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IT-Security (Part 3): WebLogic Server and Java Security Features

WebLogic Server and Java Security Features [1]

WebLogic Server supports the Java SE and Java EE Security to protect the resources of whole system. The resources could be Web applications, Uniform Resource Locator (URL), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), and Connector components.

Java SE capabilities: Security APIs

Java uses APIs to access security features and functionality and its architecture contains a large set of application programming interfaces (APIs), tools, and implementations of commonly-used security algorithms, and protocols. This delivers the developer a complete security framework for writing applications and enables them to extend the platform with new security mechanisms.[2]

Java Authentication and Authorization Services (JAAS)

WebLogic Server uses the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) classes to consistently and securely authenticate to the client. JAAS is a part of Java SE Security APIs and a set of Java packages that enable services to authenticate and enforce access controls upon users and /or fat-client authentication for applications, applets, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), or servlets.

JAAS uses a Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) framework, and permits the use of new or updated authentication technologies without requiring modifications to the application. Therefore, only developers of custom Authentication providers and developers of remote fat client applications need to be involved with JAAS directly. Users of thin clients or developers of within-container fat client applications do not require the direct use or knowledge of JAAS.

JAAS LoginModules

All LoginModules are responsible for authenticating users within the security realm (we are going to discuss about that later) and for populating a subject with the necessary principals (users/groups). LoginModules contains necessary methods for Login Context, Accounts, Credentials, configuration of them, and different ways to exception handling. Each Authentication providers will be configured in a security realm, its LoginModules will store principals within the same subject too. I try to present that with an example: Via WebLogic Server Admin Console: Home >myDomain > Domain Structure click on Security Realms and then create a new realm “Moh_Realm-0” and then click on “OK”

p3_realm_1

Figure 1 create a new Realm

Select new realm and then click on tab “provider”, and then click on “New”, in order to create a new provider:

p3_realm_2

Figure 2 open the new Realm

In this use case, we select type: “WebLogic Authentication Provider” and give a name e.g. “DefAuthN”, then “OK”.  The WebLogic Authentication provider is configured in the default security realm (myrealm). The WebLogic Authentication provider allows you to edit, list, and manage users, groups, and group membership. User and group information is stored in the embedded LDAP server.[3]

p3_AuthenticationProvider_3

 Figure 3 create a new Authentication Provider

After define “Provider”, we have to restart Admin Server. Now, we can check and compare users of new realm (Moh_Realm-0) with default realm (myrealm) of WebLogic. For myrealm, Icreated a new user named “userDOAG” and we see the following list there (Home >Summary of Security Realms >myrealm >Users and Groups)

p3_users_4

Figure 4 users of myrealm

But I didn’t create same user for Moh_Realm-0 (Home >DefAuthN>Summary of Security Realms >Moh_Realm-0 >Users and Groups):

p3_users_5

Figure 5 users of Moh_Realm-0

It shows, that we can use security provider in different gatherings und expand our security realm with additional user, groups, and security providers. We are working on it in next part of this article.

JAAS Control Flags

The JAAS Control Flag attribute determines how the LoginModule for the WebLogic Authentication provider is used in the login sequence. The values for the Control Flag attribute are as follows: Home >Summary of Security Realms > Moh_Realm-0 >Providers > DefAuthN

 p3_JAAS_ControlFlag_6

Figure 6 Control flags via Admin Consol

  • REQUIRED – This LoginModule must succeed. Even if it fails, authentication proceeds down the list of LoginModules for the configured Authentication providers. This setting is the default.
  • REQUISITE – This LoginModule must succeed. If other Authentication providers are configured and this LoginModule succeeds, authentication proceeds down the list of LoginModules. Otherwise, return control to the application.
  • SUFFICIENT – This LoginModule needs not succeed. If it does succeed, return control to the application. If it fails and other Authentication providers are configured, authentication proceeds down the LoginModule list
  • OPTIONAL – The user is allowed to pass or fail the authentication test of these Authentication providers. However, if all Authentication providers configured in a security realm have the JAAS Control Flag set to OPTIONAL, the user must pass the authentication test of one of the configured providers.[4]

Now, we can focus on two important JAAS-tasks: authentication and authorization of users…[5]

References


[4] Oracle Fusion Middleware: Understanding Security for Oracle WebLogic Server 12c Release 1, (12.1.1), E24484-02, January 2012: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E24329_01/web.1211/e24484.pdf

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