Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Blog Feed Post

Intel® SOA Expressway as Secure Token Service for Lightweight Clients

Most of you are familiar with deploying Intel® SOA Expressway as a xml gateway for protecting your SOAP and REST services. I wanted to blog about another very interesting use case where SOA Expressway acts as a Secure Token Service (STS) for a lightweight client requestor.

While a formal STS generally assumes WS-Trust aware clients and SOAE can support that, this need not be the case and imposes additional requirements on a lightweight client. Instead of a formal WS-Trust request, the client can pass a simple credential in the form of a username/password token and retrieve the proper token for the web service they are trying to access. As long as we are sticking with common standards such as HTTP, HTTP Basic Authentication and SSL, WS-Trust isn’t necessary for simple cases.  In the model proposed here, Expressway is acting as a STS used to broker the authentication between a lightweight client and web service requiring a SAML assertion.

 

The STS is trusted by both the client and the service and it negotiates the authentication between the two.  The client trusts the STS and doesn’t need to apply additional processing on the returned SAML assertion. Instead, it invokes the target service and treats the assertion as opaque.

The following diagram shows how Expressway can be deployed as an STS:

 

In this scenario, the client initiates a token request to the STS (Expressway) along with their identity in an acceptable form, such as username and password. In this example, we are assuming client is sending a username/password token and trusts the STS over a one-way SSL connection. These requirements provide the minimum level of security required yet don’t impose onerous WS-Security or WS-Trust requirements on a lightweight client. The STS authenticates and validates the client’s credentials and issues a security token such as a SAML token back to the client. Generally as a good practice, the STS will sign the token to prevent token tampering after it was issued. The STS then sends the token back to the client. With the SAML assertion in hand, the lightweight client now forwards the web service request along with the trusted security token issued by the STS. The target Web Service validates the security token and confirms that the token was issued by trusted STS and sends the web service response if everything looks good.

As many of you are familiar with, SOA Expressway exposes an AAA action in Services Designer that can be used in your workflow to implement the functionality for SOAE to be a STS for your environment. AAA action provides a lot of flexibility in terms of different token types that are supported, e.g. HTTP Basic Authentication, UsernameToken, SSL certificate etc. We can configure SOAE to authenticate clients against a variety of Identity Management solutions supported such as Microsoft’s Active Directory, CA’s Site Minder or Oracle’s Identity Management products such as OIM and OAM. SOAE can then issue a token such as a SAML assertion, sign it and send it to the client. Client can then make the web service call with the token.

Following screenshot demonstrates our AAA policy with an example. In this example, SOAE, our STS is expecting a username and password in HTTP Basic Authentication header from the client. It will then authenticate the user with the LDAP server configured in the AAA policy. After client has been validated, SOAE will generate a SAML token and sign it before it is returned to the client.

 

The STS workflow is shown in the screenshot below.

    • The Receive action is for SOAE to receive a HTTP request from the client with username and password in Basic Authentication header.
    • The AAA Action invokes the AAA policy shown in Figure b using the client’s credentials and if the client is authenticated, creates a signed SAML assertion. The catch block is included in the workflow for Error Handling. It catches any authentication failures in the policy such as invalid credentials, missing credentials etc. In case of an authentication exception, SOAE returns 401 Unauthorized error back to the client.
    • The Reply action returns the SAML assertion back to the client.

Hope you find this blog helpful. You can get more information on SOAE at www.dynamicperimeter.com and a great primer on STS is at msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff650503.aspx. Please feel free to send me your comments and suggestions.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Application Security

This blog references our expert posts on application and web services security.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...