4 Configuring Security for a WebLogic Domain

Configuring security for a WebLogic Server environment starts with a creating a secure installation of WebLogic Server. It also includes choosing the security configuration options that are appropriate for the environment in which the domain runs, such as obtaining and storing certificates, protecting user accounts, and securing the network on which the domain runs.

This chapter includes the following sections:

For a complete checklist of all components in the WebLogic Server that should be secured in a production environment, including specific tasks recommended for securing the WebLogic Server host, the WebLogic Security Service, files and databases used by WebLogic Server, see Ensuring the Security of Your Production Environment in Securing a Production Environment for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Performing a Secure Installation of WebLogic Server

Performing a secure installation includes steps to secure the host machine on which WebLogic Server is installed, to limit access to that host to only authorized users, and to install Critical Patch Updates immediately after installation is complete.

If you are installing WebLogic Server in a production environment, Oracle strongly recommends the guidelines described in the following sections:

Before Installing WebLogic Server

Before you start the WebLogic Server installation program, complete the following tasks:

  • Create a My Oracle Support account so that you can register your WebLogic Server installation with Oracle and receive security updates automatically. Visit http://www.oracle.com/support/index.html.

  • Secure the host machine, operating system, and file system to ensure that access is restricted only to authorized users. For example:

    • Keep your hardware in a secured area to prevent unauthorized operating system users from gaining access to the machine and its network connections.

    • Make sure the host machine has the latest operating system patches and security updates.

      Note:

      As new patches become available, you should download and install them promptly.

  • Secure networking services and the file system that the operating system provides to prevent unauthorized access. For example, make sure that any file system sharing is secured.

  • Set operating system file access permissions to restrict access to data stored on disk that will be used or managed by WebLogic Server, such as the security LDAP database and directories into which keystores are created and managed.

  • Limit the number of user accounts on the host machine. Create a group to contain only the following user accounts:

    1. The user who installs WebLogic Server only.

    2. The user who creates the WebLogic domain and uses Node Manager to start the Administration Server and each Managed Server instance in the domain.

    Restrict the privileges of these user accounts to only the following directories:

    • Oracle home — Root directory created for all Oracle Fusion Middleware products on a host computer

    • WebLogic home — Root directory of the WebLogic Server installation

    • Domain home — Root directory of the WebLogic domain

    Note:

    Some processes also need access to temporary directories by default, such as /tmp on Unix platforms. If the privileges of a user account are restricted to only the Oracle home, WebLogic home, and WebLogic domain directories, the user must change environment variables, such as TEMP or TMP, to point to a directory to which that user does have access.

  • Ensure that any Web servers on the host machine run only as an unprivileged user, never as root. See also "Security Practices & Evaluations" information available from the CERT Coordination Center at http://www.cert.org/.

  • Ensure no software development tools or sample software is installed.

  • Consider using additional software to secure your operating system, such as a reputable intrusion detection system (IDS).

See Securing the WebLogic Server Host in Securing a Production Environment for Oracle WebLogic Server .

While Running the Installation Program

During installation, make sure you do the following:

  • Do not install the sample applications component.

  • On the Specify Security Updates installer screen, select I wish to receive security updates via My Oracle Support.

See Read Security Publications and Install WebLogic Server in a Secure Manner in Securing a Production Environment for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Immediately After Installation is Complete

  • Remove the Derby DBMS database, which is bundled with WebLogic Server for use by the sample applications and code examples as a demonstration database. Derby DBMS is located in the WL_HOME/common/derby directory.

  • Visit the Critical Patch Updates and Security Alerts page at the following location to review WebLogic Server security advisories:

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/topics/security/alerts-086861.html

  • Limit access to internal applications by disabling unused internal applications and enabling the Administration port. For more information about how to limit access to internal applications, see Install and Configure WebLogic Server in a Secure Manner in Securing a Production Environment for Oracle WebLogic Server .

Creating a WebLogic Domain for Production Use

To create a WebLogic domain for production use, consider the environment in which the domain will run, such as whether it will interoperate with other WebLogic domains, and how best to secure the accounts of users who have access to the domain.

When configuring a WebLogic domain for use in a production environment, using tools such as the Configuration Wizard, the pack/unpack commands, WLST, or the WebLogic Server Administration Console, consider the following:

  • Configure the domain to run in either production mode or secured production mode. The domain mode determines default settings regarding security and logging.

