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Comment LC-2099
Commenter: Marcos Caceres <marcosscaceres@gmail.com>

Resolution status:

The following email failed to go into the archive and possibly out to
the group. I've emailed sysreq to make sure it gets into the archive.
In the mean time, here is the plain text edition.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Rogers <david.rogers@omtp.org>
Date: Fri, Aug 1, 2008 at 9:30 PM
Subject: [widgets] OMTP input to W3C Widget Requirements (1 of 2)
To: public-webapps-request@w3.org, marcosscaceres@gmail.com,
Cc: Nick Allott <nick.allott@omtp.org>

Dear Art, Marcos and all,

Please find attached the OMTP BONDI input to the W3C Web Applications
WG Widget Requirements last call. I've extracted the text of the input
below. Please note this is the first of two sets of input. This first
input contains comments to existing requirements and proposals for new
requirements. The second document contains more general comments,
applicable to the Widget Requirements and also the Packaging and
Configuration work.


OMTP is a forum backed by many of the largest mobile operators and has
members from many hardware and software vendors across the value

It was set up with the aim of gathering and driving mobile terminal
requirements to ensure consistent and secure implementations, thereby
reducing fragmentation and simplifying the customer experience of
mobile data services. OMTP recommendations benefit carriers, content
providers, middleware vendors and handset manufacturers to develop
open and compatible mobile devices. OMTP have created their BONDI
initiative to specifically address the problem of fragmentation in the
evolution of the mobile web and to ensure the protection of the user
from malicious web based services. The BONDI initiative will be
delivering documentation throughout 2008 with the aim of driving
activities in other appropriate standardisation and industry bodies
such as W3C.

Devices supporting some of the features of BONDI will become available in 2009.

This document forms the input from BONDI relating to the security
aspects of the W3C Widgets: 1.0 Requirements found at

The document is divided into two parts; the first part details
proposed changes to existing W3C requirements, the second part
proposes new requirements that for inclusion.

Part I - Changes to Existing Requirements Proposed By BONDI

R11. Digital Signature

We suggest the following re-wording of the existing requirement so
that it reads:

"A conforming specification MUST specify a means to verify the
authenticity and integrity of all resources in a widget resource, with
the exception of any resources explicitly excluded by the
specification. A conforming specification MUST provide this capability
by specifying a processing model for generating and verifying a
digital signature associated to a widget resource. The digital
signature scheme MUST be compatible with existing Public Key
Infrastructures (PKI), particularly X.509 digital certificates. In
addition, the recommended digital signature format SHALL support the
ability to include a certificate chain with a digital signature to
enable the receiving device to build a certificate chain from the end
entity certificate used to generate the signature to a locally stored
root certificate. In addition, the recommended digital signature
format SHOULD support the ability for a widget resource to be signed
using multiple end entity keys (i.e. it SHOULD be possible to include
multiple signatures and associated certificate chains)."

The proposed changes attempt to tighten and clarify the use of digital
signatures and certificate chains. In addition we suggest that the
following text should be added to the existing requirement:

"A conforming specification SHALL specify the expected behaviour when
multiple signatures and certificate chains are provided. A conforming
specification SHALL specify that if none of the signatures and
certificate chains can be verified, e.g. because of missing root
certificates or where any certificates in the chain have expired or
are not yet valid, then the widget resource SHALL be treated as
unsigned. A conforming specification SHALL specify that the widget
environment SHALL not install or load a widget resource when it can
determine that any certificate in the chain has been revoked."

This addition is to ensure that there is a consistent behaviour when
verifying signatures and certificate chains, especially in error cases
in which the verification fails because of missing certificates and in
which one of the certificates has been revoked. We use the term load
to cover the case in which a widget is not subject to an installation

In addition, we suggest the following changes to the Rationale:

"To provide a means to verify authenticity, check data integrity, and
provide a means of non-repudiation for users." to "To provide a means
to verify the authenticity, check the data integrity and provide
persistent proof of origin of the widget resource."

"a digital signature" to "are digitally signed"

And the following addition:

"The ability to provide certificate chains with signatures is vital,
particularly in the mobile world, to allow end entity certificates to
be chained to a locally installed root.

The ability to include multiple signatures can help address the issue
that target devices may have different root certificates installed.
Equally there SHOULD be defined behaviour for what happens when a
required root isn't available. Treating this case as an error case
(and therefore not allowing the installation of the widget) has been
seen to encourage developers not to get the applications signed
whereas allowing this case but treating widgets as unsigned doesn't
provide the same disincentive."

