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Subject: RE: [id-cloud] Gap Analysis Use Case 21: Mobile Customers' Identity Authentication Using a Cloud Provider

This discussion thread is to start an on-list discussion on the Gap

 Analysis of individual use cases. Use case numbers refer to the use

 cases as described in the 'OASIS Identity in the Cloud TC Use Cases'

 Version 1.0, Working Draft 02, 15 December 2011, which is available at




The information below describes the current state. You are invited to

 respond on-list to this thread with any comments, insights, additions, etc.

All input will be gathered from the list and consolidated into the

 next revision of the Gap Analysis document.



Use Case 21: Mobile Customers' Identity Authentication Using a Cloud Provider


Short description:

Feature the need to have a standard secure authentication in order to use Cloud service

to authenticate mobile users


Relevant applicable standards:


- OAuth


- WS-Trust



OAuth v 1.0a Gap summary:


This standard provides no security mechanism to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the information passed between User to Service Provider

and Service Provider to Consumer.  Thus it exposes the id exchange information to eavesdrop and information theft by Man-in-the-Middle and Man-in-the

Browser attacks.  The protocol relies on SSL/TLS to provide security for information exchanged in motion.  However, if mutual authentication is not

enforced in the SSL/TLS handshake connection, SSL/TLS is also subject to eavesdrop and information theft by Man-in-the-Middle and Man-in-the

Browser attacks. 


Terms used in OAuth and detailed gaps:


* Service Provider: A web application that allows access via OAuth

* User: Individual who has account with Service Provider

* Consumer: A website or application that uses OAuth to access the Service Provider on behalf of the User

* Consumer Key: A value used by the Consumer to identify itself to the Service Provider

* Consumer Secret: A secret used b the Consumer to establish ownership of the Consumer Key

* Request Token: A value used by the Consumer to obtain authorization from the User, and exchanged for an Access Token

* Access Token: A value used by the Consumer to gain access to the Protected Resources on behalf of the User, instead of using the User’s Service Provider credential

* Token Secret: A secret used by the Consumer to establish ownership of a given Token


Standard / Protocol

Credentials & Token Exchange

Plaintext signature

Confidentiality of Requests

Spoofing by Counterfeit Servers

Plaintext Storage of Credentials

Secrecy of the Consumer Secret

Scoping of Access Requests

Cross-Site Request Forgery

Automatic Processing of Repeat Authorization

OAuth 1.0a

No mechanism to protect Tokens & secrets from eavesdroppers when transmitted from Service Provider to Customer

No attempt to protect User credentials from eavesdroppers or man-in-he-middle attacks.  This method is intended to be used in conjunction with a transport-layer security mechanism such as TLS or SSL

Only provides mechanism for verifying the integrity of requests, not confidentiality of the request, eavesdroppers will have full access to request content

No attempt to verify the authenticity of the Service Provider. 3rd party can intercept the Consumer’s request and returning misleading or incorrect responses

Consumer Secret and Token Secret are stored in plaintext form for Service Provider to compute the signatures used in the non-plaintext methods

This is a single factor secret and can be downloaded by attacker

By itself, OAuth does not provide any method for scoping the access rights granted to a Consumer would either has access to Protected Resources or it doesn’t.

CSRF  web-based attacks on OAuth approvals allow an attacker to obtain authorization to OAuth Protected Resources without the consent of the User

An attacker can use the stolen Consumer Key and Secret to redirect the User to the Service Provider with an authorization request.  The Service Provider will then grant access to the User’s data without the User’s explicit approval





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