Is an authnContextClassRef of "unspecified" the same as "PasswordProtectedTransport" ?

Terry Fleury tfleury at
Sat Jan 28 00:09:04 GMT 2012

On 1/27/2012 5:28 PM, Tom Scavo wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM, Terry Fleury<tfleury at>  wrote:
>> During my InCommon SP Assurance Use Case testing, I discovered that passing
>> authnContextClassRef="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:ac:classes:unspecified"
> You mean all by itself? I'm not sure why you'd do that...what semantic
> are you trying to convey?

At this point, I'm just trying to understand how the 
authnContextClassRef thing works. I doubt I would ever pass just 
"unspecified" by itself. I really want to say "give me silver, bronze, 
or anything else you can give me", in that order. Not sure how to 
accomplish that.

In my brief amount of testing, it seems to me like if I request any of 
silver, bronze, or PasswordProtectedTransport by themselves, the IdP 
will respond with that if it is configured as such. "unspecified" gave 
me the first configured method.

Terry Fleury
tfleury at

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