“CBOR Web Token (CWT)” is now RFC 8392

IETF logoThe “CBOR Web Token (CWT)” specification is now RFC 8392 – an IETF standard. The abstract for the specification is:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) is a compact means of representing claims to be transferred between two parties. The claims in a CWT are encoded in the Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR) and CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) is used for added application-layer security protection. A claim is a piece of information asserted about a subject and is represented as a name/value pair consisting of a claim name and a claim value. CWT is derived from JSON Web Token (JWT) but uses CBOR rather than JSON.

Special thanks to Erik Wahlström for starting this work and to Samuel Erdtman for doing most of the heavy lifting involved in creating correct and useful CBOR and COSE examples.

Next up – finishing “Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs)”, Continue reading "“CBOR Web Token (CWT)” is now RFC 8392"

Additional RSA Algorithms for COSE Messages Registered by W3C WebAuthn

W3C logoThe WebAuthn working group has published the “COSE Algorithms for Web Authentication (WebAuthn)” specification, which registers COSE algorithm identifiers for RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 signature algorithms with SHA-2 and SHA-1 hash algorithms. RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 with SHA-256 is used by several kinds of authenticators. RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 with SHA-1, while deprecated, is used by some Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs). See https://www.iana.org/assignments/cose/cose.xhtml#algorithms for the actual IANA registrations.

Thanks to John Fontana, Jeff Hodges, Tony Nadalin, Jim Schaad, Göran Selander, Wendy Seltzer, Sean Turner, and Samuel Weiler for their roles in registering these algorithm identifiers.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) spec for the RFC Editor

IETF logoOne more clarification to the CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification has been made to address a comment by IESG member Adam Roach. This version is being sent to the RFC Editor in preparation for its publication as an RFC. The change was:

  • Added section references when the terms “NumericDate” and “StringOrURI” are used, as suggested by Adam Roach.

Special thanks to Security Area Director Kathleen Moriarty for helping get this across the finish line!

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) spec addressing IESG comments

IETF logoThe CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification has been updated to address comments received from Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) members. Changes were:

  • Cleaned up the descriptions of the numeric ranges of claim keys being registered in the registration template for the “CBOR Web Token (CWT) Claims” registry, as suggested by Adam Roach.
  • Clarified the relationships between the JWT and CWT “NumericDate” and “StringOrURI” terms, as suggested by Adam Roach.
  • Eliminated unnecessary uses of the word “type”, as suggested by Adam Roach.
  • Added the text “IANA must only accept registry updates from the Designated Experts and should direct all requests for registration to the review mailing list” from RFC 7519, as suggested by Amanda Baber of IANA, which is also intended to address Alexey Melnikov’s comment.
  • Removed a superfluous comma, as suggested by Warren Kumari.
  • Acknowledged additional reviewers.

Special thanks to Security Area Director Kathleen Moriarty for helping get this across Continue reading "CBOR Web Token (CWT) spec addressing IESG comments"

CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft addressing IETF last call comments

IETF logoThe CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification has been updated to address IETF last call comments received to date, including GenArt, SecDir, Area Director, and additional shepherd comments. Changes were:

  • Clarified the registration criteria applied to different ranges of Claim Key values, as suggested by Kathleen Moriarty and Dan Romascanu.
  • No longer describe the syntax of CWT claims as being the same as that of the corresponding JWT claims, as suggested by Kyle Rose.
  • Added guidance about the selection of the Designated Experts, as suggested by Benjamin Kaduk.
  • Acknowledged additional reviewers.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) spec with a few improvements

IETF logoA few local improvements have been made to the Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) specification. Changes were:

  • Changed “typically” to “often” when describing ways of performing proof of possession.
  • Changed b64 to hex encoding in an example.
  • Changed to using the RFC 8174 boilerplate instead of the RFC 2119 boilerplate.

Thanks to Samuel Erdtman for sharing the editing.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft addressing shepherd review comments

IETF logoThe CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification has been updated to address the shepherd comments by Benjamin Kaduk. Changes were:

  • Updated the RFC 5226 reference to RFC 8126.
  • Made the IANA registration criteria consistent across sections.
  • Stated that registrations for the limited set of values between -256 and 255 and strings of length 1 are to be restricted to claims with general applicability.
  • Changed the “Reference” field name to “Description of Semantics” in the CBOR Tag registration request.
  • Asked the RFC Editor whether it is possible to preserve the non-ASCII spellings of the names Erik Wahlström and Göran Selander in the final specification.

Thanks to Ben for his careful review of the specification!

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft correcting an example

IETF logoA new CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft has been published that applies a correction to an example. The full list of changes is:

  • Corrected the “iv” value in the signed and encrypted CWT example.
  • Mention CoAP in the application/cwt media type registration.
  • Changed references of the form “Section 4.1.1 of JWT <xref target="RFC7519"/>” to “Section 4.1.1 of <xref target="RFC7519"/>” so that rfcmarkup will generate correct external section reference links.
  • Updated Acknowledgements.

