[Date Prev][Date Next] [Chronological] [Thread] [Top]

Re: web apps and client certificate authentication

On Jan 11, 2009, at 11:22 AM, Emmanuel Dreyfus wrote:

Kurt Zeilenga <Kurt@OpenLDAP.org> wrote:

Why? Generally, the web application is part of the service which
encompasses the web server and directory service. They should already
have an appropriate trust relationship.

When using plain password authentication, the web app can just hands the
DN and password to slapd, it does not need any special privilege.

But a bug in the web app could not only give access the directory for all subsequent users of the web app, but also to other information/ services protected by the user and password information available via that web application.

If the web app is entrusted with an authzTo: *, then a bug in it could
be used to get full directory access.

That is, having the web application
behaving as a kind of proxy, without any special privilege on the
directory. Is that possible? If it is, where should I start?
Would require cooperation between the web server and the directory
server.  So nothing gained, IMO, except complexity.

This would be complexity in an unprivilegied piece of code, rather than
giving trust to an application.

Not necessarily. The level of cooperation necessary, I believe, is so that the web app would have to be "trusted". And that's no better than the proxy authzid use case.

Both approaches have merits. In order to
really compare them, one need an idea of the complexity.

How would one implement that kind of "proxy certificate authentication"?

I leave this as an exercise to someone who strong knowledge of TLS and its certificate-based authentication. I'm only saying it that it's likely possible, at least, in theory. I don't think it's practical.

-- Kurt