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From Hernan Cunico <>
Subject Re: Fwd: Certification Authority (CA) portlet
Date Tue, 10 Oct 2006 14:21:25 GMT
Hi Vamsi,
I still have not had the chance to check the patch (GERONIMO-2413) but I do have a few questions
form your first note.

4. can you select JKS or p12 in this step? I'm thinking in client certificates -> HTTPS
with Client Authentication scenario

5. in addition on entering the serial #, any chance to list the existing certificates in the
CertificateStore? maybe CN + Alias

N1. does that mean that the CSR will be provided as a text file (on a specific location) and
the portlet will pick them up and list them? if so, that would be great and a similar structure
should be in place for already signed certificates.

N2. could you expand?

As for IE, I can't find a nice way to say what I think about IE and VBScripts. All I can say
is that probaly 80% or more ( just a wild guess ) of the users are using IE. Using another
browser to create/retrieve/export the certificate and then import it into IE does not look
like a healthy workaround. Can we add something else on the server side to "fill-in-the-blanks"
from IE?


Vamsavardhana Reddy wrote:
> Hi All,
> I have not seen any replies to my last post :(
> I have identified a few more function required.  These are for the 
> work-flow a CA might want to follow:
>   1. List Requests:  There should be two pages instead of one.
>         A)  Listing of requests that are received and need to be 
> verified (once verified, the request will reach a second list)
>         B)  Listing of requests that are verified and ready to be fulfilled.
>   2. Logging:  CA should have a separate log of requests received, 
> verified, fulfilled, certificates revoked etc.
> Comments?  Suggestions?  Pointers?
> Thanks,
> Vamsi
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: *Vamsavardhana Reddy* < 
> <>>
> Date: Oct 6, 2006 11:59 AM
> Subject: Certification Authority (CA) portlet
> To: <>
> Hi All,
> I have uploaded a minimal version of Certification Authority (CA) 
> portlet to the JIRA.  See 
> .  The JIRA also has 
> some screenshots.  I do not know if anyone has got a chance to try out 
> the portlet.  Here is an overview of this portlet's functions.
> 1.  Setup Certification Authority:  The "CA home" page checks if the CA 
> has already been initialized.  If not, it will provide access to only 
> this function viz. " Setup Certification Authority".  This function 
> enables the user to provide details of CA's identity, algorithm 
> parameters for CA's keypair & signature algorithm, a serial number for 
> CA's self-signed certificate, validity period for CA's keypair and a 
> password to protect CA's privatekey.  Once the details are submitted, a 
> keypair and self-signed certificate are generated and stored in 
> "ca-keystore".  CA portlet uses KeyStoreGBean to manage its own keypair 
> and certificate.
> 2. Lock and Unlock CA:  Once the CA is setup, upon a fresh login to 
> Geronimo Console, users will notice that the CA is in locked state.  
> "Unlock CA" function lets the user unlock the CA by providing CA's 
> privatekey password (provided at the time of CA setup).  Once unlocked, 
> the user will have access to the CA functions.  "Lock CA" function locks 
> the CA.
> 3. View CA Details:  This function enables the user to see the details 
> of CA' certificate and the highest serial number used to by the CA.  
> Base 64 encoded certificate text on this screen can be copy+pasted into 
> a text file and sent to the requestor to designate this CA as trusted CA 
> in their software.
> (Note: CA stores the serial number used at the time of setup and 
> increments it each time a certificate is to be issued.)
> 4. Issue New Certificate:  This functions lets the CA issue a new 
> certificate by processing the Certificate Signing Request (CSR)  text.  
> Upon pasting the CSR text into a textarea and submitting, a screen will 
> show the requestor name and public key details from the CSR and lets the 
> user enter validity period and select the signature algorithm.  The next 
> screen will show all details and ask for confirmation.  Once confirmed, 
> a certificate is issued and stored in a "CertificateStore".  The screen 
> will show the details of the certificate issued.  Base 64 encoded 
> certificate text on this screen can be copy+pasted into a text file and 
> sent back to the requestor.
> 5. View Issued Certificate: This function lets the user view a 
> previously issued certificate by providing the certificate serial number.
> More work on the way:
> After posting the patch to JIRA, I have found the necessity for a few 
> other functions:
> N1.  List Requests:  This function will list all the certificate 
> requests that are waiting to be fulfilled and provide a link on each 
> request-id so that the user can click on the links (instead of entering 
> the csr text in a textarea) and proceed directly to entering certificate 
> validity details etc.
> N2.  Process a certificate request based on (Name Attributes + 
> SignedPublicKeyAndChallenge):  Users requesting a certificate through 
> web browsers may not be able to submit a PKCS10 Certificate Request.  
> Netscape, Firefox (and other browsers??) support a KEYGEN form tag that 
> will let the browser, upon form submission, generate a key pair, combine 
> the PublicKey & a Challenge string and sign (this is the 
> SignedPublicKeyAndChallenge), encode this information in base64 and send 
> it along with other form fields.  In this case, name attributes are not 
> part of a "signed" request and need to be collected separately.
> N3. CA helper application:  This application will be the interface for 
> users using their web browsers to request a certificate from the CA.  
> This application will have
>   a) A page with KEYGEN tag to receive SignedPublicKeyAndChallenge along 
> with name attribute values from the requestor.
>   b) A link using which the users can download and install CA's 
> certificate into their browsers as a trusted certificate.
>   c) A page from which the users can download and install the 
> certificate issued to them by the CA.
> This application can store the requests so that the CA portlet can 
> pickup these and show in "List Requests" page.
> To be explored:
> How to do this KEYGEN equivalent through Internet Explorer?  I know that 
> it requires some VBScript to generate a (PKCS10?) certificate request 
> through Internet Explorer.  I have done this way back in 1998 and don't 
> remember any details now :o(
> A work around would be to make the users use a browser supporting KEYGEN 
> tag to request and download their certificate.  The certificate and 
> privatekey can then be exported and imported into IE.  (I don't like 
> this work around.  Or should this be the only option we provide??)
> For later:
> CRLs etc.
> Any suggestions, comments?  Anything I am missing?  Am I heading in the 
> correct direction?
> Thanks,
> Vamsi

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