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  1. JDK
  2. JDK-8214270

Relax DNSName restriction as per RFC 1123


    • Type: CSR
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: P4
    • Resolution: Approved
    • Fix Version/s: 12
    • Component/s: security-libs
    • Labels:
    • Subcomponent:
    • Compatibility Kind:
    • Compatibility Risk:
    • Compatibility Risk Description:
      Relaxing of constraints should not pose an issue for users of JDK DNSName implementation
    • Interface Kind:
      add/remove/modify command line option
    • Scope:



      The java.security.cert.X509CertSelector.addSubjectAlternativeName(..) methods and the JDK keytool binary utility currently follow RFC 1034 guidelines when creating DNSName attributes. RFC 1123 relaxed those guidelines to allow DNSNames to begin with a digit. The same relaxation should be made in the JDK libraries.


      The sun.security.x509.DNSName JDK specific implementation class is used by the JDK to construct dns specific names which may be used in X509Certificate fields. Currently, its constructor doesn't allow such fields to begin with a digit. This was most likely adopted from the RFC 1034 naming convention. This causes interoperability issues with other tooling systems which allow such names to begin with a digit.

      RFC 1123 § 2.1 permits a DNSName to begin with a digit.

      https://docs.oracle.com/en/java/javase/11/docs/api/java.base/java/security/cert/X509CertSelector.html#addSubjectAlternativeName(int,java.lang.String) makes reference to RFC 5280 § regards the format of the String used. The RFC section contains the following specification :

       When the subjectAltName extension contains a domain name system
         label, the domain name MUST be stored in the dNSName (an IA5String).
         The name MUST be in the "preferred name syntax", as specified by
         Section 3.5 of [RFC1034] and as modified by Section 2.1 of

      https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1034#section-3.5 https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1123#section-2.1


      Relax the sun.security.x509.DNSName constructor and allow DNSNames (hostnames) to begin with a digit as per RFC 1123 § 2.1 This will allow the JDK utility to inter-operate better with other X.509 type tool stacks.



      java.security.cert.X509CertSelector will have a behavioural change to allow X509 DNSName extentions to contain names that begin with an alpha-numerical character.

      The JDK keytool utility behaviour will also change for constructor of X509 Certificates which contain DNSName fields. The tool will no longer throw a java.io.IOException: DNSName components must begin with a letter issue if a DNSName which starts with a digit is passed as a parameter, e.g. -ext san=dns:1abc.com would be accepted.

      The RFC 2459 reference extracts in the sun.security.x509.DNSName code will be substituted with the RFC 5280 successor. More importantly, the relevant specification text will also be updated :

      - * The name MUST be in the "preferred name syntax," as specified by RFC
      - * 1034 [RFC 1034]. Note that while upper and lower case letters are
      - * allowed in domain names, no signifigance is attached to the case.  In
      + * The name MUST be in the "preferred name syntax", as specified by
      + * Section 3.5 of [RFC1034] and as modified by Section 2.1 of
      + * [RFC1123].  Note that while uppercase and lowercase letters are
      + * allowed in domain names, no significance is attached to the case.


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              • Assignee:
                coffeys Sean Coffey
                coffeys Sean Coffey
                Reviewed By:
                Sean Mullan
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