IETF 79 Proceedings

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Open Authentication Protocol (oauth) (WG)

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Additional information is available at tools.ietf.org/wg/oauth

Chair(s):

Security Area Director(s):

Security Area Advisor:

Technical Advisor(s):

Meeting Slides

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Internet-Drafts:

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Charter (as of 2011-04-01)

OAuth allows a user to grant a third-party Web site or
application access to their resources, without necessarily
revealing their credentials, or even their identity. For
example, a photo-sharing site that supports OAuth would
allow its users to use a third-party printing Web site to
access their private pictures, without gaining full control
of the user account.

OAuth consists of:
* A mechanism for a user to authorize issuance of credentials which
a third party can use to access resources on their behalf.
* Mechanism for using the issued credential to authenticate
HTTP requests (called "signatures" in current OAuth).

The Working Group will produce one or more documents
suitable for consideration as Proposed Standard that will:
* Improve the terminology used.
* Embody good security practice, or document gaps in its
capabilities, and propose a path forward for addressing the
gap.
* Promote interoperability.
* Provide guidelines for extensibility.

This specifically means that as a starting point for the
working group OAuth 1.0 (i.e., draft-hammer-oauth),
which is a copy of the original OAuth specification in IETF
draft format, is used and the available extension points
are going to be utilized. In completing its work to update
OAuth 1.0 to become OAuth 1.1, the group will strive to
retain backwards compatibility with the OAuth 1.0
specification. However, changes that are not backwards
compatible might be accepted if the group determines that
the changes are required to meet the group's technical
objectives and the group clearly documents the reasons for
making them.

Furthermore, OAuth 1.0 defines three "signature" methods used
to protect requests, namely PLAINTEXT, HMAC-SHA1, and RSA-
SHA1. The group will work on new authentication ("signature")
methods and will describe the environments where new security
requirements justify their usage. Existing signature methods will
not be modified but may be dropped as part of the backwards
compatible profiling activity. The applicability of
existing and new authentication methods to protocols other than
HTTP will be investigated.

The Working Group should consider:
* Implementer experience.
* The end-user experience, including internationalization.
* Existing uses of OAuth.
* Ability to achieve broad implementation.
* Ability to address broader use cases than may be
contemplated by the original authors.

After delivering OAuth 1.1, the Working Group may consider
defining additional functions and/or extensions, for
example (but not limited to):
* Discovery of OAuth configuration, e.g.,
http://oauth.net/discovery/1.0.
* Comprehensive message integrity, e.g.,
http://oauth.googlecode.com/svn/spec/ext/body_hash/1.0/draf
ts/1/spec.html.
* Recommendations regarding the structure of the token.
* Localization, e.g.,
http://oauth.googlecode.com/svn/spec/ext/language_preferenc
e/1.0/drafts/2/spec.html.
* Session-oriented tokens, e.g.,
http://oauth.googlecode.com/svn/spec/ext/session/1.0/drafts
/1/spec.html.
* Alternate token exchange profiles, e.g., draft-dehora-
farrell-oauth-accesstoken-creds-00.

The work on extensions is within the scope of the working
group charter and requires consensus within the group to
add new milestones.

The Working Group will also define a generally applicable
HTTP authentication mechanism (i.e., browser-based "2-leg"
scenerio).

Goals and Milestones:

Apr 2009  Submit 'OAuth: HTTP Authorization Delegation Protocol' as working group item (draft-hammer-oauth will be used as a starting point for further work.)
Jul 2009  Submit a document as a working group item providing the functionality of the 2-legged HTTP authentication mechanism
Jul 2009  Start of discussion about OAuth extensions the group should work on
Oct 2009  Start Working Group Last Call on 'OAuth: HTTP Authorization Delegation Protocol'
Nov 2009  Submit 'OAuth: HTTP Authorization Delegation Protocol' to the IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard
Nov 2009  Start Working Group Last Call on the 2-legged HTTP authentication mechanism document
Nov 2009  Prepare milestone update to start new work within the scope of the charter
Dec 2009  Submit 2-legged HTTP authentication mechanism document to the IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard