Someone out there might like to sanity check my thinking on a possible 
security hole that arises if some form of cookie authentication, the 
CookieCrumbler for instance, is used with Zope.

The scenario of concern is when cookie authentication is being used and 
Zope is accessed by a browser via a caching HTTP proxy server such as 
Squid, hardly an uncommon situation these days. I believe that transparent 
proxy servers are quite extensively used at the internet access points of 
ISPs.

As the Squid FAQ says:

<quote>
The presence of Cookies headers in requests does not affect whether or not 
an HTTP reply can be cached. Similarly, the presence of Set-Cookie headers 
in replies does not affect whether the reply can be cached.
</quote>

It appears to me that if the Zope server fails to add a Cache-Control 
header with a value of private, no-cache or no-store to its responses, a 
caching proxy server is free to cache the response to an HTTP request. 
Hence the proxy server can again serve the response, purportedly protected 
by cookie based authentication, to any other requesting client WITHOUT 
consulting the Zope server.

I could not identify any code in the CookieCrumbler to add a Cache-Control 
header with a value of private, no-cache or no-store to Zope responses.

This problem should not occur when Zope uses the regular Basic 
Authentication scheme as per RFC2616:

<quote>
Note that section 14.8 normally prevents a shared cache from saving and 
returning a response to a previous request if that request included an 
Authorization header.
</quote>

Unless someone can refute this scenario (please, please do) then it appears 
to me that Cache-Control headers need to be added to all responses 
conditional on authentication by Zope using cookie authentication.

Maybe Zope should just add a Cache-Control header with a value of private, 
no-cache or no-store to all responses that its security sub-system 
determines are to other than the Anonymous user. It would do no harm if 
Basic Authentication were being used and would plug the security hole I 
have posited if cookie authentication were in use.

I'd propose a patch myself but I am not that confident in hacking around 
Zope's security management code.



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