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From Niall Pemberton <>
Subject Re: [VOTE] Accept Milagro into the Incubator
Date Fri, 18 Dec 2015 00:30:54 GMT


On Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 8:56 AM, Nick Kew <> wrote:

> I should like to call a vote to accept Milagro into
> the Incubator.  The full proposal is available at
> as well as below.
> Note that the project was first discussed here under
> the name OpenMiracl.  The adoption of the Milagro name
> is a response to that discussion.
> [ ] +1 Accept Milagro into the Apache Incubator
> [ ] 0
> [ ] -1 Do not accept Milagro into the Apache Incubator ...
> The vote remains open until at least the end of the week.
> For myself:
> [*] +1 Accept Milagro into the Apache Incubator
> = Project Proposal: Milagro =
> == Abstract ==
> Milagro is a distributed cryptosystem for cloud computing. Its purpose
> is to provide an open source alternative to proprietary key management
> and certificate backed cryptosystems used for secure communication and
> authentication. The adoption of Milagro will create a secure, free, open
> source alternative to monolithic certificate authorities and eliminate
> single points of failure.
> == Background ==
> The Cloud Computing industry is using 40-year-old cryptographic
> algorithms and infrastructure, invented for a different era when
> client-server computing was the dominant paradigm. At the heart of it,
> is the continued reliance on outdated, and problematic, monolithic
> cryptographic trust hierarchies such as commercial certificate
> authorities.
> A number of factors are aligning to make this the right time to bring
> forth an alternative to the Internet's continued reliance on PKI.
> The Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) industry as a whole
> encounters friction bringing the largest customers in regulated
> industries onto their platforms because issues of cryptographic trust,
> data residency, and data governance prevent total adoption among
> regulated industries.
> Devops teams tasked with running an IaaS provider's datacenter
> automation encounter challenges scaling and automating data center
> operations when confronted with the complexities of running encryption,
> certificate and key management infrastructures built for a client-server
> era.
> Enterprises in regulated industries find challenges to transform
> entirely into digital businesses because the economics of cloud
> computing are unavailable to them.
> Despite the astounding growth of cloud infrastructure as a service
> platforms over the last few years, full adoption by organizations with
> stringent data security requirements won’t be achieved until these
> fundamental capability issues get resolved.
> Lastly, the Internet as a whole is suffering from an erosion of trust
> following incidents with commercial certificate authorities industry,
> i.e., compromised root keys, and failures in due diligence issuing real
> domain certificates.
> Indeed, mass surveillance, a lack of easy end-user encryption, a growing
> demand for key escrow under legal oversight, and general certificate
> authority security concerns create the question: How appropriate is the
> continued dependency on PKI when the goal is to advance the benefits of
> cloud computing across the technology landscape?
> Netcraft is the industry standard for monitoring Active TLS
> certificates. In May 2015, they stated that “Although the global [TLS]
> ecosystem is competitive, it is dominated by a handful of major CAs —
> three certificate authorities (Symantec, Comodo, Godaddy) account for
> three-quarters of all issued [TLS] certificates on public-facing web
> servers.”
> The Internet Security Research Group's (ISRG) "Let's Encrypt" initiative
> aims to make Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS)
> certificates available for free in an automated fashion. This a step in
> the right direction, in that it removes the risk of profit before
> ethics. The real issue, which is one entity acts as a monolithic trust
> hierarchy, is not addressed. The monolithic trust hierarchy is a
> fundamental design flaw within PKI itself.
> The rate of attacks against certificate authorities seems to be
> [increasing]( as the obvious single
> point of compromise design inherent to PKI is becoming a more popular
> route to carry out attacks.
> == Proposal ==
> Milagro is an open source, pairing-based cryptographic platform to solve
> key management, secure communications, data governance and compliance
> issues that are challenging Cloud Providers and their customers.
> It does this without the need for certificate authorities, putting into
> place a new category of service providers called Distributed Trust
> Authorities (D-TA's).
> The M-Pin protocol, and its existing open-source MIRACL implementation
> on which Milagro will build, are already in use by Experian, NTT, Odin,
> Gov.UK and are being rolled out at scale for zero password multi-factor
> authentication and certificate-less HTTPS / secure channel.
