Use of JAAS Login Utility and JavaTM GSS-API for Secure Message Exchanges



This tutorial presents two sample applications to demonstrate the use of the Java GSS-API. This API permits secure exchanges of messages between communicating applications. Here are the sample client and server applications you'll need for this tutorial:


Note: This tutorial uses the same client and server applications as the Use of JavaTM GSS-API for Secure Message Exchanges Without JAAS Programming tutorial. In that tutorial, JAAS (JavaTM Authentication and Authorization Service) programming is not required. Instead, you let the underlying mechanism decide how to get credentials.
This tutorial uses policy files and a more complex login configuration file. The programs are run with a security manager; as a result, security-sensitive operations are not allowed unless the required permissions were explicitly granted. This tutorial also demonstrates how JAAS authorization adds user-centric access control that applies control based on who is running the code--not just on what code is running.

Contents:




Before You Start: Recommended Reading

In this Java GSS-API tutorial, the first step is JAAS authentication. Previous tutorials demonstrated the use of JAAS for user authentication and authorization, and presented examples of policy files and of login configuration files (specifying the underlying authentication technology to be used) that JAAS requires. Applications in the JAAS introductory tutorials, JAAS Authentication and JAAS Authorization, made direct calls to JAAS methods. The Use of JAAS Login Utility tutorial showed the use of a utility program that frees the application from having to do this. The client and server applications in the current tutorial also use the same utility program, so we recommend you read the login utility tutorial first.

As with all tutorials in this series, the underlying technology used to support authentication and secure communication for the applications in this tutorial is Kerberos. See Kerberos Requirements.

Overview of the Client and Server Applications

The applications for this tutorial are named SampleClient and SampleServer.

Each is invoked by executing the Login utility supplied with this tutorial and passing it as arguments the name of the application (SampleClient or SampleServer), followed by the arguments needed by the application. The Login utility uses a JAAS LoginContext to authenticate the user using Kerberos. Finally, the Login utility invokes the main method of the application class, in our case either SampleClient or SampleServer, and passes the application its arguments.

Here is a summary of execution of the SampleClient and SampleServer applications:

  1. Run the SampleServer application by running the Login utility and passing it as arguments the name "SampleServer" followed by the arguments for the SampleServer program. The Login utility prompts you for the password for the principal that SampleServer should run as. (See Kerberos User and Service Principal Names.) After authentication is complete, SampleServer is run it:
    1. Reads its argument, the port number that it should listen on for client connections.
    2. Creates a ServerSocket for listening for client connections on that port.
    3. Listens for a connection.
  2. Run the SampleClient application (possibly on a different machine), by running the Login utility and passing it as arguments the name "SampleClient" followed by the arguments for the SampleClient program. The Login utility prompts you for your Kerberos name and password. After authentication is complete, SampleClient is run. It
    1. Reads its arguments: (1) The name of the Kerberos principal that represents SampleServer. (See Kerberos User and Service Principal Names.), (2) the name of the host (machine) on which SampleServer is running, and (3) the port number on which SampleServer listens for client connections.
    2. Attempts a socket connection with the SampleServer, using the host and port it was passed as arguments.
  3. The socket connection is accepted by SampleServer and both applications initialize a DataInputStream and a DataOutputStream from the socket input and output streams, to be used for future data exchanges.
  4. SampleClient and SampleServer each instantiate a GSSContext and establish a shared context that will enable subsequent secure data exchanges.
  5. SampleClient and SampleServer can now securely exchange messages.
  6. When SampleClient and SampleServer are done exchanging messages, they perform clean-up operations.

Note: Refer to "The SampleClient and SampleServer Code" section of the Use of JavaTM GSS-API for Secure Message Exchanges Without JAAS Programming tutorial for a full discussion of the code used in this tutorial.

Kerberos User and Service Principal Names

Since the underlying authentication and secure communication technology used by this tutorial is Kerberos V5, we use Kerberos-style principal names wherever a user or service is called for.

For example, when you run SampleClient you are asked to provide your user name. Your Kerberos-style user name is simply the user name you were assigned for Kerberos authentication. It consists of a base user name (like "mjones") followed by an "@" and your realm (like "mjones@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM").

