ftp.cc.uoc.gr
rfc7468
This is a purely informative rendering of an RFC that includes verified errata. This rendering may not be used as a reference.

The following 'Verified' errata have been incorporated in this document: EID 4508
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                      S. Josefsson
Request for Comments: 7468                                        SJD AB
Category: Standards Track                                     S. Leonard
ISSN: 2070-1721                                            Penango, Inc.
                                                              April 2015


          Textual Encodings of PKIX, PKCS, and CMS Structures

Abstract

   This document describes and discusses the textual encodings of the
   Public-Key Infrastructure X.509 (PKIX), Public-Key Cryptography
   Standards (PKCS), and Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS).  The
   textual encodings are well-known, are implemented by several
   applications and libraries, and are widely deployed.  This document
   articulates the de facto rules by which existing implementations
   operate and defines them so that future implementations can
   interoperate.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7468.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  General Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  ABNF  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   5.  Textual Encoding of Certificates  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.1.  Encoding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.2.  Explanatory Text  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     5.3.  File Extension  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  Textual Encoding of Certificate Revocation Lists  . . . . . .  10
   7.  Textual Encoding of PKCS #10 Certification Request Syntax . .  11
   8.  Textual Encoding of PKCS #7 Cryptographic Message Syntax  . .  11
   9.  Textual Encoding of Cryptographic Message Syntax  . . . . . .  12
   10. One Asymmetric Key and the Textual Encoding of PKCS #8
       Private Key Info  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   11. Textual Encoding of PKCS #8 Encrypted Private Key Info  . . .  13
   12. Textual Encoding of Attribute Certificates  . . . . . . . . .  13
   13. Textual Encoding of Subject Public Key Info . . . . . . . . .  14
   14. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   15. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     15.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     15.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   Appendix A.  Non-conforming Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   Appendix B.  DER Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20

1.  Introduction

   Several security-related standards used on the Internet define ASN.1
   data formats that are normally encoded using the Basic Encoding Rules
   (BER) or Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) [X.690], which are
   binary, octet-oriented encodings.  This document is about the textual
   encodings of the following formats:

   1.  Certificates, Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs), and Subject
       Public Key Info structures in the Internet X.509 Public Key
       Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation List (CRL)
       Profile [RFC5280].

   2.  PKCS #10: Certification Request Syntax [RFC2986].

   3.  PKCS #7: Cryptographic Message Syntax [RFC2315].

   4.  Cryptographic Message Syntax [RFC5652].

   5.  PKCS #8: Private-Key Information Syntax [RFC5208], renamed to One
       Asymmetric Key in Asymmetric Key Package [RFC5958], and Encrypted
       Private-Key Information Syntax in the same documents.

   6.  Attribute Certificates in An Internet Attribute Certificate
       Profile for Authorization [RFC5755].

   A disadvantage of a binary data format is that it cannot be
   interchanged in textual transports, such as email or text documents.
   One advantage with text-based encodings is that they are easy to
   modify using common text editors; for example, a user may concatenate
   several certificates to form a certificate chain with copy-and-paste
   operations.

   The tradition within the RFC series can be traced back to Privacy-
   Enhanced Mail (PEM) [RFC1421], based on a proposal by Marshall Rose
   in Message Encapsulation [RFC934].  Originally called "PEM
   encapsulation mechanism", "encapsulated PEM message", or (arguably)
   "PEM printable encoding", today the format is sometimes referred to
   as "PEM encoding".  Variations include OpenPGP ASCII armor [RFC4880]
   and OpenSSH key file format [RFC4716].

   For reasons that basically boil down to non-coordination or
   inattention, many PKIX, PKCS, and CMS libraries implement a text-
   based encoding that is similar to -- but not identical with -- PEM
   encoding.  This document specifies the _textual encoding_ format,
   articulates the de facto rules that most implementations operate by,
   and provides recommendations that will promote interoperability going
   forward.  This document also provides common nomenclature for syntax
   elements, reflecting the evolution of this de facto standard format.
   Peter Gutmann's "X.509 Style Guide" [X.509SG] contains a section
   "base64 Encoding" that describes the formats and contains suggestions
   similar to what is in this document.  All figures are real,
   functional examples, with key lengths and inner contents chosen to be
   as small as practicable.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC
   2119 [RFC2119].

2.  General Considerations

   Textual encoding begins with a line comprising "-----BEGIN ", a
   label, and "-----", and ends with a line comprising "-----END ", a
   label, and "-----".  Between these lines, or "encapsulation
   boundaries", are base64-encoded data according to Section 4 of
   [RFC4648].  (PEM [RFC1421] referred to this data as the "encapsulated

   text portion".)  Data before the encapsulation boundaries are
   permitted, and parsers MUST NOT malfunction when processing such
   data.  Furthermore, parsers SHOULD ignore whitespace and other non-
   base64 characters and MUST handle different newline conventions.

