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Versions: (draft-hardt-distributed-oauth) 00 01

OAuth Working Group                                             D. Hardt
Internet-Draft                                                    Amazon
Intended status: Standards Track                             B. Campbell
Expires: December 14, 2018                                 Ping Identity
                                                             N. Sakimura
                                                           June 12, 2018

                           Distributed OAuth


   The Distributed OAuth profile enables an OAuth client to discover
   what authorization server or servers may be used to obtain access
   tokens for a given resource, and what parameter values to provide in
   the access token request.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 14, 2018.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
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   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of

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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

1.  Introduction

   In [RFC6749], there is a single resource server and authorization
   server.  In more complex and distributed systems, a clients may
   access many different resource servers, which have different
   authorization servers managing access.  For example, a client may be
   accessing two different resources that provides similar
   functionality, but each is in a different geopolitical region, which
   requires authorization from authorization servers located in each
   geopolitical region.

   A priori knowledge by the client of the relationships between
   resource servers and authorizations servers is not practical as the
   number of resource servers and authorization servers scales up.  The
   client needs to discover on-demand which authorization server to
   request authorization for a given resource, and what parameters to
   pass.  Being able to discover how to access a protected resource also
   enables more flexible software development as changes to the scopes,
   realms and authorization servers can happen dynamically with no
   change to client code.

1.1.  Notational Conventions

   In this document, the key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",
   and "OPTIONAL" are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14,

1.2.  Terminology

   Issuer: the party issuing the access token, also known as the
   authorization server.

   All other terms are as defined in [RFC6749] and [RFC6750]

1.3.  Protocol Overview

   Figure 1 shows an abstract flow of distributed OAuth.

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    +--------+                               +---------------+
    |        |--(A)-- Discovery Request ---->|   Resource    |
    |        |                               |    Server     |
    |        |<-(B)-- Discovery Response ----|               |
    |        |                               +---------------+
    |        |
    |        |  (client obtains authorization grant)
    |        |
    |        |                               +---------------+
    |        |--(C)- Authorization Request ->| Authorization |
    | Client |                               |     Server    |
    |        |<-(D)----- Access Token -------|               |
    |        |                               +---------------+
    |        |
    |        |                               +---------------+
    |        |--(E)----- Access Token ------>|    Resource   |
    |        |                               |     Server    |
    |        |<-(F)--- Protected Resource ---|               |
    +--------+                               +---------------+

               Figure 1: Abstract Protocol Flow

   There are three steps where there are changes from the OAuth flow:

   1) A discovery request (A) and discovery response (B) where the
   client discovers what is required to make an authenticated request.
   The client makes a request to the protected resource without
   supplying the Authorization header, or supplying an invalid access
   token.  The resource server responds with a HTTP 401 response code
   and links of relation types "resource_uri" and the
   "oauth_server_metadata_uri".  The client confirms the "host" value
   from the TLS connection is contained in the resource URI, and fetches
   each OAuth Server Metadata URI and per [OASM] discovers one or more
   authorization server end point URIs.

   The client then obtains an authorization grant per one of the grant
   types in [RFC6749] section 4.

   2) An authorization request (C) to an authorization server and
   includes the "resource_uri" link.  The authorization servers provides
   an access token that is associated to the "resource_uri" value.

   3) An authenticated request (E) to the resource server that confirms
   the "resource_uri" linked to the access token matches expected value.

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2.  Authorization Server Discovery

   Figure 1, step (A)

   To access a protected resource, the client needs to learn the
   authorization servers or issuers that can issue access tokens that
   are acceptable to the protected resource.  There may be one or more
   issuers that can issue access tokens for the protected resource.  To
   discover the issuers, the client attempts to make a call to the
   protected resource URI as defined in [RFC6750] section 2.1, except
   with an invalid access token or no HTTP "Authorization" request
   header field.  The client notes the hostname of the protected
   resource that was confirmed by the TLS connection, and saves it as
   the "host" attribute.

   Figure 1, step (B)

   The resource server responds with the "WWW-Authenticate" HTTP header
   that includes the "error" attribute with a value of "invalid_token"
   and MAY also include the "scope" and "realm" attribute per [RFC6750]
   section 3, and a "Link" HTTP Header per [RFC8288] that MUST include
   one link of relation type "resource_uri" and one or more links of
   type "oauth_server_metadata_uri".

   For example (with extra spaces and line breaks for display purposes

    HTTP/1.1 401 Unauthorized
    WWW-Authenticate: Bearer realm="example_realm",
    Link: <https://api.example.com/resource">; rel="resource_uri",
          <https://as.example.com/.well-known/oauth-authorization-server>; rel="oauth_server_metadata_uri"

   The client MUST confirm the host portion of the resource URI, as
   specified in the "resource_uri" link, contains the "host" attribute
   obtained from the TLS connection in step (A).  The client MUST
   confirm the resource URI is contained in the protected resource URI
   where access was attempted.  The client then retrieves one or more of
   the OAuth Server Metadata URIs to learn how to interact with the
   associated authorization server per [OASM] and create a list of one
   or more authorization server token endpoint URLs.

3.  Authorization Grant

   The client obtains an authorization grant per any of the mechanisms
   in [RFC6749] section 4.

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4.  Access Token Request

   Figure 1, step (C)

   The client makes an access token request to the authorization server
   token endpoint URL, or if more than URL is available, a randomly
   selected URL from the list.  If the client is unable to connect to
   the URL, then the client MAY try to connect to another URL from the

   The client SHOULD authenticate to the issuer using a proof of
   possession mechanism such as mutual TLS or a signed token containing
   the issuer as the audience.

