Archive for the 'OpenID' Category

August 21, 2018
It’s Time for Token Binding

IETF logoCheck out Alex Simons’ and Pamela Dingle’s blog post “It’s Time for Token Binding”. Now that the IETF Token Binding specs are essentially done, it’s time to ask those who write TLS software you use to ship Token Binding support soon, if they haven’t already done so.

Token Binding in a nutshell: When an attacker steals a bearer token sent over TLS, he can use it; when an attacker steals a Token Bound token, it’s useless to him.

July 10, 2018
Security Event Token (SET) is now RFC 8417

IETF logoThe Security Event Token (SET) specification is now RFC 8417. The abstract describes the specification as:

This specification defines the Security Event Token (SET) data structure. A SET describes statements of fact from the perspective of an issuer about a subject. These statements of fact represent an event that occurred directly to or about a security subject, for example, a statement about the issuance or revocation of a token on behalf of a subject. This specification is intended to enable representing security- and identity-related events. A SET is a JSON Web Token (JWT), which can be optionally signed and/or encrypted. SETs can be distributed via protocols such as HTTP.

SETs are already in use to represent OpenID Connect Back-Channel Logout tokens and to represent Risk and Incident Sharing and Coordination (RISC) events. Thanks to my co-editors, members of the IETF ID Events mailing list, and members of the IETF Security Events working group for making this standard a reality!

July 1, 2018
OpenID Connect Token Binding Specification Updated

OpenID logoThe OpenID Connect Token Bound Authentication specification has been updated in response to developer feedback and in anticipation of the IETF Token Binding specifications finishing. Changes were:

  • Adjusted the metadata to indicate supported confirmation method hash algorithms for Token Binding IDs in ID Tokens.
  • Updated references for draft-ietf-tokbind-protocol to -19, draft-ietf-tokbind-https to -17, draft-ietf-oauth-token-binding to -07, and draft-ietf-oauth-discovery to -10.
  • Explicitly stated that the base64url encoding of the “tbh” value doesn’t include any trailing pad characters, line breaks, whitespace, etc.

(The representation of the Token Binding ID in the ID Token is unchanged.)

Thanks to Brian Campbell for doing the editing for this draft.

The specification is available at:

June 28, 2018
OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server Metadata is now RFC 8414

OAuth logoThe OAuth 2.0 Authorization Server Metadata specification is now RFC 8414. The abstract describes the specification as:

This specification defines a metadata format that an OAuth 2.0 client can use to obtain the information needed to interact with an OAuth 2.0 authorization server, including its endpoint locations and authorization server capabilities.

The specification defines a JSON metadata representation for OAuth 2.0 authorization servers that is compatible with OpenID Connect Discovery 1.0. This specification is a true instance of standardizing existing practice. OAuth 2.0 deployments have been using the OpenID Connect metadata format to describe their endpoints and capabilities for years. This RFC makes this existing practice a standard.

Having a standard OAuth metadata format makes it easier for OAuth clients to configure connections to OAuth authorization servers. See https://www.iana.org/assignments/oauth-parameters/oauth-parameters.xhtml#authorization-server-metadata for the initial set of registered metadata values.

Thanks to all of you who helped make this standard a reality!

June 24, 2018
OpenID Connect News, Overview, Certification, and Action Items at June 2018 Identiverse Conference

OpenID logoI gave the following presentation during the June 2018 Identiverse Conference:

News included:

Action items included:

May 18, 2018
Ongoing recognition for the impact of OpenID Connect and OpenID Certification

OpenID logoThis week the OpenID Certification program won the 2018 European Identity and Cloud Award for Best Innovation at the European Identity and Cloud (EIC) conference. This is actually the second award for the OpenID Certification program this year and only the latest in a series awards recognizing the value and impact of OpenID Connect and certification of its implementations.

On this occasion, I thought I’d take the opportunity to recount the awards that OpenID Connect, the specifications underlying it, and its certification program have been granted. To date, they are:

My sincere thanks to Kuppinger Cole for their early recognition of potential of OpenID Connect, for calling out the value of OAuth 2.0, JWT, and JOSE, and to both IDnext and Kuppinger Cole for recognizing the importance and global impact of OpenID Certification!

Speaking of impact, I can’t help but end this note with data that Alex Simons presented at EIC this week. 92% of Azure Active Directory (AAD) authentications use OpenID Connect. There’s no better demonstration of impact than widespread deployment. Very cool!

Alex Simons 92% OpenID Connect

May 17, 2018
OpenID Certification wins 2018 European Identity and Cloud Award

OpenID Certified logoThe OpenID Certification program won the 2018 European Identity and Cloud Award for Best Innovation at the European Identity and Cloud (EIC) conference. See the award announcement by the OpenID Foundation for more details. This is actually the second award this year for the OpenID Certification program.

The award recognizes that the OpenID Certification program has become a significant global force promoting high-quality, secure, interoperable OpenID Connect implementations. Its innovative use of self-certification using freely available online tools has made testing the quality of OpenID Connect implementations simple, effective, and commonplace. Thanks to Kuppinger Cole for recognizing the impact of the OpenID Certification program!

