Developer's Guide to Oracle Solaris Security


Object identifiers (OIDs) are used to store the following kinds of data:

OIDs are stored in GSS-API gss_OID_desc structure. GSS-API provides a pointer to the structure, gss_OID, as shown in the following example.

Example 4–3 OIDs Structure

typedef struct gss_OID_desc_struct {
        OM_uint32   length;
        void        *elements;
     } gss_OID_desc, *gss_OID;

Further, one or more OIDs might be contained in a gss_OID_set_desc structure.

Example 4–4 OID Set Structure

typedef struct gss_OID_set_desc_struct {
        size_t    count;
        gss_OID   elements;
     } gss_OID_set_desc, *gss_OID_set;

Caution – Caution –

Applications should not attempt to deallocate OIDs with free().

Mechanisms and QOPs in GSS-API

Although GSS-API allows applications to choose underlying security mechanisms, applications should use the default mechanism that has been selected by GSS-API if possible. Similarly, although GSS-API lets an application specify a Quality of Protection level for protecting data, the default QOP should be used if possible. Acceptance of the default mechanism is indicated by passing the value GSS_C_NULL_OID to functions that expect a mechanism or QOP as an argument.

Caution – Caution –

Specifying a security mechanism or QOP explicitly defeats the purpose of using GSS-API. Such a specific selection limits the portability of an application. Other implementations of GSS-API might not support that QOP or mechanism in the intended manner. Nonetheless, Appendix C, Specifying an OID briefly discusses how to find out which mechanisms and QOPs are available, and how to choose one.

Name Types in GSS-API

Besides QOPs and security mechanisms, OIDs are also used to indicate name types, which indicate the format for an associated name. For example, the function gss_import_name(), which converts the name of a principal from a string to a gss_name_t type, takes as one argument the format of the string to be converted. If the name type is, for example, GSS_C_NT_HOSTBASED_SERVICE, then the function knows that the name being input is of the form service@host. If the name type is GSS_C_NT_EXPORT_NAME, then the function expects a GSS-API exported name. Applications can find out which name types are available for a given mechanism with the gss_inquire_names_for_mech() function. A list of name types used by GSS-API is provided in Name Types.