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Subject: Re: [saml-dev] SAML V2.0 Holder-of-Key Web Browser SSO Profile not immune against man-in-the-middle attack

[cc'ing the SAML Public Comment list since the Holder-of-Key Web
Browser SSO Profile is under Public Review at this time]

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the note, and sorry for not replying sooner.  Yes, you
bring up a good point.  Either the statements involving the
"man-in-the-middle" need to be removed or additional requirements need
to be added that make the statements true.  I've been discussing this
with the spec's primary author, Nate Klingenstein, offline (as you
know).  Your suggestion to use a known key seems reasonable.

Again, thanks for the feedback.


On Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 8:52 AM, Marc Stern <marc.stern@approach.be> wrote:
> Hello,
> I'd like to point out that man-in-the-middle attack is still possible with
> this profile (I suppose some are aware about this, as it is stated in the
> document "virtually eliminates man-in-the-middle attacks"). If an attacker
> can sit in the middle of both connections (to IdP & SP), it could act as a
> proxy, and use its own key in both cases, which will be consistent with the
> SAML request.
> The only solution is to use a known key to connect to the IdP (with an
> official certificate), which poses a privacy problem, as you will be obliged
> to connect to the SP with your "official" credentials.
> Any envisioned work on this (double key authentication or equivalent)?
> Thanks,
> Marc Stern
> Senior Consultant - Security Group Head
> Approach Belgium - http://www.approach.be
> Avenue Einstein, 2A   -    B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve   -     Belgium
> LinkedIn
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