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Oracle® Fusion Middleware Developing Security Providers for Oracle WebLogic Server
12c Release 1 (12.1.1)

Part Number E24486-02
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12 Auditing Events From Custom Security Providers

This chapter describes the background information you need to understand before adding auditing capability to your custom security providers, and provides step-by-step instructions for adding auditing capability to a custom security provider.

As described in Chapter 10, "Auditing Providers" auditing is the process whereby information about operating requests and the outcome of those requests are collected, stored, and distributed for the purposes of non-repudiation. Auditing providers provide this electronic trail of computer activity.

Each type of security provider can call the configured Auditing providers with a request to write out information about security-related events, before or after these events take place. For example, if a user attempts to access a withdraw method in a bank account application (to which they should not have access), the Authorization provider can request that this operation be recorded. Security-related events are only recorded when they meet or exceed the severity level specified in the configuration of the Auditing providers.

The following sections provide the background information you need to understand before adding auditing capability to your custom security providers, and provide step-by-step instructions for adding auditing capability to a custom security provider:

Security Services and the Auditor Service

The SecurityServices interface, located in the weblogic.security.spi package, is a repository for security services (currently just the Auditor Service). As such, the SecurityServices interface is responsible for supplying callers with a reference to the Auditor Service via the following method:

The AuditorService interface, also located in the weblogic.security.spi package, provides other types of security providers (for example, Authentication providers) with limited (write-only) auditing capabilities. In other words, the Auditor Service fans out invocations of each configured Auditing provider's writeEvent method, which simply writes an audit record based on the information specified in the AuditEvent object that is passed in.

For more information about the writeEvent method, see Implement the AuditChannel SSPI. For more information about AuditEvent objects, see Create an Audit Event. The AuditorService interface includes the following method:

The Auditor Service can be called to write audit events before or after those events have taken place, but does not maintain context in between pre and post operations. Security providers designed with auditing capabilities will need to obtain the Auditor Service as described in Obtain and Use the Auditor Service to Write Audit Events.

Notes:

Implementations for both the SecurityServices and AuditorService interfaces are created by the WebLogic Security Framework at boot time if an Auditing provider is configured. (For more information about configuring Auditing providers, see Configure the Custom Auditing Provider Using the Administration Console.) Therefore, you do not need to provide your own implementations of these interfaces.

Additionally, SecurityServices objects are specific to the security realm in which your security providers are configured. Your custom security provider's runtime class automatically obtains a reference to the realm-specific SecurityServices object as part of its initialize method. (For more information, see Understand the Purpose of the "Provider" SSPIs.)

For more information about these interfaces and their methods, see the Oracle WebLogic Server API Reference for the SecurityServices interface and the AuditorService interface.

How to Audit From a Custom Security Provider

Add auditing capability to your custom security provider by following these steps:

Examples for each of these steps are provided in Example: Implementation of the AuditRoleEvent Interface and Example: Obtaining and Using the Auditor Service to Write Role Audit Events, respectively.

Note:

If your custom security provider is to record audit events, be sure to include any classes created as a result of these steps into the MBean JAR File (MJF) for the custom security provider (that is, in addition to the other files that are required).

Create an Audit Event

Security providers must provide information about the events they want audited, such as the type of event (for example, an authentication event) and the audit severity (for example, "error"). Audit Events contain this information, and can also contain any other contextual data that is understandable to a configured Auditing provider. To create an Audit Event, either:

Implement the AuditEvent SSPI

To implement the AuditEvent SSPI, provide implementations for the following methods:

  • getEventType

    public java.lang.String getEventType()
    

    The getEventType method returns a string representation of the event type that is to be audited, which is used by the Audit Channel (that is, the runtime class that implements the AuditChannel SSPI). For example, the event type for the Oracle-provided implementation is "Authentication Audit Event". For more information, see Audit Channels and Implement the AuditChannel SSPI.

  • getFailureException

    public java.lang.Exception getFailureException()
    

    The getFailureException method returns an Exception object, which is used by the Audit Channel to obtain audit information, in addition to the information provided by the tostring method.

  • getSeverity

    public AuditSeverity getSeverity()
    

    The getSeverity method returns the severity level value associated with the event type that is to be audited, which is used by the Audit Channel. This allows the Audit Channel to make the decision about whether or not to audit. For more information, see Audit Severity.