   The type of data encoded is labeled depending on the type label in
   the "-----BEGIN " line (pre-encapsulation boundary).  For example,
   the line may be "-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----" to indicate that the
   content is a PKIX certificate (see further below).  Generators MUST
   put the same label on the "-----END " line (post-encapsulation
   boundary) as the corresponding "-----BEGIN " line.  Labels are
   formally case-sensitive, uppercase, and comprised of zero or more
   characters; they do not contain consecutive spaces or hyphen-minuses,
   nor do they contain spaces or hyphen-minuses at either end.  Parsers
   MAY disregard the label in the post-encapsulation boundary instead of
   signaling an error if there is a label mismatch: some extant
   implementations require the labels to match; others do not.

   There is exactly one space character (SP) separating the "BEGIN" or
   "END" from the label.  There are exactly five hyphen-minus (also
   known as dash) characters ("-") on both ends of the encapsulation
   boundaries, no more, no less.

   The label type implies that the encoded data follows the specified
   syntax.  Parsers MUST handle non-conforming data gracefully.
   However, not all parsers or generators prior to this document behave
   consistently.  A conforming parser MAY interpret the contents as
   another label type but ought to be aware of the security implications
   discussed in the Security Considerations section.  The labels
   described in this document identify container formats that are not
   specific to any particular cryptographic algorithm, a property
   consistent with algorithm agility.  These formats use the ASN.1
   AlgorithmIdentifier structure as described in Section 4.1.1.2 of
   [RFC5280].

   Unlike legacy PEM encoding [RFC1421], OpenPGP ASCII armor, and the
   OpenSSH key file format, textual encoding does *not* define or permit
   headers to be encoded alongside the data.  Empty space can appear
   between the pre-encapsulation boundary and the base64, but generators
   SHOULD NOT emit such any such spacing.  (The provision for this empty
   area is a throwback to PEM, which defined an "encapsulated header
   portion".)

   Implementers need to be aware that extant parsers diverge
   considerably on the handling of whitespace.  In this document,
   "whitespace" means any character or series of characters that
   represent horizontal or vertical space in typography.  In US-ASCII,
   whitespace means HT (0x09), VT (0x0B), FF (0x0C), SP (0x20), CR

   (0x0D), and LF (0x0A); "blank" means HT and SP; lines are divided
   with CRLF, CR, or LF.  The common ABNF production WSP is congruent
   with "blank"; a new production W is used for "whitespace".  The ABNF
   in Section 3 is specific to US-ASCII.  As these textual encodings can
   be used on many different systems as well as on long-term archival
   storage media such as paper or engravings, an implementer ought to
   use the spirit rather than the letter of the rules when generating or
   parsing these formats in environments that are not strictly limited
   to US-ASCII.

   Most extant parsers ignore blanks at the ends of lines; blanks at the
   beginnings of lines or in the middle of the base64-encoded data are
   far less compatible.  These observations are codified in Figure 1.
   The most lax parser implementations are not line-oriented at all and
   will accept any mixture of whitespace outside of the encapsulation
   boundaries (see Figure 2).  Such lax parsing may run the risk of
   accepting text that was not intended to be accepted in the first
   place (e.g., because the text was a snippet or sample).

   Generators MUST wrap the base64-encoded lines so that each line
   consists of exactly 64 characters except for the final line, which
   will encode the remainder of the data (within the 64-character line
   boundary), and they MUST NOT emit extraneous whitespace.  Parsers MAY
   handle other line sizes.  These requirements are consistent with PEM
   [RFC1421].

   Files MAY contain multiple textual encoding instances.  This is used,
   for example, when a file contains several certificates.  Whether the
   instances are ordered or unordered depends on the context.

3.  ABNF

   The ABNF [RFC5234] of the textual encoding is:

  textualmsg = preeb *WSP eol
               *eolWSP
               base64text
               posteb *WSP [eol]

    preeb      = "-----" %x42.45.47.49.4E " " label "-----"  

  posteb     = "-----" %x45.4E.44 " " label"-----"
                         ; unlike [RFC1421] (A)BNF, eol is not required
                         ; (but see [RFC1421], Section 4.4)

OR:

  preeb      = %s"-----BEGIN " label "-----" ; unlike [RFC1421] (A)BNF,
                                             ; eol is not required (but
  posteb     = %s"-----END " label "-----"   ; see [RFC1421],
                                             ; Section 4.4)

...with reference to RFC 7405.
EID 4508 (Verified) is as follows:

Section: 3

Original Text:

  preeb      = "-----BEGIN " label "-----" ; unlike [RFC1421] (A)BNF,
                                           ; eol is not required (but
  posteb     = "-----END " label "-----"   ; see [RFC1421], Section 4.4)

Corrected Text:

  preeb      = "-----" %x42.45.47.49.4E " " label "-----" 

  posteb     = "-----" %x45.4E.44 " " label"-----"
                         ; unlike [RFC1421] (A)BNF, eol is not required
                         ; (but see [RFC1421], Section 4.4)

OR:

  preeb      = %s"-----BEGIN " label "-----" ; unlike [RFC1421] (A)BNF,
                                             ; eol is not required (but
  posteb     = %s"-----END " label "-----"   ; see [RFC1421],
                                             ; Section 4.4)

