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Re: RE: Encoding charset of HTTP Basic Authentication

  • From: Michael Sokolov <sokolov@ifactory.com>
  • To: Pete Cordell <petexmldev@codalogic.com>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2012 17:31:58 -0500

Re:  RE: Encoding charset of HTTP Basic Authentication
It's actually pretty useful as an insecure *identification* mechanism.  
EG if you're operating inside a firewall and just want to give people a 
mechanism to say who they are, allowing for the fact someone might 
impersonate someone else, etc.  Not every authentication mechanism has 
to be secure, just like not every door has to be locked - I mean do you 
lock your bathroom door?  Closing it is enough; people knock and 
identify themselves.

But yes, it's not good for public-facing auth, etc, and probably people 
(like you!) who don't know what it is have used it as if it were secure, 
so for that reason I agree with you, it's not the sort of standard that 
should be promulgated.

-Mike

On 1/29/2012 5:15 PM, Pete Cordell wrote:
> Holy s*** you're right.  Just used wireshark on some HTTP exchanges.  
> All this talk about online security and they effectively allow Base64 
> as an 'encryption' algorithm!  People should go to jail for that!  
> Still think it's a bad, bad, bad idea.  SIP has deprecated it and 
> Twitter has disabled it.  As I said, I'm pretty sure the IETF wouldn't 
> accept something similar to it these days.
>
> Pete Cordell
> Codalogic Ltd
> Interface XML to C++ the easy way using C++ XML
> data binding to convert XSD schemas to C++ classes.
> Visit http://codalogic.com/lmx/ or http://www.xml2cpp.com
> for more info
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Pete Cordell" 
> <petexmldev@codalogic.com>
> To: "Petite Abeille" <petite.abeille@gmail.com>; "xml-dev" 
> <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
> Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 9:35 PM
> Subject: Re:  RE: Encoding charset of HTTP Basic Authentication
>
>
>> Convenient doesn't mean good though.  I think it _can_ be used over 
>> TLS, but since HTTP needs to support other schemes for non-TLS I 
>> can't see the point. I don't think it would accepted if it was 
>> introduced today.
>>
>> Pete Cordell
>> Codalogic Ltd
>> Interface XML to C++ the easy way using C++ XML
>> data binding to convert XSD schemas to C++ classes.
>> Visit http://codalogic.com/lmx/ or http://www.xml2cpp.com
>> for more info
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Petite Abeille" 
>> <petite.abeille@gmail.com>
>> To: "xml-dev" <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
>> Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 8:33 PM
>> Subject: Re:  RE: Encoding charset of HTTP Basic Authentication
>>
>>
>>
>> On Jan 29, 2012, at 9:17 PM, Pete Cordell wrote:
>>
>>> My understanding is that Basic is essentially considered insecure
>>
>> Basic is convenient, universally  supported, and meant to be used 
>> over TLS if you care about this kind of things.
>>
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>
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