axis-java-user mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Anne Thomas Manes" <>
Subject RE: Authorization using WS security and SAML
Date Wed, 19 Mar 2003 02:44:40 GMT
RE: Authorization using WS security and SAMLNisha,

As I mentioned below, when using WS-Security, you must write a header
processor (an Axis handler) that takes the SAML token and maps it to a
principal, and then use JAAS to check authorization.

I'm assuming that your Web service is running in Axis server. You use JAAS
as the API to interface with your existing security infrastructure (whatever
that is).

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Nisha Menon []
  Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 1:42 PM
  Subject: RE: Authorization using WS security and SAML

  thanks so much for all that information anne.. helps me to a great extent
to have your input!

  but what would the required components be if i were to start implementing
a webservices authentication module (considering ofcourse that i've decided
to use SAML within WS-Security for authentication and JAAS for authorization
like you'd mentioned?)
  i mean what are the servers i would need? what would fit where? basically
an architecture of necessary components?

  where exactly would Axis fit in here as a SOAP server? (to get a handle of
the received SOAP message and parse it? so that would include the header
processor for the WS security header like you'd mentioned?) and then use
JAAS for the authorization thereof? (within Axis?)

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Anne Thomas Manes []
    Sent: Mon 3/17/2003 7:30 PM
    Subject: RE: Authorization using WS security and SAML

    SAML provides a standard XML format to express and exchange security
    assertions. Assertions come in three flavors: authentication,
    and attributes. You get these assertions from some type of trust
    such as a single sign-on service or an entitlement service. SAML defines
    protocols (SOAP messages) that you use to get these assertions.

    One of the primary reasons why you might want to use SAML is to support
    single sign-on. But if you don't have a SAML authentication authority,
    you probably don't want to use SAML.

    In WS-Security speak, a SAML assertion is an XML security token. Once
    have a SAML token, you can relay that security information in your SOAP
    messages (in a SOAP header) using WS-Security. WS-Security also supports
    number of other security tokens, such as X.509 certificates, Kerberos
    tickets, XrML tokens, XCBF tokens, or a simple userID/password token.

    But you don't need to use either SAML or WS-Security to implement
    authentication or authorization. There are a number of authentication
    mechanisms that you can use: HTTP Basic, HTTP Digest, SPKM (X.509
    certificates). The challenge that you need to solve is mapping these
    transport-level authentication mechanisms to a security principal within
    your environment. You will need to implement a transport-level
    to capture the authentication information and map it to a principal.
    you need to carry that context with your request until you get to the
    service dispatch point, at which point you can use JAAS to determine if
    principal is authorized to access the requested service.

    If you're using WS-Security, then you must write a header processor that
    takes the security token and maps it to a principal, and then use JAAS
    check authorization.


