Find matching certificate using case insensitive email address



MailNews Core
Security: S/MIME
17 years ago
9 years ago


(Reporter: kaie, Assigned: kaie)


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(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: [adt1 RTM])


(1 attachment, 1 obsolete attachment)

2.86 KB, patch
: review+
Judson Valeski
: approval+
Details | Diff | Splinter Review


17 years ago
A user reported on the newsgroups:

"I tried sending email with the first letter caps ( and it says I
dont have a cert .. but if I put ... it works just fine .. I
wouldn't have thought that case would have to do anything with it .. ????"

Are we allowed to treat email addresses as case insensitive?

I looked at

It doesn't seem to say that one is allowed to ignore the case.

In addition, I searched Google

The pages I find say, the local part of an email address is allowed to be case

So, I fear, there might be systems in the world, where an exact case match is

We have the choice, whether we want to be picky and case sensitive, or whether
we behave user friendly.

I wonder whether it is a situation that only exists in theory:
If there were a domain, where two different email addresses user@domain and
USER@domain existed, we risk the chance of encrypting for the wrong recipient.

Comment 1

17 years ago
The suggestion could be to ask the end-user with the 'possibility'.  Also I
found a option called Client Certificate Selection which ask the user to decide
of the cert selection should be done auto or manual (it seems to be only for web
sites but you could extend to email).  If auto, then either prompt or pick the

Comment 2

17 years ago
*** Bug 133154 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 3

17 years ago
Assignee: ssaux → kaie
Priority: -- → P1
Target Milestone: --- → 2.2

Comment 4

17 years ago
In rfc822, the only part talking about case-insensitivity is the "postmater"
reserverd local-part, which must be parsed in a case-insensitive manner. This
implies that "normal" local-parts are not case-insensitive.

However, it appears that the widespread usage is to make the local part of the
name case insensitive. The domain part of the name is always case-insensitive.

cc jgmyers, thayes.
I propose that we do two things:
When looking for a cert in the local db, we make a case insensitive search.
When matching an email address in a cert to the email address from the Header
fields, we also use a case-insensitive match (for signature validation).
(see bug 112640)


16 years ago
QA Contact: alam → carosendahl

Comment 5

16 years ago
The username part of an email address is always case sensitive. I think this
come from the fact that on a Unix machine, the email address of an user is
userlogin@machine, and Unix OS is case-sensitive.  

Comment 6

16 years ago
I agree that it must be case-sensitive but partly it isn't: it says a
certificate is valid also with non-matching-case.
Either doesn't count that as valid or also take that as valid for encrypting ;)

Comment 7

16 years ago
My recommendation:  
Make it case-insensitive.  Fact is most IS departments and corporate policies
dictate that the name must be unique, regardless of case (AOL for instance - I
couldn't get Crosen, cRosen, cROSEN, etc. as a account name because crosen was
already taken.)

This is a technical issue that has little bearing on the practicality of use.

Comment 8

16 years ago
*** Bug 139107 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 9

16 years ago
Some more info (look for the full report in my bug report 139107):

I have a certificate for the address (this is the exact
address appear in the certificate when I view it).

When I try to send encrypted mail to this address, written exactly as above - it
fails finding the certificate.

If I send to (all lower case) - it finds the certificate.

So it seems there is something strange in the matching (maybe it make the
certificate address all lower case and only then compare, without doing the same
to the address from the header).

Comment 10

16 years ago
*** Bug 139984 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 11

16 years ago
We'll implement as per comment #4
Keywords: nsbeta1+
Whiteboard: [adt2] RTM


16 years ago
Blocks: 139984

Comment 12

16 years ago
*** Bug 140331 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 13

16 years ago
Crypto in Mozilla depends on the lower level crypto library NSS. Whatever we
decide to be approriate, the lower level library must support if first.

NSS has the hard coded behaviour to convert email addresses in certs to lower
case. Seen in the implementation of CERT_GetCertificateEmailAddress in file
alg1485.c and nsslowcert_FixupEmailAddr in lowcert.c.

As long as we rely on NSS' internal functionatity for looking up certs, I think
we need to stick to this behaviour.

For now this means, whenever we try to lookup certs, we should convert the email
address to lowercase before querying NSS, I think.

This strategy looks like it will work with all cases reported in the duplicate
bugs of this one.

Comment 14

16 years ago
Created attachment 81696 [details] [diff] [review]
Suggested fix

Lowercase conversion of recipient's email addresses before lookup up in NSS

Comment 15

16 years ago
Javi, can you please review?