A server program like SampleServer is typically considered to offer a "service" and to be run on behalf of a particular "service principal." A service principal name for SampleServer is needed in several places:

  • When you run SampleServer you must log in as the appropriate service principal. The login configuration file for this tutorial actually specifies the service principal name (as an option to the Krb5LoginModule), so the JAAS authentication (done by the Login utility) just asks you to specify the password for that service principal. If you specify the correct password, the authentication is successful, a Subject is created containing a Principal with the service principal name, and that Subject is associated with a new access control context. The subsequently-executed code (the SampleServer code) is considered to be executed on behalf of the specified principal.
  • When you run SampleClient, one of the arguments is the service principal name. This is needed so SampleClient can initiate establishment of a security context with the appropriate service.
  • The client and server policy files each require a ServicePermission with name equal to the service principal name and action equal to "initiate" or "accept" (for initiating or accepting establishment of a security context).

Throughout this document, and in the accompanying login configuration file and policy files,

service_principal@your_realm
is used as a placeholder to be replaced by the actual name to be used in your environment. Any Kerberos principal can actually be used for the service principal name. So for the purposes of trying out this tutorial, you could use your user name as both the client user name and the service principal name.

In a production environment, system administrators typically like servers to be run as specific principals only and may assign a particular name to be used. Often the Kerberos-style service principal name assigned is of the form

service_name/machine_name@realm; 

For example, an nfs service run on a machine named "raven" in the realm named "KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM" could have the service principal name

nfs/raven@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM

Such multi-component names are not required, however. Single-component names, just like those of user principals, can be used. For example, an installation might use the same ftp service principal ftp@realm for all ftp servers in that realm, while another installation might have different ftp principals for different ftp servers, such as ftp/host1@realm and ftp/host2@realm on machines host1 and host2, respectively.

When the Realm is Required in Principal Names

If the realm of a user or service principal name is the default realm (see Kerberos Requirements), you can leave off the realm when you are logging into Kerberos (that is, when you are prompted for your username). Thus, for example, if your user name is "mjones@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM", and you run SampleClient, when it requests your user name you could just specify "mjones", leaving off the realm. The name is interpreted in the context of being a Kerberos principal name and the default realm is appended, as needed.

You can also leave off the realm if a principal name will be converted to a GSSName by a GSSManager createName method. For example, when you run SampleClient, one of the arguments is the server service principal name. You can specify the name without including the realm, because SampleClient passes the name to such a createName method, which appends the default realm as needed.

It is recommended that you always include realms when principal names are used in login configuration files and policy files, because the behavior of the parsers for such files may be implementation-dependent; they may or may not append the default realm before such names are utilized and subsequent actions may fail if there is no realm in the name.

The Login Configuration File

Whenever JAAS is used, a login configuration is required to specify the desired authentication technology. (See JAAS Login Configuration File for more information about what a login configuration file is.) Both SampleClient and SampleServer can use the same login configuration file, if that file contains two entries, one entry for the client side and one for the server side.

The csLogin.conf login configuration file used for this tutorial is the following:

SampleClient {
  com.sun.security.auth.module.Krb5LoginModule required;
};

SampleServer {
  com.sun.security.auth.module.Krb5LoginModule required storeKey=true 
    principal="service_principal@your_realm";
};

Note that the name for each entry matches the respective class names for our two top-level applications, SampleClient and SampleServer. Recall that this is also the name that is passed to the Login utility that performs JAAS operations for the application. That utility expects the name of the entry to be looked up in your login configuration file to be the same as the name it is passed.

Both entries specify that Sun's Kerberos V5 LoginModule must be used to successfully authenticate the user. The Krb5LoginModule succeeds only if the attempt to log in to the Kerberos KDC as a specified entity is successful. In the case of SampleClient, the user will be prompted for their name and password. In the case of SampleServer, a name is already supplied in this login configuration file (the specified principal, as described below) and the user running SampleServer is just asked for the password for the entity specified by that name. They must specify the correct password in order for authentication to succeed.

The SampleServer entry storeKey=true indicates that a secret key should be calculated from the password provided during login and it should be stored in the private credentials of the Subject created as a result of login. This key is subsequently utilized during mutual authentication when establishing a security context between SampleClient and SampleServer.

