The proposed new CCRA (draft version 16.5.1) was recently published on the Common Criteria Portal along with a covering message from the chair of the CCRA Management Committee.
This blog describes the major changes that we have identified.
The draft CCRA document builds upon the current CCRA, first published in 2000, which is supplemented by four procedures listed on the CC portal.
- Multiple or commercial CBs MC policy procedure 2006-09-001 v 1.0
- Time criteria to change from CCP to CAP MC policy procedure 2006-09-00
- Voluntary Periodic Assessment 2005-06
- Conducting Shadow Certification 2004-07
GeneralThere are many instances of grammar corrections throughout the new Agreement. These are not reported here unless we believed that it changes, or may change the meaning of the Agreement.
- The title has no changes.
- 26 Participants are listed, although Hungary is listed as "to be completed".
- In Annex "L", The list of Compliant CBs, two are missing from the current list of "Authorizing Participants currently published on the portal: New Zealand and India.
- Throughout the Arrangement the formalization of the status of "Supporting Documents" has been added.
- Throughout the Arrangement the standards to which CBs and ITSEF must comply have been updated. Now ISO/IEC 17065 and ISO/IEC 17025 are the norm.
Purpose1. The paragraph:
"The purpose of this Arrangement is to advance those objectives by bringing about a situation in which IT Products and Protection Profiles which earn a Common Criteria Certificate, as per the requirements of the CC standard, can be procured or used without the need for further Evaluation. It seeks to provide grounds for confidence in the reliability of the judgements on which the original certificate was based by requiring that a Certification/Validation Body (CB) issuing Common Criteria Certificates should meet high and consistent standards."Was changed to add the text " as per the requirements of the CC standard."
2. The paragraph:
"It is likely that some sensitive government IT Systems will be procured, certified and Recognised according to specific user’s requirements for their strategic need or separate bilateral or multilateral agreements. This Arrangement does not constrain such agreements. In particular, the exceptions described in Article 3 do not apply to any such separately negotiated agreements."Was changed to add the text "specific user’s requirements for their strategic need "
3. Text was added that basically incorporates the 2006 supplement to the CCRA. "Multiple or commercial CBs MC policy procedure 2006-09-001 v 1.0"
SpiritThe spirit of the Agreement has not changed.
Article 1: MembershipNo changes.
Article 2: ScopeThe scope has, of course, changed. With the removal of mutual recognition up to EAL 4 and the addition of the new text:
"This Arrangement covers certificates with claims of compliance against Common Criteria assurance components of either:
1) a collaborative Protection Profile (cPP), developed and maintained in accordance with Annex K, with assurance activities selected from Evaluation Assurance Levels up to and including level 4 and ALC_FLR, developed through an International Technical Community endorsed by the Management Committee; or
2) Evaluation Assurance Levels 1 through 2 and ALC_FLR2.
The scope may be modified with the consent of the Participants in this Arrangement at any time, in accordance with the provisions of Article 14, by addition or removal of assurance levels or components."
DiscussionIn the past, the CCRA did not set any de-jure requirements for PPs specified by evaluations that were formally recognized under the Agreement beyond that they be validated in accordance with the CC standards. Of course, this meant that the Arrangement did not formally specify an organization for the development of PPs and for many years, such an organization was not in place.
In both the 1998 and 2000 versions of the CCRA there was an implicit acceptance that a validated PP approved by any one CCRA Participant should be recognized by all.
Hence, the Common Criteria Management Board (CCMB) did not sponsor development of PPs. (Another reason has been cited by them is that they had no resource to do so.)
However, a list of de-facto CC validated PPs was and is still maintained on the CC portal . It was left to the various national schemes to make de-jure policy about which PPs could be specified in an evaluation performed within their scheme. The original 1998 CCRA included the concept of national PPs but this was removed in the 2000 version.
