May 21, 2020
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).

May 14, 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:

May 7, 2020
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:

May 4, 2020
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:

May 4, 2020
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:

April 28, 2020
OpenID Presentation at IIW XXX

OpenID logoI gave the following invited “101” session presentation at the 30th Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) on Tuesday, April 28, 2020:

I missed being able to gauge audience reactions by looking around the room but the virtualized session was still well attended by a good group of people, who let me know how OpenID Connect is relevant to what they’re doing.

April 6, 2020
Working group adoption of “OAuth 2.0 Demonstration of Proof-of-Possession at the Application Layer (DPoP)”

OAuth logoWe’re making progress on a simple application-level proof-of-possession solution for OAuth 2.0. I’m pleased to report that DPoP has now been adopted as an OAuth working group specification. The abstract of the specification is:

This document describes a mechanism for sender-constraining OAuth 2.0 tokens via a proof-of-possession mechanism on the application level. This mechanism allows for the detection of replay attacks with access and refresh tokens.

The specification is available at:

March 9, 2020
Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) is now RFC 8747

IETF logoI’m pleased to report that Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) is now RFC 8747. The abstract of the specification is:

This specification describes how to declare in a CBOR Web Token (CWT) (which is defined by RFC 8392) that the presenter of the CWT possesses a particular proof-of-possession key. Being able to prove possession of a key is also sometimes described as being the holder-of-key. This specification provides equivalent functionality to “Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for JSON Web Tokens (JWTs)” (RFC 7800) but using Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) and CWTs rather than JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and JSON Web Tokens (JWTs).

This is one of a series of specifications, including CWT [RFC 8392] – which mirrors JWT [RFC 7519], in which we are intentionally bringing functionality that is available in JSON to the CBOR and IoT world.

March 9, 2020
OAuth 2.0 DPoP for the Implicit Flow

OAuth logoAs I previously described, members of the OAuth working group have developed a simplified approach to providing application-level proof-of-possession protections for OAuth 2.0 access tokens and refresh tokens. This approach is called OAuth 2.0 Demonstration of Proof-of-Possession at the Application Layer (DPoP). Among other benefits, this approach does not require a complicated and error-prone procedure for signing HTTP requests, as some past approaches have.

However, the DPoP specification to date has assumed that the client is using the OAuth authorization code flow. As promised at the last IETF meeting, we’ve now published a simple companion specification that describes how DPoP can be used with the OAuth implicit flow – in which access tokens are returned directly from the authorization endpoint. The specification is mercifully brief because very little had to be added to supplement the existing DPoP spec to enable use of DPoP with the implicit flow. Thanks to Brian Campbell and John Bradley for whiteboarding this solution with me.

Finally, in a related development, it was decided during the OAuth virtual interim meeting today to call for working group adoption of the core DPoP draft. That’s an important step on the journey towards making it a standard.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

March 9, 2020
Allocating a CBOR tag for RFC 3339 date strings

IETF logoI have published the specification Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) Tag for Date to allocate a CBOR tag for RFC 3339 full-date values. While there’s already a tag for date-time values, there’s currently no tag allocated for full-date values – a date string without a time. 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”.

Thanks to Carsten Bormann for pointers on the best way to accomplish this.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

March 3, 2020
Two New OAuth RFCs: MTLS (RFC 8705) and Resource Indicators (RFC 8707)

OAuth logoTwo widely used OAuth specifications have recently become RFCs. Here’s a bit about both specs.

RFC 8705: OAuth 2.0 Mutual-TLS Client Authentication and Certificate-Bound Access Tokens

Abstract: This document describes OAuth client authentication and certificate-bound access and refresh tokens using mutual Transport Layer Security (TLS) authentication with X.509 certificates. OAuth clients are provided a mechanism for authentication to the authorization server using mutual TLS, based on either self-signed certificates or public key infrastructure (PKI). OAuth authorization servers are provided a mechanism for binding access tokens to a client’s mutual-TLS certificate, and OAuth protected resources are provided a method for ensuring that such an access token presented to it was issued to the client presenting the token.

Client certificates are widely used in the financial industry to authenticate OAuth clients. Indeed, this specification was developed in part because it was needed by the OpenID Financial-Grade API (FAPI) specifications. It is in production use by numerous Open Banking deployments today.

RFC 8707: Resource Indicators for OAuth 2.0

Abstract: This document specifies an extension to the OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework defining request parameters that enable a client to explicitly signal to an authorization server about the identity of the protected resource(s) to which it is requesting access.

This specification standardizes the “resource” request parameter that is used by Azure Active Directory (AAD) V1 to specify the target resource for an OAuth authorization request.

February 19, 2020
JSON Web Token Best Current Practices is now RFC 8725 and BCP 225

OAuth logoThe JSON Web Token Best Current Practices specification is now RFC 8725 and BCP 225. The abstract of the specification is:

JSON Web Tokens, also known as JWTs, are URL-safe JSON-based security tokens that contain a set of claims that can be signed and/or encrypted. JWTs are being widely used and deployed as a simple security token format in numerous protocols and applications, both in the area of digital identity and in other application areas. This Best Current Practices document updates RFC 7519 to provide actionable guidance leading to secure implementation and deployment of JWTs.

The JSON Web Token (JWT) specification [RFC 7519] was approved in May 2015, almost five years ago, and has been in production use since at least 2013. This Best Current Practices specification contains a compendium of lessons learned from real JWT deployments and implementations over that period. It describes pitfalls and how to avoid them as well as new recommended practices that enable proactively avoiding problems that could otherwise arise. Importantly, the BCP introduces no breaking changes to the JWT specification and does not require changes to existing deployments.