The Krb5LoginModule has a principal option that can be used to specify that only the specified principal (entity/user) should be logged in for the given program. Here, the SampleClient entry does not specify a principal (although it could, if desired), so the user is prompted for a user name and password and anyone with a valid user name and password can run SampleClient. SampleServer, on the other hand, indicates a particular principal because system administrators usually like servers to be run as specific principals only. In this case, the user running SampleServer is prompted for that principal's password and must supply the correct one in order for authentication to succeed.

Note that you must replace "service_principal@your_realm" with the name of the service principal that represents SampleServer. (See Kerberos User and Service Principal Names.)

For information about all the possible options that can be passed to Krb5LoginModule, see the Krb5LoginModule documentation.

The Policy Files

The policy file used when running SampleClient is client.policy, and the policy file used when running SampleServer is server.policy. Their contents are described below.

The Client Policy File

Permissions Required by the Login utility Classes

A number of permissions are required by the classes in Login.java (Login and MyAction). As recommended in the previous tutorial on the use of Login, we create a Login.jar JAR file containing the Login.class and MyAction.class files and in the client.policy policy file we grant Login.jar AllPermission:

grant codebase "file:./Login.jar" {
   permission java.security.AllPermission;
};

Permissions Required by SampleClient

The SampleClient code does two types of operations for which permissions are required. It

  • opens a socket connection with the host machine running the SampleServer application.
  • initiates establishment of a security context with SampleServer.

The permission required to open a socket connection is

permission java.net.SocketPermission "*", "connect";

You may replace the "*" with the hostname or IP address of the machine that SampleServer will be running on.

The permission(s) required to initiate establishment of a security context will depend on the underlying mechanism. This tutorial uses Kerberos as the underlying mechanism, and for that two javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermissions are required. A ServicePermission contains a service principal name and an action (or list of actions). To initiate establishment of a security context, you need two ServicePermissions with action "initiate", whose names specify:

  • the service principal name for the ticket granting service for your realm. Granting this permission essentially allows the use of Kerberos as a client.
  • the service principal name representing SampleServer. (See Kerberos User and Service Principal Names.) Granting this permission allows you to interact with the service, SampleServer, using Kerberos.

We want to grant the permissions to a specific authenticated user executing SampleClient, so we specify both the SampleClient code location (in SampleClient.jar) and a Principal designation indicating the user name and realm for the user (you, the person who will run SampleClient). (See How Do You Make Principal-Based Policy File Statements? in the second tutorial of this series for information on policy file grant statements that include Principal designations.)

Here is the basic form for the grant statement:

  grant CodeBase "file:./SampleClient.jar", 
    Principal javax.security.auth.kerberos.KerberosPrincipal 
        "your_user_name@your_realm" {

    permission java.net.SocketPermission "*", "connect";

    permission javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermission
        "krbtgt/your_realm@your_realm", 
        "initiate";

    permission javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermission
        "service_principal@your_realm", 
        "initiate";
};

You must substitute your Kerberos user name (complete with "@" and realm) for "your_user_name@your_realm". For example, if your user name is "mjones" and your realm is "KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM", you would use "mjones@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM" (complete with the quotes).

You must also substitute your realm in "krbtgt/your_realm@your_realm" and the service principal name for the service principal representing the server for "service_principal@your_realm". Suppose the former is "krbtgt/KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM" and the latter is "sample/raven.abc.com@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM", and your user name is as specified in the previous paragraph. Then the grant statement would be

grant CodeBase "file:./SampleClient.jar", 
    Principal javax.security.auth.kerberos.KerberosPrincipal 
        "mjones@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM" {

    permission java.net.SocketPermission "*", "connect";

    permission javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermission
        "krbtgt/KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM", 
        "initiate";

    permission javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermission
        "sample/raven.abc.com@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM", 
        "initiate";
};

The Server Policy File

Permissions Required by the Login Utility Classes

The grant statement in the server policy file for the Login classes is exactly the same as the one in the client policy file, as described in Permissions Required by the Login Utility Classes:

grant codebase "file:./Login.jar" {
   permission java.security.AllPermission;
};

Permissions Required by SampleServer

The SampleServer code does two types of operations for which permissions are required. It

  • accepts socket connections.
  • accepts establishment of a security context, that is, it is the "acceptor" for security context establishment.

