Signed Interest

Signed Interest is a mechanism to issue an authenticated Interest.

A signed Interest is an Interest where:

  • Name ends with ParametersSha256DigestComponent.
  • InterestSignature is present.

See Interest Signature section for details on InterestSignature.

Construction of Signed Interest

The following procedure describes the signing of an Interest:

  1. Remove all ParametersSha256DigestComponent components from Name if present, regardless of the location.
  2. If ApplicationParameters element is absent, append a zero-length ApplicationParameters element to the Interest.
  3. Prepare an InterestSignatureInfo element and append it at the end of the Interest.
  4. Compute the cryptographic signature according to Interest Signature section.
  5. Insert the computed signature as an InterestSignatureValue element at the end of the Interest.
  6. Compute the ParametersSha256DigestComponent according to Interest Parameters Digest Component section and append it at the end of Name.

Signed Interest processing

Upon receiving an Interest, the producer, according to the Interest name prefix, should be able to tell whether the Interest is required to be signed. If the received Interest is required to be signed, the application protocol or the producer should also explicitly define whether SignatureNonce/SignatureTime/SignatureSeqNum must be present in the InterestSignatureInfo or not. If any of the required elements is missing, treat the Interest as invalid. Additionally, a signed Interest must be treated as invalid if any of the following conditions is true:

  1. The last name component is not ParametersSha256DigestComponent, or its TLV-VALUE is incorrect according to Interest Parameters Digest Component section.

  2. The InterestSignatureInfo element is missing or any mandatory sub-element is missing from the InterestSignatureInfo element.

  3. The InterestSignatureValue element is missing.

  4. The signature cannot be cryptographically verified.

  5. The key used to create the signature is not trusted for signing the Interest.

  6. If SignatureTime (t) is present in the InterestSignatureInfo:

    Lookup the last recorded SignatureTime (t0) used in conjunction with the same key. Use CurrentTime - GracePeriod if no previous record exists. The recommended grace period is 60 seconds. If t0 >= t, consider the Interest as invalid. Update t0 to t if the signed Interest has been validated according to this and all other rules.

Note

Sharing private keys is not recommended. If private key sharing is inevitable, it is the key owner’s responsibility to keep clocks synchronized.

  1. If SignatureNonce is present:

    To perform this check, the recipient must remember a list of SignatureNonce carried in previously received Signed Interests used in conjunction with the specific signing key. Check whether the SignatureNonce carried in the current signed Interest is a repetition of a recorded SignatureNonce used with the same key. If it is a repetition, treat the Interest as invalid. Add the newly received SignatureNonce into the SignatureNonce list if the signed Interest has been validated according to this and all other rules.

Note

The size of the SignatureNonce list and the lifetime of each SignatureNonce remembered by the receiver depend on the application protocol’s need.

  1. If SignatureSeqNum (s) is present:

    Lookup the last recorded SignatureSeqNum (s0) used in conjunction with the same key. If s0 >= s, consider the Interest as invalid. If no previous record exists, check s against the application policy. If s does not satisfy the application policy, treat the signed Interest as invalid. Update s0 to s if the signed Interest has been validated according to this and all other rules.

Note

The first SignatureSeqNum received is considered valid only if it satisfies the application’s policy. For example, application can decide the first SeqNum can only be a minimum value like 0 or 1, or a value that both sender and receiver agree on.