...with reference to RFC 7405.
Notes:
The encapsulation boundaries are case-sensitive, including (especially) the BEGIN and END characters. Nearly all implementations enforce the case sensitivity of BEGIN and END on input, and all surveyed implementations output all-caps.
base64char = ALPHA / DIGIT / "+" / "/" base64pad = "=" base64line = 1*base64char *WSP eol base64finl = *base64char (base64pad *WSP eol base64pad / *2base64pad) *WSP eol ; ...AB= <EOL> = <EOL> is not good, but is valid base64text = *base64line base64finl ; we could also use <encbinbody> from RFC 1421, which requires ; 16 groups of 4 chars, which means exactly 64 chars per ; line, except the final line, but this is more accurate labelchar = %x21-2C / %x2E-7E ; any printable character, ; except hyphen-minus label = [ labelchar *( ["-" / SP] labelchar ) ] ; empty ok eol = CRLF / CR / LF eolWSP = WSP / CR / LF ; compare with LWSP Figure 1: ABNF (Standard) laxtextualmsg = *W preeb laxbase64text posteb *W W = WSP / CR / LF / %x0B / %x0C ; whitespace laxbase64text = *(W / base64char) [base64pad *W [base64pad *W]] Figure 2: ABNF (Lax) stricttextualmsg = preeb eol strictbase64text posteb eol strictbase64finl = *15(4base64char) (4base64char / 3base64char base64pad / 2base64char 2base64pad) eol base64fullline = 64base64char eol strictbase64text = *base64fullline strictbase64finl Figure 3: ABNF (Strict) New implementations SHOULD emit the strict format (Figure 3) specified above. The choice of parsing strategy depends on the context of use. 4. Guide For convenience, these figures summarize the structures, encodings, and references in the following sections: Sec. Label ASN.1 Type Reference Module ----+----------------------+-----------------------+---------+---------- 5 CERTIFICATE Certificate [RFC5280] id-pkix1-e 6 X509 CRL CertificateList [RFC5280] id-pkix1-e 7 CERTIFICATE REQUEST CertificationRequest [RFC2986] id-pkcs10 8 PKCS7 ContentInfo [RFC2315] id-pkcs7* 9 CMS ContentInfo [RFC5652] id-cms2004 10 PRIVATE KEY PrivateKeyInfo ::= [RFC5208] id-pkcs8 OneAsymmetricKey [RFC5958] id-aKPV1 11 ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo [RFC5958] id-aKPV1 12 ATTRIBUTE CERTIFICATE AttributeCertificate [RFC5755] id-acv2 13 PUBLIC KEY SubjectPublicKeyInfo [RFC5280] id-pkix1-e Figure 4: Convenience Guide ----------------------------------------------------------------------- id-pkixmod OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {iso(1) identified-organization(3) dod(6) internet(1) security(5) mechanisms(5) pkix(7) mod(0)} id-pkix1-e OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-pkixmod pkix1-explicit(18)} id-acv2 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-pkixmod mod-attribute-cert-v2(61)} id-pkcs OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {iso(1) member-body(2) us(840) rsadsi(113549) pkcs(1)} id-pkcs10 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-pkcs 10 modules(1) pkcs-10(1)} id-pkcs7 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-pkcs 7 modules(0) pkcs-7(1)} id-pkcs8 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-pkcs 8 modules(1) pkcs-8(1)} id-sm-mod OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-pkcs 9 smime(16) modules(0)} id-aKPV1 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-sm-mod mod-asymmetricKeyPkgV1(50)} id-cms2004 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::= {id-sm-mod cms-2004(24)} * This OID does not actually appear in PKCS #7 v1.5 [RFC2315]. It was defined in the ASN.1 module to PKCS #7 v1.6 [P7v1.6], and has been carried forward through PKCS #12 [RFC7292]. Figure 5: ASN.1 Module Object Identifier Value Assignments 5. Textual Encoding of Certificates 5.1. Encoding Public-key certificates are encoded using the "CERTIFICATE" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER strongly preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 Certificate structure as described in Section 4 of [RFC5280]. -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- MIICLDCCAdKgAwIBAgIBADAKBggqhkjOPQQDAjB9MQswCQYDVQQGEwJCRTEPMA0G A1UEChMGR251VExTMSUwIwYDVQQLExxHbnVUTFMgY2VydGlmaWNhdGUgYXV0aG9y