The 2014 draft CCRA changes this allowing for mutual recognition of evaluations specifying an agreed collaborative PP (cPP) and sets the rules for their development such that to be a cPP it must have been developed under the auspices of an International Technical Community (iTC). The new CCRA defines an iTC as:
"A group of technical experts including Participants, Certification/Validation Bodies, ITSEFs, developers and users which are:
a) working in manners that promote fair competition;
b) working in some specific technical area in order to define cPPs;
c) endorsed for this purpose by the Management Committee; and
d) establishing Interpretations of the application of the CC and CEM necessary for cPPs through Supporting Documents which are subject to the CCRA approval process"
Article 3: ExceptionsThe following text was added:
"Annexes F.3 and G.2 of this Arrangement should be followed by Participants who call for exceptions in accordance with this article."
Annex F.3 is "General Information Affecting the Terms of this Arrangement" which requires Participants to inform the the CCMC about changes in national laws, regulations etc. and about any changes in the operation or procedures of its national scheme if they affect the ability of that Participant to comply with the Arrangement.
Annex G.2 "Documentation to be Provided" is the list of items such as the point of contact, quality manual, procedures, etc.
Article 4: DefinitionsNo substantive changes here, but there were plenty in the Glossary (see the changes in the Annex "A" section below).
Article 5: Conditions for RecognitionNo substantive changes.
Article 6: Voluntary Periodic AssessmentsNo substantive changes.
See also Annex "D."
Article 7: Publications and the Use of the Service and Certification MarkCertificates that in the previous version of the CCRA "should" have displayed the mark of the Recognition Arrangement, now "shall " bear the device.
Note that Annex "E" has been extensively changed. The two logos look the same, but they are much more extensively defined in terms of color, spacing, etc. There is a much updated policy about their usage.
1. The added text in E.1:
"The Certificate Authorising Participants shall make necessary legal arrangements with their ITSEFs and their Client vendors, to the effect that the vendors are also required to:"…may be problematic, since the Particpant does not have a relationship with the ITSEF. According to the Arrangement it is the CB that has the relationship with the ITSEF. I guess it's just through the chain...
2. The added text in E.2 (in green) makes a sentence that cannot be easily understood.
"After termination of participation in this Arrangement, the terminating Participant shall immediately cease to use the Service Mark and distribute any certificates bearing the Certification Mark of making reference to this Arrangement."This text needs some clarification.
Article 8: Sharing of InformationNo substantive changes.
Article 9: New ParticipantsNo substantive changes.
See also Annex "G."
Article 10: Administration of this ArrangementThe text "All Participants should be represented on the Management Committee" was changed to:
"All Participants are represented on the Management Committee"
Article 11: DisagreementsThe disagreements have not changed.
Article 12: Use of ContractorsNo substantive changes.
Article 13: Costs of this ArrangementNo substantive changes.
Article 14: RevisionNo substantive changes.
Article 15: DurationNo substantive changes.
Article 16: Voluntary Termination of ParticipationNo substantive changes.
Article 17: CommencementThe following text was added:
"In terms of continuation, the qualifying status of all members remains valid for a period of five years from the date of the latest Voluntary Periodic Assessment / Shadow Certification/Validation under the previous version of the Arrangement, unless otherwise approved by the Management Committee.The 2006 supplement to the Arrangement on "time criteria required to transfer from a Certificate Consuming Participant to a Certificate Authorising Participant" does not seem to have been incorporated into this draft of the CCRA.
Certificate Consuming Participants, which have applied to become a Certificate Authorising Participant under the previous version of this Arrangement, and for which the Shadow Certification/Validation has not yet been completed, may choose to complete the Shadow Certification/Validation under the conditions of the previous version of this Arrangement.
Furthermore, all Participants agree:
a) to Recognise conformant certificates issued under the previous version of this Arrangement;
b) to Recognise certificates resulting from products accepted into the certification process prior to approval of this Arrangement according to the previous version of the Arrangement; and
c) for a period of 36 months from the date on which this Arrangement has been signed by all its Participants, to Recognise re-certifications and maintenance addenda issued according to the previous version of this Arrangement. Thereafter, within the scope of this arrangement all Participants shall limit recognition of certifications issued in accordance with Article 2."