  • toString

    public java.lang.String toString()
    

    The toString method returns preformatted audit information to the Audit Channel.

    Note:

    The toString method can produce any character and no escaping is used. If your Audit provider is writing the toString value into a format that uses characters for syntax, escape the toString value before writing it.

For more information about the AuditEvent SSPI and these methods, see the Oracle WebLogic Server API Reference.

Implement an Audit Event Convenience Interface

There are several subinterfaces of the AuditEvent SSPI that are provided for your convenience, and that can assist you in structuring and creating Audit Events.

Each of these Audit Event convenience interfaces can be used by an Audit Channel (that is, a runtime class that implements the AuditChannel SSPI) to more effectively determine the instance types of extended event type objects, for a certain type of security provider. For example, the AuditAtnEventV2 convenience interface can be used by an Audit Channel that wants to determine the instance types of extended authentication event type objects. (For more information, see Audit Channels and Implement the AuditChannel SSPI.)

The Audit Event convenience interfaces are:

The AuditAtnEventV2 Interface

The AuditAtnEventV2 convenience interface helps Audit Channels to determine instance types of extended authentication event type objects.

Note:

The AuditAtnEvent interface is deprecated in this release of WebLogic Server.

To implement the AuditAtnEventV2 interface, provide implementations for the methods described in Implement the AuditEvent SSPI and the following methods:

  • getUsername

    public String getUsername()
    

    The getUsername method returns the username associated with the authentication event.

  • getAtnEventType

    public AuditAtnEventV2.AtnEventTypeV2 getAtnEventType()
    

    The getAtnEventType method returns an event type that more specifically represents the authentication event. The specific authentication event types are:

    AUTHENTICATE: simple authentication using a username and password occurred.

    ASSERTIDENTITY: perimeter authentication based on tokens occurred.

    CREATEDERIVEDKEY: represents the creation of the Derived key.

    CREATEPASSWORDDIGEST: represents the creation of the Password Digest.

    IMPERSONATEIDENTITY: client identity has been established using the supplied client username (requires kernel identity).

    USERLOCKED: a user account has been locked because of invalid login attempts.

    USERUNLOCKED: a lock on a user account has been cleared.

    USERLOCKOUTEXPIRED: a lock on a user account has expired.

    VALIDATEIDENTITY: authenticity (trust) of the principals within the supplied subject has been validated.

  • toString

    public String toString()
    

    The toString method returns the specific authentication information to audit, represented as a string.

    Note:

    The toString method can produce any character and no escaping is used. If your Audit provider is writing the toString value into a format that uses characters for syntax, escape the toString value before writing it.

    The AuditAtnEventV2 convenience interface extends both the AuditEvent and AuditContext interfaces. For more information about the AuditContext interface, see Audit Context.

For more information about the AuditAtnEventV2 convenience interface and these methods, see the Oracle WebLogic Server API Reference.

The AuditAtzEvent and AuditPolicyEvent Interfaces

The AuditAtzEvent and AuditPolicyEvent convenience interfaces help Audit Channels to determine instance types of extended authorization event type objects.

Note:

The difference between the AuditAtzEvent convenience interface and the AuditPolicyEvent convenience interface is that the latter only extends the AuditEvent interface. (It does not also extend the AuditContext interface.) For more information about the AuditContext interface, see Audit Context.

To implement the AuditAtzEvent or AuditPolicyEvent interface, provide implementations for the methods described in Implement the AuditEvent SSPI and the following methods:

  • getSubject

    public Subject getSubject()
    

    The getSubject method returns the subject associated with the authorization event (that is, the subject attempting to access the WebLogic resource).

  • getResource

    public Resource getResource()
    

    The getResource method returns the WebLogic resource associated with the authorization event that the subject is attempting to access.

For more information about these convenience interfaces and methods, see the Oracle WebLogic Server API Reference for the AuditAtzEvent interface or the AuditPolicyEvent interface.

The AuditMgmtEvent Interface

The AuditMgmtEvent convenience interface helps Audit Channels to determine instance types of extended security management event type objects, such as a security provider's MBean. It contains no methods that you must implement, but maintains the best practice structure for an Audit Event implementation.

Note:

For more information about MBeans, see Security Service Provider Interface (SSPI) MBeans.

For more information about the AuditMgmtEvent convenience interface, see the Oracle WebLogic Server API Reference.

