[Ndn-interest] [Question] What's the purpose of the NFD's default signing key?

Alex Afanasyev aa at CS.UCLA.EDU
Wed Feb 22 21:22:44 PST 2017

As Lan pointed out already, [1] is very old guide for NDNx codebase and many statements there don't apply to NFD.

The "default" key that is created by nfd-start is only used to sign responses for NFD management requests and commands and current tools don't do validation of the responses.  The applications and tools that want to register prefixes with NFD, they need to use keys that are authorized by NFD for this operation.  In our default deployment, we have a very relaxed policy to allow any local registrations, which can be tied up in nfd.conf.  The default policy for "remote" registration (using /localhop/nfd) is to deny all and on our testbed nodes we require commands to be signed by a valid NDN Testbed certificate.


> On Feb 21, 2017, at 10:55 AM, Lei Pi <lpi at memphis.edu> wrote:
> Hi, 
> While ​reading documents on redmine, I found myself confused​ with​​​​​ the "Using registerPrefix with NFD" part of article "Application Development Documentation / Guides"[1].​ ​The original text of the article goes as follows: 
> >>> When you install NFD, it installs a default signing key on your system. For registerPrefix to create a signed command interest using this default signing key, your application needs to use the default KeyChain constructor and call setCommandSigningInfo so that the Face can sign the command interest created by registerPrefix
> ​But​ ​when an application sends out a command interest, the recipient ​should check if the interest's signing key is finally signed by an ​administrator's signing key in order to reject unauthorized commands​.​ 
> So what's the purpose of the NFD's default signing key? Why should the app use this key​ to initialize its identity​? Note the NFD's default signing key is not signed by anyone​[2].​
> If it is also​ for defend​ing​ against unauthorized command interests, then any local app, including possible malwares, can also use this key to sign their interest by simply using the default keychain.
> If not, what other purpose could it be? 
> ​[1] https://redmine.named-data.net/projects/application-development-documentation-guides/wiki/Using_Client_Libraries_with_NDNx_vs_NDNx-TLV_vs_NFD#Using-registerPrefix-with-NFD <https://redmine.named-data.net/projects/application-development-documentation-guides/wiki/Using_Client_Libraries_with_NDNx_vs_NDNx-TLV_vs_NFD#Using-registerPrefix-with-NFD>
> ​[2] https://github.com/named-data/NFD/blob/master/tools/nfd-start.sh#L42 <https://github.com/named-data/NFD/blob/master/tools/nfd-start.sh#L42> ​
> Thank you. ​
> -- 
> Regards,
> Lei ​Pi
> University of Memphis​
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