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From "Shapira, Yoav" <>
Subject RE: Cross site "single sign on"
Date Wed, 03 Dec 2003 13:57:23 GMT

We have a standalone authentication web service used by all our apps.
It's cookie-based.

Yoav Shapira
Millennium ChemInformatics

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Tim Funk []
>Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 6:54 AM
>To: Tomcat Users List
>Subject: Re: Cross site "single sign on"
>Sounds like pubcookie:
>Will Hartung wrote:
>> Hi all!
>> Not necessarily Tomcat specific, but I'm curious what others may have
>> to support cross site single sign on.
>> The basic problem is that customer goes to site A, and logs in. Then
>> navigating that site, they eventually head over to site B.
>> Of course when they hit site B, the customer should already be
>> If site A and site B live in the same domain space (say, and
>>, then a "" cookie should be able to be used as a
>> that show login. Of course, this requires cookies. It also requires
>> sites to "maintain" the cookie if the cookie is allowed to expire
>> only useful for 30 minutes).
>> However I think this would have to be a "signed" cookie, where both
>> participating servers encrypt to cookie with a known key (perhaps a
>> public key).
>> Now, if you have and, then the cookie technique
>> work (as neither can set a cookie for the other). So, I'm thinking
>> can do something similiar, a signed token, in a hidden field and then
>> to submit a form to get to the new site.
>> Of course, you can always stick the token on the URL as well.
>> Does that sum it up? Any other ways for cooperating sites to
>> exchange credentials? I suppose the back ends can do it. Send signed
>> to each other during their log in processes to notify cooperating
>> But if your logins "time out", you still need to constantly update
>> session information. It's not enough to know that "Bob signed in at
>> and expires at 10:30". If Bob actively uses the site, you want the
>> to be since last activity.
>> How are others doing this and what have you found effective?
>> Regards,
>> Will Hartung
>> (
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