EIC 2018 Award EIC 2018 Award Certificate EIC 2018 Award John Bradley, Mike Jones, Nat Sakimura EIC 2018 Award Don Thibeau EIC 2018 Award State EIC 2018 Award Don Thibeau, George Fletcher, Mike Jones, John Bradley, Nat Sakimura

May 16, 2018
OpenID Presentations at May 2018 European Identity and Cloud Conference (EIC)

OpenID logoI gave the following presentations during the OpenID workshop at the May 2018 European Identity and Cloud Conference (EIC):

April 3, 2018
OpenID Presentations at April 2018 OpenID Workshop and IIW

OpenID logoI gave the following presentations at the Monday, April 2, 2018 OpenID Workshop at Oracle:

I also gave the following invited “101” session presentation at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) on Tuesday, April 3, 2018:

March 29, 2018
OpenID Certification wins the 2018 Identity Innovation Award

OpenID Certified logoI’m thrilled that the OpenID Certification program has won the 2018 Identity Innovation Award at the IDnext conference. See the award announcement by the OpenID Foundation for more details.

The award recognizes that the OpenID Certification program has become a significant global force promoting high-quality, secure, interoperable OpenID Connect implementations. Its innovative use of self-certification using freely available online tools has made testing the quality of OpenID Connect implementations simple, effective, and commonplace. Thanks to IDnext for recognizing the impact of the OpenID Certification program!

Also, see the IDnext press release announcing the award and its description of the opinion of the award committee:

The significant global impact of the OpenID Certification program was a reason for its selection for the Identity Innovation Award. It recognizes that the innovative use of self-certification, with freely available testing tools, has resulted in substantial participation in the certification program, improving the security, quality, and interoperability of OpenID Connect implementations worldwide.

Identity Innovation Award

Identity Innovation Award Presentation

Finally, here’s the presentation that I gave at the IDnext conference making the case for the award (pptx) (pdf).

March 28, 2018
What Does Logout Mean?

OAuth logoDigital identity systems almost universally support end-users logging into applications and many also support logging out of them. But while login is reasonable well understood, there are many different kinds of semantics for “logout” in different use cases and a wide variety of mechanisms for effecting logouts.

I led a discussion on the topic “What Does Logout Mean?” at the 2018 OAuth Security Workshop in Trento, Italy, which was held the week before IETF 101, to explore this topic. The session was intentionally a highly interactive conversation, gathering information from the experts at the workshop to expand our collective understanding of the topic. Brock Allen – a practicing application security architect (and MVP for ASP.NET/IIS) – significantly contributed to the materials used to seed the discussion. And Nat Sakimura took detailed notes to record what we learned during the discussion.

Feedback on the discussion was uniformly positive. It seemed that all the participants learned things about logout use cases, mechanisms, and limitations that they previously hadn’t previously considered.

Materials related to the session are:

February 2, 2018
Security Event Token (SET) spec simplifying claims usage

IETF logoThe Security Event Token (SET) specification has been updated to simplify the definitions and usage of the “iat” (issued at) and “toe” (time of event) claims. The full set of changes made was:

  • Simplified the definitions of the “iat” and “toe” claims in ways suggested by Annabelle Backman.
  • Added privacy considerations text suggested by Annabelle Backman.
  • Updated the RISC event example, courtesy of Marius Scurtescu.
  • Reordered the claim definitions to place the required claims first.
  • Changed to using the RFC 8174 boilerplate instead of the RFC 2119 boilerplate.

Thanks to Annabelle Backman, Marius Scurtescu, Phil Hunt, and Dick Hardt for the discussions that led to these simplifications.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

January 20, 2018
Security Event Token (SET) spec incorporating clarifications and a RISC example

IETF logoA new version of the Security Event Token (SET) specification has been published that incorporates clarifications suggested by working group members in discussions since IETF 100. Changes were:

  • Clarified that all “events” values must represent aspects of the same state change that occurred to the subject — not an aggregation of unrelated events about the subject.
  • Removed ambiguities about the roles of multiple “events” values and the responsibilities of profiling specifications for defining how and when they are used.
  • Corrected places where the term JWT was used when what was actually being discussed was the JWT Claims Set.
  • Addressed terminology inconsistencies. In particular, standardized on using the term “issuer” to align with JWT terminology and the “iss” claim. Previously the term “transmitter” was sometimes used and “issuer” was sometimes used. Likewise, standardized on using the term “recipient” instead of “receiver” for the same reasons.
  • Added a RISC event example, courtesy of Marius Scurtescu.
  • Applied wording clarifications suggested by Annabelle Backman and Yaron Sheffer.
  • Applied numerous grammar, syntax, and formatting corrections.