aXR5MQ8wDQYDVQQIEwZMZXV2ZW4xJTAjBgNVBAMTHEdudVRMUyBjZXJ0aWZpY2F0 ZSBhdXRob3JpdHkwHhcNMTEwNTIzMjAzODIxWhcNMTIxMjIyMDc0MTUxWjB9MQsw CQYDVQQGEwJCRTEPMA0GA1UEChMGR251VExTMSUwIwYDVQQLExxHbnVUTFMgY2Vy dGlmaWNhdGUgYXV0aG9yaXR5MQ8wDQYDVQQIEwZMZXV2ZW4xJTAjBgNVBAMTHEdu dVRMUyBjZXJ0aWZpY2F0ZSBhdXRob3JpdHkwWTATBgcqhkjOPQIBBggqhkjOPQMB BwNCAARS2I0jiuNn14Y2sSALCX3IybqiIJUvxUpj+oNfzngvj/Niyv2394BWnW4X uQ4RTEiywK87WRcWMGgJB5kX/t2no0MwQTAPBgNVHRMBAf8EBTADAQH/MA8GA1Ud DwEB/wQFAwMHBgAwHQYDVR0OBBYEFPC0gf6YEr+1KLlkQAPLzB9mTigDMAoGCCqG SM49BAMCA0gAMEUCIDGuwD1KPyG+hRf88MeyMQcqOFZD0TbVleF+UsAGQ4enAiEA l4wOuDwKQa+upc8GftXE2C//4mKANBC6It01gUaTIpo= -----END CERTIFICATE----- Figure 6: Certificate Example Historically, the label "X509 CERTIFICATE" and also less commonly "X.509 CERTIFICATE" have been used. Generators conforming to this document MUST generate "CERTIFICATE" labels and MUST NOT generate "X509 CERTIFICATE" or "X.509 CERTIFICATE" labels. Parsers SHOULD NOT treat "X509 CERTIFICATE" or "X.509 CERTIFICATE" as equivalent to "CERTIFICATE", but a valid exception may be for backwards compatibility (potentially together with a warning). 5.2. Explanatory Text Many tools are known to emit explanatory text before the BEGIN and after the END lines for PKIX certificates, more than any other type. If emitted, such text SHOULD be related to the certificate, such as providing a textual representation of key data elements in the certificate. Subject: CN=Atlantis Issuer: CN=Atlantis Validity: from 7/9/2012 3:10:38 AM UTC to 7/9/2013 3:10:37 AM UTC -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- MIIBmTCCAUegAwIBAgIBKjAJBgUrDgMCHQUAMBMxETAPBgNVBAMTCEF0bGFudGlz MB4XDTEyMDcwOTAzMTAzOFoXDTEzMDcwOTAzMTAzN1owEzERMA8GA1UEAxMIQXRs YW50aXMwXDANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQEFAANLADBIAkEAu+BXo+miabDIHHx+yquqzqNh Ryn/XtkJIIHVcYtHvIX+S1x5ErgMoHehycpoxbErZmVR4GCq1S2diNmRFZCRtQID AQABo4GJMIGGMAwGA1UdEwEB/wQCMAAwIAYDVR0EAQH/BBYwFDAOMAwGCisGAQQB gjcCARUDAgeAMB0GA1UdJQQWMBQGCCsGAQUFBwMCBggrBgEFBQcDAzA1BgNVHQEE LjAsgBA0jOnSSuIHYmnVryHAdywMoRUwEzERMA8GA1UEAxMIQXRsYW50aXOCASow CQYFKw4DAh0FAANBAKi6HRBaNEL5R0n56nvfclQNaXiDT174uf+lojzA4lhVInc0 ILwpnZ1izL4MlI9eCSHhVQBHEp2uQdXJB+d5Byg= -----END CERTIFICATE----- Figure 7: Certificate Example with Explanatory Text 5.3. File Extension Although textual encodings of PKIX structures can occur anywhere, many tools are known to offer an option to output this encoding when serializing PKIX structures. To promote interoperability and to separate DER encodings from textual encodings, the extension ".crt" SHOULD be used for the textual encoding of a certificate. Implementations should be aware that in spite of this recommendation, many tools still default to encode certificates in this textual encoding with the extension ".cer". This section does not disturb the official application/pkix-cert registration [RFC2585] in any way (which states that "each '.cer' file contains exactly one certificate, encoded in DER format"), but merely articulates a widespread, de facto alternative. 6. Textual Encoding of Certificate Revocation Lists Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs) are encoded using the "X509 CRL" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER strongly preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 CertificateList structure as described in Section 5 of [RFC5280]. -----BEGIN X509 CRL----- MIIB9DCCAV8CAQEwCwYJKoZIhvcNAQEFMIIBCDEXMBUGA1UEChMOVmVyaVNpZ24s IEluYy4xHzAdBgNVBAsTFlZlcmlTaWduIFRydXN0IE5ldHdvcmsxRjBEBgNVBAsT PXd3dy52ZXJpc2lnbi5jb20vcmVwb3NpdG9yeS9SUEEgSW5jb3JwLiBieSBSZWYu LExJQUIuTFREKGMpOTgxHjAcBgNVBAsTFVBlcnNvbmEgTm90IFZhbGlkYXRlZDEm MCQGA1UECxMdRGlnaXRhbCBJRCBDbGFzcyAxIC0gTmV0c2NhcGUxGDAWBgNVBAMU D1NpbW9uIEpvc2Vmc3NvbjEiMCAGCSqGSIb3DQEJARYTc2ltb25Aam9zZWZzc29u Lm9yZxcNMDYxMjI3MDgwMjM0WhcNMDcwMjA3MDgwMjM1WjAjMCECEC4QNwPfRoWd elUNpllhhTgXDTA2MTIyNzA4MDIzNFowCwYJKoZIhvcNAQEFA4GBAD0zX+J2hkcc Nbrq1Dn5IKL8nXLgPGcHv1I/le1MNo9t1ohGQxB5HnFUkRPAY82fR6Epor4aHgVy b+5y+neKN9Kn2mPF4iiun+a4o26CjJ0pArojCL1p8T0yyi9Xxvyc/ezaZ98HiIyP c3DGMNR+oUmSjKZ0jIhAYmeLxaPHfQwR -----END X509 CRL----- Figure 8: CRL Example Historically, the label "CRL" has rarely been used. Today, it is not common and many popular tools do not understand the label. Therefore, this document standardizes "X509 CRL" in order to promote interoperability and backwards-compatibility. Generators conforming to this document MUST generate "X509 CRL" labels and MUST NOT generate "CRL" labels. Parsers SHOULD NOT treat "CRL" as equivalent to "X509 CRL". 