Article 18: Effect of this ArrangementNo substantive changes.
Annex "A" the Glossary
- Added "Achievable Common Level of Security Assurance"
- Changed "Approval/Licensing Policy" was "Licensing policy" but the text changed too
- Changed "CC" removed the reference of equivalence to ISO/IEC 15408
- Added "Certification/Validation Body (CB)"
- Added "International Technical Community (iTC)"
- Changed "IT Security Evaluation Criteria"
- Changed "System" which became an "IT System"
- Changed: "Originator" which was "Originating Party"
- Not changed: "Certificate Authorising participant: A Participant representing one or more Compliant CBs", this is pointed out because the definition in the "draft CCRA is inconsistent with text in the "Purpose" section of the Arrangement, which precludes having more than one Compliant CB
- Added " Collaborative Protection Profile (cPP)"
- Changed "Protective Marking"
- Added "RA in Confidence"
- Added "Security Target (ST)" The definition is consistent with that in CC part 1.
- Added "Supporting Document"
Annex "B" Evaluation and Certification/Validation SchemeIn B.2, The Role and Principal Characteristics of the CB, the following text was added:
"An Evaluation Facility which has been Licensed or Approved to carry out Evaluations within a particular Scheme is known as an IT Security Evaluation Facility"It is not obvious why that text was added into B.2 and removed from B.3, Accreditation and Licensing of Evaluation Facilities, especially since the term "ITSEF" is already defined differently in the glossary thus:
IT Security Evaluation Facility, an Accredited Evaluation Facility, Licensed or Approved to perform Evaluations within the context of a particular IT Security Evaluation and Certification/Validation Scheme."
Annex "C" Requirements for Certification/Validation BodyNo substantive changes other than C.7 which now requires validations of IT products and Protection profiles to be correctly carried out.
"The CB is to have the required facilities and documented procedures to enable the IT Product or Protection Profile Certification/Validation to be correctly carried out in accordance with the Common Criteria and related Evaluation Methods"
Annex "D" Voluntary Periodic AssessmentsIn the existing CCRA a shadow certification/validation was performed on a "suitable IT product at Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 3 or 4 as agreed upon by the Participants directly involved." This has now been changed to:
"A Voluntary Periodic Assessment should be performed on at least two IT Products that are within the scope of this Arrangement as decided by the Participants directly involved."Additionally the documentation needing to be provided to the assessment team in support of the Voluntary Periodic Assessment was added to with the addition of:
"Other Evaluation reports should be provided on request in accordance with guidance issued by the Management Committee."Note that currently the supplemental procedure, Voluntary Periodic Assessment 2005-06, currently applies and gives much detail on the conduct of a voluntary periodic assessment.
It is not clear from the published documents if this detailed procedure will remain in effect or withdrawn.
Annex "E" Certificate and Service MarksPlease see the discussion above under Article 7.
Additionally, it is not clear if an ITSEF may be allowed to use the mark to promote related ITSEF services. I guess that may be up to the relevant CB?
Annex "F" Information to be Provided to ParticipantsMany changes have been made, but they can be characterised in terms of modernization on the topic of information security. It seems that the topic of information security has moved forward over the last 15 years ;)
Annex "G" New Compliant Certification/Validation BodiesThe text requiring that the initial shadow certification/validation be for two products at EAL3 or EAL4 was changed to:
".. the applicant will be asked to nominate as candidates for Shadow Certification/Validation at least two products evaluated against a collaborative Protection Profile, or a Security Target claiming at least Evaluation Assurance Level 2 and, if appropriate, ALC_FLR where no cPP is used."Personal comment: Two EAL 2 validations seems like a very low barrier for a potential CB to demonstrate confidence that a more complex cPP could be competently performed. Given the changes to the scope of the agreement, (EAL 2 plus cPPs) I see that this is a little moot given the number of cPPs currently available, but worry a little bit about the future cPPs, with as yet undefined functional and assurance requirements that may require mutual confidence in a deeper competence by CBs.
