IETF people do not live on the same planet than us – and I mean that literally. My theory is that they leave on a planet with a very strange orbit that put them in communication distance of Earth only 3 times per year, roughly around March, July and November, which could explain why it is mostly impossible to talk to them outside of these 3 months. During the rest of the time, speed of light limits our ability to communicate with them and it takes between one week and one month to receive a response to an email because of the huge distance (that, or their planet is so dense that time is running considerably slowly than ours).
Anyway, that is how it looks like to me and that’s very frustrating, especially as I got burned few years ago for the exact same reasons. Forking a specification is mostly prevented by the IETF license, so that was not an option, so I am trying something else: I published a document containing all the modifications I would have liked to see in the RELOAD specification. Here is the list of these modifications, with some explanations on how to try these modifications either with the source code or on the test server:
1. Client connected to bootstrap node
I am working on a major release of the libreload-java package that will contain the code for a RELOAD client, so I think that is it simpler to wait this release for the explanations on this extension.
2. Service Name and Path
The RELOAD document uses the “p2psip” name both in the SRV RRs and in the URL used to retrieve the configuration file. The problem is that RELOAD is no longer specific to P2PSIP, so this name should be “p2p” instead.
The DNS RR for the RELOAD test server can know be retrieved with the following command:
$ host -t SRV _p2p-enroll._tcp.implementers.org
_p2p-enroll._tcp.implementers.org has SRV record 40 0 443 implementers.org
Same thing, the configuration file can be retrieved with the following command:
$ curl --resolve
Note that the standard names are still working.
3. Multiple Node-IDs for self-signed certificates
CA signed certificates can contain multiple Node-IDs, but self-signed certificates cannot. This extension fixes this problem.
Version 0.4.0 of the libreload-java package, that was released few minutes ago, now contains a static method in the SignerIdentity class to generate a self-signed certificate with one Node-IDs and a second static method to generate a self-signed certificate with multiple Node-IDs.
4. Re-sign certificates
With the current specification, it is not possible to extend the validity of a certificate because the Node-ID must be generated by the enrollment server. That mean basically that each time the certificate expires, the peer has to get a new Node-ID, which means leaving the overlay, joining with the new Node-ID and re-storing all the data that were stored with the previous Node-ID.
The extension permits to renew a certificate by sending it to the enrollment server instead of the certificate signing request, with something like this:
$ wget "https://implementers.org/enrollment?username=test&password=test"
--post-file=cert.der --header "Content-Type: application/pkix-cert"
--header "Accept: application/pkix-cert" -O cert2.der
You can even increase or decrease the number of Node-IDs in the resulting certificate, which can be useful.
Note that this works only if you keep the same key pair. If you want to change them then you need to send a certificate signing request, which will result in a certificate containing new Node-IDs. This is consistent with the way the self-certificates works.