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From "Samuel Klock (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (CASSANDRA-10956) Enable authentication of native protocol users via client certificates
Date Fri, 19 Feb 2016 16:51:18 GMT


Samuel Klock commented on CASSANDRA-10956:

Thank you for the feedback.  I've left some replies to your comments on GitHub, and we'll
plan to incorporate your feedback in a new version of the patch in the next few days.

Regarding anonymous authentication: would it be reasonable to make this behavior configurable?
The intent is to enable operators to provide some level of access (perhaps read-only) to users
who are not capable of authenticating. I do agree that it hardcoding this behavior in {{CommonNameCertificateAuthenticator}}
probably isn't correct.

(It's also worth noting that the native protocol doesn't appear to support authentication
at all for existing {{IAuthenticators}} that don't require authentication, so maybe {{ICertificateAuthenticator}}
shouldn't support it either.)

> Enable authentication of native protocol users via client certificates
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: CASSANDRA-10956
>                 URL:
>             Project: Cassandra
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>            Reporter: Samuel Klock
>            Assignee: Samuel Klock
>         Attachments: 10956.patch
> Currently, the native protocol only supports user authentication via SASL.  While this
is adequate for many use cases, it may be superfluous in scenarios where clients are required
to present an SSL certificate to connect to the server.  If the certificate presented by a
client is sufficient by itself to specify a user, then an additional (series of) authentication
step(s) via SASL merely add overhead.  Worse, for uses wherein it's desirable to obtain the
identity from the client's certificate, it's necessary to implement a custom SASL mechanism
to do so, which increases the effort required to maintain both client and server and which
also duplicates functionality already provided via SSL/TLS.
> Cassandra should provide a means of using certificates for user authentication in the
native protocol without any effort above configuring SSL on the client and server.  Here's
a possible strategy:
> * Add a new authenticator interface that returns {{AuthenticatedUser}} objects based
on the certificate chain presented by the client.
> * If this interface is in use, the user is authenticated immediately after the server
receives the {{STARTUP}} message.  It then responds with a {{READY}} message.
> * Otherwise, the existing flow of control is used (i.e., if the authenticator requires
authentication, then an {{AUTHENTICATE}} message is sent to the client).
> One advantage of this strategy is that it is backwards-compatible with existing schemes;
current users of SASL/{{IAuthenticator}} are not impacted.  Moreover, it can function as a
drop-in replacement for SASL schemes without requiring code changes (or even config changes)
on the client side.

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