The AuditRoleEvent and AuditRoleDeploymentEvent Interfaces

The AuditRoleDeploymentEvent and AuditRoleEvent convenience interfaces help Audit Channels to determine instance types of extended role mapping event type objects. They contain no methods that you must implement, but maintain the best practice structure for an Audit Event implementation.

Note:

The difference between the AuditRoleEvent convenience interface and the AuditRoleDeploymentEvent convenience interface is that the latter only extends the AuditEvent interface. (It does not also extend the AuditContext interface.) For more information about the AuditContext interface, see Audit Context.

For more information about these convenience interfaces, see the Oracle WebLogic Server API Reference for the AuditRoleEvent interface or the AuditRoleDeploymentEvent interface.

Audit Severity

The audit severity is the level at which a security provider wants audit events to be recorded. When the configured Auditing providers receive a request to audit, each will examine the severity level of events taking place. If the severity level of an event is greater than or equal to the level an Auditing provider was configured with, that Auditing provider will record the audit data.

Note:

Auditing providers are configured using the WebLogic Server Administration Console. For more information, see Configure the Custom Auditing Provider Using the Administration Console.

The AuditSeverity class, which is part of the weblogic.security.spi package, provides audit severity levels as both numeric and text values to the Audit Channel (that is, the AuditChannel SSPI implementation) through the AuditEvent object. The numeric severity value is to be used in logic, and the text severity value is to be used in the composition of the audit record output. For more information about the AuditChannel SSPI and the AuditEvent object, see Implement the AuditChannel SSPI and Create an Audit Event, respectively.

Audit Context

Some of the Audit Event convenience interfaces extend the AuditContext interface to indicate that an implementation will also contain contextual information. This contextual information can then be used by Audit Channels. For more information, see Audit Channels and Implement the AuditChannel SSPI.

The AuditContext interface includes the following method:

  • getContext

    public ContextHandler getContext()
    

    The getContext method returns a ContextHandler object, which is used by the runtime class (that is, the AuditChannel SSPI implementation) to obtain additional audit information. For more information about ContextHandlers, see ContextHandlers and WebLogic Resources.

Example: Implementation of the AuditRoleEvent Interface

Example 12-1 shows the MyAuditRoleEventImpl.java class, which is a sample implementation of an Audit Event convenience interface (in this case, the AuditRoleEvent convenience interface). This class includes implementations for:

  • The four methods inherited from the AuditEvent SSPI: getEventType, getFailureException, getSeverity and toString (as described in Implement the AuditEvent SSPI).

  • One additional method: getContext, which returns additional contextual information via the ContextHandler. (For more information about ContextHandlers, see ContextHandlers and WebLogic Resources.)

    Note:

    The bold face code in Example 12-1 highlights the class declaration and the method signatures.

Example 12-1 MyAuditRoleEventImpl.java

package mypackage;
import javax.security.auth.Subject;
import weblogic.security.SubjectUtils;
import weblogic.security.service.ContextHandler;
import weblogic.security.spi.AuditRoleEvent;
import weblogic.security.spi.AuditSeverity;
import weblogic.security.spi.Resource;
/*package*/ class MyAuditRoleEventImpl implements AuditRoleEvent
{
   private Subject subject;
   private Resource resource;
   private ContextHandler context;
   private String details;
   private Exception failureException;
   /*package*/ MyAuditRoleEventImpl(Subject subject, Resource resource, 
      ContextHandler context, String details, Exception
      failureException) {
         this.subject = subject;
         this.resource = resource;
         this.context = context;
         this.details = details;
         this.failureException = failureException;
   }
   public Exception getFailureException()
   {
      return failureException;
   }
   public AuditSeverity getSeverity()
   {
      return (failureException == null) ? AuditSeverity.SUCCESS :
         AuditSeverity.FAILURE;
   }
   public String getEventType()
   {
      return "MyAuditRoleEventType";
   }
   public ContextHandler getContext()
   {
      return context;
   }
   public String toString()
   {
      StringBuffer buf = new StringBuffer();
      buf.append("EventType:" + getEventType() + "\n");
      buf.append("\tSeverity: " +
         getSeverity().getSeverityString());
      buf.append("\tSubject: " +
         SubjectUtils.displaySubject(getSubject());
      buf.append("\tResource: " + resource.toString());
      buf.append("\tDetails: " + details);
      if (getFailureException() != null) {
         buf.append("\n\tFailureException:" +
            getFailureException());
      }
      return buf.toString();
   }
}

Obtain and Use the Auditor Service to Write Audit Events

To obtain and use the Auditor Service to write audit events from a custom security provider, follow these steps:

  1. Use the getAuditorService method to return the Audit Service.

    Note:

    Recall that a SecurityServices object is passed into a security provider's implementation of a "Provider" SSPI as part of the initialize method. (For more information, see Understand the Purpose of the "Provider" SSPIs.) An AuditorService object will only be returned if an Auditing provider has been configured.

