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#367 in Cryptography

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MIT license

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Björn - The AS207960 ACME server

Björn is not a full CA upon to itself, but contains many of the building blocks of a complete ACME CA.

Installing on Debian

apt install curl build-essential libssl-dev pkg-config protobuf-compiler libpq-dev
curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh
source "$HOME/.cargo/env"
cargo install bjorn-acme

Components

Björn consists of three primary components, and includes an example CA backend written in Django. This CA backend MUST NOT be used in a production environment. It is purely for demonstration purposes.

Communication between internal components happens over gRPC.

The components are:

  • Björn - The ACME front end and the largest component. It handles account registration, and acts as a proxy between the CA backend and ACME clients.
  • Benny - The OCSP responder. It receives and responds to OCSP requests from TLS clients, routing to whichever backend handles the signing certificate used in the end entity certificate.
  • Frida - The ACME validator. It handles CAA checking, and verification of ACME http-01 and dns-01 challenges.

A basic diagram of their inter-working is as follows;

                          End user <-> CA boundary 
                                    |       *------------*
                                    |       | PostgreSQL | <--------------
                                    |       *------------*                \ 
                                    |                                      |
*-------------*                     |                                  *-------*
| ACME Client | ---ACME over HTTPS--|--                            --> | Björn | ------
*-------------*                     |  \    *-----------------*   /    *-------*       \   
                                    |   --> | TLS terminating | --                 gRPC |
                                    |   --> |  ingress proxy  | --                      |
*------------*                      |  /    *-----------------*   \    *-------*        |
| TLS Client | --OCSP over HTTP(S)--|--                            --> | Benny | ----   |
*------------*                      |                                  *-------*     \  |
                                    |                                            gRPC | |
                                    |                                                /  |
*-------------*    |  http-01  |    |      *-------*               *------------* <--   |
| User server | <--|   dns-01  |----|----- | Frida | <----gRPC---- | Backend CA |      /
*-------------*    |tls-alpn-01|    |      *-------*               *------------* <----

Repositry layout

Directory Contents
migrations SQL database migrations
proto gRPC definitions for inter-working
python-ca Example CA backend DO NOT USE IN PRODUCTION
src Common Rust source code
src/bin/bjorn-acme.rs The Björn binary
src/acme Björn specific utilities
src/bin/bjorn-ocsp.rs The Benny binary
src/ocsp Benny specific utilities
src/bin/bjorn-validator.rs The Frida binary
src/validator Frida specific utilities
templates Björn HTML templates

Implemented RFCs

  • RFC 6960 - Online Certificate Status Protocol - OCSP
  • RFC 7638 - JSON Web Key (JWK) Thumbprint
  • RFC 8555 - Automatic Certificate Management Environment (ACME)
  • RFC 8657 - Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) Record Extensions for Account URI and Automatic Certificate Management Environment (ACME) Method Binding
  • RFC 8659 - DNS Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) Resource Record
  • RFC 8737 - Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) TLS Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) Challenge Extension
  • RFC 8738 - Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) IP Identifier Validation Extension
  • RFC 8954 - Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) Nonce Extension
  • draft-shoemaker-caa-ip-01 - Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) Validation for IP Addresses
  • draft-ietf-acme-onion-01 - Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) Extensions for ".onion" Special-Use Domain Names

Note: CAA iodef is not yet supported

Setup

All components are configured using the Rocket config system. Please see the linked Rocket docs for details on configuring listening ports and addresses.

Björn

Björn should be setup behind a HTTP proxy that implements rate limiting and TLS termination.

Example Rocket.toml

[development]
external_uri = "http://localhost:8000"
tos_uri = "https://as207960.net/assets/docs/AS207960_T_C_s.pdf"
tos_agreed_to_after = "2021-09-29T00:00:00Z"
website_uri = "https://as207960.net"
caa_identities = ["bjorn.as207960.net"]
ca_grpc_uri = "http://[::1]:50051"
template_dir = "templates/"
external_account_required = false
in_band_onion_caa_required = false

[[development.acme_issuers]]
cert_id = "a"
issuer_cert_file = "python-ca/ca-certs/intermediate-crt.pem"

[development.databases]
db = { url = "postgres://postgres@localhost/bjorn" }

Configuration explanation.

external_uri

The URL base at which the ACME server can be reached by external end users, including protocol and port.

tos_uri

The URL of the Terms and Conditions page of the ACME server. End users should be presented with this page by their ACME client to agree to it before proceeding.

tos_agreed_to_after

An ISO8601 timestamp for which accounts that agreed to tho terms of service before which will be required to agree again before continuing with their request. Useful if the ToS have been updated and users need to be aware of a new/updated clause.

website_uri

The homepage of the entity running the ACME server.

caa_identities

Which CAA issuers identities are recognised by the ACME server as allowing issuance by this CA.

