Gatekeeper and Sturdy-references

Gatekeeper protocol

The Gatekeeper protocol allows a peer to "upgrade" a SturdyRef to a live reference to an entity. For details of the use of Resolve and Bind assertions, see the guide to the built-in gatekeeper entity.

Implementation. The protocol is implemented within the syndicate-server program.

Resolve = <resolve @sturdyref sturdy.SturdyRef @observer #!#!any>.
Bind = <bind @oid any @key bytes @target #!any>.

Sturdy-reference structures

A "sturdyref" is a long-lived certificate including a cryptographic signature that can be upgraded by a gatekeeper entity to a live reference to the entity named in the sturdyref. For an overview of SturdyRefs, see the guide to the built-in gatekeeper entity.

SturdyRef = <ref @oid any @caveatChain [Caveat ...] @sig bytes>.

The sig in a SturdyRef is an iterated keyed-HMAC construction, starting from an HMAC of the ref's secret key and its oid, following macaroons. The specific function chosen is HMAC using BLAKE2s-256, truncating the output to the first 16 bytes. Let

  • f(k,d) be HMAC-BLAKE2s-256(k,d)[0..16),
  • e(v) yield the canonical machine-oriented serialization of some preserves value v, and
  • k be the original secret key for the ref.

In a valid SturdyRef, then, the sig will be f(...f(...f(f(k,e(oid)),...),e(Caveat)),...).

For detail of the interpretation of Caveats, Patterns, and Templates, see the Syndicate protocol specification.

Caveat = Rewrite / Alts / Reject / @unknown any .
Rewrite = <rewrite @pattern Pattern @template Template> .
Reject = <reject @pattern Pattern> .
Alts = <or @alternatives [Rewrite ...]>.

Lit = <lit @value any>.

Pattern = PDiscard / PAtom / PEmbedded / PBind / PAnd / PNot / Lit / PCompound .
PDiscard = <_>.
PAtom = =Boolean / =Float / =Double / =SignedInteger / =String / =ByteString / =Symbol .
PEmbedded = =Embedded .
PBind = <bind @pattern Pattern>.
PAnd = <and @patterns [Pattern ...]>.
PNot = <not @pattern Pattern>.
PCompound =
    / @rec <rec @label any @fields [Pattern ...]>
    / @arr <arr @items [Pattern ...]>
    / @dict <dict @entries { any: Pattern ...:... }> .

Template = TAttenuate / TRef / Lit / TCompound .
TAttenuate = <attenuate @template Template @attenuation [Caveat ...]>.
TRef = <ref @binding int>.
TCompound =
    / @rec <rec @label any @fields [Template ...]>
    / @arr <arr @items [Template ...]>
    / @dict <dict @entries { any: Template ...:... }> .