RFC 8740
This document is obsolete. Please refer to RFC 9113.

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                       D. Benjamin
Request for Comments: 8740                                    Google LLC
Updates: 7540                                              February 2020
Category: Standards Track
ISSN: 2070-1721

                       Using TLS 1.3 with HTTP/2


   This document updates RFC 7540 by forbidding TLS 1.3 post-handshake
   authentication, as an analog to the existing TLS 1.2 renegotiation

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
   2.  Requirements Language
   3.  Post-Handshake Authentication in HTTP/2
   4.  Other Post-Handshake TLS Messages in HTTP/2
   5.  Security Considerations
   6.  IANA Considerations
   7.  References
     7.1.  Normative References
     7.2.  Informative References

   Author's Address

1.  Introduction

   TLS 1.2 [RFC5246] and earlier versions of TLS support renegotiation,
   a mechanism for changing parameters and keys partway through a
   connection.  This was sometimes used to implement reactive client
   authentication in HTTP/1.1 [RFC7230], where the server decides
   whether or not to request a client certificate based on the HTTP

   HTTP/2 [RFC7540] multiplexes multiple HTTP requests over a single
   connection, which is incompatible with the mechanism above.  Clients
   cannot correlate the certificate request with the HTTP request that
   triggered it.  Thus, Section 9.2.1 of [RFC7540] forbids

   TLS 1.3 [RFC8446] removes renegotiation and replaces it with separate
   post-handshake authentication and key update mechanisms.  Post-
   handshake authentication has the same problems with multiplexed
   protocols as TLS 1.2 renegotiation, but the prohibition in [RFC7540]
   only applies to renegotiation.

   This document updates HTTP/2 [RFC7540] to similarly forbid TLS 1.3
   post-handshake authentication.

2.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

3.  Post-Handshake Authentication in HTTP/2

   HTTP/2 servers MUST NOT send post-handshake TLS 1.3
   CertificateRequest messages.  HTTP/2 clients MUST treat such messages
   as connection errors (see Section 5.4.1 of [RFC7540]) of type

   [RFC7540] permitted renegotiation before the HTTP/2 connection
   preface to provide confidentiality of the client certificate.  TLS
   1.3 encrypts the client certificate in the initial handshake, so this
   is no longer necessary.  HTTP/2 servers MUST NOT send post-handshake
   TLS 1.3 CertificateRequest messages before the connection preface.

   The above applies even if the client offered the
   "post_handshake_auth" TLS extension.  This extension is advertised
   independently of the selected Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation
   (ALPN) protocol [RFC7301], so it is not sufficient to resolve the
   conflict with HTTP/2.  HTTP/2 clients that also offer other ALPN
   protocols, notably HTTP/1.1, in a TLS ClientHello MAY include the
   "post_handshake_auth" extension to support those other protocols.
   This does not indicate support in HTTP/2.

4.  Other Post-Handshake TLS Messages in HTTP/2

   [RFC8446] defines two other messages that are exchanged after the
   handshake is complete: KeyUpdate and NewSessionTicket.

   KeyUpdate messages only affect TLS itself and do not require any
   interaction with the application protocol.  HTTP/2 implementations
   MUST support key updates when TLS 1.3 is negotiated.

   NewSessionTicket messages are also permitted.  Though these interact
   with HTTP when early data is enabled, these interactions are defined
   in [RFC8470] and are allowed for in the design of HTTP/2.

   Unless the use of a new type of TLS message depends on an interaction
   with the application-layer protocol, that TLS message can be sent
   after the handshake completes.

5.  Security Considerations

   This document resolves a compatibility concern between HTTP/2 and TLS
   1.3 when supporting post-handshake authentication with HTTP/1.1.
   This lowers the barrier for deploying TLS 1.3, a major security
   improvement over TLS 1.2.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5246, August 2008,

   [RFC7230]  Fielding, R., Ed. and J. Reschke, Ed., "Hypertext Transfer
              Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Message Syntax and Routing",
              RFC 7230, DOI 10.17487/RFC7230, June 2014,

   [RFC7301]  Friedl, S., Popov, A., Langley, A., and E. Stephan,
              "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Application-Layer Protocol
              Negotiation Extension", RFC 7301, DOI 10.17487/RFC7301,
              July 2014, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7301>.

   [RFC7540]  Belshe, M., Peon, R., and M. Thomson, Ed., "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol Version 2 (HTTP/2)", RFC 7540,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7540, May 2015,

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

   [RFC8446]  Rescorla, E., "The Transport Layer Security (TLS) Protocol
              Version 1.3", RFC 8446, DOI 10.17487/RFC8446, August 2018,

7.2.  Informative References

   [RFC8470]  Thomson, M., Nottingham, M., and W. Tarreau, "Using Early
              Data in HTTP", RFC 8470, DOI 10.17487/RFC8470, September
              2018, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8470>.

Author's Address

   David Benjamin
   Google LLC

   Email: davidben@google.com