[keycloak-dev] Requirements to Elytron for Client 2-way SSL authentication

Marek Posolda mposolda at redhat.com
Tue Jul 14 14:17:54 EDT 2015

I want to doublecheck if we are on the same page regarding how client 
certificate authentication should work, so we know what are the 
requirements for Elytron
to support it. This will allow us to improve things before the Elytron 
code freeze (end of August AFAIK) if needed.

Right now, I am covering just Service accounts and authenticating of 
clients with the certificate. But I believe that for authenticate of 
users, the requirements will be similar.

My view is:
- Admin will upload certificate of some client via Keycloak admin 
console. (I guess many companies want to use their own certificate 
issued by their trusted CA. IMO later Keycloak should provide the 
ability to easily generate trusted certificates and act as CA - not sure 
if it's something Giriraj is looking at. But for now, I assume that 
trusted certificate is always provided by admin and uploaded to Keycloak 
admin console)

- There is REST endpoint, which allows to authenticate with client 
certificate. For example 
"https://localhost:8443/auth/realms/demo/clients/certificate" . Client 
will be able to start SSL handshake with it's certificate when sending 
request to this endpoint. Server will then verify the underlying 
SSLSession from the SSL socket and check that valid client certificate 
was provided during handshake. It will authenticate client based on that.

To cover this usecase, the Wildfly/Elytron should be able to:

1) Support "variable" 2-way SSL .  In other words, there is possibility 
to set flag "setWantClientAuth(true)" in underlying SSLServerSocket. 
This means that I will be able to access admin console 
"https://localhost:8443/auth/admin" with my browser without client 
certificate, but I will be able to provide client certificate on the 
endpoint "https://localhost:8443/auth/realms/demo/clients/certificate" , 
which is deployed under same context

2) Dynamically upload it's truststore at runtime or provide SPI to 
add/remove/update certificates in truststore. This is needed, so that 
when admin uploads the certificate of client in KC admin console, I want 
my client to be able to authenticate with the certificate immediatelly 
without need to restart server and edit any JKS files .

3) Possibility to access underlying SSL Socket and SSL Session from the 
REST endpoint, so I am able to verify the certificate in REST endpoint 
(but maybe this one could be handled with our server subsystem if it's 
not available for normal apps?)

WDYT? Am I missing something?


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