No changes to the semantics of the specification were made.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

October 26, 2017
OAuth and OpenID Connect Token Binding specs updated

OAuth logoThe OAuth 2.0 Token Binding specification has been updated to enable Token Binding of JWT Authorization Grants and JWT Client Authentication. The discussion of phasing in Token Binding was improved and generalized. See the Document History section for other improvements applied.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

An update to the closely-related OpenID Connect Token Bound Authentication 1.0 specification was also simultaneously published. Its discussion of phasing in Token Binding was correspondingly updated.

The OpenID Connect Token Binding specification is available in HTML and text versions at:

Thanks to Brian Campbell for doing the bulk of the editing for both sets of revisions.

October 24, 2017
OpenID Presentations at October 16, 2017 OpenID Workshop and IIW

OpenID logoI gave the following presentations at the Monday, October 16, 2017 OpenID Workshop at PayPal:

I also gave the following “101” session presentation at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) on Tuesday, October 17th:

June 16, 2017
Authentication Method Reference Values is now RFC 8176

IETF logoThe Authentication Method Reference Values specification is now RFC 8176. The abstract describes the specification as:

The amr (Authentication Methods References) claim is defined and registered in the IANA “JSON Web Token Claims” registry, but no standard Authentication Method Reference values are currently defined. This specification establishes a registry for Authentication Method Reference values and defines an initial set of Authentication Method Reference values.

The specification defines and registers some Authentication Method Reference values such as the following, which are already in use by some Google and Microsoft products and OpenID specifications:

  • face” – Facial recognition
  • fpt” – Fingerprint
  • hwk” – Proof-of-possession of a hardware-secured key
  • otp” – One-time password
  • pin” – Personal Identification Number
  • pwd” – Password
  • swk” – Proof-of-possession of a software-secured key
  • sms” – Confirmation using SMS
  • user” – User presence test
  • wia” – Windows Integrated Authentication

See https://www.iana.org/assignments/authentication-method-reference-values/ for the full list of registered values.

Thanks to Caleb Baker, Phil Hunt, Tony Nadalin, and William Denniss, all of whom substantially contributed to the specification. Thanks also to the OAuth working group members, chairs, area directors, and other IETF members who helped refine the specification.

March 28, 2017
OpenID Connect Logout Implementer’s Drafts Approved

As announced by the OpenID Foundation, the OpenID membership has approved Implementer’s Drafts of the three OpenID Connect logout specifications. That means that developers and deployers can now count on the intellectual property protections that come with being Implementer’s Drafts.

These are the first Implementer’s Drafts of these specifications:

  • Front-Channel Logout – Defines a front-channel logout mechanism that does not use an OP iframe on RP pages
  • Back-Channel Logout – Defines a logout mechanism that uses back-channel communication between the OP and RPs being logged out

Whereas, this is the fourth Implementer’s Draft of this specification:

  • Session Management – Defines how to manage OpenID Connect sessions, including postMessage-based logout functionality

Each of these protocols communicate logout requests from OpenID Providers to Relying Parties, but using different mechanisms that are appropriate for different use cases. See the Introduction sections of each of the specifications for descriptions of the mechanisms used and comparisons between them. All the specifications share a common mechanism for communicating logout requests from Relying Parties to OpenID Providers.

As expected, the reviews generated some great feedback on ways to make the specs clearer. I expect the working group to incorporate that feedback in future revisions.

March 13, 2017
AMR Values specification addressing Stephen Farrell’s comments

OAuth logoSecurity area director Stephen Farrell had asked us to make it as clear as possible to people who might be registering new “amr” values that names can identify families of closely-related authentication methods. This is now said right in the IANA Registration Template, so that people who might not have read the spec can’t miss it.

FYI, all the previous IESG DISCUSSes have now been cleared, so hopefully that means this is the last version to be published before the Authentication Method Reference Values specification becomes an RFC.

Thanks again to Stephen for his always-thorough reviews of the specification.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

February 28, 2017
AMR Values specification addressing IESG comments

OAuth logoThe Authentication Method Reference Values specification has been updated to address feedback from the IESG. Identifiers are now restricted to using only printable JSON-friendly ASCII characters. All the “amr” value definitions now include specification references.

Thanks to Stephen Farrell, Alexey Melnikov, Ben Campbell, and Jari Arkko for their reviews.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

February 14, 2017
OpenID Connect Relying Party Certification Launched

OpenID logoThanks to all who contributed to the launch of OpenID Connect Relying Party Certification! This is a major step in continuing to improve the interoperability and security of OpenID Connect implementations.

Roland Hedberg deserves huge credit for writing and deploying the testing tools. Roland eagerly interacted with developers as they “tested the tests”, promptly answering questions and iteratively developing the software to address issues that arose during the testing.

Hans Zandbelt and Edmund Jay also deserve huge thanks for being the earliest Relying Party testers. Because of their early feedback and perseverance, the process is now much easier for those that followed them.

As Don Thibeau wrote in the launch announcement, we were surprised by the speed of RP Certification adoption once we began the pilot phase – happening much more quickly than OpenID Provider certification did. I loved the feedback from developers, who told us that they understand the protocol better and have more secure implementations because of their certification participation. Let’s have more of that!

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