7. Textual Encoding of PKCS #10 Certification Request Syntax PKCS #10 Certification Requests are encoded using the "CERTIFICATE REQUEST" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER strongly preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 CertificationRequest structure as described in [RFC2986]. -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- MIIBWDCCAQcCAQAwTjELMAkGA1UEBhMCU0UxJzAlBgNVBAoTHlNpbW9uIEpvc2Vm c3NvbiBEYXRha29uc3VsdCBBQjEWMBQGA1UEAxMNam9zZWZzc29uLm9yZzBOMBAG ByqGSM49AgEGBSuBBAAhAzoABLLPSkuXY0l66MbxVJ3Mot5FCFuqQfn6dTs+9/CM EOlSwVej77tj56kj9R/j9Q+LfysX8FO9I5p3oGIwYAYJKoZIhvcNAQkOMVMwUTAY BgNVHREEETAPgg1qb3NlZnNzb24ub3JnMAwGA1UdEwEB/wQCMAAwDwYDVR0PAQH/ BAUDAwegADAWBgNVHSUBAf8EDDAKBggrBgEFBQcDATAKBggqhkjOPQQDAgM/ADA8 AhxBvfhxPFfbBbsE1NoFmCUczOFApEuQVUw3ZP69AhwWXk3dgSUsKnuwL5g/ftAY dEQc8B8jAcnuOrfU -----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- Figure 9: PKCS #10 Example The label "NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST" is also in wide use. Generators conforming to this document MUST generate "CERTIFICATE REQUEST" labels. Parsers MAY treat "NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST" as equivalent to "CERTIFICATE REQUEST". 8. Textual Encoding of PKCS #7 Cryptographic Message Syntax PKCS #7 Cryptographic Message Syntax structures are encoded using the "PKCS7" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER-encoded ASN.1 ContentInfo structure as described in [RFC2315]. -----BEGIN PKCS7----- MIHjBgsqhkiG9w0BCRABF6CB0zCB0AIBADFho18CAQCgGwYJKoZIhvcNAQUMMA4E CLfrI6dr0gUWAgITiDAjBgsqhkiG9w0BCRADCTAUBggqhkiG9w0DBwQIZpECRWtz u5kEGDCjerXY8odQ7EEEromZJvAurk/j81IrozBSBgkqhkiG9w0BBwEwMwYLKoZI hvcNAQkQAw8wJDAUBggqhkiG9w0DBwQI0tCBcU09nxEwDAYIKwYBBQUIAQIFAIAQ OsYGYUFdAH0RNc1p4VbKEAQUM2Xo8PMHBoYdqEcsbTodlCFAZH4= -----END PKCS7----- Figure 10: PKCS #7 Example The label "CERTIFICATE CHAIN" has been in use to denote a degenerate PKCS #7 structure that contains only a list of certificates (see Section 9 of [RFC2315]). Several modern tools do not support this label. Generators MUST NOT generate the "CERTIFICATE CHAIN" label. Parsers SHOULD NOT treat "CERTIFICATE CHAIN" as equivalent to "PKCS7". PKCS #7 is an old specification that has long been superseded by CMS [RFC5652]. Implementations SHOULD NOT generate PKCS #7 when CMS is an alternative. 9. Textual Encoding of Cryptographic Message Syntax Cryptographic Message Syntax structures are encoded using the "CMS" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER-encoded ASN.1 ContentInfo structure as described in [RFC5652]. -----BEGIN CMS----- MIGDBgsqhkiG9w0BCRABCaB0MHICAQAwDQYLKoZIhvcNAQkQAwgwXgYJKoZIhvcN AQcBoFEET3icc87PK0nNK9ENqSxItVIoSa0o0S/ISczMs1ZIzkgsKk4tsQ0N1nUM dvb05OXi5XLPLEtViMwvLVLwSE0sKlFIVHAqSk3MBkkBAJv0Fx0= -----END CMS----- Figure 11: CMS Example CMS is the IETF successor to PKCS #7. Section 1.1.1 of [RFC5652] describes the changes since PKCS #7 v1.5. Implementations SHOULD generate CMS when it is an alternative, promoting interoperability and forwards-compatibility. 