    In production mode, the security configuration is relatively stringent, such as requiring a user name and password to deploy applications and start the Administration Server. If you are using the unpack command to create a full WebLogic domain, or a subset of a domain that is used for a Managed Server domain directory on a remote machine, use the -server_start_mode=prod parameter to configure production mode.

    In secured production mode, your production environment is more secure as the authorization and role mapping policies are more restrictive, and warnings are logged for insecure configuration settings in your domain. Note that in order to enable secured production mode, your domain must be in production mode. You can enable secured production mode using the WebLogic Server Administration Console, Fusion Middleware Control or WLST (offline and online). Refer to the following topics for more information about using these tools to enable secured production mode:
    • See Secure your production domain in the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help for information about enabling secured production mode and related security settings using the Administration Console.

    • Use the setOption WLST offline command while creating a domain, and set the ServerStartMode argument to secure to create a domain in secured production mode. See setOption in WLST Command Reference for Oracle WebLogic Server.

    • See Using WLST Online to Update an Existing WebLogic Domain in Understanding the WebLogic Scripting Tool to learn how to change your domain environment from production mode to secured production mode.

    • See Configure domain security in Administering Oracle WebLogic Server with Fusion Middleware Control to enable secured production mode and related security settings using Fusion Middleware Control.

    Note:

    It is possible to change the domain mode from development to production, production to development, and from production to secured production mode. However, it is important to remember that to enable secured production mode, your domain must be in production mode.

    For production environments with more stringent security requirements, Oracle recommends setting the production domain mode at the time you create the domain (as opposed to changing a development mode domain to production mode). See Development and Production Modes in Understanding Domain Configuration for Oracle WebLogic Server for more information about how to modify domain modes.

  • If the domain will interoperate with other WebLogic domains, or has the potential for that use at some future point, choose resource names carefully. Many resource names are fixed at the time a domain is created, and stringent requirements must be observed for resource names when using Cross-Domain Security, transactions, and messaging.

    See Requirements for Transaction Communication in Developing JTA Applications for Oracle WebLogic Server.

  • When creating domains using WLST, do not enter unencrypted passwords in commands for configuring entities that require them, such as passwords for:

    • Domain administrator

    • Node Manager user

    • Database user

    • JKS keystores (both when creating the keystores and again when configuring them with WebLogic Server)

    • Wallet

    Specifying unencrypted passwords in WLST commands is a security risk: they can be easily viewed from the monitor screen by others, and they are displayed in process listings that log the execution of those commands. Instead, omit the password from the command. When the command is executed, WLST automatically prompts you for any passwords needed to complete the domain configuration.

Securing the Domain After You Have Created It

After you have created your WebLogic domain, several key steps remain to ensure its integrity such as selecting an appropriate domain mode, limiting access to internal applications, and configuring a Password Validation provider. To secure a domain after you have created it, Oracle recommends the following steps:
  1. Secure your production environment by enabling secured production mode for your domain. Your domain must be in production mode to enable secured production mode. In this mode, the secure values override the production mode default values, and the default authorization and security policies are more restrictive. WebLogic Server validates all security settings and logs warnings in case of insecure settings, thereby, providing a highly secure production environment. See Secure your production domain in the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help to learn how to change your domain mode to secured production mode.
  2. Limit access to internal applications by disabling unused internal applications using either the configuration settings or the system property. Enable the Administration port for your domain, and configure a firewall to prevent external access to internal applications on the Administration port. In secured production mode, the Administration port is enabled by default. For information about how to disable internal applications, see Install and Configure WebLogic Server in a Secure Manner in Securing a Production Environment for Oracle WebLogic Server.
  3. Configure the Password Validation provider to manage and enforce password composition rules. The Password Validation provider is configured out-of-the-box to work with several WebLogic authentication providers.
  4. As you create or add users to the security realm, check that the User Lockout options on user accounts are set for maximum protection. Note that the configuration of User Lockout is defined on a per realm basis. Therefore, if the default User Lockout settings are not suitable for your needs, you might need to customize these settings whenever you create a new security realm. See Protecting User Accounts and How Passwords Are Protected in WebLogic Server.

    If your domain is running in secured production mode, then WebLogic Server logs a warning if the user lockout is configured to a value less than the default value.

  5. If you have configured Node Manager to start, shut down, and restart the Administration Server and Managed Server instances distributed across multiple machines, make sure that Node Manager security is properly configured.

    If you are using Java Node Manager (recommended for production environments), see Configuring Java-based Node Manager Security in Administering Node Manager for Oracle WebLogic Server.