The permission required to accept socket connections is

permission java.net.SocketPermission "*", "accept";

You may replace the "*" with the hostname or IP address of the machine that SampleClient will be running on.

The permission required to accept establishment of a security context is

permission javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermission
    "service_principal@your_realm", 
    "accept";
where "service_principal@your_realm" is the Kerberos name of the service principal that represents SampleServer.

We want to grant the permissions to a specific authenticated user executing SampleServer (the service principal considered to represent SampleServer), so we specify both the SampleServer code location (in SampleServer.jar) and a Principal designation indicating the service principal. Suppose this name is "sample/raven.abc.com@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM". Then the grant statement would be

  grant CodeBase "file:./SampleServer.jar" 
    Principal javax.security.auth.kerberos.KerberosPrincipal 
        "sample/raven.abc.com@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM" {

    permission java.net.SocketPermission "*", "accept";

    permission javax.security.auth.kerberos.ServicePermission
        "sample/raven.abc.com@KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM", "accept";
};

Running the SampleClient and SampleServer Programs

To execute the SampleClient and SampleServer programs, do the following:

Prepare SampleServer for Execution

To prepare SampleServer for execution, do the following:

  1. Copy the following files into a directory accessible by the machine on which you will run SampleServer:
  2. Replace "service_principal@your_realm" in csLogin.conf with the name of the service principal representing SampleServer.
  3. In both places it appears, replace "service_principal@your_realm" in server.policy with the Kerberos name of the service principal that represents SampleServer. (The same name as that used in the login configuration file.)
  4. Compile Login.java and SampleServer.java:
    javac Login.java SampleServer.java
    

    Note that Login.java contains two classes and thus compiling Login.java creates Login.class and MyAction.class.

  5. Create a JAR file named Login.jar containing Login.class and MyAction.class:
    jar -cvf Login.jar Login.class MyAction.class
    
  6. Create a JAR file named SampleServer.jar containing SampleServer.class:
    jar -cvf SampleServer.jar SampleServer.class
    

Prepare SampleClient for Execution

To prepare SampleClient for execution, do the following:

  1. Copy the following files into a directory accessible by the machine on which you will run SampleClient:
  2. Replace parts of client.policy:
  3. Compile Login.java and SampleClient.java:
    javac Login.java SampleClient.java
    
  4. Create a JAR file named Login.jar containing Login.class and MyAction.class:
    jar -cvf Login.jar Login.class MyAction.class
    
  5. Create a JAR file named SampleClient.jar containing SampleClient.class:
    jar -cvf SampleClient.jar SampleClient.class
    

Execute SampleServer

It is important to execute SampleServer before SampleClient because SampleClient will try to make a socket connection to SampleServer and that will fail if SampleServer is not yet running and accepting socket connections.

To execute SampleServer, be sure to run it on the machine it is expected to be run on. This machine name (host name) is specified as an argument to SampleClient. The service principal name appears in several places, including the login configuration file and the policy files.

Go to the directory in which you have prepared SampleServer for execution. Execute the Login class, specifying

  • by an appropriate -classpath clause that classes should be searched for in the Login.jar and SampleServer.jar JAR files,
  • by -Djava.security.manager that a security manager should be installed,
  • by -Djava.security.krb5.realm=<your_realm> that your Kerberos realm is the one specified. For example, if your realm is "KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM" you'd put -Djava.security.krb5.realm=KRBNT-OPERATIONS.ABC.COM.
  • by -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=<your_kdc> that your Kerberos KDC is the one specified. For example, if your KDC is "samplekdc.abc.com" you'd put -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=samplekdc.abc.com.
  • by -Djava.security.policy=server.policy that the policy file to be used is server.policy, and
  • by -Djava.security.auth.login.config=csLogin.conf that the login configuration file to be used is csLogin.conf.

You pass the name of your application (in this case, "SampleServer") as an argument to Login. You then add as arguments any arguments required by your application, which in the case of SampleServer is a single argument specifying the port number to be used for listening for client connections. Choose a high port number unlikely to be used for anything else. An example would be something like 4444.

Below are the full commands to use for both Microsoft Windows and Unix systems. The only difference is that on Microsoft Windows systems you use semicolons to separate classpath items, while you use colons for that purpose on Unix systems.

