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From Jeff Genender <>
Subject Re: TripleSec-Geronimo integration
Date Sun, 15 Oct 2006 03:47:18 GMT
Great stuff...I look forward to seeing this.

David Jencks wrote:
> I had a great conversation with Alex Karasulu at Apachecon about
> integrating TripleSec into geronimo as a JACC provider.  I think this
> will be pretty easy to do and provide a very powerful security
> management capability for geronimo.  I'll try to describe my
> understanding of our conclusions about what needs to be done.  My
> understanding of TripleSec is based entirely on Alex's brief
> descriptions so any inaccuracies should be blamed entirely on me :-)
> Data Model
> The TripleSec datamodel needs some changes to fit with java permissions
> and the j2ee permissions categories of unchecked, excluded, and
> role-mapped.  To review for those who may not have reviewed their JACC
> recently :-)  the unchecked and excluded permissions apply to all users
> without regard to who they are or what roles they might be in whereas
> the role-mapped permissions grant permission based on the users current
> roles.
> - permissions.  IIUC the current TS permission model uses String.equals
> to implement Permission.implies(Permission).  This doesn't work well
> with things like web permissions where you can be granted permission to
> see /context-root/public/* but  excluded from seeing
> /context-root/public/area/secret/*.  I think that it will be much more
> powerful to support storing actual java Permission objects in LDAP and
> delegating the implies to the actual Permission implementation.  Use of
> Permission.implies is required for a JACC implementation.   I think
> simply serializing the permissions and saving the bytes as well as
> saving the toString() name for identification will work OK for an
> initial implementation: Alex suggested using StateFactory and
> ObjectFactory for a more sophisticated implementation that would store
> more meaningful info.
> -role-mapped permissions are supported well by TS role-principal mapping
> and profiles.
> - unchecked permissions are not currently supported by TS.  I think
> these can be supported by having an "unchecked" role and granting it to
> all users.
> - excluded permissions are not currently supported by TS.  I think the
> best way to support them is by modifying Profile to include a set of
> denied roles along with the existing granted roles and granted and
> denied individual permissions.  The excluded permissions can be modeled
> as a role denied to everyone.
> With this proposed change Profile would contain a userId, an
> applicationId, a set of granted roles, a set of denied roles, a set of
> granted permissions, and a set of denied permissions.
> The effective permissions set needs to contain both granted and denied
> permissions since a denied permission will generally not exactly match
> any granted permission.  So, the granted permissions would be the union
> of permissions from the profile's granted roles together with the
> individual granted permissions, and the denied permissions would be the
> union of permissions from the profiles denied roles together with  the
> individual denied permissions.
> The TS LoginModule needs to generate a subject from which the granted
> and denied permissions can be extracted for each applicationId.  The
> simplest way I can think of to do this is to use a TSPrincipal that
> contains a map of applicationId to an object containing the granted and
> denied permissions.
> The JACC policyContextId seems to correspond well to the TS applicationId.
> JACC integration.
> We can divide this into runtime policy enforcement and deployment time
> policy configuration.
> -runtime.  Following normal methods the user logs into a security realm
> that uses a TSLoginModule producing a TSPrincipal containing the
> effective permissions as described above.  When a permissions check is
> done, as usual the decision is delegated to the PolicyConfiguration for
> the policyContextId: this checks the permission in question against
> first the denied permissions and (if not denied) the granted
> permissions, per the following simple code:
>     public boolean implies(ProtectionDomain domain, Permission
> permission) {
>         Principal[] principals = domain.getPrincipals();
>         if (principals.length == 0) return false;
>         for (int i = 0; i < principals.length; i++) {
>             Principal principal = principals[i];
>             if (principal instanceof TripleSecPrincipal) {
>                 PermissionsHolder permissionsHolder =
> ((TripleSecPrincipal)principal).getPermissionsHolder(contextID);
>                 Permissions denied = permissionsHolder.getDenied();
>                 if (denied.implies(permission)) return false;
>                 Permissions granted = permissionsHolder.getGranted();
>                 //only look for one TripleSec permission
>                 return granted.implies(permission);
>             }
>         }
>         // if no TripleSec principal found, deny access.
>         return false;
>     }
> This part will just work in geronimo after configuring a security realm
> using the TSLoginModule and specifying TSPolicyConfigurationFactory as
> the JACC provider.
> -deployment time.  Currently geronimo waits until the application starts
> to install the permissions into  the JACC provider.  I think this is
> primarily because we don't have a persistent store for these
> permissions, although the spec might have something to say about this as
> well (I don't remember).  Since TS definitely has a persistent store, I
> think it would be more appropriate to install the spec permissions when
> the application is converted into a geronimo module (car file).  This
> gives the security administrators time to configure the users profiles. 
> I don't know when it would be appropriate to remove an applications
> permission info from TS, nor do I have an idea how redeployment with
> changed permissions might work.  I'm hoping that after we get the basics
> described above done it will be clearer how to deal with application
> evolution.
> ----------------------
> I spent a few minutes and wrote up the start of most of the classes
> needed for the integration.  I put them at
> TSPolicyConfigurationFactory --- this is probably complete.
> TSPolicyConfiguration  -- the implies method is probably complete.  The
> methods for adding and removing permissions need to be hooked up to TS. 
> It's not entirely clear to me exactly what the open(remove) method
> should do.  This is basically the application evolution question I
> mentioned above, and we probably don't have to answer it until we get
> everything else working.
> TSPrincipal -- this is a very simple implementation of something that
> meets the needs of the TSPolicyConfiguration.  If I understaood Alex
> correctly the existing TSPrincipal gets updated when the data in LDAP
> changes.  I'm hoping that the additional complexity of having both
> granted and denied permissions will not make this significantly harder.
> TSSecurityBuilder.  This is a Geronimo Security builder.  Basically it
> has no knowledge of TS whatsoever and just uses the JACC interfaces to
> install the spec defined security info into the PolicyConfigurations
> during deployment.  There are a couple of methods that I don't know how
> to implement, and they remind me that at last years ApacheCon Simon
> Godik pointed out that all Subjects used in geronimo should be derived
> by logging some user into the appropriate security realm.  If we had
> taken his good advice these methods would not be there to cause
> problems.  I think its time we changed to this model.  Meanwhile I don't
> think that the implementation hole will affect TS integration" its used
> for specifying default users and run-as subjects.
> The TSSecurityBuilder IMO should be moved into geronimo core since it
> can be used with any jacc provider that provides a persistent store. 
> The other classes I think should move to TS.  I plan to be working with
> Alex and anyone else who is interested over the next few weeks to get
> this into a working state.  Ideally I'd like to see it as a geronimo
> plugin released with geronimo 1.2.
> I also opened GERONIMO-2497 to help tracking progress on this.
> ------------------
> On a mostly unrelated note I recall that jetspeed2 has a security
> administration portlet app for their security system that has some
> feature overlap with TS.  I wonder if it would be possible to use this
> as a start for developing a web front end for TS.
> thanks
> david jencks

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