Re: Insecure WWW Access Authorization Protocol?

Paul Crowley (
Wed, 9 Mar 1994 20:26:31 --100

Isn't this the name problem in another guise? Any protocol that tries
to go any higher level than "I trust the person with this public key" or
"I trust anyone that this Kerberos server will authenticate as being
HTTP server 1729" will have to define what it means by that higher-level
concept in a machine-readable way.

For example, supposing I want to dial out for pizza from the
ExtraMushrooms Pizza Company. If all I know about ExtraMushrooms is
their name, then there's absolutely nothing I can do to contact them
that can't be spoofed by EvilMallet's credit card grabber, unless
there's some trusted third party I can grab authentication information
from. That might be a trusted nameserver that I know the Kerberos ID
for, or a URL from a trusted friend embedded in an authenticated

Authenticating something is often easier than working out what you're
trying to authenticate.
__ _____
\/ o\ Paul Crowley \\ //
/\__/ Trust me. I know what I'm doing. \X/

Disclaimer: I've only just caught the tail end of this discussion, so I
don't know what it's really about. I'm not a cryptologist, but I play
one in my so-called spare time. I don't know HTTP all that well.