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Subject: Re: [xacml] Attribute validity times

Hi Erik

the problem is when you have a chain of processing elements (PIPs, PDPs, 
context handlers, CVSs, PEPs etc as in Globus Toolkit) and you want to 
use the XACML request context as the standard carrier protocol between 
each of the elements. An element somewhere in this chain has to perform 
the attribute validity time testing. It does not have to be the PDP. But 
the XACML RC does not allow the validity times to be packaged with each 

Yes, you can implement the hack you mention below, where you add a new 
validity time attribute for every RC subject attribute, but a better 
solution would to be to change the XML to allow optional validity times 
to accompany each attribute, with default values of start now and never 
end. This achieves backwards compatibility, but allows validity times to 
be incorporated naturally with attribute values.

What do you think?



Erik Rissanen wrote:
> David,
> XACML is currently based entirely on a model where only the current, 
> valid attributes are presented to the PDP for each particular decision. 
> It is assumed that the PEP/context handler has already validated the 
> attributes.
> If your policy requirement is that an attribute be valid, for instance, 
> many countries require that a passport is valid for at least six months 
> before they let you into the country, you can model this with a specific 
> attribute, like a "passport validity end date" in this case.
> Regards,
> Erik
> David Chadwick wrote:
>> Dear WG
>> I dont know if this issue has already been discussed before by the 
>> group (I suspect it might have), but we have the following problem.
>> The java interface to our PDP includes validity times for each subject 
>> attribute. This allows attribute assertions (SAML, X.509 etc) to be 
>> validated once in our  validation software (a time consuming process 
>> especially if they are signed) and then used many times for multiple 
>> decisions by the PDP.
>> We have added an XACML request context interface to our PDP, but now 
>> when the attributes are converted into XACML subject attributes, we 
>> lose the validity times that our validation software has extracted and 
>> placed alongside each attribute value.
>> We could produce a "hack" workaround by adding an addition validity 
>> time attribute to the set of subject attributes, but in the general 
>> case each subject attribute can have different validity times, 
>> especially when attribute assertions are obtained from multiple 
>> attribute authorities.
>> If the group has discussed this topic, what was your conclusion
>> regards
>> David
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David W. Chadwick, BSc PhD
Professor of Information Systems Security
The Computing Laboratory, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NF
Skype Name: davidwchadwick
Tel: +44 1227 82 3221
Fax +44 1227 762 811
Mobile: +44 77 96 44 7184
Email: D.W.Chadwick@kent.ac.uk
Home Page: http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/people/staff/dwc8/index.html
Research Web site: http://www.cs.kent.ac.uk/research/groups/iss/index.html
Entrust key validation string: MLJ9-DU5T-HV8J
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