Note that the supplemental procedure, Conducting Shadow Certification 2004-07, currently applies and gives much detail on the conduct of a voluntary periodic assessment.
It is not clear from the published documents if this detailed procedure will remain in effect or be withdrawn.
Annex H: Administration of the ArrangementIn H.3 Decisions: There has been an addition that:
"The Management Committee should always attempt to achieve a unanimous vote,".. but the decisions are still, as before, to be reached by simple majority in most cases.
In H.7 Executive Subcommittee: Representation in the Executive Subcommittee has been simplified, from the old:
"The Executive Subcommittee should consist of Qualified Participants and additional discretionary Participants up to a numerical limit determined by the Management Committee"to a rather simpler :
"All Participants may be represented on the Executive Subcommittee."Three responsibilities were removed from the EC:
"e) resolving technical disagreements about the terms and application of this Arrangement;(NB, These functions have not gone. They were added into the responsibilities of the CCDB. See H.8, below.)
f) managing the development of IT security evaluation criteria and IT security evaluation methods;
g) managing the maintenance of historical databases as to the background to interpretations and any resultant decisions that could affect future versions of either the criteria or methodology."
And one was added:
"e) managing the promotion of the Common Criteria."
H.8 Development BoardThis whole section was added. It seems that until this version of the CCRA is ratified there is no formal CCDB. I wonder who will chair it? Anyway, here is what the "new" CCDB will do:
H.8 Development Board
The Management Committee should establish a Development Board to manage the technical aspects of the Arrangement, foster and oversee the development and maintenance of the criteria, associated methodology and the development of collaborative Protection Profiles by suitable International Technical Communities, and to provide technical advice and recommendations to the Management Committee.
All Participants may be represented on the Development Board.
Perhaps this last one should really say "suitable iTCs"?
The business of the Development Board includes:
a) resolving technical disagreements about the terms and application of this Arrangement;
b) managing the development of IT Security Evaluation Criteria and IT Security Evaluation Methods;
c) managing the maintenance of historical databases as to the background to Interpretations and any resultant decisions that could affect future versions of either the criteria or methodology;
d) technical approval of updated criteria, methodology and CC Supporting Documents, to ensure technical consistency;
e) ensuring the effective development of collaborative Protection Profiles by means of suitable technical communities.
Annex I: Contents of Certification/Validation ReportsThere are some additions and changes in regard to cPPs and a few changes that might have relevance to the contents of the reports.
Annex J: Common Criteria CertificatesThe old section "Common Criteria Certificates Associated with IT Product Evaluations" was replaced with two:
"Common Criteria Certificates Associated with IT Product Evaluations with a cPP claimed."and
"Common Criteria Certificates Associated with IT Product Evaluations without a cPP claimed"The section:
"Common Criteria Certificates Associated with Protection Profile Evaluations"remains.
Some new text about supporting documents and use of the logo/mark that has been discussed elsewhere is included.
Annex K: Collaborative Protection ProfilesThis is a whole new Annex.
The introductory paragraph seems to suggest that security can be analyzed into an IT product. I wish it were true.
"A collaborative Protection Profile (cPP) and related Supporting Documents define the minimum set of common security functional requirements and the Achievable Common Level of Security Assurance. It includes vulnerability analysis requirements to ensure certified products achieve an expected level of security."In several places a reference to a "CCRA approval process" is made. For example in K.1 which says:
"The use of extended assurance components should be avoided unless such a rationale can be provided and is subject to the CCRA approval process."This CCRA approval process is not defined or explained. Could it mean the long process used to approve the CCRA itself? Surely not!