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From Antony Bowesman <...@teamware.com>
Subject Re: Client-Cert authentication with Tomcat 4
Date Tue, 06 Nov 2001 06:30:38 GMT
Timothy Fisher wrote:
> 
> You will get prompted for your password by the browser
> when using client-cert authentication.  The password
> is necessary to unlock your private key.

Oh yes.  It never asked me because it was set to the default of only ask
the 'first' time the cert is needed.  (Netscape) Anyway, it still seems
odd to delegate password security to the workstation where there is no
way of an administrator enforced password policy (e.g. min length,
alpha/numeric, forced changes) such as would be available by a back end
password mechanism.

Once you have access to the browser via a possibly guessable password it
gives you access to the powerful certificate with no further
authentication done by the server to authenticate the user.

I can't see the use for CLIENT-CERT authentication, it seems like form
or digest authentication over SSL with clientAuth=true set in server.xml
would achieve better security.

Rgds
Antony

> > Hi,
> >
> > I have followed the comments in server.xml to get
> > SSL working and have
> > set up the security example to have client-cert as
> > the auth method in
> > web.xml.  When I first connect to my host, the
> > browser asks which
> > certificate I want to send.  However, the browser
> > then prompts me for a
> > username/password (as in basic authentication) when
> > I try to connect to
> > the protected page.
> >
> > I am using my own realm, however, from the Realm
> > code, it seems that
> > none of the realm implementations (including my own)
> > implement the
> > abstract getPrincipal)() method in RealmBase.java,
> > i.e. they all return
> > null so it seems that this will never work with the
> > supplied realms.
> >
> > Am I missing something, does anyone have this
> > working?
> >
> > Rgds
> > --
> > Antony Bowesman

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