    If you are using Script Node Manager, which may be suitable for environments that have less stringent security requirements, see Step 2: Configure Node Manager Security in Administering Node Manager for Oracle WebLogic Server.

  6. Enable auditing, which provides an automated way of collecting and storing information about events and other activity occurring in the system. Auditing is available through either of the following means:
    • Configuration auditing — When this is enabled, the Administration Server emits log messages and generates audit events when a user changes the configuration of any resource within a domain or invokes management operations on any resource within a domain.

    • WebLogic Auditing provider — Optional security provider that collects, stores, and distributes information about operating requests and the outcome of those requests for the purposes of non-repudiation. When configuration auditing is enabled, the WebLogic Auditing provider also logs configuration auditing events.

    Note that auditing may impose a performance overhead that should be taken into consideration. However, by adjusting how auditing is configured, this additional overhead can be minimized. When enabling auditing, make sure that sufficient disk space is available for the audit log. See Configuring the WebLogic Auditing Provider.

    Note:

    If secured production mode is enabled for your domain, then WebLogic Server logs a warning if an Auditing provider is not configured. You can use the WarnOnAuditing attribute in the SecureModeMBean to specify whether warnings should be logged or not if auditing is not enabled.
  7. Make sure that the JVM platform MBean server cannot be accessed remotely. See "Monitoring and Management Using JMX Technology" at http://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/technotes/guides/management/agent.html.
  8. If you have a requirement to comply with Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2, complete the appropriate procedures described in Enabling FIPS Mode.
  9. Make sure configuration settings for complete message time out are sized appropriately for your system. See Configuring Network Resources in Administering Server Environments for Oracle WebLogic Server.
  10. Create and configure the keystores used for holding identity and trust; that is, the keystores containing identity certificates and the keystore containing trusted Certificate Authority (CA) certificates. See Configuring Keystores.

    If you are using the Oracle OPSS Keystore Service (KSS) for use with WebLogic Server, see Configuring Oracle OPSS Keystore Service.

    Configure certificate validation and revocation checking to ensure that:

  11. Configure a host name verifier. When making an SSL connection, the host name verifier ensures that the host name in the URL to which the client connects matches the host name in the digital certificate that the server sends back. See Using Host Name Verification.
    If your domain is running in secured production mode, then WebLogic Server logs a warning if host name verification is disabled. To enable host name verification, see Configure a custom host name verifier in the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help.
  12. Configure SSL for the administration port, network channels, database connections, LDAP server connections, and other resources handling communication that must be secured. In particular, make sure that connections to remote server instances in the domain are secured with SSL. The specific components for which either one- or two-way SSL needs to be configured depends on the overall topology of the production environment. See the following topics:

    Table 4-1 SSL Configuration Topics

    For information about . . . . . . see the following topic

    An overview of using SSL to secure communications in a basic WebLogic domain

    Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in Understanding Security for Oracle WebLogic Server

    Where to use one-way and two-way SSL in a basic WebLogic domain

    One-way/Two-way SSL Authentication in Understanding Security for Oracle WebLogic Server

    Steps to configure SSL in a basic WebLogic domain

    Setting Up SSL: Main Steps

    Configuring an administration port for secure communication with the domain Administration Server

    Administration Port and Administrative Channel in Administering Server Environments for Oracle WebLogic Server

    Securing database connections

    Understanding Data Source Security in Administering JDBC Data Sources for Oracle WebLogic Server

    An overview of using SSL in Oracle Fusion Middleware to secure components in web, middle, and data tiers

    About SSL in Oracle Fusion Middleware in Administering Oracle Fusion Middleware

    Best practices for configuring SSL in WebLogic Server

    "Section 2. Security Best Practices" in Document ID 1074055.1, available from My Oracle Support at https://support.oracle.com/

    Note:

    Note the following:

    • By default, WebLogic Server is configured for one-way SSL authentication; however, the SSL port is disabled. Oracle strongly recommends enabling the SSL port in all server instances in a production domain.

    • The demonstration digital certificates, private keys, and trusted CA certificates provided in WebLogic Server should never be used in a production environment.

    • In secured production mode, WebLogic Server logs warnings if the SSL configuration is not secure. You can use the WarnOnInsecureSSL attribute contained in the SecureModeMBean to specify whether warnings should be logged if the SSL configuration is not secure.