10. One Asymmetric Key and the Textual Encoding of PKCS #8 Private Key Info Unencrypted PKCS #8 Private Key Information Syntax structures (PrivateKeyInfo), renamed to Asymmetric Key Packages (OneAsymmetricKey), are encoded using the "PRIVATE KEY" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 PrivateKeyInfo structure as described in PKCS #8 [RFC5208], or a OneAsymmetricKey structure as described in [RFC5958]. The two are semantically identical and can be distinguished by version number. -----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY----- MIGEAgEAMBAGByqGSM49AgEGBSuBBAAKBG0wawIBAQQgVcB/UNPxalR9zDYAjQIf jojUDiQuGnSJrFEEzZPT/92hRANCAASc7UJtgnF/abqWM60T3XNJEzBv5ez9TdwK H0M6xpM2q+53wmsN/eYLdgtjgBd3DBmHtPilCkiFICXyaA8z9LkJ -----END PRIVATE KEY----- Figure 12: PKCS #8 PrivateKeyInfo (OneAsymmetricKey) Example 11. Textual Encoding of PKCS #8 Encrypted Private Key Info Encrypted PKCS #8 Private Key Information Syntax structures (EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo), called the same in [RFC5958], are encoded using the "ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo structure as described in PKCS #8 [RFC5208] and [RFC5958]. -----BEGIN ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY----- MIHNMEAGCSqGSIb3DQEFDTAzMBsGCSqGSIb3DQEFDDAOBAghhICA6T/51QICCAAw FAYIKoZIhvcNAwcECBCxDgvI59i9BIGIY3CAqlMNBgaSI5QiiWVNJ3IpfLnEiEsW Z0JIoHyRmKK/+cr9QPLnzxImm0TR9s4JrG3CilzTWvb0jIvbG3hu0zyFPraoMkap 8eRzWsIvC5SVel+CSjoS2mVS87cyjlD+txrmrXOVYDE+eTgMLbrLmsWh3QkCTRtF QC7k0NNzUHTV9yGDwfqMbw== -----END ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY----- Figure 13: PKCS #8 EncryptedPrivateKeyInfo Example 12. Textual Encoding of Attribute Certificates Attribute certificates are encoded using the "ATTRIBUTE CERTIFICATE" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER strongly preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 AttributeCertificate structure as described in [RFC5755]. -----BEGIN ATTRIBUTE CERTIFICATE----- MIICKzCCAZQCAQEwgZeggZQwgYmkgYYwgYMxCzAJBgNVBAYTAlVTMREwDwYDVQQI DAhOZXcgWW9yazEUMBIGA1UEBwwLU3RvbnkgQnJvb2sxDzANBgNVBAoMBkNTRTU5 MjE6MDgGA1UEAwwxU2NvdHQgU3RhbGxlci9lbWFpbEFkZHJlc3M9c3N0YWxsZXJA aWMuc3VueXNiLmVkdQIGARWrgUUSoIGMMIGJpIGGMIGDMQswCQYDVQQGEwJVUzER MA8GA1UECAwITmV3IFlvcmsxFDASBgNVBAcMC1N0b255IEJyb29rMQ8wDQYDVQQK DAZDU0U1OTIxOjA4BgNVBAMMMVNjb3R0IFN0YWxsZXIvZW1haWxBZGRyZXNzPXNz dGFsbGVyQGljLnN1bnlzYi5lZHUwDQYJKoZIhvcNAQEFBQACBgEVq4FFSjAiGA8z OTA3MDIwMTA1MDAwMFoYDzM5MTEwMTMxMDUwMDAwWjArMCkGA1UYSDEiMCCGHmh0 dHA6Ly9pZGVyYXNobi5vcmcvaW5kZXguaHRtbDANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFAAOBgQAV M9axFPXXozEFcer06bj9MCBBCQLtAM7ZXcZjcxyva7xCBDmtZXPYUluHf5OcWPJz 5XPus/xS9wBgtlM3fldIKNyNO8RsMp6Ocx+PGlICc7zpZiGmCYLl64lAEGPO/bsw Smluak1aZIttePeTAHeJJs8izNJ5aR3Wcd3A5gLztQ== -----END ATTRIBUTE CERTIFICATE----- Figure 14: Attribute Certificate Example 13. Textual Encoding of Subject Public Key Info Public keys are encoded using the "PUBLIC KEY" label. The encoded data MUST be a BER (DER preferred; see Appendix B) encoded ASN.1 SubjectPublicKeyInfo structure as described in Section 4.1.2.7 of [RFC5280]. -----BEGIN PUBLIC KEY----- MHYwEAYHKoZIzj0CAQYFK4EEACIDYgAEn1LlwLN/KBYQRVH6HfIMTzfEqJOVztLe kLchp2hi78cCaMY81FBlYs8J9l7krc+M4aBeCGYFjba+hiXttJWPL7ydlE+5UG4U Nkn3Eos8EiZByi9DVsyfy9eejh+8AXgp -----END PUBLIC KEY----- Figure 15: Subject Public Key Info Example 14. Security Considerations Data in this format often originates from untrusted sources, thus parsers must be prepared to handle unexpected data without causing security vulnerabilities. Implementers building implementations that rely on canonical representation or the ability to fingerprint a particular data object need to understand that this document does not define canonical encodings. The first ambiguity is introduced by permitting the text- encoded representation instead of the binary BER or DER encodings, but further ambiguities arise when multiple labels are treated as similar. Variations of whitespace and non-base64 alphabetic characters can create further ambiguities. Data encoding ambiguities also create opportunities for side channels. If canonical encodings are desired, the encoded structure must be decoded and processed into a canonical form (namely, DER encoding). 