Network Working Group L. Zhu
Request for Comments: 4557 K. Jaganathan
Category: Standards Track Microsoft Corporation
June 2006 Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) Support for
Public Key Cryptography for
Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT)
Status of This Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).
This document defines a mechanism to enable in-band transmission of
Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) responses in the Kerberos
network authentication protocol. These responses are used to verify
the validity of the certificates used in Public Key Cryptography for
Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT), which is the Kerberos
Version 5 extension that provides for the use of public key
Table of Contents
1. Introduction ....................................................22. Conventions Used in This Document ...............................23. Message Definition ..............................................24. Security Considerations .........................................35. Acknowledgements ................................................46. References ......................................................46.1. Normative References .......................................46.2. Informative References .....................................4
Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) [RFC2560] enables
applications to obtain timely information regarding the revocation
status of a certificate. Because OCSP responses are well bounded and
small in size, constrained clients may wish to use OCSP to check the
validity of the certificates for Kerberos Key Distribution Center
(KDC) in order to avoid transmission of large Certificate Revocation
Lists (CRLs) and therefore save bandwidth on constrained networks
This document defines a pre-authentication type [RFC4120], where the
client and the KDC MAY piggyback OCSP responses for certificates used
in authentication exchanges, as defined in [RFC4556].
By using this OPTIONAL extension, PKINIT clients and the KDC can
maximize the reuse of cached OCSP responses.
2. Conventions Used in This Document
In this document, the key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",
"SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY",
and "OPTIONAL" are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].
3. Message Definition
A pre-authentication type identifier is defined for this mechanism:
The corresponding padata-value field [RFC4120] contains the DER [X60]
encoding of the following ASN.1 type:
PKOcspData ::= SEQUENCE OF OcspResponse
-- If more than one OcspResponse is
-- included, the first OcspResponse
-- MUST contain the OCSP response
-- for the signer's certificate.
-- The signer refers to the client for
-- AS-REQ, and the KDC for the AS-REP,
OcspResponse ::= OCTET STRING
-- Contains a complete OCSP response,
-- as defined in [RFC2560].
The client MAY send OCSP responses for certificates used in PA-PK-
AS-REQ [RFC4556] via a PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE.
The KDC that receives a PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE SHOULD send a PA-PK-
OCSP-RESPONSE containing OCSP responses for certificates used in the
KDC's PA-PK-AS-REP. The client can request a PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE by
using a PKOcspData containing an empty sequence.
The KDC MAY send a PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE when it does not receive a
PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE from the client.
The PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE sent by the KDC contains OCSP responses for
certificates used in PA-PK-AS-REP [RFC4556].
Note the lack of integrity protection for the empty or missing OCSP
response; lack of an expected OCSP response from the KDC for the
KDC's certificates SHOULD be treated as an error by the client,
unless it is configured otherwise.
When using OCSP, the response is signed by the OCSP server, which is
trusted by the receiver. Depending on local policy, further
verification of the validity of the OCSP servers may be needed
The client and the KDC SHOULD ignore invalid OCSP responses received
via this mechanism, and they MAY implement CRL processing logic as a
fall-back position, if the OCSP responses received via this mechanism
alone are not sufficient for the verification of certificate
validity. The client and/or the KDC MAY ignore a valid OCSP response
and perform its own revocation status verification independently.
4. Security Considerations
The pre-authentication data in this document do not actually
authenticate any principals, but are designed to be used in
conjunction with PKINIT.
There is no binding between PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE pre-authentication
data and PKINIT pre-authentication data other than a given OCSP
response corresponding to a certificate used in a PKINIT pre-
authentication data element. Attacks involving removal or
replacement of PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE pre-authentication data elements
are, at worst, downgrade attacks, where a PKINIT client or KDC would
proceed without use of CRLs or OCSP for certificate validation, or
denial-of-service attacks, where a PKINIT client or KDC that cannot
validate the other's certificate without an accompanying OCSP
response might reject the AS exchange or might have to download very
large CRLs in order to continue. Kerberos V does not protect against
denial-of-service attacks; therefore, the denial-of-service aspect of
these attacks is acceptable.
If a PKINIT client or KDC cannot validate certificates without the
aid of a valid PA-PK-OCSP-RESPONSE, then it SHOULD fail the AS
exchange, possibly according to local configuration.
This document was based on conversations among the authors, Jeffrey
Altman, Sam Hartman, Martin Rex, and other members of the Kerberos
6.1. Normative References
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
[RFC2560] Myers, M., Ankney, R., Malpani, A., Galperin, S., and
C. Adams, "X.509 Internet Public Key Infrastructure
Online Certificate Status Protocol - OCSP", RFC 2560,
[RFC4120] Neuman, C., Yu, T., Hartman, S., and K. Raeburn, "The
Kerberos Network Authentication Service (V5)", RFC
4120, July 2005.
[RFC4556] Zhu, L. and B. Tung, "Public Key Cryptography for
Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT)", RFC
4556, June 2006.
[X690] ASN.1 encoding rules: Specification of Basic Encoding
Rules (BER), Canonical Encoding Rules (CER) and
Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER), ITU-T
Recommendation X.690 (1997) | ISO/IEC International
6.2. Informative References
[OCSP-PROFILE] Deacon, A. and R. Hurst, "Lightweight OCSP Profile for
High Volume Environments", Work in Progress, May 2006.
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
5300 Riata Trace Ct
Austin, TX 78727
Full Copyright Statement
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).
This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
retain all their rights.
This document and the information contained herein are provided on an
"AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS
OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET
ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE
INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
made any independent effort to identify any such rights. Information
on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.
Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at
The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
this standard. Please address the information to the IETF at
Funding for the RFC Editor function is provided by the IETF
Administrative Support Activity (IASA).