> It is proposed that Milagro enter incubation at Apache.  At the same
> time, a draft standard for M-Pin has been prepared and recently
> submitted to IETF.  The standards process at IETF and the platform
> implementation at Apache will run in parallel.
> === Why Pairing-Based Cryptography, why now? ===
> Over the last decade, pairings on elliptic curves have been a very
> active area of research in cryptography. Pairings map pairs of points on
> an elliptic curve into the multiplicative group of a finite field. Their
> unique properties have enabled many new cryptographic protocols that had
> not previously been feasible.
> Standards bodies have already begun standardizing various pairing-based
> schemes. These include the IEEE, ISO, and IETF. Besides identity-based
> encryption (IBE), the standardized schemes include identity-based
> signatures, identity-based signcryption, identity-based key
> establishment mechanisms, and identity-based key distribution for use in
> multimedia.
> NIST has also recommended the standardization and adoption of
> pairing-based cryptographic systems __for government agencies__. In the
> NIST "Report on Pairing-based Cryptography" issued in February 2015,
> they state:
> >"It has been a decade since the first IBE schemes were proposed. These
> schemes have received sufficient attention from the cryptographic
> community and no weakness has been identified. IBE is being used
> commercially, primarily by Voltage Security and Trend Micro. Intel’s
> EPID scheme is another example of pairings being used commercially. > As
> a result of our study, we believe there is a good case for allowing
> government agencies to use pairings. Pairings have been shown to have
> numerous applications, helping to solve problems that are impossible,
> difficult, or inefficient with traditional public-key cryptography or
> symmetric encryption."
> The biggest beneficiary of these new pairing-based cryptographic
> protocols will be the Cloud Infrastructure as a Service industry.
> Pairing-based cryptography can provide real world solutions, right now,
> to the outstanding issues of cryptographic trust, data security,
> governance and compliance that create roadblocks to adoption of the
> Cloud by the industries that can most benefit from it.
> Pairing cryptography also makes possible the world in which a fleet of
> geographically distributed and organizationally independent Distributed
> Trust Authorities act as multiple private-key generators (PKGs) where
> trust need not reside in a single entity.
> The difference between this new world of Distributed Trust Authorities
> and the current PKI system will be a landscape that provides secure
> ease-of-use encryption and authentication, does not rely upon a single
> trusted third party, and yet allows for limited key escrow subject to an
> end customer's requirement.
> === Milagro ===
> The Milagro libraries and tools consist of:
>  * Distributed Key Management Service API
>  * Distributed Key Management CLI
>  * Software Defined Distributed Security Module (SD-DSM) build platform
>  * Distributed Key Management Endpoints (software)
>  * Crypto Apps, consisting of:
>   * M-Pin Authentication Platform (delivering password-less 2FA)
>    * M-Pin Secure Channel (delivering certificate-less TLS-PSK)
>    * M-Pin-in-Mobile Client Libraries for iOS, Android and Windows Phone
>    * M-Pin-in-Javascript Libraries for Browsers
>   * Cloud Encryption Gateway (under nascent development)
>   * Distributed Trust Authority Crypto App
>   * Generic library for IoT cryptographic library
> The startingpoint for these is the existing MIRACL library and tools at
> === Distributed Trust Authorities ===
> The Milagro project introduces a service concept called a Distributed
> Trust Authority, to replace either single-authority certificates or
> public key infrastructure.
> The D-TA splits the functions of a pairing-based key generation server
> into three services issuing thirds of private keys to distinct
> identities. The shares of the private keys, received by Crypto App
> clients or Distributed Key Management Endpoints, become the only
> entities that possess any knowledge of the whole key created from the
> shares.
> To effect anything resembling a root key compromise that can occur in a
> traditional PKI or commercial certificate authority, ***ALL***
> Distributed Trust Authority servers must be compromised.
> Cryptographically, one compromise of a Distributed Trust Authority does
> not yield an attacker any advantage, all Distributed Trust Authority
> master secrets inside each D-TA providing shares must be compromised.
> Note that all 3 D-TA's operate independently and are under separate
> organizational control.
> For the following examples, envision a Distributed Trust Authority model
> consisting of Cloud Provider (D-TA 1), Cloud Provider end customer (D-TA
> 2) and neutral third party (D-TA 3).