   Depending on the authorization grant mechanism used per [RFC6749]
   section 4, the client makes the access token request and MUST include
   "resource" as an additional parameter with the value of the resource
   URI.  For example, if using the [RFC6749] section 4.4, Client
   Credentials Grant, the request would be (with extra spaces and line
   breaks for display purposes only):

   POST /token HTTP/1.1
   Host: issuer.example.com
   Authorization: Basic czZCaGRSa3F0MzpnWDFmQmF0M2JW
   Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded


   Figure 1, step (D)

   The authorization server MUST associate the resource URI with the
   issued access token in a way that can be accessed and verified by the
   protected resource.  For JWT [RFC7519] formatted access tokens, the
   "aud" claim MUST be used to convey the resource URI.  When Token
   Introspection [RFC7662] is used, the introspection response MUST
   containe the "aud" member with the resource URI as its value.

5.  Accessing Protected Resource

   Figure 1, step (E)

   The client accesses the protected resource per [RFC6750] section 2.1.
   The Distributed OAuth Profile MUST only use the authorization request
   header field for passing the access token.

   Figure 1, step (F)

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   The protected resource MUST verify the resource URI in or referenced
   by the access token is the protected resource's resource URI.

6.  Security Considerations

   Three new threats emerge when the client is dynamically discovering
   the authorization server and the request attributes: access token
   reuse, resource server impersonation, and malicious issuer.

6.1.  Access Token Reuse

   A malicious resource server impersonates the client and reuses the
   access token provided by the client to the malicious resource server
   with another resource server.

   This is mitigated by constraining the access token to a specific
   audience, or to a specific client.

   Audience restricting the access token is described in this document
   where the the resource URI is associated to the access token by
   inclusion or reference, so that only access tokens with the correct
   resource URI are accepted at a resource server.

   Sender constraining the access token can be done through [MTLS],
   [OATB], or any other mechanism that the resource can use to associate
   the access token with the client.

6.2.  Resource Server Impersonation

   A malicious resource server tells a client to obtain an access token
   that can be used at a different resource server.  When the client
   presents the access token, the malicious resource server uses the
   access token to access another resource server.

   This is mitigated by the client obtaining the "host" value from the
   TLS certificate of the resource server, and the client verifying the
   "host" value is contained in the host portion of the resource URI,
   rather than the resource URI being any value declared by the resource

6.3.  Malicious Issuer

   A malicious resource server could redirect the client to a malicious
   issuer, or the issuer may be malicious.  The malicious issuer may
   replay the client credentials with a valid issuer and obtain a valid
   access token for a protected resource.

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   This attack is mitigated by the client using a proof of possession
   authentication mechanism with the issuer such as [MTLS] or a signed
   token containing the issuer as the audience.

7.  IANA Considerations

   Pursuant to [RFC5988], the following link type registrations will be
   registered by mail to link-relations@ietf.org.

   o  Relation Name: oauth_server_metadata_uri

   o  Description: An OAuth 2.0 Server Metadata URI.

   o  Reference: This specification

   o  Relation Name: resource_uri

   o  Description: An OAuth 2.0 Resource Endpoint specified in [RFC6750]
      section 3.2.

   o  Reference: This specification

8.  Acknowledgements


9.  Normative References

   [MTLS]     Jones, M., Campbell, B., Bradley, J., and W. Denniss,
              "OAuth 2.0 Mutual TLS Client Authentication and
              Certificate Bound Access Tokens", June 2018,

   [OASM]     Jones, M., Campbell, B., and J. Bradley, "OAuth 2.0
              Authorization Server Metadata", June 2018,

   [OATB]     Campbell, B., Bradley, J., Sakimora, N., and T.
              Lodderstedt, "OAuth 2.0 Token Binding", June 2018,

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

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   [RFC5988]  Nottingham, M., "Web Linking", RFC 5988,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5988, October 2010,

   [RFC6749]  Hardt, D., Ed., "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization Framework",
              RFC 6749, DOI 10.17487/RFC6749, October 2012,

   [RFC6750]  Jones, M. and D. Hardt, "The OAuth 2.0 Authorization
              Framework: Bearer Token Usage", RFC 6750,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6750, October 2012,

   [RFC7519]  Jones, M., Bradley, J., and N. Sakimura, "JSON Web Token
              (JWT)", RFC 7519, DOI 10.17487/RFC7519, May 2015,

   [RFC7662]  Richer, J., Ed., "OAuth 2.0 Token Introspection",
              RFC 7662, DOI 10.17487/RFC7662, October 2015,

   [RFC8288]  Nottingham, M., "Web Linking", RFC 8288,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8288, October 2017,

Appendix A.  Document History

A.1.  draft-hardt-oauth-distributed-00

   o  Initial version.

A.2.  draft-hardt-oauth-distributed-01

   o  resource identity expanded from just a hostname "host", to a URI
      that contains the hostname "resource URI"

   o  use oauth discovery document to obtain token endpoint rather than
      explicitly returning token endpoint

   o  use [RFC8288] to provide resource and discovery URIs

   o  allow any authorization grant type be used to obtain an
      authorization grant

   o  change attribute "host" to "resource"

   o  require linking resource URI to access token

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   o  add client restriction to mitigate access token reuse

   o  added Nat and Brian as authors

Authors' Addresses

   Dick Hardt

   Email: dick.hardt@gmail.com

   Brian Campbell
   Ping Identity

   Email: brian.d.campbell@gmail.com

   Nat Sakimura

   Email: n-sakimura@nri.co.jp

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