  2. Instantiate the Audit Event you created in Implement the AuditEvent SSPI and send it to the Auditor Service through the AuditService.providerAuditWriteEvent method.

Example: Obtaining and Using the Auditor Service to Write Role Audit Events

Example 12-2 illustrates how a custom Role Mapping provider's runtime class (called MyRoleMapperProviderImpl.java) would obtain the Auditor Service and use it to write out audit events.

Note:

The MyRoleMapperProviderImpl.java class relies on the MyAuditRoleEventImpl.java class from Example 12-1.

Example 12-2 MyRoleMapperProviderImpl.java

package mypackage;
import javax.security.auth.Subject;
import weblogic.management.security.ProviderMBean;
import weblogic.security.SubjectUtils;
import weblogic.security.service.ContextHandler;
import weblogic.security.spi.AuditorService;
import weblogic.security.spi.RoleMapper;
import weblogic.security.spi.RoleProvider;
import weblogic.security.spi.Resource;
import weblogic.security.spi.SecurityServices;
public final class MyRoleMapperProviderImpl implements RoleProvider, RoleMapper 
{
   private AuditorService auditor;
   public void initialize(ProviderMBean mbean, SecurityServices 
      services) 
   {
      auditor = services.getAuditorService();
      ...
   }
   public Map getRoles(Subject subject, Resource resource,
      ContextHandler handler)
   {
      ...
      if (auditor != null) 
      {
         auditor.providerAuditWriteEvent(
            new MyRoleEventImpl(subject, resource, context, 
            "why logging this event", 
            null);                // no exception occurred
      }
      ...
   }
}

Auditing Management Operations from a Provider's MBean

A SecurityServices object is passed into a security provider's implementation of a "Provider" SSPI as part of the initialize method. (For more information, see Understand the Purpose of the "Provider" SSPIs.) The provider can use this object's auditor to audit provider-specific security events, such as when a user is successfully logged in.

A security provider's MBean implementation is not passed a SecurityServices object. However, the provider may need to audit its MBean operations, such as a user being created.

To work around this, the provider's runtime implementation can cache the SecurityServices object and use a provider-specific mechanism to pass it to the provider's MBean implementation. This allows the provider to audit its MBean operations.

The Manageable Sample Authentication Provider shows one way to accomplish this task. The sample provider contains three major implementation classes:

  • ManageableSampleAuthenticationProviderImpl contains its security runtime implementation.

  • ManageableSampleAuthenticatorImpl contains its MBean implementation.

  • UserGroupDatabase is a helper class used by ManageableSampleAuthenticationProviderImpl and ManageableSampleAuthenticatorImpl.

The code flow to cache and obtain the SecurityServices object is as follows:

  1. The ManageableSampleAuthenticationProviderImpl's initialize method is passed a SecurityServices object.

  2. The initialize method creates a UserGroupDataBase object and passes it the SecurityServices object.

  3. The UserGroupDataBaseObject caches the SecurityServices object. The initialize method also puts the UserGroupDatabase object into a hash table using the realm's name as the lookup key.

  4. The ManageableSampleAuhenticatorImpl's init method finds its realm name from its MBean.

  5. The init method uses the realm name to find the corresponding UserGroupDataBase object from the hash table.

  6. The init method then retrieves the SecurityServices object from the UserGroupDatabase object, and uses its auditor to audit management operations such as "createUser."

    Note:

    A provider's runtime implementation is initialized only if the provider is part of the default realm when the server is booted. Therefore, if the provider is not in the default realm when the server is booted, its runtime implementation is never initialized, and the provider's MBean implementation cannot gain access to the SecurityServices object. That is, if the provider is not in the default realm when the server is booted, the provider cannot audit its MBean operations.

