AB/Connect Working Group - Overview
The AB/Connect working group is a combined working group of the Artifact Binding (AB) Working Group and the Connect Working Group aimed at producing the OAuth 2.0 based “OpenID Connect” specifications. It also includes a project named OpenID for Verifiable Credentials which consists of three specifications.
What is AB/Connect Working Group?
Papers and Presentations
- The OpenID Connect Logout specifications are now Final Specifications on September 12, 2022.
- OpenID Foundation Publishes “OpenID for Verifiable Credentials” Whitepaper on May 12, 2022
- Third Implementer’s Draft of OpenID Connect Federation Specification Approved on November 11, 2021.
- OpenID Certification for RPs was made available to all in August 2017.
- Final OAuth 2.0 Form Post Response Mode Specification was approved on April 27, 2015.
- The certification program for OpenID Connect was launched on April 22, 2015.
- Final OpenID Connect specifications were launched on February 26, 2014.
Working Group Chairs
- Mike Jones, independent
- Nat Sakimura, NAT Consulting
- John Bradley, Yubico
Frequently asked Questions
OAuth 2.0, is a framework, specified by the IETF in RFCs 6749 and 6750 (published in 2012) designed to support the development of authentication and authorization protocols. It provides a variety of standardized message flows based on JSON and HTTP; OpenID Connect uses these to provide Identity services.
OpenID Connect has many architectural similarities to OpenID 2.0, and in fact the protocols solve a very similar set of problems. However, OpenID 2.0 used XML and a custom message signature scheme that in practice sometimes proved difficult for developers to get right, with the effect that OpenID 2.0 implementations would sometimes mysteriously refuse to interoperate. OAuth 2.0, the substrate for OpenID Connect, outsources the necessary encryption to the Web’s built-in TLS (also called HTTPS or SSL) infrastructure, which is universally implemented on both client and server platforms. OpenID Connect uses standard JSON Web Token (JWT) data structures when signatures are required. This makes OpenID Connect dramatically easier for developers to implement, and in practice has resulted in much better interoperability.
The OpenID Connect interoperability story has been proven in practice during an extended series of interoperability trials conducted by members of the OpenID Connect Working Group and the developers behind numerous OpenID Connect implementations.
Yes. There are already system-level APIs built into the Android operating system to provide OpenID Connect services. OpenID Connect can also accessed by interacting with the built-in system browser on mobile and desktop platforms; a variety of libraries are under construction to simplify this process.
Simply stated, there is a significant increase of online services being accessed via mobile devices and there is an increase in online identity thefts. The GSMA has articulated the business case for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) http://www.gsma.com/mobileidentity. In summary, it states that MNOs, with their differentiated identity and authentication assets, have the ability to provide sufficient authentication to enable consumers, businesses, and governments to interact in private, trusted and secure environment and enable access to services.
MNOs increasingly are interested in identity services currently being used online (i.e. login, marketing, post sales engagement, payments, etc.), to mitigate some of the pain points encountered in existing services, in order to meet the rapidly increasing market demand for mobile identity services.
Public-key-encryption-based authentication frameworks like OpenID Connect (and its predecessors) globally increase the security of the whole Internet by putting the responsibility for user identity verification in the hands of the most expert service providers. Compared to its predecessors, OpenID Connect is dramatically easier to implement and integrate and can expect to receive much wider adoption.
OpenID Connect identifies a set of personal attributes that can be exchanged between Identity Providers and the apps that use them, and includes an approval step so that users can consent (or deny) the sharing of this information.
This is an exciting time; innovators are working on several new kinds of authentication technologies to replace or supplement passwords – in particular, the use of hardware authentication devices and embedded cryptography.
These new methods can be adopted by OpenID Connect Identity Providers as they mature to provide more secure authentication to them. For example, two-factor identification is already in production at some OpenID Connect IDPs.
The fact that professionally run OpenID Connect IDPs can take advantage of these new technologies as they mature only increases the value proposition of OpenID Connect. Without doing anything extra, it means that OpenID Connect Relying Parties can benefit from the adoption of stronger authentication technologies by IDPs, simply because they already use OpenID Connect.
The FIDO Alliance is one organization in which non-password authentication technologies are being explored. Some OpenID Foundation members are also members of the FIDO Alliance, working on authentication technologies there that can be used by OpenID Providers.
The Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is an XML-based federation technology used in some enterprise and academic use cases. OpenID Connect can satisfy these same use cases but with a simpler, JSON/REST based protocol. OpenID Connect was designed to also support native apps and mobile applications, whereas SAML was designed only for Web-based applications. SAML and OpenID Connect will likely coexist for quite some time, with each being deployed in situations where they make sense.
- Ease of deployment
- Wide support of devices
- Enabling Claims Providers to be distinct from Identity Providers