Friday, September 23, 2011

Talend donates Security Token Service (STS) to Apache CXF

I am pleased to announce that Talend has donated a Security Token Service (STS) implementation to Apache CXF, which will be part of the forthcoming 2.5 release. Since the 2.4.0 release, CXF ships with an STS framework (in the ws-security module), as well as a simple implementation of the framework in the examples. The STS that Talend has donated to the community is a sophisticated implementation of the STS framework that builds on top of CXF's existing mature security functionality.

In future blog posts I will document the features of the STS and how to configure it, as well as walk through some system tests. Here are some of the features and standards that the new STS supports:
  • WS-Trust 1.3/1.4
  • WS-SecurityPolicy 1.3
  • Authentication Mechanisms for a RST: UsernameToken, SAML token (1.1/2.0), KerberosToken, X.509 Token.
  • Security Binding supported: Symmetric, Asymmetric, Transport 
  • Supports WS-Trust Issue/Validate and Cancel binding 
  • Can issue the following tokens: SAML 1.1/2.0 Holder-Of-Key/Bearer, SecurityContextTokens, Custom Tokens.
  • Issued token can be encrypted 
  • Validate binding supports issuing a new token (token transformation).
  • Custom Validators can be implemented 
  • Creation of SAML tokens can be customized.
  • Advanced RST elements: KeyType (Public, Symmetric, Bearer), Entropy (Symmetric, Public) , OnBehalfOf, ActAs, Claims, SecondaryParameters
  • Pluggable claims handling and management

Monday, September 19, 2011

Specifying custom AlgorithmSuite policies in Apache CXF 2.4.3

When specifying a security binding via WS-SecurityPolicy, it is possible to define the algorithm suite via the "sp:AlgorithmSuite" policy. WS-SecurityPolicy defines a number of standard AlgorithmSuite policies, which control various security properties like the maximum and minimum Symmetric and Asymmetric key lengths, the encryption/signature/digest algorithms to use, etc. An example policy is given below. For this policy, the minimum symmetric key length is 256 bits, and the encryption algorithm is AES256:

        <sp:Basic256 />

There are certain scenarios where a user might want to use a non-standard AlgorithmSuite. For example, the minimum Asymmetric Key Length for all standard AlgorithmSuites is 1024 bits. This requires that the JDK has unrestricted security policies installed. If it is not possible to install unresticted security policies, a user might decide that using 512 bits RSA keys is sufficient (this is not recommended).

Apache CXF 2.4.3 provides support for specifying custom algorithm suites. A new interface is defined to create an AlgorithmSuite object given a policy, with a default implementation that supports the standard AlgorithmSuite policies. It is possible to create a new implementation of the AlgorithmSuiteLoader interface, and install it as a bus extension. For an example, there is a CXF system test that allows 512 bit asymmetric keys, with custom AlgorithmSuiteLoader and AlgorithmSuite implementations. The custom AlgorithmSuiteLoader implementation is spring-loaded, and registers itself as a bus extension.

Monday, September 12, 2011

SAML SecurityPolicy enforcement in CXF 2.4.2

Apache CXF 2.4.2 was released recently. In this blog post I want to delve into how CXF 2.4.2 enforces WS-SecurityPolicy expressions relating to SAML Assertions on the inbound side.

There are two policy expressions relating to SAML Assertions, the SamlToken and IssuedToken policy assertions. On the outbound side, the SamlToken expression will trigger a CallbackHandler to obtain a SAML Assertion to insert into the outbound security header, and the IssuedToken expression will use the STSClient to obtain a SAML Assertion from a Security Token Service (STS).

On the inbound side, any SAML Assertion received as part of the security header will be parsed initially by WSS4J. If the assertion is signed, then the signature is verified. If the confirmation method of the Subject of the Assertion is "holder-of-key", then WSS4J will parse the Subject KeyInfo and extract whatever credentials it can find, i.e. secret key or an X509Certificate. If no credential is found (or understood), then the default behaviour is to throw an exception. If the confirmation method is "holder-of-key", then the default behaviour (which is configurable) is to enforce that the Assertion is signed. Finally, WSS4J verifies trust in a certificate that was used to sign the assertion.

After WSS4J is done with validating a received SAML Assertion, CXF does some additional validation according to the configured security policy. For more information on any of the following terms (holder-of-key, sender-vouches, etc.), please consult the SAML Token Profile 1.1 specification.

1) SamlToken policy

If a SamlToken policy is used, the version of the received Assertion (1.1 or 2.0) is checked against the policy, e.g. if <sp:WssSamlV20Token11 /> is configured in the SAMLToken policy then the received Assertion must be a SAML 2.0 Assertion. Two checks are then done on the received Assertion, depending on what the subject confirmation method is.
  • Holder-of-key: If the subject confirmation method is "holder-of-key", there must be some proof-of-possession of the key associated with the subject of the assertion. CXF will enforce that either the key was used to sign some portion of the SOAP request, or alternatively the subject credential of the SAML Assertion must match a client certificate credential when 2-way TLS is used.
  • Sender-Vouches: If the subject confirmation method is "sender-vouches", then CXF will enforce that the SAML Assertion and SOAP Body are signed by the same signature. Alternatively, it will check that 2-way TLS is used.
2) IssuedToken Policy

If an IssuedToken policy is used, then the receiver is expecting to get a SAML Assertion that is issued by a third-party security service. If the subject confirmation method of the Assertion is "holder-of-key", then it does the same check as described above for a SamlToken policy. Additionally, if a "<sp:RequestSecurityTokenTemplate..../>" policy is configured, it will attempt to match the received Assertion against the RSTTemplate parameters:
  • TokenType: If a TokenType parameter is specified in the template, it will match this against the version of the received Assertion. For example, if the TokenType is "", then the Assertion must be a SAML 1.1 Assertion.
  • KeyType: If a KeyType parameter is specified in the template which ends with "SymmetricKey", then the subject of the Assertion must contain a secret key. If the KeyType parameter ends with "PublicKey", then the Subject must contain a Certificate or PublicKey.
Here is an example of a RequestSecurityTokenTemplate:


Issuer or IssuerName policies are not yet enforced, this will probably be done in a future version of CXF.