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From "Shrotriya, Sumit" <>
Subject RE: HTTPS to HTTP
Date Thu, 09 Jan 2003 18:45:20 GMT

  I agree with you 100% but there can be a simple solution to the problem
that you just raised..and that is that a new session id is created and
mapped in some table when moving from https-->http this way user B can not
get access to the admin page. 


On Thu, 9 Jan 2003, John Holman wrote:

> Date: Thu, 09 Jan 2003 12:56:16 +0000
> From: John Holman <>
> Reply-To: Tomcat Users List <>
> To: Tomcat Users List <>
> Subject: Re: HTTPS to HTTP
> Yes, that is clearly a risk. The *whole* web application needs have no
> risks in order to allow http access to any of it - any sensitive link
> and it must all be https. (And of course if SSO is enabled *all* web
> applications for the virtual host must be considered safe).
> Otherwise I'm not convinced that session stealing is really a problem -
> though open to counter-arguements.

Consider a scenario where you have "admin" pages that require SSL, and
normal pages that can run on either.  Assume Tomcat were modified to
migrate your session back.

Consider the following course of events:

* User A logs on, selects link for an admin function,
  and is switched to SSL for that part.

* User A then switches back to non-SSL.  Among other things,
  this means that the session id is now visible in plaintext
  on the wire.

* User B snoops the network, acquires the session id,
  and submits an SSL request (with the stolen session id)
  to an admin function.

* Server blithely executes the forged request, because login
  identity is attached to the session id (which is now
  plaintext -- it wouldn't be if the session had been
  created under SSL and never allowed to switch back).

Once an application has switched from HTTP to HTTPS for a session, it
should be programmed to never go back again.

> John


> Ralph Einfeldt wrote:
> >But be aware that quite simple changes in the
> >configuration of tomcat can lead to big security holes.
> >Guess what happens if you or somebody else someday
> >decides to switch from basic authentification to form
> >authentifcation and the sysadmin visits the user side
> >and somebody steals the sysadmins session ...)
> >
> >
> >
> >>-----Original Message-----
> >>From: David Hemingway []
> >>Sent: Thursday, January 09, 2003 12:08 PM
> >>To: Tomcat Users List
> >>Subject: Re: HTTPS to HTTP
> >>
> >>Thats is my exact situation. The sysadmin section of teh site
> >>is 100% https.
> >>but the on the user side there is nothing that sensitive and
> >>little harm they could be cause stealing someones session.
> >>It would not be worth going to the trouble of stealing the
> >>session for the benefit you would get.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >--
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> >
> >
> >
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