> Under this three participant model, where each member is responsible for
> the security of their D-TA, the Cloud Provider can not subvert the
> security of the end customer, even with the collusion of the neutral
> third party. The end customer will not suffer an internal insider attack
> unless the Cloud Provider and neutral third party also collude.
> === Distributed Key Management API, CLI, Endpoints ===
> The core infrastructure that consumes these thirds of private keys and
> is responsible for their distribution is a message bus and API (D-KMS
> API), a command line interface (CLI) and software (D-KMS Endpoints)
> which builds the Crypto Applications from source.
> Any entity can run any mix or combination of components with other
> entities, but there is no restriction on configuration. One party may
> operate all three D-TAs, Endpoints and APIs if they wish.
> The D-KMS CLI communicates securely with the API. The API is responsible
> for either creating cryptographic keys and secrets or protecting
> existing keys and secrets through cryptographic encapsulation, via a
> choice of pairing-based protocols. In either case, the API encapsulates
> the keys and secrets for the identity of particular D-KMS Endpoints.
> The D-KMS Endpoints are server operating systems with D-KMS Endpoint
> software installed. The D-KMS Endpoint software, in conjunction with the
> D-KMS CLI, has the appropriate pairing-based cryptographic keys to be
> able to de-encapsulate secrets and keys received from the D-KMS API.
> These de-encapsulated secrets and keys can be stored, distributed or
> used in Crypto Applications, such as M-Pin Authentication, Secure
> Channel or Encryption Gateway.
> === SD-DSM / Crypto Applications ===
> Software Defined Distributed Security Modules, otherwise known as Crypto
> Applications "Crypto Apps" get compiled from source files on-demand.
> Crypto App source files will be hosted on major public repositories such
> as Github and Apache.
> Crypto Applications are scaled across the datacenter through the D-KMS
> API in conjunction with orchestration tools such as Apache Mesos and
> consume the de-encapsulated secrets and keys.
> ==== M-Pin Authentication and Secure Channel ====
> M-Pin is already deployed by such organizations as NTT and Experian in a
> two node Distributed Trust Authority model, where MIRACL and its
> customer each host a D-TA node. In Experian's case, M-Pin was selected
> to provide authentication for Experian's identity assurance platform,
> contracted to the UK Government, for secure authentication of online
> citizens into UK government websites, including HMRC (tax office). M-Pin
> was selected based on its security efficacy and ability to scale to an
> Internet scale user population (UK online citizenry).
> The M-Pin Authentication Platform serves as an example of what is
> possible exploiting a pairing based protocol. M-Pin is capable of
> running in a native browser mode, delivering two-factor authentication.
> M-Pin binds to any identity (as long as it is worldly unique) and
> improves the user authentication experience as it can be visualized in a
> familiar ATM-style pin pad.
> It's most unique trait is the exploitation of zero knowledge proof
> authentication. The M-Pin Client proves to the M-Pin Server it possesses
> its cryptographic authentication key without revealing it to the server.
> As a result, the M-Pin Server stores no authentication credentials,
> eliminating the possibility of credential (i.e., password) smash n' grab
> attacks.
> M-Pin Secure Channel extends the protocol to include authenticated key
> agreement between server and client and mutual client-server
> authentication. The 'agreed key' is unique for each session, possessing
> perfect forward secrecy.
> M-Pin Secure Channel takes the agreed key and injects the key into a
> TLS-PSK session between client and server, providing mutual
> authentication and perfect forward secrecy without the need for PKI.
> This cryptographic underpinning can be extended to create secure VPN
> sessions over various protocols.
> In an M-Pin client and server context, clients and servers receive their
> shares of their private keys from all three Distributed Trust
> Authorities. In the previously mentioned example, this could be Cloud
> Provider, end customer and neutral third party or any combination
> thereof.
> M-Pin Client and Server code are already open source, having been
> previously released under BSD-Clause-3.
> The next iteration and revision will be licensed under the Apache
> License.
> ==== Cloud Encryption Gateway ====
> Many proprietary solutions have appeared on the information security
> market to solve data governance issues about securing data in the cloud
> with encryption keys managed by an end customer. To date, most of these
> solutions involve purchasing hardware or virtualized appliances to run
> in an end customer's datacenter, with nothing more delivered than a
> single encryption key under control of the end customer, performing
> sub-optimum deterministic encryption on data sent to the cloud.
