The KeyNote Trust-Management System Version 2 (RFC2704)
Original Publication Date: 1999-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-10
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
M. Blaze: AUTHOR [+3]
This memo describes version 2 of the KeyNote trust-management system.It specifies the syntax and semantics of KeyNote `assertions', describes `action attribute' processing, and outlines the application architecture into which a KeyNote implementation can be fit. This memo provides information for the Internet community.
Network Working Group M. Blaze Request for Comments: 2704 J. Feigenbaum Category: Informational J. Ioannidis AT&T Labs - Research A. Keromytis U. of Pennsylvania September 1999
The KeyNote Trust-Management System Version 2
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999). All Rights Reserved.
This memo describes version 2 of the KeyNote trust-management system. It specifies the syntax and semantics of KeyNote ‘assertions’, describes ‘action attribute’ processing, and outlines the application architecture into which a KeyNote implementation can be fit. The KeyNote architecture and language are useful as building blocks for the trust management aspects of a variety of Internet protocols and services.
Trust management, introduced in the PolicyMaker system [BFL96], is a unified approach to specifying and interpreting security policies, credentials, and relationships; it allows direct authorization of security-critical actions. A trust-management system provides standard, general-purpose mechanisms for specifying application security policies and credentials. Trust-management credentials describe a specific delegation of trust and subsume the role of public key certificates; unlike traditional certificates, which bind keys to names, credentials can bind keys directly to the authorization to perform specific tasks.
Blaze, et al. Informational [Page 1]
RFC 2704 The KeyNote Trust-Management System September 1999
A trust-management system has five basic components:
* A language for describing ‘actions’, which are operations with security consequences that are to be controlled by the system.
* A mechanism for identifying ‘principals’, which are entities that can be authorized to perform actions.
* A language for specifying application ‘policies’, which govern the actions that principals are authorized to perform.
* A language for specifying ‘credentials’, which allow principals to delegate authorization to other principals.
* A ‘compliance checker’, which provides a service to applications for determining how an action requested by principals should be handled, given a policy and a set of credentials.
The trust-management approach has a number of advantages over other mechanisms for specifying and controlling authorization, especially when security policy is distributed over a network or is otherwise decentralized.
Trust management unifies the notions of security policy, credentials, access control, and authorization. An application that uses a trust-management system can simply ask the compliance checker whether a requested action should be allowed. Furthermore, policies and credentials are written in standard languages that are shared by all trust-managed applications; the security configuration mechanism for one application carries exactly the s...