RFC Errata

Errata Search

Source of RFC  
Summary Table Full Records

RFC 6797, "HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)", November 2012

Source of RFC: websec (app)

Errata ID: 4075
Status: Rejected
Type: Technical
Publication Format(s) : TEXT

Reported By: Eric Lawrence
Date Reported: 2014-08-08
Rejected by: Barry Leiba
Date Rejected: 2014-08-11

Section 14 says:

   Without the "includeSubDomains" directive, HSTS is unable to protect
   such Secure-flagged domain cookies.

It should say:

   Without the "includeSubDomains" directive, HSTS is unable to protect
   such Secure-flagged domain cookies.

   Even with the "includeSubDomains" directive, the unavailability of 
   an "includeParent" directive means that an Active MITM attacker can 
   perform a cookie-injection attack against an otherwise 
   HSTS-protected victim domain.

   Consider the following scenario:

    The user visits https://sub.example.com and gets a HSTS policy with
    includeSubdomains set. All subsequent navigations to 
    sub.example.com and its subdomains will be secure.

    An attacker causes the victim's browser to navigate to 
    http://example.com. Because the HSTS policy applies only to 
    sub.example.com and its superdomain matches, this insecure 
    navigation is not blocked by the user agent.

    The attacker intercepts this insecure request and returns a 
    response that sets a cookie on the entire domain tree using a 
    Set-Cookie header.

    All subsequent requests to sub.example.com carry the injected
    cookie, despite the use of HSTS.


To mitigate this attack, HSTS-protected websites should perform a background fetch of a resource at the first-level domain. This resource should carry a HSTS header that will apply to the entire domain and all subdomains.
This is a valid issue, but not suitable for the errata system. The websec working group is discussing handling this with a short document to update RFC 6797.

Report New Errata

Advanced Search