R21. Security Declarations

We suggest the addition of the following text to the existing requirement:

"This SHALL include a means of declaring the APIs that a widget
expects to access. A conforming specification SHALL provide a means to
verify the authenticity and integrity of security declarations
included in the widget resource."

The reason for this suggested addition is to make it explicit that it
must be possible to include required APIs in the security
declarations. In addition, we suggest that the security declarations
should be treated as a protected resource as the authenticity and
integrity of this information is essential if it is to be used when
making security decisions.

These proposed modifications are based on the assumption that security
declarations are included in the configuration document, which can be
used independently of the widget resource, as stated in R.23. If this
is not the case then an additional requirement is needed to ensure
that the security declarations can be used independently of the widget

R38. Additional Digital Certificates

We suggest that the requirement is re-worded along the following lines
"A conforming specification SHOULD define mechanisms to enable
end-users to install additional root certificates, provided this is
compatible with the security policy of the widget processing

The reason for this proposal is that the existing requirement seems to
suggest that the user should always be able to install additional root
certificates on their device whereas in our opinion this capability
should be controlled by the security policy of the device. In
addition, we have removed the reference to standard root certificates
as this implies a set of root certificates that are common across all

In addition, we suggest that following text is added to the rationale
"using self-signed or test certificates, and install these test
certificates on a device in order to test their widget on a real
device." as this links more closely to the requirement.

R43. Default Security Policy

While we agree that it is a requirement to be able to specify a
default security policy, and that this should err on the side of
caution, we would like to seek clarification of this requirement?

For example, is the intention to mandate static declarations of
requested permissions or are programmatic requests also to be allowed?

We would also like to indicate that BONDI are currently working on a
policy framework and the definition of default or recommended policies
and policy configurations and would like to co-ordinate this work with

R44. Runtime Security Exceptions

In the sentence "A conforming specification MUST specify runtime
exceptions for when the API attempts to perform an action it is not
authorized to perform." suggest that "API" is changed to "widget" as
this seems to fit in better with the rationale?

Normative references

We suggest that the reference for X.509 is updated as follows:


RFC 3280: Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and
Certificate Revocation List (CRL) Profile, R. Housley. IETF, April
2002. Available at: http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3280.txt

Part II - New Requirements Proposed By BONDI

The following text proposes new requirements, related specifically to
security mechanisms that have been derived from ongoing work within

RXX. Signature Document Independence

A conforming specification MUST specify the digital signature format
in such a way that the signature value(s) and associated certificate
chain(s) can be used independently of the widget resource that is
covered by the digital signature. A conforming specification SHOULD
provide guidelines for how the signature(s) and certificate chain(s)
can be used separately from a widget resource. A conforming
specification SHOULD specify a means to provide the independent
signature document in conjunction with the independent configuration
document (see R23).


Web and offline distribution, device independence current development
practice or industry best-practices


To allow the signature information to be extracted and used by other
applications (either on the server or on the client side) for
different purposes. For example, a server may automatically extract
the signature information from a widget resource and serve it upon
request. The independent signature information may then be used, for
instance, to provide the user with information about the source
(signing entity) and associated trust level of the widget without
needing to download the complete widget resource. Additionally, if
combined with security declaration information, the signature
information may allow a security decision to be made about whether or
not the widget will run properly, enabling a further decision to be
made as to whether to continue to download and install the widget.
This may be particularly useful for users of widgets on mobile
devices, where the cost of downloading data can sometimes be


This is common practice in the mobile world with Java applications.
The purpose of pre-verifying elements of the signature and certificate
chain is to address the case in which a widget provided by a
non-malicious developer fails to install because for example, the
certificate is out of date or no revocation information is available.
It also allows parallel OCSP round trips while downloading widget
resource (as is done for Java apps in the mobile world)

RXX. Independence of Non-Security Critical Information from Digital Signature

A conforming specification SHOULD make it possible to change
non-security critical information associated to the widget resource
without having to re-sign the widget resource. The non-security
critical information may or may not be included in the widget package.
A conforming specification SHALL specify which information can be
considered non-security critical. A conforming specification SHOULD
specify a means to provide this non-security critical information in
conjunction with the independent configuration document (see R23).


current development practice or industry best-practices


Some information associated to the widget resource might need to be
changed during ingestion (e.g. version, provider, name etc.). This is
common when a single developer provides the same content to a number
of re-sellers. It may be that the same information needs to be
provided with the configuration document.

