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From Cole Ferrier <>
Subject Re: How do i not have to validate a username/password on every call?
Date Tue, 26 Jan 2010 21:35:57 GMT

Interesting perspective.

I was planning to only expose the web services via HTTPS so there is
less of a chance that the secret session key we would be passing back
and forth to be exposed.

I was planning to do "authorization" on every call.

What i didn't want to have to do is "identification" on every call.

The method that i required to use to validate the username and
password on the initial connection is very heavy and expensive.

I am trying to figure out if there a way that i can create a token
that we would pass back and forth, that represents them as a
authenticated user.

Basically issue a token, and expect them to have a token, for the life
of the session.

Make sense?

Cole Ferrier

On Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 1:02 PM, Ron Grimes <> wrote:
> If I may chime in here...
> My comment is meant to both offer my perspective and possibly have someone enlighten
me on a better way to do it.
> I would venture to say that most folks are deploying stateless web services. In such
cases, it's my belief that more validation is required - not less. In line with this, I tend
to assign a session Id on initial login, which must be passed to each subsequent web service
operation that is called. But, it's not good enough to just know they passed you a valid session
Id, since a user can steal a session Id via HTTP request smuggling.
> Each service operation performs a dual validation. For example, a client wants to view
an invoice. He must pass to the web service both a session Id and invoice number. The service
first validates the session Id by retrieving the customer user record associated with it.
It then takes the passed in invoice number, combined with the customer number retrieved via
the session Id, and uses that combined key to fetch the invoice record.
> This ensures that I'm not only getting a valid session Id from the client, but that they
are authorized to view the particular invoice number they are requesting.
> Yes, it's expensive to do it that way, but I don't know of any other way to make sure
that a client is only making requests for data to which they are authorized.
> Ron Grimes
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Cole Ferrier []
> Sent: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 1:01 PM
> To:
> Subject: How do i not have to validate a username/password on every call?
> So I think i need to clarify my question.
> Currently, i have basic WS-Security setup to authenticate a username
> and password using a callback class. This is working.
> However, the steps that are required to do that are very very expensive.
> So i would like to build some sort of session. Basically authenticate
> once, then rely on the fact they are already authenticated.
> I understand WS-Trust could potentially accomplish this? Any
> information would be helpful, on how to get started.
> Basically the problem i have is validating username/password is way to
> expensive to do on every call, so how can i work around that?
> Cole
> On Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 8:28 AM, Cole Ferrier <> wrote:
>> Actually i did:
>> "Username Token Authentication"
>> On Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 8:19 AM, KARR, DAVID (ATTCINW) <> wrote:
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: Cole Ferrier []
>>>> Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 7:59 AM
>>>> To:
>>>> Subject: How to? Authenticate once then pass a token?
>>>> Currently I've managed to add basic username/password security to my
>>>> web services.
>>>> How do i now change that so that i can authenticate on the first call
>>>> and create a session and then just use a token after that.
>>>> I'm doing a rather heavy weight operation to validate the username and
>>>> password, so I don't want to do it on every call.
>>>> Are there any examples of doing this?
>>> If you're really using "basic auth", this is actually pretty easy.  I
>>> did this very recently.  You first set up your web.xml with webapp
>>> security using BASIC auth.  If you examine your HTTP headers in the
>>> response from the authenticated service, you should see a "JSESSIONID"
>>> cookie coming back.  If you store that hash value in the client and then
>>> append ";jsessionid=<hash>" to subsequent URLs (until the session
>>> expires), it should work.  If you're making this call from JSP with
>>> reasonable tag libraries, these mechanisms may even happen without your
>>> intervention.

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