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Managing WebLogic Security

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Protecting User Accounts

This following sections describe how to protect user accounts and how to unlock a user account:

Note: For information about protecting user accounts in Compatibility security, see Protecting User Accounts in Compatibilty Security.


Protecting Passwords

It is important to protect passwords that are used to access resources in a WebLogic Server domain. In the past, usernames and passwords were stored in clear text in a WebLogic security realm. Now all the passwords in a WebLogic Server domain are hashed. The SerializedSystemIni.dat file contains the hashes for the passwords. It is associated with a specific WebLogic Server domain so it cannot be moved from domain to domain.

If the SerializedSystemIni.dat file is destroyed or corrupted, you must reconfigure the WebLogic Server domain. Therefore, you should take the following precautions:


Setting Lockout Attributes for User Accounts

WebLogic Server defines a set of attributes to protect user accounts from intruders. In the default security configuration, these attributes are set for maximum protection. When creating a new security realm, you need to define these attributes.

As a system administrator, you have the option of turning off all the attributes, increasing the number of login attempts before a user account is locked, increasing the time period in which invalid login attempts are made before locking the user account, and changing the amount of time a user account is locked. Remember that changing the attributes lessens security and leaves user accounts vulnerable to security attacks.

To set the user lockout attributes:

  1. Expand the Security-->Realms nodes.
  2. Select the name of the realm you are configuring (for example, myrealm).
  3. Select the User Lockout tab.
  4. Define the desired attributes on this tab by entering values at the appropriate prompts and selecting the required checkboxes. (For details, see the following table).
  5. If a user account exceeds the values set for the attributes on this tab, the user account becomes locked and the table on the Users tab has the word Details in the table row for the user account. For more information, see Unlocking a User Account.

  6. To save your changes, click Apply.
  7. Reboot WebLogic Server.

The following table describes each attribute on the User Lockout tab.

Table 9-1 User Lockout Attributes



Lockout Enabled

Requests the locking of a user account after invalid attempts to log in to that account exceed the specified Lockout Threshold. By default, this attribute is enabled.

Lockout Threshold

Number of failed user password entries that can be tried before that user account is locked. Any subsequent attempts to access the account (even if the username/password combination is correct) raise a Security exception; the account remains locked until it is explicitly unlocked by the system administrator or another login attempt is made after the lockout duration period ends. Invalid login attempts must be made within a span defined by the Lockout Reset Duration attribute. The default is 5.

Lockout Duration

Number of minutes that a user's account remains inaccessible after being locked in response to several invalid login attempts within the amount of time specified by the Lockout Reset Duration attribute. The default is 30 minutes.

Lockout Reset Duration

Number of minutes within which invalid login attempts must occur in order for the user's account to be locked.

An account is locked if the number of invalid login attempts defined in the Lockout Threshold attribute happens within the amount of time defined by this attribute. For example, if the value in Lockout Reset Duration attribute is 5 minutes, the Lockout Threshold is 3, and 3 invalid login attempts are made within a 6 minute interval, then the account is not locked. If 3 invalid login attempts are made within a 5 minute period, however, then the account is locked.

The default is 5 minutes.

Lockout Cache Size

Specifies the intended cache size of unused and invalid login attempts. The default is 5.

Lockout GC Threshold

The maximum number of invalid login records that the server keeps in memory. If the number of invalid login records is equal to or greater than the value of this attribute, the server's garbage collection purges the records that have expired. A record expires when a user is unlocked or when the lockout reset duration has expired for that record. The default is 400 records.


The User Lockout attributes apply to the default security realm and all its security providers. The User Lockout attributes do not work with custom security providers in a security realm other than the default security realm. To use the User Lockout attributes with custom security providers, configure the custom security providers in the default security realm. Include the customer providers in the authentication process after the WebLogic Authentication provider and the WebLogic Identity Assertion provider. This ordering may cause a small performance hit.

If you are using an Authentication provider that has its own mechanism for protecting user accounts, disable the Lockout Enabled attribute.

If a user account becomes locked and you delete the user account and add another user account with the same name and password, the UserLockout attributes will not be reset.


Unlocking a User Account

To unlock a locked user account on a managed server, a user with Admin privileges can use the following command:

java weblogic.Admin -url url -username adminuser 
passwordforadminuser -type -method clearLockout lockedusername

You can also wait the time specified in the Lockout Duration attribute. The user account will be unlocked after the specified time.

To unlock a user account using the Administration Console:

  1. Expand the Monitoring-->Security tab for the server.
  2. In the User table, click on the Details link for the user to be unlocked.
  3. Click Unlock.


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