OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

security-services message

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [Elist Home]

Subject: RE: Representing anonymous Subjects

Title: RE: Representing anonymous Subjects

Marlena - This is how I think it is supposed to work, and let's use a concrete example.

The marketing whizzes at Jackboot.com have designed a special offer for seniors: they can stream the new Eminem video free of charge for a promotional period.

I browse the Jackboot site and click on the play button.  It redirects me to Boomer.com, where my personal profile includes my data of birth.  As a side-effect of the redirection, Jackboot.com lets Boomer.com know that they need an assertion indicating that I am over 75.  Fortunately, I qualify.  I authenticate with my Boomer password and am redirected back to the SAML handler at Jackboot.com.  The artifact references an assertion that Jackboot can retrieve from Boomer.  It identifies the bearer (me) as the subject of the assertion.  Jackboot requests two assertions from Boomer: the first is the authentication assertion referenced by the artifact (it has an authentication protocol identifier with the value "Assertion bearer" in the authenticator element of the subject element), but no name.  The second is an attribute assertion containing an "over 75" attribute, whose subject field is a reference to the authentication assertion.

Does that work for you?  All the best.  Tim.

-----Original Message-----
From: Hallam-Baker, Phillip [mailto:pbaker@verisign.com]
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 1:49 PM
To: 'George Robert Blakley III'; Marlena Erdos
Cc: security-services@lists.oasis-open.org
Subject: RE: Representing anonymous Subjects

Actually 'Bearer' does appear in section 4 as one of the Authenticator

My recollection of the F2F was that bearer was mentioned but not
specifically brought up as a topic. Tim wanted bearer to be possible but was
not that bothered how it was implemented. I did not want bearer to be the
default - for much the same reason that Dave O. is proposing to squelch
defaulting to wildcard.


Phillip Hallam-Baker FBCS C.Eng.
Principal Scientist
VeriSign Inc.
781 245 6996 x227

