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Re: I-D ACTION:draft-ietf-smime-cms-mult-sign-02.txt

2006-11-28 02:22:58

See my comments embedded.

Denis Pinkas, Denis(_dot_)Pinkas(_at_)bull(_dot_)net
----- Message reçu ----- 
De : Russ Housley 
À : Denis Pinkas 
Date : 2006-11-27, 20:03:31
Sujet : Re: I-D ACTION:draft-ietf-smime-cms-mult-sign-02.txt


The issue is more complex than presented. :-(

The idea is to say that a message is correctly signed by a given 
signer, if one of the signatures
from the *same* signer computed using a different signature 
algorithm is valid.

Correct ?

You did not acknowledged that this is the goal of the draft proposal. 

In the same section from RFC 3852, just above we have:

" The process by which signed-data is constructed involves the
following steps:

1. For each signer, a message digest, or hash value, is computed
on the content with a signer-specific message-digest algorithm.
If the signer is signing any information other than the
content, the message digest of the content and the other
information are digested with the signer's message digest
algorithm (see Section 5.4), and the result becomes the
"message digest."

2. For each signer, the message digest is digitally signed using
the signer's private key.

3. For each signer, the signature value and other signer-specific
information are collected into a SignerInfo value, as defined
in Section 5.3. Certificates and CRLs for each signer, and
those not corresponding to any signer, are collected in this

4. The message digest algorithms for all the signers and the
SignerInfo values for all the signers are collected together
with the content into a SignedData value, as defined in Section

We should have a similar construct for verification, but we don't.

When CMS was first adopted by the S/MIME WG, we decided to keep the 
specification as close to the structure of PKCS #7 v1.5 as 
possible. The idea was to make it easy for one to determine the 
differences. I see no reason why this discussion ought to change 
that decision.

The text from PKCS # 7 v1.5 is:

A recipient verifies the signatures by decrypting the encrypted message digest 
for each signer with the signer's public key, then comparing the recovered 
digest to an independently computed message digest. The signer's public key is 
either contained in a certificate included in the signer information, or is 
by an issuer distinguished name and an issuer-specific serial number that 
identify the certificate for the public key.
The text from RFC 3852 is:

A recipient independently computes the message digest.  This message digest and 
the signer's public key are used to verify the signature value.  The signer's 
public key 
is referenced either by an issuer distinguished name along with an 
serial number or by a subject key identifier that uniquely identifies the 
containing the public key.  The signer's certificate can be included in the 
certificates field.

These texts are clearly insufficient, since they do not cover the case of 
certificate substitution.

The new draft is wishing to cover the case of signatures from the same signer. 
It is restricted to the use of certificates. Then the only way to know that is 
is the same signer 
is to compare the certificates. We should say some words on how this comparison 
shall be done.
If certificates are substituted, then we are also running into trouble.

It should start with:

The process by which signed-data is verified involves the
following steps:

1. For each SignerInfo present in SignerInfos ...

The exercise is more difficult than it looks, because unless 
ESSCertID is being used,
it is not possible to know for sure that a signature is from the same signer.

I recognize that this is true. That is the reason that the proposed 
text points to the application that is using CMS to help when the sid 
field is not sufficient.

The proposed text is clearly insufficient to cover the case.

The second point, which is even more important, is that I am not convinced 
that this is the right way to solve the problem.

If the certificate is used for non repudiation purposes, then time-stamping 
all the necessary protection.

If the certificate is used for authentication purposes, then the signers' 
certificate can simply be changed.