Comment 16

16 years ago
Comment on attachment 81696 [details] [diff] [review]
Suggested fix

looks good.

Attachment #81696 - Flags: review+

Comment 17

16 years ago
Jag, can you please sr= the string logic code?

Comment 18

16 years ago
Comment on attachment 81696 [details] [diff] [review]
Suggested fix

nsCString mailbox_lowercase;
ToLowerCase(nsDependentCString(mailbox), mailbox_lowercase);

Avoids one copy.

Same for the other file.

sr=jag with that change
Attachment #81696 - Flags: superreview+

Comment 19

16 years ago
Jag, when I use your alternative code, it does not work for me. It looks like
the ToLowerCase function taking two arguments is broken.

When I dump the contents after the call, the target string has random contents,
while the source string is correct.

In addition, I don't understand why your alternative suggestion avoids one copy.
I would have expected that ToLowerCase taking one argument does not make another
copy, but just modifies the string in place?

Comment 20

16 years ago
Ok, found the problem, this is blocked by 141317.
Depends on: 141317

Comment 21

16 years ago
Created attachment 81761 [details] [diff] [review]
Updated fix as requested by Jag
Attachment #81696 - Attachment is obsolete: true

Comment 22

16 years ago
Comment on attachment 81761 [details] [diff] [review]
Updated fix as requested by Jag

moving over reviews
Attachment #81761 - Flags: superreview+
Attachment #81761 - Flags: review+

Comment 23

16 years ago
Checked in to trunk, fixed.
Nominating for ADT.
Last Resolved: 16 years ago
Keywords: adt1.0.0
Resolution: --- → FIXED

Comment 24

16 years ago
Verified - recipients and sender addresses are not dependent on the content of
the certificate email fields.

values used:
Certificate values:  Upper, lower, mixed
Sender values: Upper, lower, mixed
Recipient values: Upper, lower, mixed

Cert values and Sender values were combined in some cases (upper/mixed,
mixed/lower, lower,upper)

Please mark as fixed1.0.0 when on the branch.

Not sure, but in the process, did I verify bug 141317?

Comment 25

16 years ago
> Not sure, but in the process, did I verify bug 141317?

That bug is in a different component, broser/string, and my assumption is that
the QA contact listed in bug 141317 should verify it.

Comment 26

16 years ago
let's get this one in after rc2. adt1.0.0- [adt2 rtm]
Keywords: adt1.0.0 → adt1.0.0-, mozilla1.0
Whiteboard: [adt2] RTM → [adt2 RTM]

Comment 27

16 years ago
*** Bug 144082 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 28

16 years ago
Keywords: adt1.0.0- → adt1.0.0

Comment 29

16 years ago
Is it getting into the 1.0 branch before the final version? I've checked RC3 and
it still missing.


16 years ago
Keywords: adt1.0.0, mozilla1.0 → adt1.0.1, mozilla1.0.1

Comment 30

16 years ago
Raising priority to ADT 1, because I think when using S/Mime, it is very likely
to run into a situation where a recipient cert use mixed case in the email address.
Whiteboard: [adt2 RTM] → [adt1 RTM]

Comment 31

16 years ago
adt1.0.1+ (on ADT's behalf) approval for checkin to the 1.0 branch, pending
Driver's approval. Pls check this in tonight, and add the fixed1.0.1 keyword.
Blocks: 15468
Keywords: adt1.0.1 → adt1.0.1+

Comment 32

16 years ago
please checkin to the 1.0.1 branch. once there, remove the "mozilla1.0.1+"
keyword and add the "fixed1.0.1" keyword.
Keywords: mozilla1.0.1 → mozilla1.0.1+


16 years ago
Attachment #81761 - Flags: approval+

Comment 33

16 years ago
Checked in to branch.
Keywords: adt1.0.1+, mozilla1.0.1+ → fixed1.0.0

Comment 34

16 years ago
correcting keyword
Keywords: fixed1.0.0 → fixed1.0.1

Comment 35

16 years ago
Verified 20020610 Branch builds
Keywords: fixed1.0.1 → verified1.0.1

Comment 36

16 years ago
*** Bug 156616 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Comment 37

16 years ago
*** Bug 164014 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***


14 years ago
Component: Security: S/MIME → Security: S/MIME
Product: PSM → Core


9 years ago
Component: Security: S/MIME → Security: S/MIME
Product: Core → MailNews Core
QA Contact: carosendahl → s.mime
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