Ongoing recognition for the impact of OpenID Connect and OpenID Certification

OpenID logoThis week the OpenID Certification program won the 2018 European Identity and Cloud Award for Best Innovation at the European Identity and Cloud (EIC) conference. This is actually the second award for the OpenID Certification program this year and only the latest in a series awards recognizing the value and impact of OpenID Connect and certification of its implementations.

On this occasion, I thought I’d take the opportunity to recount the awards that OpenID Connect, the specifications underlying it, and its certification program have been granted. To date, they are:

My

Alex Simons 92% OpenID Connect
Continue reading "Ongoing recognition for the impact of OpenID Connect and OpenID Certification"

OpenID Certification wins 2018 European Identity and Cloud Award

OpenID Certified logoThe OpenID Certification program won the 2018 European Identity and Cloud Award for Best Innovation at the European Identity and Cloud (EIC) conference. See the award announcement by the OpenID Foundation for more details. This is actually the second award this year for the OpenID Certification program.

The award recognizes that the OpenID Certification program has become a significant global force promoting high-quality, secure, interoperable OpenID Connect implementations. Its innovative use of self-certification using freely available online tools has made testing the quality of OpenID Connect implementations simple, effective, and commonplace. Thanks to Kuppinger Cole for recognizing the impact of the OpenID Certification program!

EIC 2018 Award EIC 2018 Award Certificate EIC 2018 Award John Bradley, Mike Jones, Nat Sakimura EIC 2018 Award Don Thibeau EIC 2018 Award State EIC 2018 Award Don Thibeau, George Fletcher, Mike Jones, John Bradley, Nat Sakimura

OpenID Certification wins the 2018 Identity Innovation Award

OpenID Certified logoI’m thrilled that the OpenID Certification program has won the 2018 Identity Innovation Award at the IDnext conference. See the award announcement by the OpenID Foundation for more details.

The award recognizes that the OpenID Certification program has become a significant global force promoting high-quality, secure, interoperable OpenID Connect implementations. Its innovative use of self-certification using freely available online tools has made testing the quality of OpenID Connect implementations simple, effective, and commonplace. Thanks to IDnext for recognizing the impact of the OpenID Certification program!

Identity Innovation Award

Identity Innovation Award Presentation

What Does Logout Mean?

OAuth logoDigital identity systems almost universally support end-users logging into applications and many also support logging out of them. But while login is reasonable well understood, there are many different kinds of semantics for “logout” in different use cases and a wide variety of mechanisms for effecting logouts.

I led a discussion on the topic “What Does Logout Mean?” at the 2018 OAuth Security Workshop in Trento, Italy, which was held the week before IETF 101, to explore this topic. The session was intentionally a highly interactive conversation, gathering information from the experts at the workshop to expand our collective understanding of the topic. Brock Allen – a practicing application security architect (and MVP for ASP.NET/IIS) – significantly contributed to the materials used to seed the discussion. And Nat Sakimura took detailed notes to record what we learned during the discussion.

Feedback on the discussion was uniformly positive. Continue reading "What Does Logout Mean?"

Security Event Token (SET) spec simplifying claims usage

IETF logoThe Security Event Token (SET) specification has been updated to simplify the definitions and usage of the “iat” (issued at) and “toe” (time of event) claims. The full set of changes made was:

  • Simplified the definitions of the “iat” and “toe” claims in ways suggested by Annabelle Backman.
  • Added privacy considerations text suggested by Annabelle Backman.
  • Updated the RISC event example, courtesy of Marius Scurtescu.
  • Reordered the claim definitions to place the required claims first.
  • Changed to using the RFC 8174 boilerplate instead of the RFC 2119 boilerplate.

