Programming WebLogic Security

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Using Java Security to Protect WebLogic Resources

This section discusses the following topics:


Using J2EE Security to Protect WebLogic Resources

WebLogic Server supports the use of J2EE security to protect URL (Web), Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), and Connector components. In addition, WebLogic Server extends the connector model of specifying additional security policies in the deployment descriptor to the URL and EJB components.

Note: J2EE has requirements for Java 2 security default permissions for different application types (see the J2EE 1.3 specification, section 6.2.2) as does the Connector 1.0 spec (see section 11.2). These specifications are available at

Furthermore, the J2EE specification suggests that the deployer be able to add to these security policies. For URL and EJB components, this is done through comments in the deployment descriptor, but the specification states: "A future version of this specification will allow these security requirements to be specified in the deployment descriptor for the application components." The connector specification already provides for deployment descriptors to specify additional security policies using the <security-permission> tag (see Listing 7-1):

Listing 7-1 Security-Permission Tag Sample

<description> Optional explanation goes here </description>
A single grant statement following the syntax of without the "codebase" and "signedBy" clauses goes here. For example:
grant {
permission "*", "resolve";

Besides support of the <security-permission> tag in the rar.xml file, WebLogic Server adds the <security-permission> tag to the weblogic.xml and weblogic-ejb-jar.xml files. This extends the connector model to the two other application types, Web applications and EJBs, provides a uniform interface to security policies across all component types, and anticipates future J2EE specification changes.


Using the Java Security Manager to Protect WebLogic Resources

The Java Security Manager can be used with WebLogic Server to provide additional protection for resources running in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Using a Java Security Manager is an optional security step. The following sections describe how to use the Java Security Manager with WebLogic Server:

For more information on Java Security Manager, see the Java Security Web page at

Setting Up the Java Security Manager

When you run WebLogic Server under Java 2 (SDK 1.2 or later), WebLogic Server can use the Java Security Manager in Java 2, which prevents untrusted code from performing actions that are restricted by the Java security policy file.

The JVM has security mechanisms built into it that allow you to define restrictions to code through a Java security policy file. The Java Security Manager uses the Java security policy file to enforce a set of permissions granted to classes. The permissions allow specified classes running in that instance of the JVM to permit or not permit certain runtime operations. In many cases, where the threat model does not include malicious code being run in the JVM, the Java Security Manager is unnecessary. However, when untrusted third-parties use WebLogic Server and untrusted classes are being run, the Java Security Manager may be useful.

To use the Java Security Manager with WebLogic Server, specify the and arguments when starting WebLogic Server. The argument specifies a filename (using a relative or fully-qualified pathname) that contains Java 2 security policies.

WebLogic Server provides a sample Java security policy file, which you can edit and use. The file is located at WL_HOME\server\lib\weblogic.policy.

If you enable the Java Security Manager but do not specify a security policy file, the Java Security Manager uses the default security policies defined in the java.policy file in the $JAVA_HOME\jre\lib\security directory.

Define security policies for the Java Security Manager in one of the following ways:

Modifying the weblogic.policy file for General Use

To use the Java Security Manager security policy file with your WebLogic Server deployment, you must specify the location of the weblogic.policy file to the Java Security Manager when you start WebLogic Server. To do this, you set the following arguments on the Java command line you use to start the server:

For example: \\weblogic\weblogic.policy

Note: Be sure to use == instead of = when specifying the argument so that only the weblogic.policy file is used by the Java Security Manager. The == causes the weblogic.policy file to override any default security policy. A single equal sign (=) causes the weblogic.policy file to be appended to an existing security policy.

If you have extra directories in your CLASSPATH or if you are deploying applications in extra directories, add specific permissions for those directories to your weblogic.policy file.

BEA recommends taking the following precautions when using the weblogic.policy file:

Caution: The Java Security Manager is partially disabled during the booting of Administration and Managed Servers. During the boot sequence, the current Java Security Manager is disabled and replaced with a variation of the Java Security Manager that has the checkRead() method disabled. While disabling this method greatly improves the performance of the boot sequence, it also minimally diminishes security. The startup classes for WebLogic Server are run with this partially disabled Java Security Manager and therefore the classes need to be carefully scrutinized for security considerations involving the reading of files.

For more information about the Java Security Manager, see the Javadoc for the java.lang.SecurityManager class which is available on the Web

Setting Application-Type Security Policies

Set default security policies for Servlets, EJBs, and J2EE Connector Resource Adapters in the Java security policy file. The default security policies for Servlets, EJBs, and Resource Adapters are defined in the Java security policy file under the following codebases:

Note: These security policies apply to all Servlets, EJBs, and Resource Adapters deployed in the particular instance of WebLogic Server.

Setting Application-Specific Security Policies

Set security policies for a specific Servlet, EJB, or Resource Adapter by adding security policies to their deployment descriptors. Deployment descriptors are defined in the following files:

Note: The security policies for Resource Adapters follow the J2EE standard while the security policies for Servlets and EJBs follow the WebLogic Server extension to the J2EE standard.

Listing 7-2 shows the syntax for adding a security policy to a deployment descriptor:

Listing 7-2 Security Policy Syntax

//Protect foo operation
//Grant statement
grant {
permission java.lang.RuntimePermission "foo";

Note: The <security-permission-spec> tag cannot currently be added to a weblogic-application.xml file, you are limited to using this tag within a weblogic-ejb-jar.xml, rar.xml, or weblogic.xml file. Also, variables are not supported in the <security-permission-spec> attribute.

Using the Recording Security Manager Utility

The Recording Security Manager utility can be used to detect permission problems that occur when starting and running WebLogic Server. The utility outputs permissions that can be added to your Java security policy file to resolve the permission problems that the utility finds. The Recording Security Manager is available at the BEA dev2dev Online.


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