RFC 7711 and RFC 7712: POSH and DNA

2015-11-18

Today the IETF published two intertwined specifications that I've co-authored with a few folks in the XMPP community: RFC 7711 and RFC 7712.

RFC 7711 - PKIX over Secure HTTP or "POSH" - defines a way to retrieve digital certificates for application servers over HTTPS, essentially as an alternative method for bootstrapping trust in cases where it's not feasible for a service provider to obtain the proper certificates through a certification authority (CA). Once upon a time I wrote a humorous POSH-ian Play to explain the need for this protocol; some people remain unconvinced but they don't have to operate XMPP services in multi-tenanted environments.

RFC 7712 - Domain Name Associations ("DNA") in XMPP - formalizes the methods for checking the association between a domain name and an XML stream in XMPP, which is necessary for proper security. Traditionally we've relied on CA-issued digital certificates to establish such associations, but now that we have DNSSEC/DANE (see RFC 7673 and POSH two more methods can be used, thus expanding our toolkit for XMPP security.

Thanks to Matt Miller and Philipp Hancke for working with me on these specs!


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