An analysis of TLS handshake proxying

Stebila, Douglas & Sullivan, Nick (2015) An analysis of TLS handshake proxying. In Proceedings of the 14th IEEE International Conference on Trust, Security and Privacy in Computing and Communications (IEEE TrustCom-15), IEEE, Helsinki, Finland, pp. 279-286.

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Content delivery networks (CDNs) are an essential component of modern website infrastructures: edge servers located closer to users cache content, increasing robustness and capacity while decreasing latency. However, this situation becomes complicated for HTTPS content that is to be delivered using the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol: the edge server must be able to carry out TLS handshakes for the cached domain. Most commercial CDNs require that the domain owner give their certificate's private key to the CDN's edge server or abandon caching of HTTPS content entirely. We examine the security and performance of a recently commercialized delegation technique in which the domain owner retains possession of their private key and splits the TLS state machine geographically with the edge server using a private key proxy service. This allows the domain owner to limit the amount of trust given to the edge server while maintaining the benefits of CDN caching. On the performance front, we find that latency is slightly worse compared to the insecure approach, but still significantly better than the domain owner serving the content directly. On the security front, we enumerate the security goals for TLS handshake proxying and identify a subtle difference between the security of RSA key transport and signed-Diffie--Hellman in TLS handshake proxying; we also discuss timing side channel resistance of the key server and the effect of TLS session resumption.

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ID Code: 91149
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: cryptographic protocols, network topology, content distribution networks, secure outsourcing, TLS, proxy
DOI: 10.1109/Trustcom.2015.385
ISBN: 9781467379526
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Computer System Security (080303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > DATA FORMAT (080400) > Data Encryption (080402)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 IEEE
Copyright Statement: Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Deposited On: 10 Dec 2015 02:42
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2015 15:20

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