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From Cliff Jansen <cliffjan...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Using Qpid Dispatch (with C++ broker)
Date Sun, 30 Aug 2015 19:13:46 GMT
Hi Jacob,

I believe you have been using the NSS trustargs to do special
authentication configuration.  Something like assign "T" to a dummy
cert and store client certificates in your list of CAs with an
appropriate trustarg so that they could validate as a leaf certificate
only and not as an intermediate CA (signing arbitrary credentials).

Proton's trustedCerts can get you part way there, but I'm not
convinced of the rest is possible.  NSS uses the trustargs attribute
to augment or override attributes on the certificates themselves.  To
the best of my knowledge OpenSSL and Java crypto only use the
attributes contained in the actual certificate (Windows certificates
can have limited different meaning depending on which store they live

In theory, you can require the self-signed certs that you use to have
the proper X509v3 extensions that correspond to the NSS trustargs you
rely on, otherwise you reject them as malformed before you insert them
in your CA database.  The extensions would presumably be:

  Basic constraint: CA:false (critical)
  Key usage: Digital signature/key encipherment (critical)
  Extended key usage: TLS Web Client Auth (only, no signing)

That may work as you intend for OpenSSL and Dispatch.

However, I do not recommend this as your preferred approach.  The fly
in the ointment is RFC5280 section 6.2 which essentially says: the
rules in this RFC are deliberately murky when using self-signed certs
as CA's... implementations can do what they want.

As an alternative that works more within stricter rfc5280 rules,
perhaps you could do something like:

  You become the root certificate authority
  Users send you a CSR
  You create a unique intermediate CA for each user from the root
  Use this CA to sign this one CSR using the constraints you like
  Import each intermediate CA into your CA database but not the root

Here a stolen user private key cannot be used to create fake
credentials.  You can remove the intermediate CA at will to revoke the
client certificate (without using the formal revocation list
mechanism).  Predictable rfc5280 validation will occur on all
platforms.  Disclaimer: I haven't actually tried this and I'm mostly
guessing at your use case.  But I do worry that using self-signed
certificates as you currently do will require reworking all your
certificates each time you add a future component (Java broker,
Windows thingamajig).


On Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 6:54 AM, Jakub Scholz <jakub@scholz.cz> wrote:
> Thanks for the clarification regarding the certificate databases. As I see
> it, the trustedCerts might be useful in case you don't use CAs but directly
> the end user certificates. This is what I usually use with self-signed
> certificates. In such case you don't wont to have them all listed during
> the SSL handshake, because each certificate = user account. So one can use
> the trustedCerts to override it. That is nice.
> However, that brings me to another question ... the C++ broker is using the
> NSS library which distinguishes between trusted peer (only the trusted peer
> it self can connect, certificates signed by the peer will be rejected) and
> trusted CA (certificates signed by the trusted CA can connect). Do you have
> by coincidence an idea how Proton / OpenSSL deals with this? There is no
> trusted peer / CA flag in the certDb.
> Thanks & Regards
> Jakub
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 8:19 PM, Cliff Jansen <cliffjansen@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The certDb (proton:
>> pn_ssl_domain_t::pn_ssl_domain_trusted_certificate_db) is the
>> database/collection/store of CA certificates which are used to
>> validate the authenticity of the peer's certificate (client or
>> server).  For self signed certificates, at least the public portion of
>> the certificate itself must be in the database (since it is its own
>> CA).
>> The trustedCerts (proton
>> pn_ssl_domain_t::pn_ssl_domain_set_peer_authentication) is a
>> server-only attribute specifying the list of CA's that will be
>> included in the "client certificate request" portion of the first SSL
>> handshake packet from the server to the client.  In theory, Proton
>> could allow the application examine this list and provide its
>> preferred client certificate for that server, but it currently
>> requires a single certificate to be specified before socket creation,
>> and it does not change during SSL negotiation.  Proton could also
>> allow the server to change the list based on the client's IP address
>> or other client hello context, but again the value is fixed before
>> listener socket creation.
>> I am not sure if there is a good use case to specify the two with
>> different values for messaging applications requiring client
>> certificates, but the ability is there for the static case.  They are
>> separately (and dynamically between handshake stages) configurable in
>> both OpenSSL and SChannel, so it is clear some SSL applications need
>> the flexibility.
>> On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 7:58 PM, Ted Ross <tross@redhat.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > On 08/19/2015 11:15 AM, Jakub Scholz wrote:
>> >>
>> >> I spent some time playing with Qpid Dispatch (0.4) in combination with
>> >> Qpid
>> >> C++ broker. I was impressed about what it does already. Big +1 to
>> everyone
>> >> involved.
>> >>
>> >> I still run into some issues / limitations / questions ... maybe someone
>> >> can help with them ...
>> >>
>> >> 1) Is there some technical reason why the linkRoutePattern isn't allowed
>> >> to
>> >> contain any periods (well, apart the one at the end) and why it has to
>> end
>> >> with a period? In my use case, almost every address name contains
>> several
>> >> periods in it and in many cases the important part in the address is
>> only
>> >> after the last period. So it would be very useful to be able to use
>> >> multiple periods in the linkRoutePattern prefix and to be not required
>> to
>> >> end the prefix with a period.
>> >
>> >
>> > There is no technical reason for this limitation.  It was done for
>> > expediency to prove the link-routing concept.  This should be expanded to
>> > match any pattern.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> 2) The Listener allows to configure the certDB and trustedCert
>> parameters.
>> >> I thought that one is for CAs and one is for self signed certificates.
>> But
>> >> it doesn't seem to be that easy. Can someone explain how are they
>> supposed
>> >> to work?
>> >
>> >
>> > This functionality comes straight from Proton.  It is my understanding
>> that
>> > certDB can be for CAs or self-signed certs.  The trustedCert parameter
>> can
>> > be used to constrain the set of certificates in the DB that are
>> considered
>> > trusted for this listener.
>> >
>> > Perhaps someone else can provide some more clarity.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> 3) In the configuration file, what is the relation between "router",
>> >> "container", "listener" and "connector"? Is there some kind of hierarchy
>> >> between them? It almost seems that "router" and "container" are entities
>> >> which always apply to the whole Dispatch process and can be used only
>> >> once.
>> >> Is that correct?
>> >
>> >
>> > That is correct.  In fact, we plan to combine the configuration in
>> > "container" and "router" into a single section (probably router) to
>> reduce
>> > the confusion.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> 4) The DISPATCH-58 issue seems to be quite annoying - are there any
>> plans
>> >> to fix it?
>> >
>> >
>> > Yes, I'm planning a refactor of the ingress links that will improve the
>> > ability to use flow control across the network.  This will likely improve
>> > the DISPATCH-58 issue.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> Thanks & Regards
>> >> JAkub
>> >>
>> >
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