[cabf_validation] Final minutes for F2F #60 meeting of validation-sc

Corey Bonnell Corey.Bonnell at digicert.com
Mon Dec 4 16:20:52 UTC 2023

These were approved back in October, but I was waiting to circulate until
they're ready to be posted to the website. Now that they've been posted,
here are the final minutes for distribution on the public list:


Attendees: (same as servercert-wg)

Minute-taker: Clint Wilson


Prior Meeting Minutes approved



    Report on validation-sc progress since F2F #59 (5 minutes)


    Presentation of results from the domain validation threat modeling tiger
team (1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, led by Michael @ ATS)


    Presentation on MPDV/MPIC (30-45 minutes, led by Ryan & Chris @ Chrome)


    (Time permitting) backlog grooming



Report on validation-sc progress since F2F #59


* Threat modeling team has met several times regarding primary discussion
topic today (results from the domain validation threat modeling tiger team)
and has made good progress.

* Progress made on MPIC with presentation to follow today.

* Review of Applicant/Applicant Representative analysis resulted in several
changes as part of "Subscriber Agreement" ballot, some items moved to SCWG,
and documented others in Github for future work.

* Q Misell presented on use of ACME for certificates issued with Onion
domain names, with a focus on CAA checking for Onion domain names. Work
continues at IETF with additional participation by members of CA/BF.


Presentation of results from the domain validation threat modeling tiger
team - Michael Slaughter (Amazon)


(Comments added beyond slide content)

* Purpose is to walk audience through conversation which took place amongst
tiger team and discuss within broader group

* Team put together to explore risks, threats, implications, etc. related to
formalizing allowance of CAs to have DNS delegated to them for the purpose
of validation Applicant domains under method 7 ( of the TLS BRs.

* Today is focused on presenting threat model, gathering feedback, and (as
necessary) continuing to improve it.

* Assumptions were important to ensure the threat model was addressing
specifically the delegation of dns for domain validation, not issues
inherited from internet at large.

* In scoping this threat model, it was focused solely on the domain control
verification system (regardless of whether that's a system which shares
properties with other systems or not)

* Now is a good time to provide feedback so we can continue this work; on to
the discussion


(Post presentation)

Aaron G: 2 small things. 

1) There's parallel work in DNSOP WG of IETF, draft around domain
verification techniques. While it's likely not going to be a normative RFC,
it does call out that if you're doing domain control verification via CNAME
records, then the value you're delegating to should be a random value. This
guarantees that the subdomains used by the CA are unique to each


Slaughter: Is the important attribute the randomness or the uniqueness?


Aaron G: The draft isn't clear on that point, but it says it SHOULD be a
random value and has a bit of justification/explanation.

2) Revisiting the idea of removing the use of the random value or request
token by the CA; if there's no random value at all (if the subdomain
delegated to is a hash of the account ID, for example), that puts us in the
situation of dangling delegation and issuance. The Applicant's control of
DNS could disappear and issuance could persist, so having a random value
_somewhere_ seems important, whether that's in the TXT or the CNAME.


Paul V: Where the CA creates a random value and then sets it in the zone the
Applicant delegates to; what's the value then of that random value?


Aaron G: Yes it could be pointless in some circumstances, but if validation
can continue to succeed when the Applicant no longer has control over their


Paul V: If the domain loses control then the DNS gets reset, so the records
won't be there. Maybe a domain operator forgets, but that's the
responsibility of the domain operator.


Aaron G: Suppose an Applicant sets up a CNAME record pointing to the CA. CA
looks at CNAME, sees it's pointing at me, and just stops there. How is that
different than looking up a CAA record, seeing that it says the CA can
issue, and using that as evidence to issue?


Paul V: If these aren't any different, then maybe it's fine and we should
allow it. Maybe in combination of the account-uri binding.


Slaughter: This topic is really about future possible work, where perhaps it
_could_ be done differently.


Paul V: The task force should look at the random value so we can determine
which way we go.


Slaughter: To clarify, we're proposing going 2 different directions.


Aaron G: The CAA with account-uri could be equivalent.


Tim H: One key thing here is that this would be new semantics, where CAA
records set up without this intent need to be explicitly acknowledged. Even
just a boolean flag.


Dimitris: Is there a maximum timeframe where the delegation needs to be
renewed? Or could it be an indefinite delegation?


