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From Craig McQueen <mcquee...@edsrd1.yzk.co.jp>
Subject Multiple authentication sources
Date Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:12:46 GMT
My company (in Australia) has a working Apache server on its Intranet --
incidentally, for serving Subversion. It's on Windows 2003 and it's set
up for authentication using the SSPI module. Currently Apache 2.0 but I
want to upgrade to 2.2 to support the latest Subversion. We are also
using a Subversion authorisation file that checks the username (provided
by the authentication mechanism) against path access controls. The
usernames are currently in the form LOCALDOMAIN¥localuser.

It's a global company and we now want to allow remote branches to access
the server. That means we want to extend authentication somehow. I'm
looking at the options but coming across obstacles for every one. Here's
what I've found. Note, I'm only really interested in options that will
work for Apache 2.2, since version 2.2 is needed for any upgrade of
Subversion. I'm testing on a Windows XP PC running Apache 2.2.10.

Option 1: Create local-domain usernames for remote people
Not ideal due to security policy concerns.

Option 2: SSPI plus password file
"Just doesn't work". Apache 2.2 changed the way authentication works.
The SSPI module still works by itself in 2.2, but it doesn't cooperate
with other authentication methods (as far as I can tell). Even though
this reference says how it can be done:
http://tortoisesvn.net/docs/nightly/TortoiseSVN_en/help-onepage.html#tsvn-serversetup-apache-6
When I configure it as said, the SSPI authentication continues to
function but the password authentication never succeeds.

Option 3: LDAP plus password file
It works. However, the LDAP module doesn't have a concept of "domains"
so the usernames passed on to the Subversion file-based authorisation
are in plain form, without any "LOCALDOMAIN¥" prepended. This means that
the authorisation file would need all "LOCALDOMAIN¥" removed. Note that
the password file can have usernames in the form e.g.
REMOTEDOMAIN¥remoteuser, so it is possible to avoid duplicates between
the two systems.

Option 4: LDAP lookup of LOCALDOMAIN plus LDAP lookup of REMOTEDOMAIN
(plus LDAP lookup of REMOTEDOMAIN2 etc)
It looks as though it should be possible. However, I can't get the LDAP
lookup of REMOTEDOMAIN to work (even by itself). It appears to be
related to the fact that the REMOTEDOMAIN LDAP directory has Japanese
characters in the "Base DN". I'm pretty sure the httpd.conf file has the
Japanese characters specified in proper RFC 2255 format. So I think
there is a problem in the LDAP authentication module in properly sending
the queries with UTF-8 content in the base DN. The error.log file says
"[ldap_search_ext_s() for user failed][No Such Object]" which seems to
indicate that the LDAP server isn't getting a valid base DN. Note that
as in option 3, there is no concept of "domains". The authorisation file
would not be able to systematically distinguish between users from
LOCALDOMAIN and users from REMOTEDOMAIN. If we had identical usernames
in the two domains, we wouldn't be able to separate them for authorisation.

So, we're currently stuck on all our options, for a variety of reasons.
Any thoughts on this?

Regards,
Craig McQueen


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