ca_grpc_uri

The gRPC URL of the CA backend. It should implement the protocol as described further down.

template_dir

A directory path in which the HTML templates for the index page (for when the ACME server is accessed without using an ACME client), and updated ToS agreement pages are stored.

external_account_required

Does this server require all account registrations to use EAB.

in_band_onion_caa_required

Does this server only support in-band CAA for Tor hidden services.

acme_issuers

A list of issuing certificates for which this server can handle revocation requests.

cert_id

The ID used by backend CA to identify the issuing certificate.

issuer_cert_file

The path of the X.509 public key file (PEM encoded) for the issuing certificate.

db.url

The connection URL of the PostgreSQL database used for storing ACME accounts.

Benny

Benny should be setup behind a caching HTTP proxy that respects the Cache-Control, Expires, ETag etc. HTTP headers set by Benny.

Example Rocket.toml

[[development.ocsp_issuers]]
cert_id = "issuer-1"
issuer_cert_file = "python-ca/ca-certs/intermediate-crt.pem"
signer_pkcs12_file = "ocsp-signer.p12"
grpc_uri = "http://[::1]:50051"

Configuration explanation.

ocsp_issuers

A list of issuing certificates for which this responder is authoritative.

cert_id

The ID used by backend CA to identify the issuing certificate.

issuer_cert_file

The path of the X.509 public key file (PEM encoded) for the issuing certificate.

signer_pkcs12_file

The PKCS.12 encoded file containing the private key used to sign OCSP responses, its associated public key, and any certificates needed to chain up to the root. The signing certificate should either be the issuer certificate directly (not recommended), or a certificate issued by the issuer certificate with the id-kp-OCSPSigning extended key usage attribute.

grpc_uri

The gRPC URL of the CA backend for this issuer. It should implement the protocol as described further down.

Frida

Frida should be setup on a machine with a local DNSSEC validating resolver configured. DNSSEC validation is vital to the integrity of CAA.

Example Rocket.toml

[development]
caa_identities = ["bjorn.as207960.net"]
tor_storage = "./tor"

Configuration explanation.

caa_identities

Which CAA issuers identities are recognised by the ACME server as allowing issuance by this CA (ideally the same as configured on Björn).

tor_storage

The directory in which Frida will store cached state for Tor hidden services. This is not required to be set. If not set Frida will not make connections to the Tor network, and will only be able to validate in-band CAA for hidden services.

Inter-working protocol description

General

Errors

Björn understands basic gRPC errors such as not found and internal server errors, and will convert them into to suitable errors to be transferred to the client.

For greater control and specificity the backend CA can also construct ACME errors directly to be sent to the client. The Error type is based on the JSON errors returned in ACME.

enum ErrorType {
  ...
}

message Error {
  ErrorType error_type = 1;
  string title = 2;
  uint32 status = 3;
  string detail = 4;
  google.protobuf.StringValue instance = 5;
  repeated Error sub_problems = 6;
  Identifier identifier = 7;
}

The error_type field contains an error as defined in RFC 8555 § 6.7. The title field should contain a general synopsys of the fault. The status field should contain a suitable HTTP error code for the fault. The detail field should contain a detailed description of the fault. The instance field should only be used when the userActionRequired field is returned, and should contain a URL to direct the end user to. The sub_problems field can be used to break a fault down into further smaller faults. The identifier field can be used to identify to which identifier in the order this fault relates.

Björn

ValidateEAB

This function is used to check the external account binding specified by the client is valid. The backend should lookup the HMAC key as specified by the kid field and check that the signature field over the signed_data field is valid using the specified signature_method.

If the HMAC key does not exist, or the signature is not valid the backend must return a result with a valid field of false, else it must return true.

CreateOrder

The backend must check the requested identifiers are not prohibited by policy, and that the not_before and not_after are within server policy.

The account_id field contains the ID of the ACME account as generated by the frontend, and the eab_id field contains the EAB kid if a previous ValidateEAB succeeded.

The backend must either respond with an Order in the pending state, or an error if it is not willing to create the order exactly as requested.

CreateAuthorization

The backend must check the requested identifier is not prohibited by policy, and that it is willing to allow pre-authorizations.

The account_id field contains the ID of the ACME account as generated by the frontend, and the eab_id field contains the EAB kid if a previous ValidateEAB succeeded.

The backend must either respond with an Authorization in the pending state, or an error if it is not willing to create the order exactly as requested.

FinalizeOrder

The backend must lookup an order by the ID it generated itself and returned in a previous order object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The standard gRPC NOT_FOUND status code should be used if the order specified does not exist.

The backend must check that the order is in a state in which it is willing to issue a certificate (i.e. valid), and error otherwise.

The csr field contains the DER encoded CSR. The backend must check that the CSR is valid by policy. If it is it must start issuance of the certificate, which should happen in the background.

The account_uri field contains the ACME account's URI for CAA checks.

The onion_caa field contains the in-band CAA records for Tor hidden services provided by the client.

The backend must either respond with an Order in the processing state, or an error if it is not willing to process the order exactly as requested.

DeactivateAuthorization

The backend must lookup an authorization by the ID it generated itself and returned in a previous authorization object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The standard gRPC NOT_FOUND status code should be used if the authorization specified does not exist.

If the authorization is in a usable state (i.e. not deactivated, expired, nor revoked), the backend must mark the authorization as deactivated and make it unusable for future orders.

CompleteChallenge

The backend must lookup a challenge by the ID and authorization ID it generated itself and returned in a previous authorization object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The backend must check that the challenge object belongs to the authorization and return a NOT_FOUND error otherwise.

The account_thumbprint can be passed onto Frida to allow the validation to happen. Validation should happen in the background as the client will poll the server until the challenge succeeds or fails.

GetOrder

The backend must lookup an order by the ID it generated itself and returned in a previous order object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The standard gRPC NOT_FOUND status code should be used if the order specified does not exist.

GetAuthorization

The backend must lookup an authorization by the ID it generated itself and returned in a previous authorization object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The standard gRPC NOT_FOUND status code should be used if the authorization specified does not exist.

GetChallenge

The backend must lookup a challenge by the ID and authorization ID it generated itself and returned in a previous authorization object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The backend must check that the challenge object belongs to the authorization and return a NOT_FOUND error otherwise.

GetCertificate

The backend must lookup a certificate by the ID generated itself and returned in a previous order object. The backend need not check permissions, as the frontend has already completed this check. The backend must return each certificate in each chain as a DER encoded binary list element.

RevokeCertificate

The backend should lookup a certificate corresponding to the issuer_id (as set in the frontend config), and the certificates serial_number. If revocation_reason is set, the backend should check that it is a reason acceptable by policy.

If authz_checked is true the backend need not check the permissions on the request, as the frontend has already completed these checks. If not it should check the ACME account_id is authorized to revoke the certificate. Per RFC 8555 the backend "MUST consider at least the following accounts authorized for a given certificate:

  • the account that issued the certificate.
  • an account that holds authorizations for all of the identifiers in the certificate."

If revocation is successful it must return an empty response, otherwise it must return an error explaining why the request was denied.

Benny

Benny expects a single method on the backend CA for certificate status checking: CheckCert.

The request message contains the issuer ID set in the configuration, and the serial number field from the certificate to be checked.

The response indicates the certificate status and some optional metadata about revocation.

The backend may indicate that it does not know of the status of the certificate, that the certificate is known good, the certificate is known revoked, or that the certificate was never issued.

The revocation reason is the same values as is possible in a CRl. More information about available revocation reasons is available in RFC 5280 § 5.3.1

revocation_timestamp indicates the time at which the certificate was revoked (if known). invalidity_date indicates the time at which the certificate is believed to have been compromised (if known). this_update indicates the last time the authoritative source for this certificate was checked. next_update indicates the next earliest time the authoritative source will have more up to date information. archive_cutoff works as defined in RFC 6960 § 4.4.4.

Frida

Frida has 4 validation methods; ValidateHTTP01, ValidateDNS01, and ValidateTLSALPN01, ValidateOnionCSR01. They perform http-01, dns-01, tls-alpn-01, and onion-csr-01 based validations respectively.

CAA checking is performed using the CheckCAA method.

Frida supports validating dns and ip identifier types, email validation with email-reply-00 is not supported.

The KeyValidationRequest input message contains;

  • token - The validation token, generated by the backend CA.
  • account_thumbprint - The ACME account thumbprint, provided by Björn.
  • identifier - The name to be validated.
  • hs_private_key - The 32-byte private key used to connect to hidden services, if applicable.

The response message contains a boolean indication validation success or failure, and in case of failure an error object containing a list of errors that caused the validation to fail. The error format is described above.

In the case of dns type identifiers the identifier value must be lowercase, non punny code (IDNA), and without a trailing period for the root zone.

The OnionCSRValidationRequest input message contains;

  • csr - The DER encoded CSR, generated by the ACME client.
  • ca_nonce - The nonce, generated by the backend CA.
  • identifier - The name to be validated.

The CAACheckRequest input message contains;

  • validation_method - The method used to validate the identifier.
  • identifier - The name to be checked.
  • account_uri - The URI of the account requesting validation for RFC 8657 purposes, provided by Björn.
  • hs_private_key - The 32-byte private key used to connect to hidden services, if applicable.
  • onion_caa - In-band CAA for hidden services, if provided by the ACME client.

Dependencies

~54–90MB
~1.5M SLoC