Sun Java System Message Queue 4.3 Technical Overview

Security Services

The Message Queue service supports authentication and authorization (access control) for each broker instance, and also supports encryption:

Authentication and authorization depend upon a repository that contains information about the users of the messaging system—their names, passwords, and group memberships. In addition, to authorize specific operations for a user or group, the broker must check an access control properties file that specifies which operations a user or group can perform. You are responsible for setting up the information the broker needs to authenticate users and authorize their actions.

Figure 3–2 shows the components needed by the broker to provide authentication and authorization.

Figure 3–2 Security Manager Support

Security manager can use various user repositories for
authentication and an access control properties file for authorization, as
explained in text.

As Figure 3–2 shows, you can store user data in a flat file user repository that is provided with the Message Queue service, you can access an existing LDAP repository, or you can plug in a Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS) service. You set a broker property to indicate your choice.

Authentication and Authorization

When a client requests a connection, the client must supply a user name and password. The broker compares the specified name and password to those stored in the user repository. On transmitting the password from client to broker, the passwords are encoded using either base 64 encoding or message digest (MD5) hashing. MD5 is used for a flat file repository; base 64 is required for LDAP repositories. If using LDAP you may want to use the secure TLS protocol. You can set broker properties to configure the type of encoding used by each connection service separately or to set the encoding on a broker-wide basis.

When a user attempts to perform an operation, the broker checks the user’s name and group membership (from the user repository) against those specified for access to that operation (in the access control properties file). The access control properties file specifies permissions to users or groups for the following operations:

You set broker properties to specify the following information:

JAAS-Based Authentication

In addition to the file-based and LDAP-based built-in authentication mechanisms, Message Queue also supports the Java Authentication and Authorization Service (JAAS), which allows you to plug a variety of services into the broker to authenticate Message Queue clients.

JAAS defines an abstraction layer between an application and an authentication mechanism, allowing the desired mechanism to be plugged in with no disruption or change to application code. For the Message Queue service, the abstraction layer lies between the broker and the authentication provider. By setting a few broker properties, it is possible to plug in any JAAS-compliant authentication service and to upgrade or change this service with no disruption or change to broker code.

The service to be plugged in consists of a LoginModule and of logic that performs the authentication. A JAAS configuration file contains the location of the LoginModule. When the broker starts up it locates this file and uses information in the file to determine which LoginModules it will use to perform the authentication. The fact that the broker plugs in an authentication service is transparent to the client; the client continues to pass authentication information to the broker as before and gains access to broker services if the identifying information (user name, password) is authenticated by the plugged in service.

For complete information about JAAS-based authentication, see Using JAAS-Based Authentication in Sun Java System Message Queue 4.3 Administration Guide.


To encrypt messages sent between clients and broker, you need to use a connection service based on the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) standard. SSL provides security at a connection level by establishing an encrypted connection between an SSL-enabled broker and an SSL-enabled client.

You can set broker properties to specify the security properties of the SSL keystore to be used and the name and location of a password file.

For more information, see Message Encryption in Sun Java System Message Queue 4.3 Administration Guide