[Operators] wildcard cert

Jesse Thompson jesse.thompson at doit.wisc.edu
Mon Feb 22 14:26:15 CST 2010

On 2/22/2010 12:43 PM, Peter Saint-Andre wrote:
> On 2/22/10 11:27 AM, Jesse Thompson wrote:
>> We might as well stick with this clusterf*ck until xmpp-dna or
>> xmpp-delegate is implemented.
> Oh, and even then you're going to require a certificate, no? The point
> of DNA or _xmpp-delegate or whatever solution the XMPP WG comes up with
> is to handle the case of delegation (e.g., Google Apps is hosting my
> domains) or the case of adding multiple domains to an existing
> connection via attribute certificates. And the attribute cert stuff is
> going to require a lot of man hours -- new features in OpenSSL or the
> like, an admin-friendly and open-source tool to generate attribute certs
> because otherwise it will be really hard, best practice docs, READMEs,
> etc. Who is going to do all that work? TANSTAAFL, folks.

Yes, we're stuck with a bunch of crappy alternatives:

1. wildcard certificates won't match all virtual domains and also don't 
match the vcards/conference components within subdomains, introduce 
security risks if the private keys are exposed, and can be difficult to 
obtain for many organizations

2. xmpp-dna appears that it will be complicated to understand and/or 

3. xmpp-delegate would be perfect if we had DNSSEC or some out of band 
method of assuring the accuracy of DNS

4. using mismatched or self-signed certificates shows warnings to users, 
but most clients have been developed to make it easy for users to bypass 
the warnings.

Given these alternatives, #4 seems to be the pragmatic solution.


   Jesse Thompson
   Division of Information Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
   Email/IM: jesse.thompson at doit.wisc.edu

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