Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 Administration Guide

23.5.3 To Set Up Certificate-Based Login

In addition to password-based authentication, Sun Java System servers support authentication of users through examination of their digital certificates. In certificate-based authentication, the client establishes an SSL session with the server and submits the user’s certificate to the server. The server then evaluates whether the submitted certificate is genuine. If the certificate is validated, the user is considered authenticated.

To set up your Messaging Server for certificate-based login:

ProcedureTo Set Up Certificate-Based Login

  1. Obtain a server certificate for your server. (For details, see 23.5.1 Obtaining Certificates

  2. Run the Certificate Setup Wizard to install the certificates of any trusted certificate authorities that will issue certificates to the users your server will authenticate. (For details, see To Install Certificates of Trusted CAs

    Note that as long as there is at least one trusted CA in the server’s database, the server requests a client certificate from each connecting client.

  3. Turn on SSL. (For details, see 23.5.2 To Enable SSL and Selecting Ciphers

  4. (Optional) Edit your server’s certmap.conf file so that the server appropriately searches the LDAP user directory based on information in the submitted certificates.

    Editing the certmap.conf file is not necessary if the email address in your users’ certificates matches the email address in your users’ directory entries, and you do not need to optimize searches or validate the submitted certificate against a certificate in the user entry.

    For details of the format of certmap.conf and the changes you can make, see the SSL chapter of Managing Servers with iPlanet Console.

    Once you have taken these steps, when a client establishes an SSL session so that the user can log in to IMAP or HTTP, the Messaging Server requests the user’s certificate from the client. If the certificate submitted by the client has been issued by a CA that the server has established as trusted, and if the identity in the certificate matches an entry in the user directory, the user is authenticated and access is granted (depending on access-control rules governing that user).

    There is no need to disallow password-based login to enable certificate-based login. If password-based login is allowed (which is the default state), and if you have performed the tasks described in this section, both password-based and certificate-based login are supported. In that case, if the client establishes an SSL session and supplies a certificate, certificate-based login is used. If the client does not use SSL or does not supply a certificate, the server requests a password.