, implementations SHOULD implement appropriate countermeasures. Where there are specific certification requirements (such as FIPS approval), implementors should check whether deterministic ECDSA is an approved nonce generation method.¶
The ECDSA secp256k1 SHA256 algorithm specified in this document uses these identifiers:¶
Name  Value  Description  Recommended 

ES256K  47  ECDSA using secp256k1 curve and SHA256  No 
When using a JWK or COSE_Key for this algorithm, the following checks are made:¶

The
kty
field MUST be present, and it MUST beEC
for JOSE orEC2
for COSE.¶ 
The
crv
field MUST be present, and it MUST represent thesecp256k1
elliptic curve.¶ 
If the
alg
field is present, it MUST represent theES256K
algorithm.¶ 
If the
key_ops
field is present, it MUST includesign
when creating an ECDSA signature.¶ 
If the
key_ops
field is present, it MUST includeverify
when verifying an ECDSA signature.¶ 
If the JWK
use
field is present, its value MUST besig
.¶
3.3. Other Uses of the secp256k1 Elliptic Curve
This specification defines how to use the secp256k1 curve for ECDSA signatures for both JOSE and COSE implementations. While in theory the curve could also be used for ECDHES key agreement, it is beyond the scope of this specification to state whether this is or is not advisable. Thus, whether or not to recommend its use with ECDHES is left for experts to decide in future specifications.¶
When used for ECDSA, the secp256k1 curve MUST be used
only with the ES256K
algorithm identifier and not any
others, including not with the COSE ES256
identifier. Note
that the ES256K
algorithm identifier needed to be
introduced for JOSE to sign with the secp256k1 curve because the
JOSE ES256
algorithm is defined to be used only with the
P256 curve. The COSE treatment of how to sign with secp256k1 is
intentionally parallel to that for JOSE, where the secp256k1 curve
MUST be used with the ES256K
algorithm
identifier.¶
4. IANA Considerations
4.1. COSE Algorithms Registrations
IANA has registered the following values in the "COSE Algorithms" registry [IANA.COSE.Algorithms].¶
 Name:
 RS256¶
 Value:
 257¶
 Description:
 RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA256¶
 Change Controller:
 IESG¶
 Reference:
 Section 2 of RFC 8812¶
 Recommended:
 No¶
 Name:
 RS384¶
 Value:
 258¶
 Description:
 RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA384¶
 Change Controller:
 IESG¶
 Reference:
 Section 2 of RFC 8812¶
 Recommended:
 No¶
 Name:
 RS512¶
 Value:
 259¶
 Description:
 RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 using SHA512¶
 Change Controller:
 IESG¶
 Reference:
 Section 2 of RFC 8812¶
 Recommended:
 No¶
4.2. COSE Elliptic Curves Registrations
IANA has registered the following value in the "COSE Elliptic Curves" registry [IANA.COSE.Curves].¶
4.3. JOSE Algorithms Registrations
IANA has registered the following value in the "JSON Web Signature and Encryption Algorithms" registry [IANA.JOSE.Algorithms].¶
4.4. JSON Web Key Elliptic Curves Registrations
IANA has registered the following value in the "JSON Web Key Elliptic Curve" registry [IANA.JOSE.Curves].¶
5. Security Considerations
5.1. RSA Key Size Security Considerations
The security considerations on key sizes for RSA algorithms from Section 6.1 of [RFC8230] also apply to the RSA algorithms in this specification.¶
5.2. RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 with SHA2 Security Considerations
The security considerations on the use of RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 with SHA2 hash functions (SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512) from Section 8.3 of [RFC7518] also apply to their use in this specification. For that reason, these algorithms are registered as being "Not Recommended". Likewise, the exponent restrictions described in Section 8.3 of [RFC7518] also apply.¶
5.3. RSASSAPKCS1v1_5 with SHA1 Security Considerations
The security considerations on the use of the SHA1 hash function from [RFC6194] apply in this specification. For that reason, the "RS1" algorithm is registered as "Deprecated". Likewise, the exponent restrictions described in Section 8.3 of [RFC7518] also apply.¶
A COSE algorithm identifier for this algorithm is nonetheless being registered because deployed Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs) continue to use it; therefore, WebAuthn implementations need a COSE algorithm identifier for "RS1" when TPM attestations using this algorithm are being represented. New COSE applications and protocols MUST NOT use this algorithm.¶
5.4. secp256k1 Security Considerations
Care should be taken that a secp256k1 key is not mistaken for a P256 [RFC7518] key,
given that their representations are the same
except for the crv
value.
