jdev - 2021-02-12

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  110. lovetox hey question regarding SASL fallbacks
  111. lovetox i have a server that offers GSSAPI and PLAIN
  112. lovetox GSSAPI login seems broken for the user
  113. lovetox right now i have no fallback behavior for any SASL methods
  114. lovetox out of fear of downgrade attacks
  115. lovetox i wonder how other clients handle this
  116. Sam Whited lovetox: I implemented the fallback in Conversations. It ranks the mechanisms based on some percieved "level of security". You can always log in with anything higher than a login method you've used before, but if the server stops offering it and you only see lower mechanisms log in fails and it's up to you to decide what to do (contact the server admin, wait and see if it resolves itself, allow the less secure mechanism, etc.
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  118. Sam Whited In this scenario if GSSAPI is considered "more secure" (for some handwavey definition of "more secure") than PLAIN, if login had succeeded with it once the user wouldn't be able to log in and would have to decide to reset the pinned mechanisms. If they had never been able to log in with it plain would be used happily and if GSSAPI started working one day they'd be silently upgraded.
  119. Sam Whited I wrote this up in more detail in https://xmpp.org/extensions/xep-0438.html#pinning
  120. Sam Whited (or in https://www.ietf.org/archive/id/draft-ietf-kitten-password-storage-02.html#name-mechanism-pinning which is more or less the same thing)
  121. lovetox ok sounds like a lot of work ...
  122. Sam Whited Not really, it was a couple of lines of code, but maybe I'm explaining it badly
  123. lovetox my library doesnt even offer fallback yet
  124. lovetox it simply aborts on the first failure
  125. lovetox so i would need to start with that
  126. lovetox and then i need in the client the mechanism recording
  127. lovetox and the UI to reset it
  128. Sam Whited The whole thing is sort of unrelated to fallback actually, the fallback part is just "try the mechanisms in order from highest to lowest". The pinning can actually be done even if there is no fallback
  129. Sam Whited Conversations doesn't actually have a UI to reset it, which may or may not be a problem
  130. Sam Whited But yah, if you don't have fallback at all yet the docs I linked recommend some fallback orderings (but don't include GSSAPI, sorry)
  131. lovetox actually im of the opinion that no fallback is needed
  132. lovetox its just that i forgot about GSSAPI
  133. lovetox because its not in client hand if it works, it needs some additional setup on the machine
  134. Sam Whited yah, I tend to agree
  135. lovetox i dont see why i should fallback between scram methods
  136. lovetox if the server offers a method that simply does not work, i tend to think admin should get informed by user reports right away
  137. lovetox and not we fall silently back and problem is not discovered for eternety
  138. lovetox same story with direct and start tls
  139. Sam Whited I was thinking more "if the client offers SCRAM-SHA-1 and SCRAM-SHA-256, which should it use?" but if you mean "auth failed" I agree, fallback isn't necessary
  140. lovetox there are servers out there that simply have not working connection methods, and never know it because all clients fall back to something else
  141. Sam Whited (or rather, I thought you meant fallback in that way, trying another if something fails, but I agree it's probably not something I'd do personally if that's not what you meant)
  142. Zash (and that's why adding some fallback for websockets is bad!)
  143. lovetox Sam Whited, i think we mean the same
  144. lovetox if i try SHA-256 and get back ANY error
  145. Sam Whited lovetox: yes, sorry, I was confused about what you meant at first but I agree with you that fallback is not necessary, if you get an error, report it :)
  146. lovetox it does not matter which, i would not fallback
  147. Sam Whited Which one you select first and which one you select if the server list changes is the important thing to think about.
  148. lovetox i have a orderd list of prefered methods in the client right now
  149. lovetox but i dont pin them
  150. lovetox so i dont record what the server offers right now one day and the next
  151. lovetox i agree now that i think just about pinning and not about fallback
  152. lovetox its probably trivial to implement
  153. Sam Whited At least in my implementation I don't record the server list either, I only store what the last successful login used (well, I store the priority, not the exact mechanism) and then compare to whatever we selected this time
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  155. Sam Whited So it's more or less a single if statement before every login and storing a value in the database after a successful login :)
  156. lovetox yeah i agree thats trivial
  157. lovetox though its also really ... edge edge edge case
  158. lovetox i mean thats really paranoid
  159. lovetox i think
  160. Sam Whited Yah, the idea is to protect against a server compromise and someone downgrading you to plain to steal your password (which you have unwisely re-used for your email and bank accounts), but it's probably not a super high priority issue to patch or anything
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  199. lovetox anyone knows a public server with some transport where i can test the register flow
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  218. theTedd lovetox, jix.im and jabber.linuxlovers.at have a few transports available
  219. lovetox thanks
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