> The Milagro Cloud Encryption Gateway will be a virtualized or container
> based software, deployed in an end customer's environment. This CEG will
> exploit pairing-based capabilities such as attribute-based encryption
> (anyone in possession of the correct set of attributes can decrypt) and,
> more generally, predicate-based encryption (anyone in possession of the
> right set of attributes and a decryption key corresponding to a
> particular predicate can decrypt).
> Doing so increases the flexibility of the solution by being enabled to
> address data residency and governance requirements such as geo-location
> while allowing key management and rotation protocols to be enforced.
> == Rationale ==
> The benefits of a strong authentication, secure channel and cloud
> encryption via an identity framework for people and things are
> self-evident, and the plethora of homebrew proprietary solutions and
> password nightmares seen today is clear evidence of a need for better
> solutions.
> Milagro's distributed trust model is particularly attractive, by virtue
> of dispensing with need for (and potential for abuse of) any central
> trust authority without requiring sophistication - such as understanding
> a Web of Trust - from end users.
> A move to incubation at Apache will help the community to grow and take
> on new members in an environment that guarantees open development and
> protection of participants.
> This is particularly relevant right now as a second corporate team, NTT
> Data, with its own culture joins as core developers. For the outside
> world, it offers the strong promise of openness.
> == Initial Goals ==
> Milagro will seek to integrate the existing projects at Certivox (now
> MIRACL) and NTT, and will invite participation from a nascent broader
> community evidenced by the core MIRACL library's 65 watchers and 29
> forks at Github.
> As well as looking to broaden direct participation, it will seek
> synergies with relevant Apache projects, for example by providing
> Milagro plugins for HTTPD and Trafficserver.
> The initial software products will be the current standing M-Pin Core
> platform, client libraries and the SD-DSM and Distributed Key Management
> API and client CLI (as noted above).
> == Current Status ==
> Certivox (now MIRACL) has developed open source software at Github since
> 2014, though the core MIRACL library goes back much further. Projects
> currently at Github include the M-Pin Authentication Platform and the
> MIRACL cryptographic libraries under BSD-Clause-3 and AGPL licenses.
> These have attracted both community and corporate interest taking them
> beyond the realm of a single-company project, with NTT being the second
> corporate team to take a substantial part in development.  The project
> now seeks to transition smoothly to a full Open Development model.
> The core team at Certivox (now MIRACL) is geographically dispersed and
> developers are well-accustomed to using online infrastructure and tools
> for their everyday work.  The team at NTTi3 and NTT DATA and other
> contributing developers are included amongst the initial committers.
> In addition to MIRACL operating a community D-TA, NTT, Experian and
> Dimension Data have all agreed to host no-charge community D-TAs.  Other
> cloud providers are considering and have been engaged. An open source
> platform from which to offer these services is a necessary component to
> finalizing and launching community D-TA's.
> == Meritocracy and Community ==
> The project is moving from a single (startup) company open source
> project seeking a wider community, to embrace a second corporate
> development team and third-party developers.  The project is committed
> to broadening the community through meritocracy, and expects to welcome
> contributions and recognize contributors.
> It is hoped that incubation at Apache will help with this broadening, by
> providing a widely-recognised and well-understood framework for working
> collaboratively, growing communities, and protecting contributors.
> == Core Developers ==
> Dr. Michael Scott, Chief Cryptographer at Certivox (now MIRACL), has
> been a major open source and standards contributor to the field of
> elliptic curve cryptography for over twenty-five years.
> Others include
> === Existing team at Certivox/MIRACL: ===
>  . Patrick Hilt - CTO
>  . Kealan Mccusker - Cryptographer
>  . Stanislav Mihaylov - Architect
>  . Simeon Aladhem - Developer
> === Existing team at NTT: ===
>  . Go Yamamoto - Cryptographer
>  . Kenji Takahishi - Developer
> === Existing ASF Member: ===
>  . Nick Kew - Developer
> == Alignment: ==
> Whereas Milagro has no track record of its own, the Certivox (now
> MIRACL) team have been working on related projects at Github.  Being
> geographically diverse, the team is well-accustomed to day-to-day
> working in a similar environment to Apache and with similar tools and
> processes. The anticipated role of Apache is to help the community to
> grow without fragmentation of communities, code, or intellectual
> property.
