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From "Christian Schneider (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (CXF-5118) Create CXF interceptor which will use HTTPS client certificates to create JAAS SecurityContext
Date Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:19:12 GMT


Christian Schneider commented on CXF-5118:

I think I understand what you mean that reusing an existing structure like AuthorizationPolicy
might might be error prone. I do not fully agree though.

In any case let us first go back to the requirements. 
We are currently looking at three different methods of authentication:

1. basic auth -> Is handled in the http transport and leads to a populated AuthorizationPolicy
2. UserNameToken -> Is handled in ws security and leads to a populated UsernameToken
3. certificate based authentication -> Is handled in http transport and leads to a populated

So one relevant question is what should happen if several of these tokens are present. One
possible order is the one below. The first matching token will be used.

1. UserNameToken
2. basic auth
3. certificate based authentication

If we are sure this order is universal we can code it in the JAASLoginInterceptor. 

If we rather think the order should be user configurable then it is a lot more difficult.
The main problem I see is that jaas mainly provides the NameCallback and PasswordCallback
interfaces. Everything else would require to define additional interfaces and share them between
LoginModule and cxf. As this sharing needs a lot of overhead like a separate jar for the shared
interfaces I would like to avoid this as long as possible.

I personally think that we can not define the one and only list of authentication mechanisms
and order for these. So we need to enable the user to provide this decision. One way to achieve
this is to provide an extension interface like this:
interface CallbackHandlerProvider {
  CallbackHandler getCallBackHandler(Message message);
So the implementor would be responsible to scan the message for tokens and decide which one
to use to populate the CallBackHandler. In most cases the Callbackhandler would be a NamePasswordCallbackHandler
but the user could also use this to provide something more exotic.

We allow to set an implementation in the JAASLoginInterceptor and provide one by default that
implements the default order we define.

The advantage of this solution would be that the JAASLoginInterceptor would be universal for
all kinds of JAAS authentication. It would simply handle calling JAAS and populating the SecurityContext
from the results. It would not know what kind of tokens we know and how to handle them. This
would be delegated to the CallBackHandlerProvider which only 
concentrates on this part.

If we provide a good default CallBackHandlerProvider then the JAASLoginInterceptor should
still be easy to use for simple cases while providing enough flexibility to implement any
authentication mechanism. If we later see that the CallbackHandlerProvider is too complex
then we still have the possibility to split it up into classes for each authentication type
and a coordinating class that handles the case if mixing different authentications like TLS
+ UserNameToken. Still we could start with one default implementation and defer the decision
to later if we need to split it up.


> Create CXF interceptor which will use HTTPS client certificates to create JAAS SecurityContext

> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: CXF-5118
>                 URL:
>             Project: CXF
>          Issue Type: New Feature
>          Components: Core
>            Reporter: Sergey Beryozkin
>            Assignee: Christian Schneider
> Use case:
> The user authenticates against the webservice using an X509 client certificate. In case
of successful authentication the JAAS security context should be populated with a Subject
that stores the user name and the roles of the user. This is necessary to support Authorization
at a later stage.
> Design ideas
> The SSL transport will be configured to only accept certain client certificates. So we
can assume that the interceptor does not have to do a real authentication. Instead it has
to map from the subjectDN of the certificate to the user name and then lookup the roles of
that user. Both then has to be stored in the subject's principles.
> The mapping could be done inside a JAASLoginModule or before. Inside will give the user
more flexibility.
> The next step to retrieve the roles should be done in one of the standard JAASLoginModules
as the source of the roles can be quite diverse. So for example the LdapLoginModule allows
to retrieve the roles from Ldap. At the moment these modules require the password of the user
though which is not available when doing a cert based auth.
> So I see two variants to retrieve the roles:
> 1. Change the loginmodules like the LDAP one to be configureable to use a fixed ldap
user for the ldap connect and not require the user password. So the module would have two
modes: a) normal authentication and group gathering b) use a fixed user to just retrieve roles
for a given user
> 2. Store the user password somewhere (e.g. in the mapping file). In this case the existing
LDAPLoginModule could be used but the user password would be openly in a text file
> 3. Create new LoginModules with the desired behaviour (fixed user and only lookup of

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