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Network Working Group                                      M. Nottingham
Internet-Draft                                          November 7, 2018
Intended status: Informational
Expires: May 11, 2019


                      The secret-token URI Scheme
           draft-nottingham-how-did-that-get-into-the-repo-01

Abstract

   This document registers the "secret-token" URI scheme, to aid in the
   identification of authentication tokens.

Note to Readers

   _RFC EDITOR: please remove this section before publication_

   The issues list for this draft can be found at
   https://github.com/mnot/I-D/labels/how-did-that-get-into-the-repo
   [1].

   The most recent (often, unpublished) draft is at
   https://mnot.github.io/I-D/how-did-that-get-into-the-repo/ [2].

   Recent changes are listed at https://github.com/mnot/I-D/commits/gh-
   pages/how-did-that-get-into-the-repo [3].

   See also the draft's current status in the IETF datatracker, at
   https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-nottingham-how-did-that-get-
   into-the-repo/ [4].

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 11, 2019.



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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  The secret-token URI scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     5.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     5.2.  URIs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

1.  Introduction

   It has become increasingly common to use bearer tokens as an
   authentication mechanism.

   Unfortunately, the number of security incidents involving accidental
   disclosure of these tokens has also increased.  For example, we now
   regularly hear about a developer committing an access token to a
   public source code repository, either because they didn't realise it
   was included in the committed code, or because they didn't realise
   the implications of its disclosure.

   This specification registers the "secret-token" URI scheme to aid
   prevention of such accidental disclosures.  When tokens are easier to
   unambiguously identify, they can trigger warnings in Continuous
   Integration systems, or be used in source code repositories
   themselves.  They can also be scanned for separately.

   For example, if cloud.example.net issues access tokens to its clients
   for later use, and it does so by formatting them as secret-token
   URIs, tokens that "leak" into places that they don't belong are



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   easier to identify.  This could be through a variety of mechanisms;
   for example, if repo.example.com can be configured to refuse commits
   containing secret-token URIs, it helps its customers avoid accidental
   disclosures.

   secret-token URIs are intended to aid in identification of generated
   secrets like API keys and similar tokens.  They are not intended for
   use in controlled situations where ephemeral tokens are used, such as
   things ike CSRF tokens.

1.1.  Notational Conventions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

   This document uses ABNF [RFC5234], including by reference the
   following rules: ALPHA, DIGIT.  It also uses the pchar rule from
   [RFC3986].

2.  The secret-token URI scheme

   The secret-token URI scheme identifies a token that is intended to be
   a secret.

   secret-token-URI    = secret-token-scheme ":" token
   secret-token-scheme = "secret-token"
   token               = 1*pchar

   See [RFC3986], Section 3.3 for a definition of pchar.  Disallowed
   characters - including non-ASCII characters - MUST be encoded into
   UTF-8 [RFC3629] and then percent-encoded ([RFC3986], Section 2.1).

   When a token is both generated and presented for authentication, the
   entire URI MUST be used, without changes.

   For example, given the URI:

   secret-token:E92FB7EB-D882-47A4-A265-A0B6135DC842%20foo

   This string (character-for-character, case-sensitive) will both be
   issued by the token authority, and required for later access.







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3.  IANA Considerations

   This document registers the following value in the URI Scheme
   registry:

   o  Scheme name: secret-token

   o  Status: provisional

   o  Applications / protocols that use this scheme: none yet

   o  Contact: iesg@iesg.org

   o  Change Controller: IESG

   o  References: [this document]

4.  Security Considerations

   The token ABNF rule allows tokens as small as one character.  This is
   not recommended practice; applications should evaluate their
   requirements for entropy and issue tokens correspondingly.

   This URI scheme is intended to prevent accidental disclosure; it
   cannot prevent intentional disclosure.

   If it is difficult to correctly handle secret material, or unclear as
   to what the appropriate handling is, users might choose to obfuscate
   their secret tokens in order to evade detection (for example,
   removing the URI scheme for storage).  Clear guidelines and helpful
   tools are good mitigations here.

5.  References

5.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC3629]  Yergeau, F., "UTF-8, a transformation format of ISO
              10646", STD 63, RFC 3629, DOI 10.17487/RFC3629, November
              2003, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3629>.







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   [RFC3986]  Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R., and L. Masinter, "Uniform
              Resource Identifier (URI): Generic Syntax", STD 66,
              RFC 3986, DOI 10.17487/RFC3986, January 2005,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3986>.

   [RFC5234]  Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
              Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5234, January 2008,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5234>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

5.2.  URIs

   [1] https://github.com/mnot/I-D/labels/how-did-that-get-into-the-repo

   [2] https://mnot.github.io/I-D/how-did-that-get-into-the-repo/

   [3] https://github.com/mnot/I-D/commits/gh-pages/how-did-that-get-
       into-the-repo

   [4] https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-nottingham-how-did-that-
       get-into-the-repo/

Author's Address

   Mark Nottingham

   Email: mnot@mnot.net
   URI:   https://www.mnot.net/



















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