Musings on Digital Identity

Month: May 2020

secp256k1 curve and algorithm registered for JOSE use

IETF logoIANA has registered the “secp256k1” elliptic curve in the JSON Web Key Elliptic Curve registry and the corresponding “ES256K” signing algorithm in the JSON Web Signature and Encryption Algorithms registry. This curve is widely used among blockchain and decentralized identity implementations.

The registrations were specified by the COSE and JOSE Registrations for WebAuthn Algorithms specification, which was created by the W3C Web Authentication working group and the IETF COSE working group because WebAuthn also allows the use of secp256k1. This specification is now in IETF Last Call. The corresponding COSE registrations will occur after the specification becomes an RFC.

Successful OpenID Foundation Virtual Workshop

OpenID logoI was pleased by the quality of the discussions and participation at the first OpenID Foundation Virtual Workshop. There were over 50 participants, with useful conversations happening both on the audio channel and in the chat. Topics included current work in the working groups, such as eKYC-IDA, FAPI, MODRNA, FastFed, Shared Signals and Events, and OpenID Connect), OpenID Certification, and a discussion on interactions between browser privacy developments and federated login. Thanks to all who participated!

Here’s my presentation on the OpenID Connect working group and OpenID Certification: (PowerPoint) (PDF).

Update: The presentations from the workshop are available at OIDF Virtual Workshop — May 21, 2020.

Nearing completion on two WebAuthn-related specs at the IETF

IETF logoThis week we published updates to two IETF specifications that support the WebAuthn/FIDO2 ecosystem, as well as other uses, such as decentralized identity.

One is COSE and JOSE Registrations for WebAuthn Algorithms. It registers algorithm and elliptic curve identifiers for algorithms used by WebAuthn and FIDO2. The “secp256k1” curve being registered is also used for signing in some decentralized identity applications. The specification has completed the Area Director review and has been submitted to the IESG for publication.

The other is Registries for Web Authentication (WebAuthn). This creates IANA registries enabling multiple kinds of extensions to W3C Web Authentication (WebAuthn) implementations to be registered. This specification has completed IETF last call and is scheduled for review by the IESG.

Thanks to the COSE working group for their adoption of the algorithms specification, and to Ivaylo Petrov and Murray Kucherawy for their reviews of it. Thanks to Kathleen Moriarty and Benjamin Kaduk for their Area Director sponsorships of the registries specification and to Jeff Hodges for being primary author of it.

The specifications are available at:

Working group adoption of Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) Tags for Date

IETF logoThe IETF CBOR working group has adopted the specification Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) Tags for Date. The abstract of the specification is:

The Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR, RFC 7049) is a data format whose design goals include the possibility of extremely small code size, fairly small message size, and extensibility without the need for version negotiation.

In CBOR, one point of extensibility is the definition of CBOR tags. RFC 7049 defines two tags for time: CBOR tag 0 (RFC 3339 date/time string) and tag 1 (Posix “seconds since the epoch”). Since then, additional requirements have become known. This specification defines a CBOR tag for an RFC 3339 date text string, for applications needing a textual date representation without a time. It also defines a CBOR tag for days since the Posix epoch, for applications needing a numeric date representation without a time. It is intended as the reference document for the IANA registration of the CBOR tags defined.

The need for this arose for the ISO Mobile Driver’s License specification in the working group ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17 “Cards and security devices for personal identification”.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Refinements to “OAuth 2.0 Demonstration of Proof-of-Possession at the Application Layer (DPoP)”

OAuth logoA number of refinements have been applied to the DPoP specification. As recorded in the History entries, they are:

  • Editorial updates
  • Attempt to more formally define the DPoP Authorization header scheme
  • Define the 401/WWW-Authenticate challenge
  • Added invalid_dpop_proof error code for DPoP errors in token request
  • Fixed up and added to the IANA section
  • Added dpop_signing_alg_values_supported authorization server metadata
  • Moved the Acknowledgements into an Appendix and added a bunch of names (best effort)

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

The specification is available at:

Security Event Token (SET) delivery specifications in IETF Last Call

IETF logoThe two Security Event Token (SET) delivery specifications have been updated to address additional Area Director review comments by Benjamin Kaduk. See the History entries for descriptions of the changes, none of which were breaking. Both documents are now open for IETF Last Call reviews.

Thanks again to Ben for his thorough reviews. And thanks to Annabelle Backman for doing the editing for this round.

The specifications are available at:

HTML-formatted versions are also available at:

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