As described in Section 8.1.1 of [RFC8152],
we currently do not have any way to deal with this
attack except to restrict the set of curves that can be used.¶
The procedures and security considerations described in the [SEC1], [SEC2], and [DSS] specifications apply to implementations of this specification.¶
Timing sidechannel attacks are possible if the implementation of scalar multiplication over the curve does not execute in constant time.¶
There are theoretical weaknesses with this curve that could result in future attacks. While these potential weaknesses are not unique to this curve, they are the reason that this curve is registered as "Recommended: No".¶
6. References
6.1. Normative References
 [DSS]
 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), "Digital Signature Standard (DSS)", FIPS PUB 1864, DOI 10.6028/NIST.FIPS.1864, , <https://doi.org/10.6028/NIST.FIPS.1864>.
 [RFC2119]
 Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc2119>.
 [RFC6194]
 Polk, T., Chen, L., Turner, S., and P. Hoffman, "Security Considerations for the SHA0 and SHA1 MessageDigest Algorithms", RFC 6194, DOI 10.17487/RFC6194, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc6194>.
 [RFC7515]
 Jones, M., Bradley, J., and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web Signature (JWS)", RFC 7515, DOI 10.17487/RFC7515, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc7515>.
 [RFC7517]
 Jones, M., "JSON Web Key (JWK)", RFC 7517, DOI 10.17487/RFC7517, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc7517>.
 [RFC7518]
 Jones, M., "JSON Web Algorithms (JWA)", RFC 7518, DOI 10.17487/RFC7518, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc7518>.
 [RFC8017]
 Moriarty, K., Ed., Kaliski, B., Jonsson, J., and A. Rusch, "PKCS #1: RSA Cryptography Specifications Version 2.2", RFC 8017, DOI 10.17487/RFC8017, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc8017>.
 [RFC8152]
 Schaad, J., "CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE)", RFC 8152, DOI 10.17487/RFC8152, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc8152>.
 [RFC8174]
 Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc8174>.
 [RFC8230]
 Jones, M., "Using RSA Algorithms with CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) Messages", RFC 8230, DOI 10.17487/RFC8230, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc8230>.
 [SEC1]
 Standards for Efficient Cryptography Group, "SEC 1: Elliptic Curve Cryptography", Version 2.0, , <https://www.secg.org/sec1v2.pdf>.
 [SEC2]
 Standards for Efficient Cryptography Group, "SEC 2: Recommended Elliptic Curve Domain Parameters", Version 2.0, , <https://www.secg.org/sec2v2.pdf>.
6.2. Informative References
 [CTAP]
 Brand, C., Czeskis, A., Ehrensvärd, J., Jones, M., Kumar, A., Lindemann, R., Powers, A., and J. Verrept, "Client to Authenticator Protocol (CTAP)", FIDO Alliance Proposed Standard, , <https://fidoalliance.org/specs/fidov2.0ps20190130/fidoclienttoauthenticatorprotocolv2.0ps20190130.html>.
 [EUROSP18]
 Poddebniak, D., Somorovsky, J., Schinzel, S., Lochter, M., and P. Rösler, "Attacking Deterministic Signature Schemes using Fault Attacks", 2018 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy (EuroS&P) , DOI 10.1109/EuroSP.2018.00031, , <https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8406609>.
 [IANA.COSE.Algorithms]
 IANA, "COSE Algorithms", <https://www.iana.org/assignments/cose>.
 [IANA.COSE.Curves]
 IANA, "COSE Elliptic Curves", <https://www.iana.org/assignments/cose>.
 [IANA.JOSE.Algorithms]
 IANA, "JSON Web Signature and Encryption Algorithms", <https://www.iana.org/assignments/jose>.
 [IANA.JOSE.Curves]
 IANA, "JSON Web Key Elliptic Curve", <https://www.iana.org/assignments/jose>.
 [KUDELSKI17]
 Romailler, Y., "How to Defeat Ed25519 and EdDSA Using Faults", Kudelski Security Research, , <https://research.kudelskisecurity.com/2017/10/04/defeatingeddsawithfaults/>.
 [RFC6979]
 Pornin, T., "Deterministic Usage of the Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA) and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA)", RFC 6979, DOI 10.17487/RFC6979, , <https://www.rfceditor.org/info/rfc6979>.
 [WebAuthn]
 Balfanz, D., Czeskis, A., Hodges, J., Jones, J.C., Jones, M., Kumar, A., Liao, A., Lindemann, R., and E. Lundberg, "Web Authentication: An API for accessing Public Key Credentials  Level 1", W3C Recommendation, , <https://www.w3.org/TR/2019/RECwebauthn120190304/>.
Acknowledgements
Thanks to Roman Danyliw, Linda Dunbar, Stephen Farrell, John Fontana, Jeff Hodges, Kevin Jacobs, J.C. Jones, Benjamin Kaduk, Murray Kucherawy, Neil Madden, John Mattsson, Matthew Miller, Tony Nadalin, Matt Palmer, Eric Rescorla, Rich Salz, Jim Schaad, Goeran Selander, Wendy Seltzer, Sean Turner, and Samuel Weiler for their roles in registering these algorithm identifiers.¶