Security at W3C
Web Security is a collaborative effort across the Web ecosystem; W3C coordinates some of that work in its Security Activity, within the Technology & Society Domain. Among the work we are doing to help secure Web applications and Web usage:
The Web Authentication Working Group develops recommendation-track specifications defining an API, as well as signature and attestation formats which provide an asymmetric cryptography-based foundation for authentication of users to Web Applications. Overall goals include obviating the use of shared secrets, i.e. passwords, as authentication credentials, facilitating multi-factor authentication support as well as hardware-based key storage while respecting the Same Origin Policy.
WebAppSec is developing specifications including Content Security Policy (CSP); UI Security; Subresource Integrity, Mixed Content, Secure Contexts, Referrer Policy, Credential Management, Clear Site Data, and more. This work aims to enable secure mash-ups, address click-jacking, and to create a more robust Web security environment through light-weight policy expression and APIs.
The Web Payments Interest Group provides a forum for technical discussions to identify use cases and requirements for existing and/or new specifications to ease payments on the Web for users (payers) and merchants (payees), and to establish a common ground for payment service providers on the Web Platform. Security and secure authentication will be critical elements of success. The Web Payments Working Group will build standard APIs enabling users to register payment instruments (such as credit cards or payment services) and select the right payment type through the browser, making payments faster, more secure, and easier, particularly on mobile devices.
Motivated by the emergence of more complex protocols executed between Web applications, the WebCrypto group is defining an API to expose trusted cryptographic primitives from the browser. protocols. API features will include message confidentiality and authentication services, as building blocks for improved Web security.
RECOMMENDATION: Web Cryptography API
The Web Security Interest Group serves as a forum for discussion about improving standards and implementations to advance the security of the Web.
Related Work: Privacy
The Privacy Interest Group watches for ongoing privacy issues affecting the Web, investigates potential areas for new privacy work, and provides guidelines and advice for addressing privacy in standards development.
Related Work: Technical Architecture Group (TAG)
The TAG is responsible for the security, sanity, and layering of the overall web platform.
Community Group: Hardware Based Secure Services
How should the Web interface to hardware-based secure services, and what features can be provided by hardware tokens, TEEs, TPMs, in areas of identification, cryptography, and payments? The CG is starting work on draft APIs for Transaction Confirmation and Secure Credential Storage.
XMLSec produced three W3C Recommendations: a stable interim set of 1.1 specifications. The XML Signature 1.1 and XML Encryption 1.1 specifications clarify and enhance the previous specifications without introducing breaking changes. XML Signature Properties outlines the syntax and processing rules and an associated namespace for properties to be used in XML Signatures.
- Web Authentication WG F2F, February 13, 2017, San Francisco
Past related events
- Web Authentication WG F2F, May 13, Berlin
- Web Application Security WG F2F, May 16-17, Mtn. View
- Blockchain and the Web Workshop June 29-30, MIT
- Web Payments IG F2F, July 1
- Web Payments WG F2F, July
- TPAC 19-23 September, Lisbon
- Hardware Security CG F2F
- Web Payments IG Face-to-Face, 22 February, San Francisco, CA
- Web Payments WG Face-to-Face, 23-24 February, San Francisco, CA
- Web Authentication WG Face-to-Face, 4 March, San Francisco, CA
- Meetings of the Web Application Security WG, Web Payments IG, Web Payments WG, and Privacy IG at TPAC 26-30 October 2015, Sapporo, Japan
- Web Payments IG Face-to-Face Meeting, 2-4 February, 2015, Utrecht, NL
- WebCrypto and WebAppSec Face-to-Face meetings at TPAC 27-31 Oct 2014
- Workshop: Web Cryptography Next Steps: Authentication, Hardware Tokens and Beyond (Mountain View, CA, USA, 10-11 Sept., 2014)
- Workshop: Web & Payment: How do you want to pay? (Paris, France, 24-25 March, 2014)
- STRINT: A W3C/IAB workshop on Strengthening the Internet Against Pervasive Monitoring (London, England, 28 February - 1 March, 2014)
W3C Team, Security & Privacy
Wendy Seltzer, Technology & Society Domain Lead (email)
Harry Halpin, WebCrypto, WebAuthn Working Group team contact
Keiji Takeda, Keio University, W3C Fellow, PING team contact
Sam Weiler, WebAuthn Working Group, Security IG team contact