> We are not aware of any link with existing Apache projects.  However, it
> is likely that several Apache projects may be interested in working with
> Milagro to provide distributed identity services.  Plugins for HTTPD and
> Trafficserver are already anticipated.
> == Known Risks ==
> === Orphaned products ===
> Milagro, as successor to the existing MIRACL and M-Pin software at
> github, is at the core of Certivox (now MIRACL)'s business and important
> to NTT, Experian, and other platform adopters who are in the process of
> coming online.
> Interest, and with it both developer and user communities, are expected
> to grow strongly.  There is little risk of the project losing momentum
> in the foreseeable future.
> === Experience with Open Source ===
> The software has a history as open source, developed until recently by a
> geographically distributed team within a single company. Github activity
> shows some evidence of a wider community.  The major new development
> that leads the proposers to seek incubation at Apache is the coming of
> new corporate interest: while both corporate teams have open-source
> experience, their cultures and backgrounds differ.
> We hope that incubation at Apache may help the teams collaborate in an
> environment of mutual benefit, as well as attract independent developers
> to play a full part.
> === Homogenous Developers. ===
> The established corporate teams are dispersed across several European
> countries and Japan.  Prospective developers (whose companies are
> interested in Milagro) are located in other countries, and we anticipate
> a global community.
> === Reliance on Salaried Developers ===
> Most of the initial committers are salaried developers from the core
> corporate teams.  Github activity, including 29 forks of the Miracl
> library, indicates wider community interest, and it is hoped that the
> developer community will grow substantially at Apache.
> === Apache Brand ===
> The Apache brand is of course seen as an advantage.  However, the
> project is more directly concerned with the Apache platform and
> environment to unite diverse teams.
> == Relationships with Other Apache Products ==
> See Alignment above.
> == Documentation ==
> Milagro derives from Certivox's existing M-Pin, MIRACL and associated
> tools at Documentation at
> may also inform and feed into the Milagro project.
> == Initial Source and Intellectual Property ==
> As soon as Milagro is accepted into the Incubator, Certivox (now MIRACL)
> will transfer the source code and trademark to the ASF with a Software
> Grant, and licensed under the Apache License 2.0. Certivox/MIRACL
> retains rights to its existing MIRACL mark.
> == External Dependencies ==
> There are no external dependencies and all software is under the sole
> ownership of Certivox/MIRACL.
> == Cryptography ==
> This is advanced cryptographic software, and as such may be subject to
> government interest and red tape in some countries. However, the
> architecture by which SD-DSM / Crypto Apps are distributed, via open
> source freely available code repositories, is intentional to exploit the
> near universal interpretation of the Wassenar agreement to permit export
> of open source cryptography without restriction (in most cases).
> == Required Resources ==
> Mailinglists:
>  * private
>  * dev
>  * users
> Git repository (to mirror existing github repo)
>  *
> Issue Tracking
>  * JIRA repository to be requested
> ==== Trust Authority Service ====
> The podling would like to request a VM at
> "ta.milagro[.incubator]" with which to run a Community Trust
> Authority.  It is anticipated that this will serve as a test facility
> for developers and may become a Trust Authority for the community of ASF
> committers.
> == Initial Committers ==
>  * Akira Nagai             (NTT)
>  * Brian Spector           (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Fuji Hitoshi            (NTT)
>  * Genoveffa Pagano        (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Go Yamamoto             (NTT)
>  * Jordan Katserov         (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Kealan Mccusker         (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Kenji Takahishi         (NTT)
>  * Michael Scott           (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Milen Rangelove         (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Mitko Yugovski          (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Michael Scott           (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Nick Kew                (Apache)
>  * Nick Pateman            (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Patrick Hilt            (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Simeon Aladhem          (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Stanislav Mihaylov      (Certivox/MIRACL)
>  * Tetsutaro Kobayashi     (NTT)
> == Sponsors ==
> === Champion ===
>  . Nick Kew
> === Mentors ===
>  * Sterling Hughes
>  * Jan Willem Janssen
>  * Nick Kew
> === Sponsoring Entity ===
>  . The Apache Incubator
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