[whatwg] meta="encrypt" tag is needed

Mikko Rantalainen mikko.rantalainen at peda.net
Mon May 10 02:34:49 PDT 2010

Juuso Hukkanen wrote:
> I was expecting criticism; as is unavoidable with all crypto issues.
> You asked many questions, and unfortunately all you missed the
> auth="verisign" argument, which _is_ enough to prevent all practical
> (,even if they are all theoretical!,) man-in-the-middle attacks.

You keep referring to the source code excerpt you posted. How about
explaining what those attributes do, WHY would you want to use those and
what are allowed values for each attribute.

Also note that because the attribute 'auth="verisign"' is sent without
encryption, it cannot be used for preventing MitM attack. This is
because MitM attacker would be able to strip out that attribute or
replace it with any other value he prefers.

> the above 'page' using the meta-encrypt tag, which is enough for a
> client browser to submit to site
> a) a salted password
> b) and a user name transported in encrypted form; over the internet

I understand that you believe that this is important. Could you explain
to us, why do you think so?

You referred to "alypaa.com" case in your original post. Could you
explain why do you think this would prevent from similar information
leak in the future?

As you haven't explained why your proposed scheme really works, I can
only guess that you intent that the server never gets the original
password, only the salted version. Are you trying to suggest an user
agent implementation of something similar to this:

> I am not suggesting replacing https with anything, government and
> business sites can and should keep on using it.  I am suggesting a small
> easy to use mini-encryption which would be enough for those 90% of sites
> should salt their passwords and encrypt sensitive data and but who
> currently aren't.

What is the attack you're trying to avoid?

> Obviously you people will keep complaining, so what do you want to
> complain next
> 1) Man-in-the-middle problem; which doesn't exists because
>     a) those are just academic mind games


What is the attack you're trying to avoid? (I'm repeating myself...)

>     b) if auth="verisign" is used as external CA

This cannot be used for authentication because it's part of the
non-encrypted and unsigned content. See above.

> 2) HTTPS = good (even if it is typically NOT used with forms

?? (Are you trying to make some point? Please, elaborate.)

> 3) password salting = webmasters duty to do it (which 50% forget), after
> using the HTTPS (which 90% forget)

Is this the problem you're trying to fix? You don't like the fact that
if the server software is able to know your password, it's able to store
it encrypted?

Why do you think your proposed feature would fix this?

> 4) Declaring encrypt action doesn't fit into HTML (; then why is there a
> form method get/post)

?? (Are you trying to make some point? Please, elaborate.)


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