> -----Original Message-----
> From: George Robert Blakley III [mailto:blakley@us.tivoli.com]
> Sent: Monday, August 20, 2001 1:06 PM
> To: Marlena Erdos
> Cc: security-services@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: Re: Representing anonymous Subjects
> Hmmmm.....
> At FTF3 we took it as implied that we were going to have a
> "bearer" option
> in the subject specifier.
> However we were pretty sure that our thinking on the topic
> was confused; to
> quote from FTF3 minutes:
> >ISSUE:[F2F#3-35]: BobB said in an aside that there is something wrong
> >with at least some of the occurrences of our use of the "bearer" in
> >Subject specifiers in all of the above constructs. Need to get him to
> >elaborate in detail on what his observations are.
> I didn't do this, but it also appears that "bearer" has
> disappeared from
> the schema , probably because I couldn't
> find our whiteboard mentions of it at all in the minutes (!)
> We need to add it back and discuss how to get it right.
> I agree with Marlena that we don't currently capture the concept:
> >Summary:  I don't think we currently have a good way of representing
> >either "bearer" assertions or anonymous assertions gotten
> via an artifact.
> >   A possible solution is the extension of the Subject field to
> >include an "anonymous" type.  But I'm no
> >XML expert. I'm hoping that if others agree that there is a need,
> >we can work out the XML specifics.
> I see three possibilities:
> (1) A distinguished name, to be used within the "name" field
> of a subject
> definition.
> (2) A distinguished public "key" field to be used with the
> "holder of key"
> (is it called "authenticator" now?) field
> (3) A type-distinct fourth subject option, called "bearer".
> I don't like either (1) or (2) -- I'd rather have (3).  I
> don't necessarily
> think that bearer = anonymous, however, since in either an
> authentication
> assertion or an attribute assertion, other asserted data may in fact
> identify
> the subject.  However you could USE a bearer token to
> implement anonymity.
> Now I need to think about what the issues are and how to get
> it right....
> --bob
> Bob Blakley (email: blakley@us.tivoli.com   phone: +1 512 436 1564)
> Chief Scientist, Security, Tivoli Systems, Inc.
> Marlena Erdos <marlena@us.ibm.com> on 08/20/2001 12:59:25 AM
> To:   security-services@lists.oasis-open.org
> cc:
> Subject:  Representing anonymous Subjects
> Dear SAML'ers,
> Recent discussions of the http binding have brought up
> two flows that result in assertions about (potentially) anonymous
> subjects.   These flows either involve an artifact (or "handle" in
> Shibboleth) that is used to retrieve an assertion about the
> browser user, or involve the assertion being "redirected" (so
> to speak)
> through the user's browser (via interesting uses of javascript
> and "post").
>     Various discussions have flowed about impersonation
> countermeasures and other aspects of these http-based flows.
> I won't repeat them here.  Instead, I'd like to raise up the
> question of the "Subject" element in the assertion.
> In both flows (artifact or "bearer" assertion), it is possible  for
> the assertion to have an anonymous (or pseudonymous) subject. (Note
> that the assertion could be either an authN or attribute assertion.)
>     Currently, the Subject element in the SAML schema (version 14)
> doesn't seem to have a graceful way of dealing with the sorts of
> anonymous subjects that arise from the http binding.
> (I'll continue to say "anonymous subjects" to refer to both
> anonymity and
> pseudonymity, and to mean the http binding case.)   Here's
> what it does
> allow for  (to the extent that I understand the schema correctly).
> I'll follow with a brief discussion on why none of the options seem
> to have a good fit for the anonymous subject case.
> The Subject element allows for 3 different types of identifiers. It
> allows for
>        --  a string "name" qualified by a security domain
>        --  an "authenticator" field (mostly related to a subject
>             authenticating with a key)
>        --  a reference to another assertion or inclusion
> ofthat assertion
> Why these don't really fit:
>     - The string name could be used to convey the contents of
> the handle
> or the "assertion id" part of the artifact, but neither of these is in
> any way a subject 'name'.   I suppose that the RP could use the fake
> name as a real name in its continued processing, but that is
> conceptually incorrect, and it feels like looking for trouble to me.
> (One concrete difficulty is how an RP could meaningfully have
> the notion
> of "anonymous" in an authZ policy if it can't tell the difference
> between a fake name referring to an anonymous user and a real
> user name.)
>     - The authenticator field strikes me as being mostly related to
> subjects with keys, but Phill (in a phone call with me) suggested
> that it could be  used for the anonymous browser user case. I feel
> reluctant about this because the association between an anonymous
> browser user and an assertion is just that -- an association.
>  To refer
> to it as an authentication just seems like a distortion of
> both the term authentication and what is really going on from a
> processing standpoint. (That is, the RP validates the association of
> user and assertion rather than validating the identity of the user. )
>      - The reference to an assertion or inclusion of one doesn't seem
> to apply, because anonymous assertions in the http binding are (often)
> the initial ones.  There is not necessarily any other
> assertion to refer
> to (and there would still be the question of representing anonymity
> in that assertion!).
> Summary:  I don't think we currently have a good way of representing
> either "bearer" assertions or anonymous assertions gotten via
> an artifact.
>    A possible solution is the extension of the Subject field to
> include an "anonymous" type.  But I'm no
> XML expert. I'm hoping that if others agree that there is a need,
> we can work out the XML specifics.
> Regards,
> Marlena
> IBM/Tivoli
> PS My apologies if I've misunderstood the meaning of the fields in
> the current schema.  I welcome enlightenment.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> To subscribe or unsubscribe from this elist use the subscription
> manager: <http://lists.oasis-open.org/ob/adm.pl>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
> To subscribe or unsubscribe from this elist use the subscription
> manager: <http://lists.oasis-open.org/ob/adm.pl>

[Date Prev] | [Thread Prev] | [Thread Next] | [Date Next] -- [Date Index] | [Thread Index] | [Elist Home]

Powered by eList eXpress LLC