Example: Auditing Management Operations from a Provider's MBean

Example 12-3 illustrates how the ManageableSampleAuhenticatorImpl's init method finds its realm name from its MBean, how it uses the realm name to find the corresponding UserGroupDataBase object from the hash table (via the UserGroupDatabase helper class), and how it then retrieves the SecurityServices object from the UserGroupDatabase object.

Example 12-3 also shows how ManageableSampleAuhenticatorImpl uses its auditor to audit management operations such as "createUser."

Example 12-3 ManageableSampleAuthenticatorImpl.java

package examples.security.providers.authentication.manageable;
import java.util.Enumeration;
import javax.management.MBeanException;
import javax.management.modelmbean.ModelMBean;
import weblogic.management.security.authentication.AuthenticatorImpl;
import weblogic.management.utils.AlreadyExistsException;
import weblogic.management.utils.InvalidCursorException;
import weblogic.management.utils.NotFoundException;
import weblogic.security.spi.AuditorService;
import weblogic.security.spi.SecurityServices;

public class ManageableSampleAuthenticatorImpl extends AuthenticatorImpl
{
// Manages the user and group definitions for this provider:
private UserGroupDatabase database;

// Manages active queries (see listUsers, listGroups, listMemberGroups):
private ListManager listManager = new ListManager();

// The name of the realm containing this provider:
private String realm;

// The name of this provider:
private String provider;

// The auditor for auditing user/group management operations.
// This is only available if this provider was configured in
// the default realm when the server was booted.
private AuditorService auditor;

public ManageableSampleAuthenticatorImpl(ModelMBean base) throws MBeanException
{
super(base);
}

private synchronized void init() throws MBeanException
{
if (database == null) {
try {
ManageableSampleAuthenticatorMBean myMBean = (ManageableSampleAuthenticatorMBean)getProxy();
database = UserGroupDatabase.getDatabase(myMBean);
realm    = myMBean.getRealm().getName();
provider = myMBean.getName();
SecurityServices services = database.getSecurityServices();
auditor = (services != null) ? services.getAuditorService() : null;
}
catch(Exception e) {
throw new MBeanException(e, "SampleAuthenticatorImpl.init failed");
}
}
}
...
public void createUser(String user, String password, String description)
throws MBeanException, AlreadyExistsException
{
init();
String details = (auditor != null) ?
"createUser(user = " + user + ", password = " + password + ", 
description = " + description + ")" : null;
try {
// we don't support descriptions so just ignore it
database.checkDoesntExist(user);
database.getUser(user).create(password);
database.updatePersistentState();
auditOperationSucceeded(details);
}
catch (AlreadyExistsException   e) { auditOperationFailed(details, e); throw e; }
catch (IllegalArgumentException e) { auditOperationFailed(details, e); throw e; }
}
...
private void auditOperationSucceeded(String details)
{
if (auditor != null) {
auditor.providerAuditWriteEvent(
new ManageableSampleAuthenticatorManagementEvent(realm, provider, details, null)
);
}
}
...
private void auditOperationFailed(String details, Exception failureException)
{
if (auditor != null) {

auditor.providerAuditWriteEvent(
new ManageableSampleAuthenticatorManagementEvent(realm, provider, details, failureException)
);
}
}
}

Best Practice: Posting Audit Events from a Provider's MBean

Provider's management operations that do writes (for example, create user, delete user, remove data) should post audit events, regardless of whether or not the operation succeeds.

If your provider audits MBean operations, you should keep the following Best Practice guidelines in mind.

  • If the write operation succeeds, post an INFORMATION audit event.

  • If the write operation fails because of a bad parameter (for example, because the user already exists, or due to a bad import format name, a non-existent file name, or the wrong file format), do not post an audit event.

  • If the write operation fails because of an error (for example, LDAPException, RuntimeException), post a FAILURE audit event.

  • Import operations can partially succeed. For example, some of the users are imported, but others are skipped because there are already users with that name in the provider.

  • If you can easily detect that the data you are skipping is identical to the data already in the provider (for example, the username, description, and password are the same) then consider posting a WARNING event.

  • If you are skipping data because there is a partial collision (for example, the username is the same but the password is different), you should post a FAILURE event.

  • If it is too difficult to distinguish the import data from the data already stored in the provider, post a FAILURE event.