Thanks to Annabelle Backman, Marius Scurtescu, Phil Hunt, and Dick Hardt for the discussions that led to these simplifications.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Security Event Token (SET) spec incorporating clarifications and a RISC example

IETF logoA new version of the Security Event Token (SET) specification has been published that incorporates clarifications suggested by working group members in discussions since IETF 100. Changes were:

  • Clarified that all “events” values must represent aspects of the same state change that occurred to the subject — not an aggregation of unrelated events about the subject.
  • Removed ambiguities about the roles of multiple “events” values and the responsibilities of profiling specifications for defining how and when they are used.
  • Corrected places where the term JWT was used when what was actually being discussed was the JWT Claims Set.
  • Addressed terminology inconsistencies. In particular, standardized on using the term “issuer” to align with JWT terminology and the “iss” claim. Previously the term “transmitter” was sometimes used and “issuer” was sometimes used. Likewise, standardized on using the term “recipient” instead of “receiver” for the same reasons.
  • Added a RISC event example, courtesy Continue reading "Security Event Token (SET) spec incorporating clarifications and a RISC example"

OAuth and OpenID Connect Token Binding specs updated

OAuth logoThe OAuth 2.0 Token Binding specification has been updated to enable Token Binding of JWT Authorization Grants and JWT Client Authentication. The discussion of phasing in Token Binding was improved and generalized. See the Document History section for other improvements applied.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

An update to the closely-related OpenID Connect Token Bound Authentication 1.0 specification was also simultaneously published. Its discussion of phasing in Token Binding was correspondingly updated.

The OpenID Connect Token Binding specification is available in HTML and text versions at:

Thanks to Brian Campbell for doing the bulk of the editing for both sets of revisions.

OpenID Presentations at October 16, 2017 OpenID Workshop and IIW

OpenID logoI gave the following presentations at the Monday, October 16, 2017 OpenID Workshop at PayPal:

I also gave the following “101” session presentation at the Internet Identity Workshop (IIW) on Tuesday, October 17th:

Authentication Method Reference Values is now RFC 8176

IETF logoThe Authentication Method Reference Values specification is now RFC 8176. The abstract describes the specification as:
The amr (Authentication Methods References) claim is defined and registered in the IANA “JSON Web Token Claims” registry, but no standard Authentication Method Reference values are currently defined. This specification establishes a registry for Authentication Method Reference values and defines an initial set of Authentication Method Reference values.
The specification defines and registers some Authentication Method Reference values such as the following, which are already in use by some Google and Microsoft products and OpenID specifications:
  • face” – Facial recognition
  • fpt” – Fingerprint
  • hwk” – Proof-of-possession of a hardware-secured key
  • otp” – One-time password
  • pin” – Personal Identification Number
  • pwd” – Password
  • swk” – Proof-of-possession of a software-secured key
  • sms” – Confirmation using SMS
  • user” – Continue reading "Authentication Method Reference Values is now RFC 8176"

OpenID Connect Logout Implementer’s Drafts Approved

As announced by the OpenID Foundation, the OpenID membership has approved Implementer’s Drafts of the three OpenID Connect logout specifications. That means that developers and deployers can now count on the intellectual property protections that come with being Implementer’s Drafts. These are the first Implementer’s Drafts of these specifications:
  • Front-Channel Logout – Defines a front-channel logout mechanism that does not use an OP iframe on RP pages
  • Back-Channel Logout – Defines a logout mechanism that uses back-channel communication between the OP and RPs being logged out
Whereas, this is the fourth Implementer’s Draft of this specification:
  • Session Management – Defines how to manage OpenID Connect sessions, including postMessage-based logout functionality
Each of these protocols communicate logout requests from OpenID Providers to Relying Parties, but using different mechanisms that are appropriate for different use cases. See the Introduction sections of each of the specifications for descriptions of the mechanisms used and Continue reading "OpenID Connect Logout Implementer’s Drafts Approved"

AMR Values specification addressing Stephen Farrell’s comments

OAuth logoSecurity area director Stephen Farrell had asked us to make it as clear as possible to people who might be registering new “amr” values that names can identify families of closely-related authentication methods. This is now said right in the IANA Registration Template, so that people who might not have read the spec can’t miss it.

FYI, all the previous IESG DISCUSSes have now been cleared, so hopefully that means this is the last version to be published before the Authentication Method Reference Values specification becomes an RFC.

Thanks again to Stephen for his always-thorough reviews of the specification.

