X.509 Key and Signature Encoding for the KeyNote Trust Management System
RFC 5708

Document Type RFC - Informational (January 2010; Errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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IESG IESG state RFC 5708 (Informational)
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Responsible AD Tim Polk
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Independent Submission                                      A. Keromytis
Request for Comments: 5708                           Columbia University
Category: Informational                                     January 2010
ISSN: 2070-1721

                X.509 Key and Signature Encoding for the
                    KeyNote Trust Management System


   This memo describes X.509 key identifiers and signature encoding for
   version 2 of the KeyNote trust-management system (RFC 2704).  X.509
   certificates (RFC 5280) can be directly used in the Authorizer or
   Licensees field (or in both fields) in a KeyNote assertion, allowing
   for easy integration with protocols that already use X.509
   certificates for authentication.

   In addition, the document defines additional signature types that use
   other hash functions (beyond the MD5 and SHA1 hash functions that are
   defined in RFC 2792).

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any other
   RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at
   its discretion and makes no statement about its value for
   implementation or deployment.  Documents approved for publication by
   the RFC Editor are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 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
   (http:trustee.ietf.org/license-info) 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.

Keromytis                    Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 5708               X.509 Encoding for KeyNote           January 2010

1.  Introduction

   KeyNote is a simple and flexible trust-management system designed to
   work well for a variety of large- and small-scale, Internet-based
   applications.  It provides a single, unified language for both local
   policies and credentials.  KeyNote policies and credentials, called
   'assertions', contain predicates that describe the trusted actions
   permitted by the holders of specific public keys.  KeyNote assertions
   are essentially small, highly structured programs.  A signed
   assertion, which can be sent over an untrusted network, is also
   called a 'credential assertion'.  Credential assertions, which also
   serve the role of certificates, have the same syntax as policy
   assertions but are also signed by the principal delegating the trust.
   Note that only one principal may sign a credential assertion, but
   trust may be delegated to multiple principals.  The credential
   assertion may delegate trust to each of these principals separately
   or to groups of principals required to act together.  For more
   details on KeyNote, see [KEYNOTE].  This document assumes reader
   familiarity with the KeyNote system.

   Cryptographic keys may be used in KeyNote to identify principals.  To
   facilitate interoperation between different implementations and to
   allow for maximal flexibility, keys must be converted to a normalized
   canonical form (dependent on the public key algorithm used) for the
   purposes of any internal comparisons between keys.  For example, an
   RSA key may be encoded in base64 [RFC4648] ASCII in one credential
   and in hexadecimal ASCII in another.  A KeyNote implementation must
   internally convert the two encodings to a normalized form that allows
   for comparison between them.  Furthermore, the internal structure of
   an encoded key must be known for an implementation to correctly
   decode it.  [RFC2792] describes the RSA and DSA (Digital Signature
   Algorithm) key identifier and signature encodings for use in KeyNote
   assertions.  This document specifies a new key identifier, allowing
   X.509 certificates [RFC5280] to be used as a key substitute wherever
   an RSA or DSA key may be used in KeyNote.  Specifically, KeyNote will
   use the key associated with the subject of an X.509 certificate.  In
   addition, this document defines a corresponding signature encoding,
   to be used in conjunction with X.509 key identifiers.  Finally, this
   document defines new signature encodings that use new hash functions
   beyond the MD5 and SHA1 functions defined in RFC 2792, and which in
   recent years have been found to be vulnerable to attack.
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