Is the web ready for OCSP must-staple?


Conference Paper

© 2018 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. TLS, the de facto standard protocol for securing communications over the Internet, relies on a hierarchy of certificates that bind names to public keys. Naturally, ensuring that the communicating parties are using only valid certificates is a necessary first step in order to benefit from the security of TLS. To this end, most certificates and clients support OCSP, a protocol for querying a certificate's revocation status and confirming that it is still valid. Unfortunately, however, OCSP has been criticized for its slow performance, unreliability, soft-failures, and privacy issues. To address these issues, the OCSP Must-Staple certificate extension was introduced, which requires web servers to provide OCSP responses to clients during the TLS handshake, making revocation checks low-cost for clients. Whether all of the players in the web's PKI are ready to support OCSP Must-Staple, however, remains still an open question. In this paper, we take a broad look at the web's PKI and determine if all components involved-namely, certificate authorities, web server administrators, and web browsers-are ready to support OCSP Must-Staple. We find that each component does not yet fully support OCSP Must-Staple: OCSP responders are still not fully reliable, and most major web browsers and web server implementations do not fully support OCSP Must-Staple. On the bright side, only a few players need to take action to make it possible for web server administrators to begin relying on certificates with OCSP Must-Staple. Thus, we believe a much wider deployment of OCSP Must-Staple is an realistic and achievable goal.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chung, T; Choffnes, D; Mislove, A; Lok, J; Levin, D; Rula, J; Wilson, C; Chandrasekaran, B; Maggs, BM; Sullivan, N

Published Date

  • October 31, 2018

Published In

  • Proceedings of the Acm Sigcomm Internet Measurement Conference, Imc

Start / End Page

  • 105 - 118

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781450356190

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1145/3278532.3278543

Citation Source

  • Scopus