Thanks to Samuel Erdtman for validating all the examples once more and finding the issue with the signed and encrypted example. Thanks to Benjamin Kaduk for pointing out additional improvements that could be applied from the second WGLC comments.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) addressing 2nd WGLC comments

IETF logoA new CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft has been published that addresses comments received during the second working group last call. Thanks to Hannes Tschofenig, Esko Dijk, Ludwig Seitz, Carsten Bormann, and Benjamin Kaduk for their feedback. All changes made were clarifications or formatting improvements.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) spec using CBOR diagnostic notation

IETF logoDraft -01 of the Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) specification updates the examples to use CBOR diagnostic notation, thanks to Ludwig Seitz. A table summarizing the “cnf” names, keys, and value types was added, thanks to Samuel Erdtman. Finally, some of Jim Schaad’s feedback on -00 was addressed (with more to be addressed by the opening of IETF 100 in Singapore).

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification adding CBOR_Key values and Key IDs to examples

IETF logoA new CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft has been published that adds CBOR_Key values and Key IDs to examples. Thanks to Samuel Erdtman for working on the examples, as always. Thanks to Giridhar Mandyam for validating the examples!

I believe that it’s time to request publication, as there remain no known issues with the specification.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Initial Working Group Draft of Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs)

IETF logoThe initial working group draft of the Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) specification has been posted. It contains the same normative content as draft-jones-ace-cwt-proof-of-possession-01. The abstract of the specification is:

This specification describes how to declare in a CBOR Web Token (CWT) that the presenter of the CWT possesses a particular proof-of-possession key. Being able to prove possession of a key is also sometimes described as the presenter being a holder-of-key. This specification provides equivalent functionality to “Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for JSON Web Tokens (JWTs)” (RFC 7800), but using CBOR and CWTs rather than JSON and JWTs.

I look forward to working with my co-authors and the working group to hopefully complete this quickly!

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

“Using RSA Algorithms with CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) Messages” is now RFC 8230

IETF logoThe “Using RSA Algorithms with CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) Messages” specification is now RFC 8230 – an IETF standard. The abstract for the specification is:

The CBOR Object Signing and Encryption (COSE) specification defines cryptographic message encodings using Concise Binary Object Representation (CBOR). This specification defines algorithm encodings and representations enabling RSA algorithms to be used for COSE messages. Encodings are specified for the use of RSA Probabilistic Signature Scheme (RSASSA-PSS) signatures, RSA Encryption Scheme – Optimal Asymmetric Encryption Padding (RSAES-OAEP) encryption, and RSA keys.

Some of these values are already being used by the sixth working draft of the W3C Web Authentication specification. In addition, the WebAuthn specification defines algorithm values for RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 signatures, which are used by TPMs, among other applications. The RSASSA-PKCS1-v1_5 signature algorithm values should also be registered shortly.

Thanks to Kathleen Moriarty for her Area Director sponsorship of the specification!

CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification addressing all known issues

IETF logoA new CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft has been published that updates the diagnostic notation for embedded objects in the examples. Thanks to Samuel Erdtman for making these updates. Thanks to Carsten Bormann for reviewing the examples!

This addresses all known issues with the specification. I believe that it is now time to request publication.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) spec addressing review comments

IETF logoThe Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs) specification has been updated to address comments received since its initial publication. Changes were:
  • Tracked CBOR Web Token (CWT) Claims Registry updates.
  • Addressed review comments by Michael Richardson and Jim Schaad.
  • Added co-authors Ludwig Seitz, Göran Selander, Erik Wahlström, Samuel Erdtman, and Hannes Tschofenig.
Thanks for the feedback received to date! The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

“Using RSA Algorithms with COSE Messages” specification addressing IETF last call feedback

IETF logoA new version of the “Using RSA Algorithms with COSE Messages” specification has been published that addresses the IETF last call feedback received. Additional security considerations were added and the IANA Considerations instructions were made more precise. Thanks to Roni Even and Steve Kent for their useful reviews! The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification addressing WGLC feedback

IETF logoA new CBOR Web Token (CWT) draft has been published that addresses the Working Group Last Call (WGLC) feedback received. Changes were:
  • Say that CWT is derived from JWT, rather than CWT is a profile of JWT.
  • Used CBOR type names in descriptions, rather than major/minor type numbers.
  • Clarified the NumericDate and StringOrURI descriptions.
  • Changed to allow CWT claim names to use values of any legal CBOR map key type.
  • Changed to use the CWT tag to identify nested CWTs instead of the CWT content type.
  • Added an example using a floating-point date value.
  • Acknowledged reviewers.
Thanks to Samuel Erdtman for doing the majority of the editing for this draft. As always, people are highly encouraged to validate the examples. The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Clarified Security Considerations in Using RSA Algorithms with COSE Messages

IETF logoA slightly updated version of the “Using RSA Algorithms with COSE Messages” specification has been published in preparation for IETF last call. Changes were:
  • Clarified the Security Considerations in ways suggested by Kathleen Moriarty.
  • Acknowledged reviewers.
The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for CBOR Web Tokens (CWTs)

IETF logoWith the CBOR Web Token (CWT) specification nearing completion, which provides the CBOR equivalent of JWTs, I thought that it was also time to introduce the CBOR equivalent of RFC 7800, “Proof-of-Possession Key Semantics for JSON Web Tokens (JWTs)”, so that applications using CWTs will have a standard representation for proof-of-possession keys. I know that PoP keys are important to ACE applications, for instance. I therefore took RFC 7800 and produced the CBOR/CWT equivalent of it. The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at: