As the “Embed SCT receipts in certificates” feature is almost complete, I had a some questions about the preparation of the next one: “ECDSA Root and Intermediates” with the ETA Q3 2018 according to https://letsencrypt.org/upcoming-features/
Before the generation of the publicly trusted Root and Intermediates, do you plan:
We hadn’t planned to publish a draft hierarchy before the ceremony, but that’s an excellent idea and we’ll do it. Thanks for suggesting it! We will also generate a fake version of that hierarchy and make it available on staging as you suggest.
Most likely the new root will be cross-signed by ISRG Root X1 and also submitted to trust stores directly. We haven’t yet decided about a DST Root CA X3 cross-sign.
We could request a DST Root CA X3 cross-sign on ISRG Root X1, which would then pass on trust to the new ECDSA root. But details like these are a good reason to publish a draft before doing the ceremony. I'm going to be focusing on SCT stuff today, but will circle back to this soonish.
I’m not sure it’s technically/legally/contractually possible but a cross-sign from a Let’s Encrypt intermediate already cross-signed by DST Root CA X3 should is probably another solution (but maybe not a good one, as it’s add a level in the chain to send, which increase the handshake size, where one of the objective of ECDSA is to reduce it.)
Yes! Of course, it’s the priority without any doubts. These questions just needed to be asked before it was too late and some irremediable steps took place.
Thanks a lot for these answers, and all the awesome work you all do, making the internet a safer place!
Is there any reason to rush ECDSA when there are already standards for Ed25519-based certificates? There are known issues with both ECDSA algorithm and secp256r1 curve, such as the possibility of key leakage if the server is low on entropy and dubious curve constant source (with Bruce Schneier specifically recommending against using this curve because of it).
Is it very likely that approval will happen in a year from now?
In my opinion, there is no urgent need to create a new root certificate, an intermediate could suffice, since it won’t require changes on client side and the only time the RSA signature on ECDSA intermediate will be verified is when it is first encountered. Also, ECDSA signature verification is more resource-intensive than verifying a RSA signature of a similar security level.
Overall I agree that ECDSA should be an available option, but I don’t think there is any point for generating a new root certificate and go through the process of getting it added to each browser.
No reason to rush it at all. And I'm glad they prioritized a CT log over it, I was just noting the new deadline
I think I agree with you. I full chain seams more "clean" but may not be the most efficient thing to do. The lasts messages shows how important the discussion with the community could be important before LE signs new certificates. Those things shouldn't be rushed!