The 'Basic' HTTP Authentication Scheme
RFC 7617

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (September 2015; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 2617
Last updated 2015-10-14
Replaces draft-ietf-httpauth-basicauth-enc, draft-reschke-basicauth-enc
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Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication
Document shepherd Yoav Nir
Shepherd write-up Show (last changed 2015-01-25)
IESG IESG state RFC 7617 (Proposed Standard)
Consensus Boilerplate Yes
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Responsible AD Kathleen Moriarty
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IANA IANA review state Version Changed - Review Needed
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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        J. Reschke
Request for Comments: 7617                                    greenbytes
Obsoletes: 2617                                           September 2015
Category: Standards Track
ISSN: 2070-1721

                 The 'Basic' HTTP Authentication Scheme

Abstract

   This document defines the "Basic" Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
   authentication scheme, which transmits credentials as user-id/
   password pairs, encoded using Base64.

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 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7617.

Reschke                      Standards Track                    [Page 1]
RFC 7617           'Basic' HTTP Authentication Scheme     September 2015

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 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.  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.

   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.
   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Terminology and Notation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  The 'Basic' Authentication Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  The 'charset' auth-param  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.2.  Reusing Credentials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   3.  Internationalization Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     6.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     6.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Appendix A.  Changes from RFC 2617  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Appendix B.  Deployment Considerations for the 'charset'
                Parameter  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     B.1.  User Agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     B.2.  Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     B.3.  Why not simply switch the default encoding to UTF-8?  . .  14
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15

Reschke                      Standards Track                    [Page 2]
RFC 7617           'Basic' HTTP Authentication Scheme     September 2015

1.  Introduction

   This document defines the "Basic" Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
   authentication scheme, which transmits credentials as user-id/
   password pairs, encoded using Base64 (HTTP authentication schemes are
   defined in [RFC7235]).

   This scheme is not considered to be a secure method of user
   authentication unless used in conjunction with some external secure
   system such as TLS (Transport Layer Security, [RFC5246]), as the
   user-id and password are passed over the network as cleartext.
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