  13. Restrict the size and the time limit of requests on external channels to prevent Denial of Service attacks. See Reducing the Potential for Denial of Service Attacks in Tuning Performance of Oracle WebLogic Server.
  14. If you use multiple Authentication providers, be sure to set the JAAS control flag correctly. See Using More Than One Authentication Provider.
  15. Ensure that you have correctly assigned users and groups to the default WebLogic Server security roles. See Users, Groups, And Security Roles in Securing Resources Using Roles and Policies for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Obtaining Private Keys, Digital Certificates, and Trusted Certificate Authority Certificates

You have multiple choices for obtaining private keys, digital certificates, and trusted CA certificates for your WebLogic Server environment. Oracle strongly recommends obtaining private keys and digital certificates from a reputed certificate authority. When choosing these items, note the following considerations:

Storing Private Keys, Digital Certificates, and Trusted Certificate Authority Certificates

Once you have obtained private keys, digital certificates, and trusted CA certificates, you need to store them so that WebLogic Server can use them to find and verify identity. Private keys, their associated digital certificates, and trusted CA certificates are stored in keystores. Then you need to configure those keystores with WebLogic Server.
For information about . . . . . . see the following topic

Creating a keystore

Creating a Keystore

Configuring a keystore to be used with WebLogic Server

Configuring Keystores with WebLogic Server

A step-by-step example of using the keytool utility to create a keystore and store keys and certificates in it

Creating a Keystore: An Example

Displaying the certificates contained in a keystore

Viewing Keystore Contents

Updating certificates that are due to expire

Replacing Expiring Certificates

Protecting User Accounts

WebLogic Server provides a set of configuration options to protect user accounts from intruders. In the default security configuration, these options are set for maximum protection. You can use the WebLogic Server Administration Console to modify these options using the Configuration > User Lockout page, which is available for each security realm.

As a system administrator, you have the option of turning off all the configuration options, increasing the number of login attempts before a user account is locked, increasing the time period in which invalid login attempts are made before locking the user account, and changing the amount of time a user account is locked. Remember that changing the configuration options lessens security and leaves user accounts vulnerable to security attacks. See Set user lockout attributes in the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help.

Note:

The User Lockout options apply to the default security realm and all its security providers. User Lockout works in all security realms, is layered on top of all configured providers, including custom ones, and is enabled by default.

If you are using an Authentication provider that has its own mechanism for protecting user accounts, consider if disabling User Lockout on the security realm is appropriate because other Authentication providers might be configured in the security realm.

If a user account becomes locked and you delete the user account and add another user account with the same name and password, the User Lockout configuration options will not be reset.

For information about unlocking a locked user account, see Unlock user accounts in the Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help. Unlocking a locked user account can be done through either the WebLogic Server Administration Console or the clearLockout attribute on the UserLockoutManagerRuntimeMBean.

Using Connection Filters

Connection filters allow you to deny access at the network level. They can be used to protect server resources on individual servers, server clusters, or an entire internal network or intranet. For example, you can deny any non-SSL connections originating outside of your corporate network. Network connection filters are a type of firewall in that they can be configured to filter on protocols, IP addresses, and DNS node names.

Connection filters are particularly useful when using the Administration port. Depending on your network firewall configuration, you may be able to use a connection filter to further restrict administration access. A typical use might be to restrict access to the Administration port to only the servers and machines in the WebLogic domain. An attacker who gets access to a machine inside the firewall, still cannot perform administration operations unless the attacker is on one of the permitted machines.

WebLogic Server provides a default connection filter called weblogic.security.net.ConnectionFilterImpl. This connection filter accepts all incoming connections and also provides static factory methods that allow the server to obtain the current connection filter. To configure this connection filter to deny access, simply enter the connection filters rules in the WebLogic Server Administration Console.

You can also use a custom connection filter by implementing the classes in the weblogic.security.net package. For information about writing a connection filter, see Using Network Connection Filters in Developing Applications with the WebLogic Security Service. Like the default connection filter, custom connection filters are configured in the WebLogic Server Administration Console.

To configure a connection filter:

  1. Enable the logging of accepted messages. This Connection Logger Enabled option logs successful connections and connection data in the server. This information can be used to debug problems relating to server connections.
  2. Choose which connection filter is to be used in the domain.
    • To configure the default connection filter, specify weblogic.security.net.ConnectionFilterImpl in Connection Filter.

    • To configure a custom connection filter, specify the class that implements the network connection filter in Connection Filter. This class must also be specified in the CLASSPATH for WebLogic Server.

  3. Enter the syntax for the connection filter rules.

Refer to the following topics:

Configuring a Custom JEP 290 Deserialization Filter

To improve security, WebLogic Server uses the JDK JEP 290 mechanism to filter incoming serialized Java objects and limit the classes that can be deserialized. The filter helps to protect against attacks from specially crafted, malicious serialized objects that can cause denial of service (DOS) or remote code execution (RCE) attacks.