Important: In these commands, you must replace <port_number> with an appropriate port number, <your_realm> with your Kerberos realm, and <your_kdc> with your Kerberos KDC.

Here is the command for Microsoft Windows systems:

java -classpath Login.jar;SampleServer.jar 
 -Djava.security.manager 
 -Djava.security.krb5.realm=<your_realm> 
 -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=<your_kdc> 
 -Djava.security.policy=server.policy 
 -Djava.security.auth.login.config=csLogin.conf 
 Login SampleServer <port_number>

Here is the command for UNIX systems:

java -classpath Login.jar:SampleServer.jar 
 -Djava.security.manager 
 -Djava.security.krb5.realm=<your_realm> 
 -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=<your_kdc> 
 -Djava.security.policy=server.policy 
 -Djava.security.auth.login.config=csLogin.conf 
 Login SampleServer <port_number>

Type the full command on one line. Multiple lines are used here for legibility. If the command is too long for your system, you may need to place it in a .bat file (for Microsoft Windows) or a .sh file (for UNIX) and then run that file to execute the command.

You will be prompted for the Kerberos password for the service principal. The underlying Kerberos authentication mechanism specified in the login configuration file will log the service principal into Kerberos. Once authentication is successfully completed, the SampleServer code will be executed on behalf of the service principal. It will listen for socket connections on the specified port.

For login troubleshooting suggestions, see Troubleshooting.

Execute SampleClient

To execute SampleClient, go to the directory in which you have prepared SampleClient for execution. Then execute the Login class, specifying

  • by an appropriate -classpath clause that classes should be searched for in the Login.jar and SampleClient.jar JAR files,
  • by -Djava.security.manager that a security manager should be installed,
  • by -Djava.security.krb5.realm=<your_realm> that your Kerberos realm is the one specified.
  • by -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=<your_kdc> that your Kerberos KDC is the one specified.
  • by -Djava.security.policy=client.policy that the policy file to be used is client.policy, and
  • by -Djava.security.auth.login.config=csLogin.conf that the login configuration file to be used is csLogin.conf.

Pass to Login the name of your application ("SampleClient") followed by the arguments required by SampleClient. The SampleClient arguments are (1) the Kerberos name of the service principal that represents SampleServer, (2) the name of the host (machine) on which SampleServer is running, and (3) the port number on which SampleServer is listening for client connections.

Below are the full commands to use for both Microsoft Windows and Unix systems.

Important: In these commands, you must replace <service_principal>, <host>, <port_number>, <your_realm>, and <your_kdc> with appropriate values (and note that the port number must be the same as the port number passed as an argument to SampleServer). These values need not be placed in quotes.

Here is the command for Microsoft Windows systems:

java -classpath Login.jar;SampleClient.jar 
 -Djava.security.manager 
 -Djava.security.krb5.realm=<your_realm> 
 -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=<your_kdc> 
 -Djava.security.policy=client.policy 
 -Djava.security.auth.login.config=csLogin.conf 
 Login SampleClient <service_principal> <host> <port_number>

Here is the command for UNIX systems:

java -classpath Login.jar:SampleClient.jar 
 -Djava.security.manager 
 -Djava.security.krb5.realm=<your_realm> 
 -Djava.security.krb5.kdc=<your_kdc> 
 -Djava.security.policy=client.policy 
 -Djava.security.auth.login.config=csLogin.conf 
 Login SampleClient <service_principal> <host> <port_number>

Type the full command on one line. Multiple lines are used here for legibility. As with the command for executing SampleServer, if the command is too long to type directly into your command window, place it in a .bat file (Microsoft Windows) or a .sh file (UNIX) and then execute that file.

When prompted, type your Kerberos user name and password. The underlying Kerberos authentication mechanism specified in the login configuration file will log you into Kerberos. Once authentication is successfully completed, the SampleClient code will be executed on behalf of you. It will request a socket connection with SampleServer. Once SampleServer accepts the connection, SampleClient and SampleServer establish a shared context and then exchange messages as described in this tutorial.

For login troubleshooting suggestions, see Troubleshooting.


Oracle and/or its affiliates
Java Technology

Copyright © 1993, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Contact Us