Slaughter: We discussed this; are you suggesting that a new CNAME needs to
be added some period of time?


Dimitris: Something to indicate the Applicant's awareness and the time it's
allowed for, with a maximum value.


Tim H: We haven't had great success with 5280's time bomb, so I don't we
should do that.


Slaughter: What's the concern or reason for that?


Dimitris: To ensure the Applicant's aware of the delegation, that they're
not setting/forgetting it.


Trev: Perhaps an assumption should be added that Applicants won't forget how
to manage their certificates/domains.


Paul V: Include the date the delegation was created, then have the CA
determine when appropriate to update/renew.


Tim H: Yeah this can be a certificate management feature/function, not


Clint: Tim, by time bomb did you just mean notAfter?


Tim H: Yes, it'd be great to have something better than notAfter.


Aaron G: What does this do to CA agility? There are ACME clients that drop
the account private key after issuance, creating a new ACME subscriber
account for each issuance. This has downsides, but one of the upsides is
that each time they contact the CA, they're brand new getting the most up to
date of whatever. If someone sets delegation and forgets it, what does that
do to the CA's ability to change the format of their CAA records, or evolve
their validation methods over time? If the Applicant is never contacting the
CA, what would that do?


Slaughter: I think this would allow decoupling of issuance from validation,
so there's still the need to communicate with the Subscriber.


Trev: The Subscriber's still going to get a new certificate, so there's
still the same frequency of contact with the CA.


Slaughter: It also enhances agility in some ways, for example during subCA
migration to enable pro-active re-validation and issuance from an updated


Trev: We had a discussion earlier today about revocation, and something here
is you can develop mechanisms to check when Subscribers validation is likely
to fail.


Slaughter: Which generalizes to the same communication path and problem of
contacting the Applicant/Subscriber to inform them "your validation is going
to expire".


Corey: Next steps will be producing ballot text for updating method 7 and
then separately working on identifying ways this type of delegation can be
extended further (like CAA). If anyone would like to join the tiger team
working on that, it's certainly open. Discussions will continue!


Presentation on MPDV/MPIC



(Regarding slide around RPKI's ability to impact equally-specific prefix

Paul V: I believe the source will be announced and only the autonomous
number is trusted to announce the route. But RPKI must be enabled by all
parties in order to address the issue, so that's how it doesn't address the


Tobias: No, this is not correct. This is the understood state of RPKI, you
can always inject one of the ASes that is allowed for the originated prefix,
just in front of your announcement.


Paul V: You can't announce someone else's AS.


Tobias: You can. It was intented to catch misconfigurations more than
provide security, though it has security properties because if you inject a
path this way it'll basically always be longer since there's at least one
additional element.


Paul V: It's not important. It was just a comment that it might be a more
detailed scenario, but what you're saying might be true.


(Regarding slide on "Applicable Validation Methods")

Martijn: This would be applicable for looking up the email, but not for
sending the email, is that right?


Ryan D: Email-based validation is out of scope.


Clint: So if using, would looking up the SMTP server/ MX record be
susceptible? Or susceptible, but out of scope?


Ryan D: Out of scope.


Paul V: Doing MX record lookups through MPIC would be highly impractical.


Clint: Why?


Paul V: Because it's done by different infrastructure or not looked up as
part of validation, so if you tried to do this you'd get flagged for spam.


(Regarding slide on "Quorum Requirements")

Martijn: Perhaps raise 2-5 perspectives to 3-5 since 2 wouldn't really give
you sufficient data to know which one's right/wrong especially if 1
non-Corroboration is allowed.


Ryan D: This does go up over time in the proposed update, increasing to 5 by
2026, but we'll revisit that lower bound recommendation specifically.


(Regarding slide on "What might it cost to run one of these services?")

Tim H: If this isn't 100% necessary, perhaps we shouldn't be discussing this
because of the IPR policy.


Ryan D: Good point, I'm trying to highlight that it's reasonable to conclude
that the cost of implementation/operation is less than the cost of the
active attacks occurring.


(Post presentation)

Tim H: I think the IETF is a great idea, it's perfectly acceptable to run
these ideas by them and get expert feedback.


Ryan D: We really are appreciative of feedback and comments, ideally in
Github, but wherever you can.


Corey: It's great to see the progress from a presentation to a concrete
ballot in just a couple meetings.


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