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From David Jencks <>
Subject Re: Geronimo Web Interceptors, WebSSO with Authentication Proxy
Date Fri, 24 Feb 2006 15:39:40 GMT

On Feb 24, 2006, at 4:46 AM, Aaron Mulder wrote:

> So it sounds like we need to accept a "trusted" username and group
> list from the HTTP request?  It would be easy enough to prepare a
> LoginModule to handle that.  The problem is, I suspect we'll need a
> code change to the web containers so that they could provide HTTP
> request information to the LoginModule on demand.  I imagine we'd
> provide a way in the geronimo-web.xml to list the user and group
> property names (iv-user, iv-groups) that should be passed in to the
> LoginModule on request.

At least for Jetty I think we would need another Authenticator to  
replace e.g. the FormAuthenticator or BasicAuthenticator.  This could  
fish the info out of the request and put it into a CallbackHandler  
for use by a login module.  Installing this is going to require some  
changes in the JettyModuleBuilder.  After you write the Authenticator  
it would be pretty easy to add code to install it.  We'll have to  
come up with some flag in the jetty plan to indicate what you want.

> Can I just ask a couple more questions?
> 1) How is the information attached to the request?  Is it an HTTP
> header or a get/post parameter?
> 2) What is the format of the group list for iv-groups?
> 3) Would you need the credentials for anything, e.g. if it's a
> password, to turn around and log into a web service or CORBA service?

I think this could be switched on or off by changing the login module  
you use.

It's not clear to me whether this is normally configured so that
- geronimo will trust the security info from the authentication  
server and simply stuff it into a Subject
- geronimo will re-authenticate based on the info from the header.

If the first, I wonder if a login module is really the most  
appropriate approach.  I'm hoping to hear what Simon Godik thinks.

david jencks

> Thanks,
>     Aaron
> On 24 Feb 2006 11:12:46 +0100, <>  
> wrote:
>> First, I%u2019d like to explain WebSEAL functionality in few words.
>> WebSEAL is some kind of the reverse proxy with authentication and  
>> authorization extensions. WebSEAL is part of TAM (Tivoli Access  
>> Manager). Usually it works in front of HTTP or Application Server  
>> in DMZ. Diagram below shows the hi-level architecture (flow of  
>> request) with WebSEAL:
>> [user] ---> [WebSEAL] ---> [firewall] ---> [HTTPServer] --->  
>> [Geronimo]
>> Obviously Firewall and HTTPServer are not mandatory and for our  
>> consideration I propose analyse this case without it.
>> One instance of WebSEAL can work with more than one application  
>> (or web) server. WebSEAL provides functionality like Web SSO, a  
>> lot of authentication mechanisms, Step-up of authentication and a  
>> few more.
>> After WebSEAL authenticates the user, it adds his username (iv- 
>> user), groups (iv-groups) and credentials (iv-creds) to the  
>> request which is forwarded to the backend-server. I hope Geronimo  
>> can use this information to authenticate user automatically.
>> Please correct me if I am wrong, my proposition is to use the  
>> Interceptor to do it. My problem is that I don%u2019t know how to  
>> change the interceptor in Geronimo-jetty ;(
>>> I'd like to be able to plug third-party authentication providers  
>>> like
>>> this into Geronimo.  It's possible we can do it with a custom  
>>> security
>>> login module.
>> I know we can but I want to use WebSEAL or any other  
>> Authentication Proxy for authentication and pre-authorization of  
>> the user requests.
>>> How much do you know about the WebSEAL API?
>> I hope I know this API well :)
>>> If there
>>> was some remote call we could make, for example, to supply a  
>>> username
>>> and password and get back whether it was valid and a list of groups,
>>> that would be pretty easy to integrate.
>> Of course TAM has API to do it. To be precise, I made it and this  
>> is works fine. But, I hope you understand me, that it does not  
>> meet my needs.
>>> But I haven't heard of
>>> WebSEAL before, so I'm not even sure if it operates on usernames and
>>> passwords at all.
>> Yes, WebSEAL is based on LDAP Server and provides authentication  
>> mechanism based on user login/password.
>> I hope my explanation is clear enough, but if not I will try to  
>> answer for any questions.
>> Thanks,
>> sebo
>>> On 23 Feb 2006 10:26:32  0100,  
>>> >> wrote:
>>>> Hi All,
>>>> I am looking for information about Geronimo%u2019s Web Container
>>> Interceptors. It is preferred for me to use Jetty but Tomcat is  
>>> good as
>>> well.
>>>> I plan to integrate Geronimo with Authentication Proxy like  
>>>> WebSEAL from
>>> TAM. If you look at WAS concept, there is TAI mechanism which  
>>> integrates
>>> Authentication Proxy with Application Server. Does Geronimo have  
>>> something
>>> like TAI from WAS?
>>>> I thing it will be good to add my own interceptor or change the  
>>>> standard
>>> SecurityContextBeforeAfter one. Maybe, it will be enough to use  
>>> my own
>>> Authenticator. What do you thing about it?
>>>> Ps
>>>> I tried to use Tomcat SSO (ValveGBean) but it does not work.
>>>> This is part of plan file:
>>>>> gbean name="SecondValve"
>>> class="org.apache.geronimo.tomcat.ValveGBean">
>>>>> attribute name="className">my.own.SSOClass>/attribute>
>>>>> /gbean>
>>>> Tomcat calls this SSOClass but it is before Geronimo loads Security
>>> Policy and when I add Credential to the request, it throws
>>> NullPointerException.
>>>> If someone is using this Tomcat SSO mechanism, any advices will be
>>> helpful for me.
>>>> Environment:
>>>> Linux RedHat 4 update 2
>>>> IBM JDK 1.4.8
>>>> Geronimo 1.0
>>>> Tivoli Access Manager 6
>>>> Tivoli Directory Server 6
>>>> best regards,
>>>> sebo
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Jestes poszukiwana. Szuka Cie wysoki brunet!
>>>>>> >>
>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>> -
>> Ocen dziewczyny Playboya!!! >>>

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