Developer's Guide to Oracle Solaris Security

Interprocess Tokens in GSS-API

GSS-API permits a security context to be passed from one process to another in a multiprocess application. Typically, a application has accepted a client's context. The application then shares the context among that application's processes. See Exporting and Importing Contexts in GSS-API for information on multiprocess applications.

The gss_export_context() function creates an interprocess token. This token contains information that enables the context to be reconstituted by a second process. The application is responsible for passing the interprocess token from one process to the other. This situation is similar to the application's responsibility for passing tokens to other applications.

The interprocess token might contain keys or other sensitive information. Not all GSS-API implementations cryptographically protect interprocess tokens. Therefore, the application must protect interprocess tokens before an exchange takes place. This protection might involve encrypting the tokens with gss_wrap(), if encryption is available.

Note –

Do not assume that interprocess tokens are transferable across different GSS-API implementations.