[Servercert-wg] Voting ENDS Monday on Ballot SC22: Reduce Certificate Lifetimes (v2)

Wayne Thayer wthayer at mozilla.com
Fri Sep 6 17:37:32 MST 2019

Reminder: Voting ends Monday 9-Sept 2019 at 18:00 GMT on ballot SC22:
Reduce Certificate Lifetimes (v2)

On Mon, Sep 2, 2019 at 11:01 AM Ryan Sleevi via Servercert-wg <
servercert-wg at cabforum.org> wrote:

> As some members have suggested an interpretation that voting cannot start
> on ballots until a final copy is reposted, this serves as notice of the
> intent to start voting on Ballot SC22: Reduce Certificate Lifetimes.
> Ballot SC22: Reduce Certificate Lifetimes (v2)
> Motivation:
> Since the adoption of the Baseline Requirements, the CA/Browser Forum has
> discussed and debated the merits and value in reducing certificate
> lifetimes, in order to adequately respond to changes in the TLS ecosystem.
> Benefits of reduced lifetime:
>   * Issues that result from the misinterpretation or misapplication of the
> Baseline Requirements are able to be more promptly resolved. Despite the
> best efforts of Browsers to ensure unambiguous requirements, there continue
> to be issues with CAs and their understanding and successful implementation
> of existing requirements. At present, due to the fact that validations may
> be reused for up to 825 days, and when they are reused, may be used to
> issue certificates valid for another 825 days, it may take up to four and a
> half years before issues are resolved. This proposal would halve that time,
> to a little more than two years, and represents a significant improvement.
>   * Even when the Baseline Requirements are clear and unambiguous,
> implementation issues by CAs routinely introduces risks of improperly
> formed or validated certificates, allowing CAs to issue certificates which
> have never been permitted and should never have been issued. Reducing
> certificate lifetimes reduces the overall risk that the ecosystem is
> exposed to these improperly formed certificates, both in terms of usage and
> in the need for Relying Parties to support such certificates.
>   * CRLs and OCSP have long been shown to be non-viable at Internet-scale,
> in terms of how they externalize costs like privacy, performance, and
> stability to Subscribers and Relying Parties. While alternative,
> browser-specific methods also exist, they also allow CAs to externalize the
> cost of their practices onto users and browsers, growing as the number of
> unexpired certificates grow.  Reducing certificate lifetimes meaningfully
> protects users, regardless of the revocation method used, and helps reduce
> the overall costs paid by users.
>   * Operationally, the current extensive certificate lifetime has
> repeatedly led to issues, in that Subscribers frequently forget how or when
> to replace certificates. Aligning on an annual basis helps ensure and
> streamline continuity of operations, reducing the number of errors users
> see and disruptions that sites face.
>   * Operationally, the prolonged reuse of validation information creates
> challenges in replacing certificates due to security risks identified with
> the existing validation methods permitted by the Baseline Requirements.
> Reducing this validity period similarly helps streamline the validation
> process, allowing site operators to ensure for relying parties that the
> certificates they use were meaningfully validated.
>   * As shown by issues such as BygoneSSL, the misalignment between
> certificate lifetime and the domain name system poses availability and
> security risks to site operators. Despite such research being presented
> directly to the CA/Browser Forum, there have been no efforts by CAs, as an
> industry, to mitigate the risks posed to users. Certificate lifetimes
> currently represent the greatest mitigation to these risks.
>   * Existing certificate validity periods create risk for Relying Parties
> wishing to enforce the Baseline Requirements or Root Program requirements,
> by allowing CAs to “backdate” certificates in order to attempt to bypass
> date-based program requirements. Reducing certificate lifetimes reduces the
> window of exposure to such bypasses. As this has happened multiple times,
> by past and present members of the CA/Browser Forum, reducing certificate
> lifetimes represents the safest way to detect and counter this risk.
> While this ballot sets forward a proposal for an effective annual renewal
> and annual revalidation, both periods should be seen as a starting point
> for further improvements. In particular, multiple Browsers have noted that
> the current reuse of domain validation information represents a substantial
> security risk, and thus will seek to further reduce this in subsequent
> ballots. In general, CAs and Subscribers are recommended to pursue
> interoperable solutions for automation, such as RFC 8555, which allow for
> easier and seamless validation and replacement of certificates, and thus
> helping ensure users and Relying Parties are adequately secured.
> While Browsers will be able to technically enforce these reduced
> validities as early as April 2020, they will not fully benefit from the
> reduction until 825 days after the last day such certificates can be
> issued, or June 2022. As a consequence, any further delays to the
> implementation period of April 2020 would represent an even greater
> security risk to users and Relying Parties.
> This ballot further attempts to resolve ambiguities between the