15. References 15.1. Normative References [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>. [RFC2315] Kaliski, B., "PKCS #7: Cryptographic Message Syntax Version 1.5", RFC 2315, March 1998, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2315>. [RFC2986] Nystrom, M. and B. Kaliski, "PKCS #10: Certification Request Syntax Specification Version 1.7", RFC 2986, November 2000, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2986>. [RFC4648] Josefsson, S., "The Base16, Base32, and Base64 Data Encodings", RFC 4648, October 2006, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4648>. [RFC5280] Cooper, D., Santesson, S., Farrell, S., Boeyen, S., Housley, R., and W. Polk, "Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation List (CRL) Profile", RFC 5280, May 2008, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5280>. [RFC5234] Crocker, D., Ed. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax Specifications: ABNF", STD 68, RFC 5234, January 2008, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5234>. [RFC5652] Housley, R., "Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS)", STD 70, RFC 5652, September 2009, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5652>. [RFC5755] Farrell, S., Housley, R., and S. Turner, "An Internet Attribute Certificate Profile for Authorization", RFC 5755, January 2010, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5755>. [RFC5958] Turner, S., "Asymmetric Key Packages", RFC 5958, August 2010, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5958>. [X.690] International Telecommunications Union, "Information Technology - ASN.1 encoding rules: Specification of Basic Encoding Rules (BER), Canonical Encoding Rules (CER) and Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER)", ITU-T Recommendation X.690, ISO/IEC 8825-1:2008, November 2008. 15.2. Informative References [RFC934] Rose, M. and E. Stefferud, "Proposed standard for message encapsulation", RFC 934, January 1985, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc934>. [RFC1421] Linn, J., "Privacy Enhancement for Internet Electronic Mail: Part I: Message Encryption and Authentication Procedures", RFC 1421, February 1993, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1421>. [RFC2585] Housley, R. and P. Hoffman, "Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Operational Protocols: FTP and HTTP", RFC 2585, May 1999, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2585>. [RFC4716] Galbraith, J. and R. Thayer, "The Secure Shell (SSH) Public Key File Format", RFC 4716, November 2006, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4716>. [RFC4880] Callas, J., Donnerhacke, L., Finney, H., Shaw, D., and R. Thayer, "OpenPGP Message Format", RFC 4880, November 2007, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4880>. [RFC5208] Kaliski, B., "Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS) #8: Private-Key Information Syntax Specification Version 1.2", RFC 5208, May 2008, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5208>. [RFC7292] Moriarty, K., Ed., Nystrom, M., Parkinson, S., Rusch, A., and M. Scott, "PKCS #12: Personal Information Exchange Syntax v1.1", RFC 7292, July 2014, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7292>. [P7v1.6] Kaliski, B. and K. Kingdon, "Extensions and Revisions to PKCS #7 (Version 1.6 Bulletin)", May 1997, <http://www.emc.com/emc-plus/rsa-labs/ standards-initiatives/pkcs-7-cryptographic-message- syntax-standar.htm>. [X.509SG] Gutmann, P., "X.509 Style Guide", October 2000, <http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/ x509guide.txt>. Appendix A. Non-conforming Examples This appendix contains examples for the non-recommended label variants described earlier in this document. As discussed earlier, supporting these is not required and is sometimes discouraged. Still, they can be useful for interoperability testing and for easy reference. -----BEGIN X509 CERTIFICATE----- MIIBHDCBxaADAgECAgIcxzAJBgcqhkjOPQQBMBAxDjAMBgNVBAMUBVBLSVghMB4X DTE0MDkxNDA2MTU1MFoXDTI0MDkxNDA2MTU1MFowEDEOMAwGA1UEAxQFUEtJWCEw WTATBgcqhkjOPQIBBggqhkjOPQMBBwNCAATwoQSr863QrR0PoRIYQ96H7WykDePH Wa0eVAE24bth43wCNc+U5aZ761dhGhSSJkVWRgVH5+prLIr+nzfIq+X4oxAwDjAM BgNVHRMBAf8EAjAAMAkGByqGSM49BAEDRwAwRAIfMdKS5F63lMnWVhi7uaKJzKCs NnY/OKgBex6MIEAv2AIhAI2GdvfL+mGvhyPZE+JxRxWChmggb5/9eHdUcmW/jkOH -----END X509 CERTIFICATE----- Figure 16: Non-standard 'X509' Certificate Example -----BEGIN X.509 CERTIFICATE----- MIIBHDCBxaADAgECAgIcxzAJBgcqhkjOPQQBMBAxDjAMBgNVBAMUBVBLSVghMB4X