WebLogic Server uses JEP 290 as follows:

  • Implements a WebLogic Server-specific object input filter to enforce a blacklist of prohibited classes and packages for input streams used by WebLogic Server. The filter also enforces a default value for the maximum depth of a deserialized object tree.

  • Provides system properties that you can use to add or remove classes and packages from the default filter to blacklist or whitelist particular classes. You can also use the system properties to filter deserialized classes based on the nesting depth of the deserialized object, the number of internal references in the deserialized object, the size of arrays, and/or the maximum size in bytes of a deserialized object.

For more information on JEP 290, see http://openjdk.java.net/jeps/290.

JEP 290 Support in WebLogic Server

JEP 290 support is provided in WebLogic Server with the following Patch Set Update (PSU):

  • WebLogic Server October 2017 PSU or later. For details about the WebLogic Server PSUs, see the My Oracle Support document Patch Set Update (PSU) Release Listing for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS) (Doc ID 1470197.1).

JEP 290 integration is available when WebLogic Server 12.2.1.3 is configured with the following JDK versions:

  • JDK 8 Update 121 (JDK 8u121) or later

  • JDK 7 Update 131 (JDK 7u131) or later

Note:

WebLogic Server 12.2.1.3 is certified for use with JDK 8, and supported WebLogic Server 12.2.1.3 clients are certified for use with JDK 7 and JDK 8, as explained in JDK 8 and Server JRE 8 Certification in What's New in Oracle WebLogic Server 12.2.1.3.0.

If you are running a JDK that does not support JEP 290, then WebLogic Server continues to run and provide some protection against known deserialization attacks, but will not have the protection of the more advanced features of JEP 290.

WebLogic Server JEP 290 Default Filter Configuration

At startup, WebLogic Server configures a default JEP 290 filter with the following characteristics:

  • The maximum depth of a graph

  • A set of prohibited classes that cannot be deserialized

These default settings can change over time. For a list of the most current default filter settings, see the My Oracle Support document Restricting Incoming Serialized Java Objects to Oracle WebLogic Server (Doc ID 2421487.1). You can access My Oracle Support at https://support.oracle.com/.

To ensure that your system is protected with the most current default filter, be sure to apply the latest Java and WebLogic Server Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) as soon as they are released. The Critical Patch Updates, Security Alerts and Bulletins page references the latest Java and WebLogic Server updates that are available on My Oracle Support.

Customizing the WebLogic Server JEP 290 Default Filter

WebLogic Server includes system properties that you can use to customize, replace, or disable the JEP 290 default filter if desired.

The following table describes the system properties and includes sample usage.

Table 4-2 WebLogic Server JEP 290 System Properties

Property Description

weblogic.oif.serialFilter

Use this property to set a custom JEP 290 filter for WebLogic Server, using the standard JEP 290 filter syntax. For JEP 290 filter syntax, see the Process-wide Filter section in http://openjdk.java.net/jeps/290.

By default, this custom filter is combined with the default WebLogic Server filter, with the custom filter taking precedence over the default filter for any filter elements that conflict.

For example, to set a custom filter by adding a class named foo.bar.Mumble to the default blacklist, use:

-Dweblogic.oif.serialFilter=”!foo.bar.Mumble”

This setting blocks the class foo.bar.Mumble even if it is allowed by the default filter.

weblogic.oif.serialFilterMode

Use this property to specify the filter mode for the custom filter, which provides the ability to combine, replace, or disable the default WebLogic Server filter. Valid values are:

  • combine — combines the custom filter with the default WebLogic Server filter. The custom filter settings take precedence over the default filter settings for any filter elements that conflict. This is the default.

  • replace — replaces the default WebLogic Server filter with the custom filter.

  • disable — disables the default WebLogic Server filter.

For example, to replace the default WebLogic Server filter with the custom filter, use:

-Dweblogic.oif.serialFilterMode=replace

weblogic.oif.serialFilterScope

Use this property to specify whether the filter should apply globally to the entire JVM (as if it had been configured using the Java SE jdk.serialFilter property) or to only internal WebLogic Server deserialization. Valid values are global and weblogic. The default is weblogic.

For example, to apply the WebLogic Server default or custom filter to the entire JVM instead of just internal WebLogic Server deserialization, use:

-Dweblogic.oif.serialFilterScope=global