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Public-Key Infrastructure (X.509) (pkix) (WG)

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Security Area Director(s):

Security Area Advisor:

Meeting Slides


Request for Comments:

Charter (as of 2011-03-31)

The PKIX Working Group was established in the fall of 1995 with the
goal of developing Internet standards to support X.509-based Public
Key Infrastructures (PKIs). Initially PKIX pursued this goal by
profiling X.509 standards developed by the CCITT (later the ITU-T).
Later, PKIX initiated the development of standards that are not
profiles of ITU-T work, but rather are independent initiatives
designed to address X.509-based PKI needs in the Internet. Over time
this latter category of work has become the major focus of PKIX work,
i.e., most PKIX-generated RFCs are no longer profiles of ITU-T X.509

PKIX has produced a number of standards track and informational RFCs.
RFC 3280 (Certificate and CRL Profile), and RCF 3281 (Attribute
Certificate Profile) are recent examples of standards track RFCs that
profile ITU-T documents. RFC 2560 (Online Certificate Status
Profile), RFC 3779 (IP Address and AS Number Extensions), and RFC
3161 (Time Stamp Authority) are examples of standards track RFCs that
are IETF-initiated. RFC 4055 (RSA) and RFC 3874 (SHA2) are examples
of informational RFCs that describe how to use public key and hash
algorithms in PKIs.

PKIX Work Plan

PKIX will continue to track the evolution of ITU-T X.509 documents,
and will maintain compatibility between these documents and IETF PKI
standards, since the profiling of X.509 standards for use in the
Internet remains an important topic for the working group.

PKIX does not endorse the use of specific cryptographic algorithms
with its protocols. However, PKIX does publish standards track RFCs
that describe how to identify algorithms and represent associated
parameters in these protocols, and how to use these algorithms with
these protocols. We anticipate efforts in this arena will continue to
be required over time.

PKIX will pursue new work items in the PKI arena if working group
members express sufficient interest, and if approved by the cognizant
Security Area director. For example, certificate validation under X.
509 and PKIX standards calls for a relying party to use a trust
anchor as the start of a certificate path. Neither X.509 nor extant
PKIX standards define protocols for the management of trust anchors.
Existing mechanisms for managing trust anchors, e.g., in browsers,
are limited in functionality and non-standard. There is considerable
interest in the PKI community to define a standard model for trust
anchor management, and standard protocols to allow remote management.
Thus a future work item for PKIX is the definition of such protocols
and associated data models.

Goals and Milestones:

Done  Complete approval of CMC, and qualified certificates documents
Done  Complete time stamping document
Done  Continue attribute certificate profile work
Done  Complete data certification document
Done  Complete work on attribute certificate profile
Done  Standard RFCs for public key and attribute certificate profiles, CMP, OCSP, CMC, CRMF, TSP, Qualified Certificates, LDAP v2 schema, use of FTP/HTTP, Diffie-Hellman POP
Done  INFORMATIONAL RFCs for X.509 PKI policies and practices, use of KEA
Done  Experimental RFC for Data Validation and Certification Server Protocols
Done  Production of revised certificate and CRL syntax and processing RFC (son-of-2459)
Done  DPD/DVP Requirements RFC
Done  Certificate Policy & CPS Informational RFC (revision)
Done  Logotype Extension RFC
Done  Proxy Certificate RFC
Done  Cert Path Building approved as Informational RFC
Done  CRMFbis approved as PROPOSED Standard RFC
Done  CMPbis approved as PROPOSED Standard RFC
Done  Principal Identifier approved as PROPOSED Standard RFC
Done  Warranty Extensions approved as Informational RFC
Done  Certificate Store approved as Informational RFC
Done  PKIX Repository approved as Informational RFC
Done  Subject Identification Method as Informational RFC
Done  GOST Cryptographic Algorithms (RFC 4491)
Done  Update to DirectoryString Processing for RFC 3280
Done  Attribute Certificate Policies approved as PROPOSED Standard (RFC 4476)
Sep 2007  Progression of CRMF, CMP, and CMP Transport to DRAFT Standard
Sep 2007  Progression of Qualified Certificates Profile RFC to DRAFT Standard
Sep 2007  Progression of Certificate & CRL Profile RFC to DRAFT Standard
Sep 2007  Progression of Time Stamp Protocols RFC to DRAFT Standard
Sep 2007  Progression of Logotype RFC to DRAFT Standard
Nov 2007  Progression of Proxy Certificate RFC to DRAFT Standard
Nov 2007  Progression of Attribute Certificate Profile RFC to DRAFT standard
Feb 2008  Update to CMC approved as PROPOSED Standard
Mar 2008  ECC Algorithms approved as PROPOSED Standard RFC
Mar 2008  Progression of CMC RFCs to DRAFT Standard
Mar 2008  SCVP approved as PROPOSED Standard RFC