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From "Owen O'Malley (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (HADOOP-8758) Support for pluggable token implementations
Date Tue, 04 Sep 2012 15:28:08 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-8758?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13447751#comment-13447751
] 

Owen O'Malley commented on HADOOP-8758:
---------------------------------------

This is reasonable, although it isn't pluggable token implementations as much as adding new
authentication mechanisms. (In other words, you shouldn't change the token mechanisms like
the secret manager, but add an alternative to Kerberos and delegation tokens.) 

I really wish we had a better SASL shared secret implementation than one that depends on MD5,
whose strength is already pretty questionable. Clearly that is a related, but different issue.

I think a fruitful direction would be to figure out how to authenticate the HTTP connection
that fetches delegation tokens.  The HTTP authentication is already pluggable using servlet
filters. Further, we've already done proprietary and spnego security filters, so I suspect
that it is flexible enough for most purposes. It doesn't require any sasl, rpc, or client
changes and doesn't break backwards compatibility. Would that work for your use case?
                
> Support for pluggable token implementations
> -------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: HADOOP-8758
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/HADOOP-8758
>             Project: Hadoop Common
>          Issue Type: Improvement
>          Components: ipc, security
>            Reporter: Kan Zhang
>            Assignee: Kan Zhang
>
> Variants of the delegation token mechanism have been employed by different Hadoop services
(NN, JT, RM, etc) to re-authenticate a previously Kerberos-authenticated client. While existing
delegation token mechanism compliments Kerberos well, it doesn't necessarily have to be coupled
with Kerberos. In principle, delegation tokens can be coupled with any authentication mechanism
that bootstraps security. In particular, it can be coupled with other token implementations
that use the same DIGEST-MD5 auth method. For example, a token can be pre-generated in an
out-of-band manner and configured as a shared secret key between NN and JT to allow JT to
make initial authentication to NN. This simple example doesn't deal with token renewal etc,
but it helps to illustrate the point that if we can support multiple pluggable token implementations,
it opens up the possibility for different users to plug in the token implementation of their
choice to bootstrap security. Such token based mechanism has advantages over Kerberos in that
1) it doesn't require Kerberos infrastructure, 2) it leverages existing SASL DIGEST-MD5 auth
method and doesn't require adding a new RPC auth method.

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