[security-dev] Undertow / IdentityManager and Digest Authentication

Stuart Douglas sdouglas at redhat.com
Wed May 1 19:24:40 EDT 2013

Shane Bryzak wrote:
> On 02/05/13 08:39, Stuart Douglas wrote:

> The particular situation I was thinking of was the EL vulnerability we
> had in Seam a few years ago (which I won't go into detail as this is a
> public list). Essentially it allowed arbitrary code execution, meaning
> that the beans of an application could be accessed and invoked directly
> while bypassing the view layer altogether. I'm not so concerned about
> malicious code in the application, I believe that's beyond the scope of
> our responsibility here however I am concerned about developers that may
> decide to expose the IdentityManager (as a @Named bean or otherwise)
> without understanding the ramifications of doing so. Basically the
> intent is to prevent them from shooting themselves in the foot, perhaps
> I am being overcautious here but the motivation is to limit as much as
> possible the number of attack vectors for compromising a
> PicketLink-secured application.

I am familiar with the vulnerability you are talking about, but it still 
would have been possible to get this information via reflection no 
matter what API design was in use (the fact that this is all open source 
makes it trivially easy to lookup the internal methods/fields you need 
to examine).

You could also call ClassLoader.defineClass() with some arbitrary bytes 
and define your own credential handler anyway. It also also very likely 
that the datasource that backs the store will also be exposed, and the 
attacker can just read all the data directly.

This all sounds harder, but in reality the difference is probably 
measured in minutes rather than hours, it feels more secure, but in 
practical terms it makes no difference.

The only way to protect against this with a security manager.


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