[cabf_validation] Outline of Method 1 Replacement

Dimitris Zacharopoulos jimmy at it.auth.gr
Mon Mar 12 08:14:44 MST 2018

Here are my notes for the discussion during the Validation WG Summit 
regarding Method 1. Attached is the presentation by Bruce and Mads 
(posting with their permission).

Tim, Wayne, feel free to spawn a new thread with this information if you 
think it is best for the discussion.



Presentation from Bruce Morton and Mads Egil Henriksveen

- The terms "Ownership" and "right to use" are in several sections of 
the BRs and EVG.
- Minimum requirements for this validation method is typical OV validation.
- Require Organization Contact who must be an employee of the 
Organization. This Contact will sign the Subscriber Agreement. This 
Contact is considered an Applicant Representative. This person also 
approves the issuance of certificates.

For ALL OV Certificates you need the following 3 steps:
- Domain Validation
- Identity Validation
- Authorization to issue

Sometimes, Registrant Name might be incomplete (missing "Inc.") or a 
parent, subsidiary or affiliate.
QGIS, QIIS, QTIS are used to verify the Organization.
Registrant name must be validated using address or other unique 
information from registry

Buypass uses the following validated information about the Applicant:

- Organization Name
- Registration Number
- Organization address
- Phone number
- Email address

This information is validated against the National Registry.

Then, they try to match "Applicant" information to the "Domain Name 
Registrant" information.
Example: National Registry of Norway --> Domain Name Registrant

They do not allow Applicant's parent, subsidiary or affiliate for Domain 

Wayne: By manipulating the WHOIS entries, an Applicant Representative 
could get authorization to issue a certificate for a different company.

Domain Ownership is proved for OV/EV.

Threats exist in Domain ownership which are different from Domain control

Ryan Sleevi: We need to understand what we are validating and Mads 
answered that we are validation "ownership" with

Geoff: A domain owner could add an arbitary organization name. Wayne: If 
I register an irrelevant domain and include an arbitrary organization 
name, "who cares"?

The ultimate goal is "if the domain owner has approved the request"

Mozilla Survey Feedback
- 26 of 54 CAs use Method 1

- The Applicant is not the Registrant
- The Applicant Representative is not permitted to approve domain use
- Applicant has not proven to be the owner of the domain

If a Registrar required complete EV-type Registrant information in the 
WHOIS entry, one-to-one mapping, we would have a clear view of the owner.

In the Norway case where the Registrant information is one-to-one, we 
need to solve the "Authorized Representative" if that contact 
information is authorized to approve the issuance of a certificate.

If we had assurances for the Domain Ownership, we would still need 
something better to determine the "Authorized Representative". The other 
methods have "Authorized Representative" in the form of email addresses 
and other contact information (telephone number, address) of the Domain 

Geoff: Proposal to ICANN to include EV-information in the Registrant 

Sleevi: The Applicant needs to be treated as "hostile" party until you 
verify. CAs must bind the Public Key with the Domain, not the Organization.

All information in the Registrant Information (email, phone, postal 
address) is treated as "Authorized Representative". Even if the Contact 
Person is "IT Center", a call to this number and a dialog like the 
following should suffice for the verification and authorization.

- CA: "I need to reach the IT Center to verify a Certificate Request"
- Domain Owner: "Yes you have reached the IT Center"
- CA: "We have received a Public Key (blah blah, hash of the key) for 
Domain example.com. Can you confirm the request and authorize issuance?"
- Domain Owner: "Yes"
That's all. Similar to email aliases where we don't know the exact 
Natural Persons in the recipient list, the same applies to the telephone 
number or if using the postal address.

If the WHOIS information is unambiguous (one-to-one) between the domain 
and the domain owner, we could use strong Applicant Representative 
authentication to get Certificate issuance approval (like "EV Level" 
authentication, but authentication of methods 2, 3, 4 would suffice as 

The only "true" source of information to be treated as "Valid" is the 
WHOIS (or Registrar/Registry information). This is true because the 
Domain Owner makes sure that the information listed in the Registration 
Entry is accurate and dependable.

To summarize (Dimitris):

- CAs must treat the Applicant as hostile.
- CAs must trust the Domain Registrant information as the only accurate 
information related to the Domain.
- CAs must treat the Domain Contact information as a way to contact the 
Authorized Representative that will approve the Request.

- If the Registrant information in the WHOIS data by the Registrar is 
one-to-one with Organizations in a particular jurisdiction (as it 
happens for some ccTLDs), it is a reliable method to establish ownership 
for the Domain.
- By using the Organization's "Registration Number" in the Domain 
Registrant information for a particular Domain, the CA can find 
"Authorized Representative" for that Organization by looking up 
Qualified Information Sources such as National Company Registries to 
contact the Domain Owner.
- Since this is not a globally enforced requirement for Registrars, a 
possible improvement for this method to the level of assurance of 
methods 2, 3, 4, would be to require the Domain Owner to list 
Registration Number, Jurisdiction of Incorporation and address (as 
required for EV) IN THE DOMAIN REGISTRANT record. Therefore, this 
validation method would ONLY BE USED if an unambiguous representation of 
the Domain Owner was included in the Domain Registrant information. The 
CA would then need to contact the Domain Owner by using QGIS/QIIS/QTIS 
by using the Registration Number and Judisdiction of Incorporation 
(one-to-one mapping with the Domain Owner) and use this information to 
contact the "Authorized Representative". This is an auditable criteria 
as CAs that use this method to validate domains will need to prove to 
their auditors how they ensure the one-to-one mapping between the Domain 
and the Domain Owner.


On 12/3/2018 12:45 πμ, Dimitris Zacharopoulos wrote:
> Hi Wayne,
> I am still compiling the minutes on the Method 1 discussion we had 
> during the Validation WG Summit. Please allow 1-2 days to get all my 
> notes straight. I just received the presentation from Mads. I think 
> the minutes will be useful to the WG and this thread. I was also left 
> with the impression of a way to improve method 1 and turn it in a 
> robust new method which will have at least the same (if not better) 
> level of assurance than the existing methods.
> Thanks,
> Dimitris.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Method 1 v6.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 1210613 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://cabforum.org/pipermail/validation/attachments/20180312/749d702a/attachment-0001.pdf>

More information about the Validation mailing list