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From Suneet Shah <>
Subject Re: Developing an Authentication Module
Date Thu, 15 Sep 2011 17:06:22 GMT
Hi Mark,

Thanks a lot for your help with this. I will take a look at the modules that
you have referenced below.

In our case, Mod-proxy and complementary modules seem to make sense. We need
to hide the location of the real application and the proxy would help with
that.  Also the firewall rules in place only allow us to talk to the apache
web server. There is no access directly to the other apps.. Finally, we also
need to be able to inject headers into some applications to enable a form of

We need the speed and security offered by running native in Apache, which is
the reason why we opted for an apache module based approach. It would have
been easier to go with a java based approach since we have a lot more
experience in that environment

Thanks again for your guidance

On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 12:02 PM, Mark Montague <> wrote:

> On September 15, 2011 11:41 , Suneet Shah <>
> wrote:
>> In our architecture, authentication and authorization is handled by a set
>> of
>> web services.  I would need to have the apache module make calls to the
>> service. I was planning on using Axis 2 for this. Are there any issues
>> with
>> thiat?
> I have no experience with Axis 2, but an Apache module can certainly
> utilize external services.  For example, mod_auth_kerb makes RPC calls to
> Kerberos KDCs, and mod_auth_dbd makes queries against SQL databases.
>  I need to be able to look at request and see if it has a security token.
>> If
>> it does, then I need to validate it through the service.
>> If it does not, then I need to redirect them to an authentication page.
>> I thought it would be easier to handle the authentication through our java
>> application (as we have the rest of the application) or should this part
>> of
>> the module as well?
>> If a person successful authenticates, then the authentication app would
>> redirect the user to the originally requested url.
> This sounds very much like the way cosign works.  cosign is a web
> single-sign-on solution that includes an Apache HTTP Server module,
> mod_cosign.  A diagram showing how cosign works is available at
 The actual authentication (prompting for and verifying the user's username
> and password) is handled by an application written in C which runs as a CGI
> and is not a part of the mod_cosign module itself.
> You may also want to study the implementation of other web single-sign-on
> solutions, including Pubcookie ( ) and CAS (
> ).  CAS may be of particular interest to you
> because it is written in Java.
>  This would flow through
>> the apache web service and mod-proxy to end up at the target location.
> You may not need mod_proxy unless it is key to your requirements in some
> way.  cosign, for example, simply redirects the user to the target location
> after verifying the security token (cookie) or authenticating the user and
> issuing a new security token.
> --
>  Mark Montague

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