The specification is available at:

An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

AMR Values specification addressing IESG comments

OAuth logoThe Authentication Method Reference Values specification has been updated to address feedback from the IESG. Identifiers are now restricted to using only printable JSON-friendly ASCII characters. All the “amr” value definitions now include specification references. Thanks to Stephen Farrell, Alexey Melnikov, Ben Campbell, and Jari Arkko for their reviews. The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

OpenID Connect Relying Party Certification Launched

OpenID logoThanks to all who contributed to the launch of OpenID Connect Relying Party Certification! This is a major step in continuing to improve the interoperability and security of OpenID Connect implementations. Roland Hedberg deserves huge credit for writing and deploying the testing tools. Roland eagerly interacted with developers as they “tested the tests”, promptly answering questions and iteratively developing the software to address issues that arose during the testing. Hans Zandbelt and Edmund Jay also deserve huge thanks for being the earliest Relying Party testers. Because of their early feedback and perseverance, the process is now much easier for those that followed them. As Don Thibeau wrote in the launch announcement, we were surprised by the speed of RP Certification adoption once we began the pilot phase – happening much more quickly than OpenID Provider certification did. I loved the feedback from developers, who told us that they understand the Continue reading "OpenID Connect Relying Party Certification Launched"

Candidate proposed OpenID Connect logout Implementer’s Drafts

Per discussions on the OpenID Connect working group calls, I have released candidate proposed Implementer’s Drafts for the three logout specs. The new versions are: These drafts address the issues discussed on the calls and in the issue tracker. The changelogs can be viewed at these URLs: Note that the Back-Channel Logout spec is compatible with the working group SecEvent spec https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-secevent-token-00. This note starts a one-week review period of these specifications by the working group. If blocking issues aren’t raised within a week, we will proceed with the formal review period preceding an OpenID Foundation Implementer’s Draft adoption vote.

“amr” Values specification addressing IETF last call comments

OAuth logoDraft -05 of the Authentication Method Reference Values specification addresses the IETF last call comments received. Changes were:
  • Specified characters allowed in “amr” values, reusing the IANA Considerations language on this topic from RFC 7638.
  • Added several individuals to the acknowledgements.
Thanks to Linda Dunbar, Catherine Meadows, and Paul Kyzivat for their reviews. The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

Security Event Token (SET) Specification and IETF Security Events Working Group

IETF logoAs those of you who have been following the id-event@ietf.org mailing list or attended the inaugural meeting of the new IETF Security Events working group know, Phil Hunt and co-authors (including myself) have been working on a Security Event Token (SET) specification. A SET is a JSON Web Token (JWT) with an “events” claim that contains one or more event identifiers (which are URIs) that say what event the SET describes. This work isn’t being done in isolation. Among others, the OpenID Risk and Incident Sharing and Coordination (RISC) working group, the OpenID Back-Channel Logout specification, and the SCIM Provisioning Events work intend to use the Security Event Token format. To make this concrete, the claims in an example OpenID Connect Back-Channel Logout token (which is a SET) are:

{
  "iss": "https://server.example.com",
  "sub": "248289761001",
  "aud": "s6BhdRkqt3",
  "iat": 1471566154,
  "jti": "bWJq",
  "sid": "08a5019c-17e1-4977-8f42-65a12843ea02",
  "events": {
Continue reading "Security Event Token (SET) Specification and IETF Security Events Working Group"

“amr” Values specification addressing area director comments

OAuth logoDraft -04 of the Authentication Method Reference Values specification addresses comments by our security area director Kathleen Moriarty. Changes were:
  • Added “amr” claim examples with both single and multiple values.
  • Clarified that the actual credentials referenced are not part of this specification to avoid additional privacy concerns for biometric data.
  • Clarified that the OAuth 2.0 Threat Model [RFC6819] applies to applications using this specification.
The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at:

“amr” Values specification addressing area director comments

OAuth logoDraft -04 of the Authentication Method Reference Values specification addresses comments by our security area director Kathleen Moriarty. Changes were:
  • Added “amr” claim examples with both single and multiple values.
  • Clarified that the actual credentials referenced are not part of this specification to avoid additional privacy concerns for biometric data.
  • Clarified that the OAuth 2.0 Threat Model [RFC6819] applies to applications using this specification.
The specification is available at: An HTML-formatted version is also available at: