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From Markus Plail <>
Subject Re: Client Authentication
Date Tue, 29 Nov 2005 16:50:36 GMT
Dobson Paul L Contr 84 MSUG/GBMLBR <> writes:
> I am having a tough time finding information on implementing client
> authentication.  When trying to access my site, I need the user to be
> presented with a dialog box asking for a digital certificate.  The
> certificate needs to be validated then bounced against a list of
> revoked certificates, If it is valid and not revoked, the user should
> be allowed in the site.  I have SSL implemented and have modified my
> server.xml, setting clientAuth="true".  If I set it to true, I am
> quickly presented with the explorer page that says:
> The page cannot be displayed
> The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site
> might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to
> adjust your browser settings.
> If I set clientAuth="want", I am let into the site without being
> prompted for a certificate.
> I think it is automatically behaving as if a client certificate is not
> available without prompting for one ( we are set up with ActiveCard
> smart cards and readers at all work stations)
> I am using Tomcat 5.0 with j2sdk1.4.2_04 on windows 2000 server with
> SP4

Client Authentication works as follows: You connect to the server, the
server gives you a list with valid certificates. IE looks if it has a
certificate in the list. The next step depends upon your IE settings. If
there is only one matching certificate and you set IE up to automtically
choose one the connection is established. If there are more you get a
window, where you can select the proper certificate. If there are none
you either get a "page cannot be displayed" message (automatic mode) or
you get a window with not certificate to choose.

So if you are using a smartcard you have to somehow tell IE that it
should take a certificate from a smartcard and not its internal
certificate store. I have no idea how this is all working with
smartcards though.


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