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Nisha Menon []
    > Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 5:25 AM
    > To:
    > Subject: RE: Authorization using WS security and SAML
    > Yip... I get it now... :-)
    > Ok so here's the deal...
    > The SOAP message that comes in is parsed and the authentication
    > information is extracted. (I guess that module would need to look out
    > for a pattern followed since we'd have to know which standard is being
    > used to pass the authentication information. i.e username/password or
    > certificates or security tokens etc) Depending on that, we'd have to
    > re-route the process to an appropriate authentication module. Each
    > module extracts the required information in it's own way and
    > authenticates the message.
    > The next step is authorization. Now this is what I'd be more
    > in.
    > Once I have the authentication, I need to authorize the SOAP request.
    > Here too SAML can be used to set assertions. And then again maybe not.
    > So I'd have to have separate modules for authorization as well. Each
    > which relate to internal mappers (what are mappers?? Look up DBs??)
    > This is the basic requirement. The hassle is, I'm new to webservices
    > I was wondering what standards, protocols and APIs I need to work with
    > and where they'd fit in.
    > As far as I see it, (that may not be seeing much)
    > WS-Security and SAML could be one of the ways to secure a message and
    > that would comprise of one of the many authorization modules I was
    > talking about earlier. So I'd need to extract that information from
    > SOAP message and work on it. In order to do that I'd use JAAS APIs? (u
    > think?) within which I use OpenSAML to work on the extraction? (just
    > guessing here..) After extraction I need to map the actors. And that
    > should complete the authorization process.
    > How does that sound?
    > Dims:
    > You had suggested TSIK? I gather they're java APIs for SAML etc..
    > that replace JAAS in the above picture?
    > Regards,
    > Nisha
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Ricky Ho []
    > Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 11:40 AM
    > To:;
    > Subject: RE: Authorization using WS security and SAML
    > I haven't closely track the OASIS activity.  They are supposed to
    > standardize how to put a SAML assertion inside a WS-Security header.
    > JAAS is a Java API for doing authentication and authorization.
    > API
    > with protocol is like oranges and apples.
    > Rgds, Ricky
    > At 09:23 AM 3/17/2003 +0530, Nisha Menon wrote:
    > >Ricky,
    > >
    > >Being new to all of this, it's been great help so far already! I've
    > >been trying to evaluate the available standards to see what I need to
    > >work with on this module. And from what I've been reading over the
    > >month or so, I'd narrowed down to SAML and WS-Security on the basis
    > >that they work well together and they're very popular. It'd just been
    > >week since I'd heard about XACML (duh!) and I must admit it had me
    > >confused! :-) thx for helpin me out there! Ok so you've told me about
    > >what SAML does (and I guess I can use OpenSAML APIs for development
    > >there) but what about WS-Security? Does embedding SAML assertions
    > >the SOAP Security Header within the <wsse:Security> tag complete the
    > >picture? Also, how does JAAS compare to all of these standards in
    > >authorization? Where would it fit in?
    > >
    > >Lotsa questions there! :-(
    > >
    > >Regards,
    > >Nisha
    > >
    > >
    > >-----Original Message-----
    > >From: Ricky Ho []
    > >Sent: Sunday, March 16, 2003 10:08 PM
    > >To:;
    > >Subject: Re: Authorization using WS security and SAML
    > >
    > >
    > >SAML is about specifying the XML format of your authorization
    > >outcome (authorization assertion).  It also defines a protocol how to
    > >request the assertion.  SAML doesn't describe how the decision should
    > >be
    > >
    > >made.  XACML is attempting to standardize how such decision rules
    > >should be specified.  So it is completely solving an orthogonal
    > >problem.
    > >
    > >I'm not sure how important to standardize decision making rules
    > >there is NO "inter-operability" requirement for that.  There is NO
    > >to communicating how I made my decision to my business partners.  The
    > >value of
    > >XACML is "portability" of my decision criteria across multiple vendor
    > >products.  However, "portability" has never been a goal for any XML
    > >standard.  It is arguable how important XACML will be.
    > >
    > >Best regards,
    > >ricky
    > >
    > >At 06:38 PM 3/16/2003 +0530, Nisha Menon wrote:
    > > >hi,
    > > >
    > > >i am trying to create an authorization module for web services that
    > > >is independant of the application and to authorize i've chosen to
    > > >WS-Security and SAML. would anyone on this list be familiar with
    > > >similar implementation? or
    > >have
    > > >any references for the same?
    > > >also, how does XACML compare to SAML?
    > > >
    > > >thank you,
    > > >
    > > >nisha
    > > >
    > >
    > > >**
    > > >*
    > > >
    > > >Information contained in this E-MAIL being proprietary to Wipro
    > > >Limited
    > >
    > > >is 'privileged' and 'confidential' and intended for use only by the
    > > >individual
    > > >  or entity to which it is addressed. You are notified that any
    > >copying
    > > >or dissemination of the information contained in the E-MAIL in any
    > >manner
    > > >whatsoever is strictly prohibited.
    > > >
    > >
    > > >**
    > > >****
    > >
    > Information contained in this E-MAIL being proprietary to Wipro
    > Limited is
    > 'privileged' and 'confidential' and intended for use only by the
    > individual
    >  or entity to which it is addressed. You are notified that any
    > use, copying
    > or dissemination of the information contained in the E-MAIL in any
    > whatsoever is strictly prohibited.
    > ******************************************************************
    > *********

View raw message