RXX. Signing Procedure Agnostic

A conforming specification SHALL specify a mechanism for signing a
widget resource that does not explicitly or implicitly impose any
restrictions on the procedure for generating the signature. More
specifically, a conforming specification SHALL allow the use of end
entity keys stored in a secure module in a hosted environment. A
conforming specification SHALL specify that implementations SHOULD be
able to use end entity keys via a PKCS#11 interface.

In addition, the mechanism SHALL make it feasible for end entity keys
to be used once and then securely deleted.


Security, current development practice or industry best-practices


To enable signing schemes to provide assurances that a high level of
end-to-end security has been maintained around the signing process, in
particular assurance that the signing key has not been compromised.
PKCS#11 is the most widely supported standard interface for hardware
security modules.

RXX. Support for Multiple Message Digest Algorithms

A conforming specification SHALL specify that where the integrity of
data is protected using a message digest, it SHALL be possible to use
the SHA-1 message digest algorithm and SHALL be possible to use the
SHA-256 message digest algorithm.




Due to known weaknesses in the SHA-1 algorithm and the expected
lifetime of implementations it is prudent to strongly recommend
support for SHA-256 to ensure that the overall security of the
solution is maintained.

RXX. Support for Multiple Signature Algorithms

A conforming specification SHALL specify that where digital signatures
are used it SHALL be possible to use the DSA signature algorithm and
SHALL be possible to use the RSA signature algorithm.




Security best practice: to support two algorithms to mitigate against
the risk that weaknesses are found with a selected algorithm.

RXX. Key Lengths

A conforming spec SHALL specify that widget processing environments
SHALL support RSA with key lengths up to at least 2048 bits and SHALL
support DSA with key lengths up to at least 2048 bits (see NIST
Recommendation). A conforming spec SHALL recommend that widget signing
tools SHALL support and use RSA with key lengths of at least 2048 bits
and DSA with key lengths of at least 2048 bits (see NIST




To be in-line with current security recommendations and provide
longevity of the system security. In some use cases it may be
desirable to use key lengths of less than 2048 bits, e.g. where the
impact on performance outweighs the additional security afforded.

RXX. Key Usage Extension

A conforming specification MUST specify the expected use of valid key
usage extensions and when present (in end entity certs) MUST specify
that implementations verify that the extension has the
digitalSignature bit set.

A conforming specification MUST specify that implementations recognize
the extended key usage extension and when present (in end entity
certs) verify that the extension contains the id-kp-codeSigning object
identifier. A conforming specification MAY also define a new OID
specifically for widget signing, and specify that implementations
verify that the extended key usage extension in the end entity cert
contains this new OID.


To maintain compliance to RFC 3280 (experience suggests that if this
is not explicitly required then the RFC 3280 is not followed when it
comes to key extension usage).

Compliance ensures that only certificates intended to be used (issued
for) code signing can be used to sign widget resources.


Using the extended key usage extension "id-kp-codeSigning" would in
theory allow the same end entity certificate to be used to sign any
executables including widgets, Java applets and native executables.
However, it should be possible to restrict the use of a particular end
entity certificate so that it can only be used to sign certain a
certain type (or types) of executables by associating a usage
restriction with the root certificate to which the end entity
certificate is chained.

RXX. Inclusion of Revocation Information

A conforming specification SHOULD specify a means of packaging
up-to-date revocation information with digital signature and
associated certificate chain (e.g. a CRL or OCSP response stating that
certificate has not been revoked). In addition, a conforming
specification SHOULD specify the behaviour in the case that the
revocation information is not included or not complete. A conforming
specification SHOULD specify that if the revocation information is
present the widget processing environment MUST attempt to verify the
revocation information. A conforming specification SHOULD specify the
behaviour if revocation information is out of date or otherwise

In addition, the mechanism specified SHALL not require the widget
resource to be re-signed to include new revocation information.


To provide up-to-date revocation information, when it is needed by the
widget engine, without requiring a query to an online CRL or OSCP
server from each device. This is a lot more efficient and eases the
load on CRL or OSCP servers.

-------- END OF DOCUMENT --------

Many thanks,


David Rogers
OMTP Director of External Relations
m: +44 (0) 7771 838197 david.rogers@omtp.org
skype: dg.rogers

linkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrogersuk

Marble Arch Tower
55 Bryanston Street


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