> expectations of Root Programs and the interpretations of CAs. Namely, it
> attempts to clarify time periods in days and seconds, to avoid confusion
> with respect to months, fractional seconds, leap seconds, and other forms
> of date calculation, while also allowing an additional 86,400 seconds
> between the recommended period and the required period. To address issues
> with Validity Period, it defines the Validity Period in a way that can be
> objectively technically enforced and verified, by measuring the period
> between the notBefore and notAfter of certificates, as specified by RFC
> 5280. While historically the Forum has not specified timezones for
> effective dates, and thus this ballot continues the trend, consistent with
> the requirements of X.690, X.680, and X.509, the time and timezone for
> effective dates shall be interpreted as midnight, Coordinated Universal
> Time.
> Changes since SC22 (V1)
> (Informative) Redline:
> https://github.com/sleevi/cabforum-docs/compare/0a72b35f7c877e6aa1e7559f712ad9eb84b2da12...sleevi:069f785ebbdc82b819dcd045330ce61542097158
> This updates the date from March 2020 to April 2020. While the adoption of
> this Ballot does not require functional or operational changes of
> Subscribers for 18 months, and thus ample time to evaluate and prepare for
> changes, concerns were shared that customers with freeze periods that last
> through February may feel unprepared, particularly once the changes begin
> to impact them in 2021. To account for this, an additional month of
> breathing room is provided, allowing for approximately 19 months until any
> organizational impact.
> Prior to this change, there was a functional difference between the
> Baseline Requirements' maximum information reuse period (835 days) and the
> EV Guidelines' maximum information reuse period (13 months), although both
> shared the same maximum Validity Period. The EV Guidelines included
> provisions to allow for the issuance of additional EV certificates, subject
> to the reuse period specified by the Baseline Requirements (Section
> 11.14.1), including issuing additional certificates with different keys
> ("rekey" or "re-issuance", Section 11.14.2). The alignment of the Validity
> Period between DV, OV, and EV certificates, and the alignment of the reuse
> of information between DV, OV, and EV certificates, renders this special
> case unnecessary. To avoid confusion that may lead CAs to believe that the
> EV Guidelines contradict or supercede the Baseline Requirements, which
> could result from the special accommodations specific to the EV Guidelines,
> Section 11.14.3 has been modified to reduce and resolve any ambiguity. This
> attempts to be the smallest possible change, clarifying existing
> expectations. All certificates, whether DV, OV, or EV, are subject to the
> same information reuse period set forth in the Baseline Requirements,
> including permitting a CA to issue additional certificates for additional
> domain names, and without requiring additional validation for
> organizational information.
> An interpretation of the Bylaws has been put forward that voting cannot
> start until an additional message is sent following the conclusion of
> discussion; that is, that the may that is specified within the Bylaws is,
> in fact, a MUST and a normative requirement. To avoid confusion or conflict
> with such an interpretation, and until such a matter can be resolved by
> Ballot, this v2 ballot does not specify a voting period start or end, and
> will not do so until after the conclusion of (or modification of) the
> discussion period.
> The following motion has been proposed by Ryan Sleevi of Google and
> endorsed by Curt Spann of Apple and Jacob Hoffman-Andrews of ISRG / Let’s
> Encrypt.
> ----- MOTION BEGINS -----
> This ballot modifies the Baseline Requirements, version 1.6.5, to
> incorporate the following changes:
> https://github.com/cabforum/documents/compare/master...sleevi:069f785ebbdc82b819dcd045330ce61542097158?diff=split#diff-7f6d14a20e7f3beb696b45e1bf8196f2
> This ballot modifies the EV SSL Certificate Guidelines, version 1.7.0, to
> incorporate the following changes:
> https://github.com/cabforum/documents/compare/master...sleevi:069f785ebbdc82b819dcd045330ce61542097158?diff=split#diff-4d3fa7e751e9cac20a3014852be12e82
> Should this ballot be adopted, the Chair or Vice Chair shall be directed
> to modify “SCXX” to “SC22” and “XX-Xxx-2019” within both documents’
> informative tables to the date of the completed ballot, prior to or
> following the IP Review Period, and “Xxxx XX” to the effective date/date of
> publication of the Final Maintenance Guidelines.
> In addition, the Chair or Vice Chair shall be directed to modify X.X.X
> within both documents to an appropriate version, at the Chair or Vice
> Chair's discretion. The Chair is recommended to not use directly sequential
> or continuous numbering from prior versions, in order to ensure there is
> additional review by CAs as to the substance of these changes.
> ----- MOTION ENDS -----
> This motion proposed a Final Maintenance Guideline.
> The procedure for approval of this ballot is as follows:
> Discussion (7 days)
> Start Time: 2019-08-26 18:00 GMT
> End Time: 2019-09-02 18:00 GMT
> Voting (7 Days)
> Start Time: 2019-09-02 18:00 GMT
> End Time: 2019-09-09 18:00 GMT
> _______________________________________________
> Servercert-wg mailing list
> Servercert-wg at cabforum.org
> http://cabforum.org/mailman/listinfo/servercert-wg
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