22 September 2016

How to enable Fediz Plugin Logging

If you are using the Apache Fediz plugin to enable WS-Federation Support for your Tomcat container, you will not see any log statements from the Fediz Plugin by default. Especially when testing or analyzing issues with the plugin you will be interested in actually seeing some log statements from the plugin.

In this blog post I'll explain to you what need to be done to get all DEBUG log level statements from the Apache Fediz Tomcat Plugin using Log4J.

01 September 2016

Syncope User Synchronisation with a Database

In a previous post I explained how to setup a datasource for an embedded H2 database and how to use it with the Karaf DB JAAS plugin.

In this post, I'll explain to you how to setup Syncope to synchronize users from that database into syncope. Of course you can also use any other database with a matching JDBC driver.

29 August 2016

Custom JSSE Truststore to enable XKMS Certificate Validation

Recently I was involved in a project which uses a central XKMS Server for certificate and trust management. This was all working fine within the Talend runtime with a custom wss4j crypto provider. However the need raised to perform client certificate validations (mutal SSL) with Apache Fediz running inside an Apache Tomcat server.


Usually I would use a JKS truststore for Tomcat to add trusted certificates (CAs). However this was not possible for this project, because all certificates will be managed inside an LDAP accessible via a XKMS service. Searching for a solution to extend Tomcat to support XKMS based certificate validation I came across the JSSE Standard.

Reading throw the documentation was not so straightforward and clear. But searching through the internet finally helped me to achieve my goal. In this blog post, I'll show you what I had to do, to enabled XKMS based SSL certificate validation in Tomcat.

04 August 2016

Apache Fediz with Client Certificate Authentication (X.509)

In this blog post I will explain how to generate your own SSL key-pair to perform certificate based authentication for SSO purposes with Apache Fediz IDP.

20 July 2016

Karaf JDBC JAAS Module

Karaf relys on JAAS for user authentication. JAAS makes it possible to plugin multiple modules for this purpose. By default Karaf will use the karaf realm with a JAAS module getting its user and role information from a property file: runtime/etc/users.properties

In this blog post I will show you how to use the Karaf JAAS console commands and how to setup a JDBC module to authenticate against a database.

05 February 2016

Apache Fediz installation in production

In this article I'll explain to you what to do and what to be aware of, when you want to user Fediz IDP in production.

Basically you need to change all default passwords and certificates.

If you will use Tomcat as user Servlet container I'll also give you some tips how to secure tomcat best, so that an attacker will have a hard time breaking into your system.

16 January 2016

Understanding Spring Web-Flow in Apache Fediz - Part 2

After explaining in Part 1 of this topic how the Spring Web-Flow will be initiated I'm going to review the actual flow in some more detail in this post.

The flow registry knows three flows:
  1. Federation Validate Request Flow
  2. Federation Signin Request Flow
  3. Federation Signin Response Flow
The first flow is linked to the fediz-idp/federation URL within the idp-servlet.xml file which is the usual entry point for the IDP. The two other flows are sub-flows which will be executed from within the first flow.
<webflow:flow-registry id="flowRegistry" flow-builder-services="builder">
    <webflow:flow-location path="/WEB-INF/flows/federation-validate-request.xml" id="federation" />
    <webflow:flow-location path="/WEB-INF/flows/federation-validate-request.xml" id="federation/up" />
    <webflow:flow-location path="/WEB-INF/flows/federation-validate-request.xml" id="federation/krb" />
    <webflow:flow-location path="/WEB-INF/flows/federation-validate-request.xml" id="federation/clientcert" />
    <webflow:flow-location path="/WEB-INF/flows/federation-signin-request.xml" id="signinRequest" />
    <webflow:flow-location path="/WEB-INF/flows/federation-signin-response.xml" id="signinResponse" />
</webflow:flow-registry>

Validate Request Flow


The main federation flow can be customized within the WEB-INF/flows/federation-validate-request.xml file. The standard flow looks like this:


07 January 2016

Understanding Spring Web-Flow in Apache Fediz - Part 1

When I started to work with Apache Fediz, most of the actions looked like magic to me, because I was not able to understand how Spring Security and Spring Web Flow have been used in Apache Fediz. After several hours of learning and investigation I finally understood how all this works together.

In this post I would like to share with you from what I understood of how Fediz works internally.

18 December 2015

Register trusted 3rd party IDP with SAML Web Browser SSO Profile

In this Post I'll explain how to configure Apache Fediz IDP so that it can be used with a trusted 3rd party IDP based on SAML Web Browser SSO Profile.

In my previous posts about Apache Fediz I focused on the WS-Federation passive protocol only since it is the successor standard for the SAML Web Browser SSO Profile. But in some cases you will have to establish a federated trust relation with an IDP how does not support the WS-Federation Standard yet, but only the older SAML Web Browser SSO Profile.


I'll explain how to register a SAML trusted IDP at the IDP as well as how to setup a demonstrator. Please also take a look at Colms post about this topic.

17 December 2015

Liferay Portal Integration with Fediz OpenID Connect

I was given the task to provide a security solution to enable SSO in a Liferay portal based on OpenID Connect with the Apache Fediz OIDC Service. In this post I'll explain how to get this done.

You will need Apache Fediz version 1.3.0 or higher, if you want to setup this use case by yourself

14 December 2015

Fediz with OpenID Connect Support and WS-Federation Bridge (2/2)

Setup a Demonstrator

In this article I'll explain how to setup a demonstrator for the use case described in my previous post.

Setup Fediz IDP & OIDC

First you need to setup the Fediz IDP as usual. To get the OIDC Service working you also need to do the following:
  1. Install Fediz Plugin for the Fediz IDP Server (usually you would do this for the client application only)
    For the fediz_config.xml you can use the sample provided with the OIDC Service.
  2. Download or build the OIDC service and then deploy the fediz-oidc.war file to your webapps folder (same place where you deployed STS & IDP)

09 December 2015

Fediz with OpenID Connect Support and WS-Federation Bridge (1/2)

I'm currently engaged for a big company to provide a solution that allows this company to offer various (REST) services to their partners while these services are hosted and maintained by the company but users can login to these services with accounts managed within their own partner network.

This solution should work for Web-Portals, Mobile Apps & Desktop Applications.

First I was skeptical if it will be possible to find one solution fitting all theses different use cases. But I think I actually did find a very interesting solution. In this post I'll explain the overall architecture of this solution. In my next posts I'll tell you how to get a Liferay Web-Portal integrated as well as a mobile App based on Android.

WS-Federation normally uses SAML Tokens for user authentication. This is fine for container based security solutions, when the user wants to login to a web-portal. But modern web applications (e.g. AJAX based) tend to be executed primarily in the Browser, invoking REST backend services directly from within the Browser.
Handling XML based tokens (incl. XML signature validation) is just a too heavy burden for this type of applications. Also handling lifetime issues with SAML Token could require a Token exchange with an STS. But an STS only provides a SOAP interface according to WS-Trust. It is not feasible for a AJAX Web Application to handle SOAP communication including XML security. Browser based applications should be light-weight and thus they prefer talking to REST services.