The BCP came about as JWTs were starting to be used in new families of protocols and applications, both in the IETF and by others. For instance, JWTs are being used by the IETF STIR working group to enable verification of the calling party’s authorization to use a particular telephone number for an incoming call, providing verified Caller ID to help combat fraudulent and unwanted telephone calls. The advice in the BCP can be used by new JWT profiles and applications to take advantage of what’s been learned since we created the JSON Web Token (JWT) specification over a half decade ago.

February 18, 2020
OpenID Connect Federation Keynote at January 2020 OpenID Japan Summit

OpenID logoI gave this keynote presentation at the January 2020 OpenID Japan Summit: Enabling Large-Scale Multi-Party Federations with OpenID Connect. View it in PowerPoint or PDF.

Thanks to Roland Hedberg for collaborating on the presentation with me and for being primary author of the OpenID Connect Federation specification.

And as a preview of coming attractions, I’ll also be presenting on OpenID Connect Federation at Identiverse in June 2020.

February 12, 2020
JWTs helping combat fraudulent and unwanted telephone calls

IETF logoI wanted to bring two excellent articles by the IETF on work by the STIR working group to combat fraudulent and unwanted telephone calls to your attention:

Abstract: Providers of voice over IP in the United States will be required to implement the IETF’s Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) protocol as a result of recently enacted legislation to address some of the root causes of illegal robocalling on the telephone network.

Abstract: Recently, the output of the IETF Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) working group has received considerable attention from service providers, regulators, and the press because it addresses some of the root causes of the illegal robocalling which has crippled the telephone network.

I love this work for two reasons. First, like the rest of you, I receive a huge volume of unwanted and often fraudulent phone calls. I love that engineers and regulators are partnering to take concrete steps to reduce the volume of these illegal and annoying calls.

Second, I love it that the STIR protocols are using JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) under the covers as the format to represent verifiable statements about legitimate uses of telephone numbers, enabling verifiable Caller ID. It’s often said that one sign of a standard having succeeded is that it’s used for things that the inventors never imagined. This is certainly such a case! I’m proud that the JSON Web Token, which we originally designed with digital identity use cases in mind, is now being used in a completely different context to solve a real problem experienced by people every day.

February 7, 2020
Security Event Token (SET) delivery specifications addressing Area Director reviews

IETF logoThe two Security Event Token (SET) delivery specifications have been updated to address the Area Director review comments by Benjamin Kaduk. The changes to address Ben’s comments were made in the previous versions (-08 for Push and -07 for Pull.) The latest versions addressed editorial nits.

Thanks to Ben for his thorough reviews! And thanks to Annabelle Backman for reviewing the changes.

The specifications are available at:

HTML-formatted versions are also available at:

January 27, 2020
COSE and JOSE Registrations for WebAuthn Algorithms spec adding explanatory comments on design decisions

IETF logoThe “COSE and JOSE Registrations for WebAuthn Algorithms” specification has been updated to add explanatory comments on design decisions made that were discussed on the mailing list that Jim Schaad requested be added to the draft.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

January 15, 2020
OAuth 2.0 Token Exchange is now RFC 8693

OAuth logoThe OAuth 2.0 Token Exchange specification is now RFC 8693. The abstract of the specification is:

This specification defines a protocol for an HTTP- and JSON-based Security Token Service (STS) by defining how to request and obtain security tokens from OAuth 2.0 authorization servers, including security tokens employing impersonation and delegation.

This specification standardizes an already widely-deployed pattern in production use by Box, Microsoft, RedHat, Salesforce, and many others. Thanks to all of you who helped make a standard for this important functionality!

December 28, 2019
OpenID eKYC and Identity Assurance Working Group Formed

OpenID logoI’m pleased to report that the OpenID eKYC and Identity Assurance Working Group is up and running. The new working group is now the home for the OpenID Connect for Identity Assurance specification. This specification defines a representation for verified claims about end-users. This enables real-world use cases such as electronic driver’s licenses and digitally satisfying Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.

See the post OpenID Connect for Identity Assurance now has a dedicated home for more information about the working group, including the working group call schedule.

November 18, 2019
Poll-Based Security Event Token (SET) Delivery spec addressing WGLC and Shepherd comments

IETF logoThe Poll-Based Security Event Token (SET) Delivery specification has been updated to address Working Group Last Call (WGLC) and Document Shepherd comments received. Thanks to Annabelle Backman for the useful WGLC comments and to Yaron Sheffer for the useful Shepherd comments. This update is intended to enable our area director Benjamin Kaduk to review both the Push and Poll delivery method specifications at the same time.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

November 6, 2019
Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) sent to the RFC Editor

OAuth logoI’m pleased to report that the Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) specification is now technically stable and will shortly be an RFC – an Internet standard. Specifically, it has now progressed to the RFC Editor queue, meaning that the only remaining step before finalization is editorial due diligence. Thus, implementations can now utilize the draft specification with confidence that that breaking changes will not occur as it is finalized.

The abstract of the specification is:

This specification describes how to declare in a CBOR Web Token (CWT) (which is defined by RFC 8392) that the presenter of the CWT possesses a particular proof-of-possession key. Being able to prove possession of a key is also sometimes described as being the holder-of-key. This specification provides equivalent functionality to “Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for JSON Web Tokens (JWTs)” (RFC 7800) but using Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) and CWTs rather than JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and JSON Web Tokens (JWTs).

Thanks to the ACE working group for completing this important specification.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

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