Sun OpenSSO Enterprise 8.0 Installation and Configuration Guide

OpenSSO Enterprise Solution: Shared Session Cookies

The security issue labeled Security Issue: Shared Session Cookies in this chapter pertains to applications sharing the same HTTP or HTTPS session cookie. OpenSSO Enterprise addresses this security threat by issuing a unique SSO token to each Application/Agent after the user has been authenticated. The unique SSO token is referred to as a "restricted token."

The term “Application/Agent,” indicates that the restricted token is inextricably connected to the application and to the agent (which specifically refers to an agent from the Policy Agent 3.0 software set). Since each user's SSO token is unique for each Application/Agent, the increased security provided by this scenario prevents an non-trusted application, impersonating the user, from accessing other applications. More specifically, since the SSO token (restricted token) assigned to a user (as a part of the user's session) is associated with the agent that did the initial redirection for authentication, all subsequent requests are checked to verify that they are coming from the same agent. Thus, if a hacker tries to use the same restricted token to access another application, a security violation is thrown.

What makes the restricted token “restricted” is not related to the syntax of the token. The syntax of a restricted token is the same as that of a regular SSO token. Instead, a specific constraint is associated with the restricted token. This constraint is what ensures that the restricted token is only used for an application that a given agent protects.