DTE0MDkxNDA2MTU1MFoXDTI0MDkxNDA2MTU1MFowEDEOMAwGA1UEAxQFUEtJWCEw WTATBgcqhkjOPQIBBggqhkjOPQMBBwNCAATwoQSr863QrR0PoRIYQ96H7WykDePH Wa0eVAE24bth43wCNc+U5aZ761dhGhSSJkVWRgVH5+prLIr+nzfIq+X4oxAwDjAM BgNVHRMBAf8EAjAAMAkGByqGSM49BAEDRwAwRAIfMdKS5F63lMnWVhi7uaKJzKCs NnY/OKgBex6MIEAv2AIhAI2GdvfL+mGvhyPZE+JxRxWChmggb5/9eHdUcmW/jkOH -----END X.509 CERTIFICATE----- Figure 17: Non-standard 'X.509' Certificate Example -----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- MIIBWDCCAQcCAQAwTjELMAkGA1UEBhMCU0UxJzAlBgNVBAoTHlNpbW9uIEpvc2Vm c3NvbiBEYXRha29uc3VsdCBBQjEWMBQGA1UEAxMNam9zZWZzc29uLm9yZzBOMBAG ByqGSM49AgEGBSuBBAAhAzoABLLPSkuXY0l66MbxVJ3Mot5FCFuqQfn6dTs+9/CM EOlSwVej77tj56kj9R/j9Q+LfysX8FO9I5p3oGIwYAYJKoZIhvcNAQkOMVMwUTAY BgNVHREEETAPgg1qb3NlZnNzb24ub3JnMAwGA1UdEwEB/wQCMAAwDwYDVR0PAQH/ BAUDAwegADAWBgNVHSUBAf8EDDAKBggrBgEFBQcDATAKBggqhkjOPQQDAgM/ADA8 AhxBvfhxPFfbBbsE1NoFmCUczOFApEuQVUw3ZP69AhwWXk3dgSUsKnuwL5g/ftAY dEQc8B8jAcnuOrfU -----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST----- Figure 18: Non-standard 'NEW' PKCS #10 Example -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE CHAIN----- MIHjBgsqhkiG9w0BCRABF6CB0zCB0AIBADFho18CAQCgGwYJKoZIhvcNAQUMMA4E CLfrI6dr0gUWAgITiDAjBgsqhkiG9w0BCRADCTAUBggqhkiG9w0DBwQIZpECRWtz u5kEGDCjerXY8odQ7EEEromZJvAurk/j81IrozBSBgkqhkiG9w0BBwEwMwYLKoZI hvcNAQkQAw8wJDAUBggqhkiG9w0DBwQI0tCBcU09nxEwDAYIKwYBBQUIAQIFAIAQ OsYGYUFdAH0RNc1p4VbKEAQUM2Xo8PMHBoYdqEcsbTodlCFAZH4= -----END CERTIFICATE CHAIN----- Figure 19: Non-standard 'CERTIFICATE CHAIN' Example Appendix B. DER Expectations This appendix is informative. Consult the respective standards for the normative rules. DER is a restricted profile of BER [X.690]; thus, all DER encodings of data values are BER encodings, but just one of the BER encodings is the DER encoding for a data value. Canonical encoding matters when performing cryptographic operations; additionally, canonical encoding has certain efficiency advantages for parsers. There are three principal reasons to encode with DER: 1. A digital signature is (supposed to be) computed over the DER encoding of the semantic content, so providing anything other than the DER encoding is senseless. (In practice, an implementer might choose to have an implementation parse and digest the data as is, but this practice amounts to guesswork.) 2. In practice, cryptographic hashes are computed over the DER encoding for identification. 3. In practice, the content is small. DER always encodes data values in definite-length form (where the length is stated at the beginning of the encoding); thus, a parser can anticipate memory or resource usage up front. Figure 20 matches the structures in this document with the particular reasons for DER encoding: Sec. Label Reasons ----+----------------------+------- 5 CERTIFICATE 1 2 ~3 6 X509 CRL 1 7 CERTIFICATE REQUEST 1 ~3 8 PKCS7 * 9 CMS * 10 PRIVATE KEY 3 11 ENCRYPTED PRIVATE KEY 3 12 ATTRIBUTE CERTIFICATE 1 ~3 13 PUBLIC KEY 2 3 Figure 20: Guide for DER Encoding * Cryptographic Message Syntax is designed for content of any length; indefinite-length encoding enables one-pass processing (streaming) when generating the encoding. Only certain parts -- namely, signed and authenticated attributes -- need to be DER encoded. ~ Although not always "small", these encoded structures should not be particularly "large" (e.g., more than 16 kilobytes). The parser ought to be informed of large things up front in any event; this is yet another reason to DER encode these things in the first place. Figure 20: Guide for DER Encoding Acknowledgements Peter Gutmann suggested to document labels for Attribute Certificates and PKCS #7 messages, and to add examples for the non-standard variants. Dr. Stephen Henson suggested distinguishing when BER versus DER is appropriate or necessary. Authors' Addresses Simon Josefsson SJD AB Johan Olof Wallins Vaeg 13 Solna 171 64 Sweden EMail: simon@josefsson.org URI: http://josefsson.org/ Sean Leonard Penango, Inc. 5900 Wilshire Boulevard 21st Floor Los Angeles, CA 90036 United States EMail: dev+ietf@seantek.com URI: http://www.penango.com/