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SAML Protocol Extension CTP for Windows Identity Foundation

by Steve Syfuhs / May 15, 2011 04:00 PM

Earlier this morning the Geneva (WIF/ADFS) Product Team announced a CTP for supporting the SAML protocol within WIF.  WIF has supported SAML tokens since it's inception, however it hasn't supported the SAML protocol until now.  According to the team:

This WIF extension allows .NET developers to easily create claims-based SP-Lite compliant Service Provider applications that use SAML 2.0 conformant identity providers such as AD FS 2.0.

This is the first I've seen this CTP, so I decided to jump into the Quick Start solution to get a feel for what's going on.  Here is the solution hierarchy:

image

There isn't much to it.  We have the sample identity provider that generates a token for us, a relying party application (service provider), and a utilities project to help with some sample-related duties.

In most cases, we really only need to worry about the Service Provider, as the IdP probably already exists.  I think creating an IdP using this framework is for a different post.

If we consider that WIF mostly works via configuration changes to the web.config, it stands to reason that the SAML extensions will too.  Lets take a look at the web.config file.

There are three new things in the web.config that are different from a default-configured WIF application.

First we see a new configSection declaration:

<section name="microsoft.identityModel.saml" type="Microsoft.IdentityModel.Web.Configuration.MicrosoftIdentityModelSamlSection, Microsoft.IdentityModel.Protocols"/>

This creates a new configuration section called microsoft.identityModel.saml.

Interestingly, this doesn't actually contain much.  Just pointers to metadata:

<microsoft.identityModel.saml metadata="bin\App_Data\serviceprovider.xml">
    <identityProviders>
        <metadata file="bin\App_Data\identityprovider.xml"/>
    </identityProviders>
</microsoft.identityModel.saml>

Now this is a step away from WIF-ness.  These metadata documents are consumed by the extension.  They contain certificates and endpoint references:

<SingleSignOnService Binding="urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:2.0:bindings:HTTP-Redirect" Location="http://localhost:6010/IdentityProvider/saml/redirect/sso"/>

I can see some extensibility options here.

Finally, an HTTP Module is added to handle the token response:

<add name="Saml2AuthenticationModule" type="Microsoft.IdentityModel.Web.Saml2AuthenticationModule"/>

This module works similarly to the WSFederationAuthenticationModule used by WIF out of the box.

It then uses the SessionAuthenticationModule to handle session creation and management, which is the same module used by WIF.

As you start digging through the rest of the project, there isn't actually anything too surprising to see.  The default.aspx page just grabs a claim from the IClaimsidentity object and adds a control used by the sample to display SAML data.  There is a signout button though which calls the following line of code:

Saml2AuthenticationModule.Current.SignOut( "~/Login.aspx" );

In the Login.aspx page there is a sign in button that calls a similar line of code:

Saml2AuthenticationModule.Current.SignIn( "~/Default.aspx" );

All in all, this SAML protocol extension seems to making federating with a SAML IdP fairly simple and straightforward.

Making the X509Store more Friendly

by Steve Syfuhs / May 12, 2011 04:00 PM

When you need to grab a certificate out of a Windows Certificate Store, you can use a class called X509Store.  It's very simple to use:

X509Store store = new X509Store(StoreName.My, StoreLocation.CurrentUser);

store.Open(OpenFlags.ReadOnly);

X509Certificate2Collection myCerts = store.Certificates.Find(X509FindType.FindByThumbprint, "...", false);

store.Close();

However, I don't like this open/close mechanism.  It reminds me too much of Dispose(), except I can't use a using statement.  There are lots of arguments around whether a using statement is a good way of doing things and I'm in the camp of yes, it is.  When they are used properly they make code a lot more logical.  It creates a scope for an object explicitly.  I want to do something like this:

using (X509Store store = new X509Store(StoreName.My, StoreLocation.CurrentUser, OpenFlags.ReadOnly))
{
    X509Certificate2Collection myCerts = store.Certificates.Find(X509FindType.FindByThumbprint, "...", false);
}

The simple solution would be to subclass this, implement IDisposable, and overwrite some of the internals.  The problem though is that someone on the .NET team thought it would be wise to seal the class.  Crap.  Okay, lets create a new class:

public class X509Store2 : IDisposable
{
    private X509Store store;

    public X509Store2(IntPtr storeHandle, OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store = new X509Store(storeHandle);
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public X509Store2(StoreLocation storeLocation, OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store = new X509Store(storeLocation);
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public X509Store2(StoreName storeName, OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store = new X509Store(storeName);
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public X509Store2(string storeName, OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store = new X509Store(storeName);
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public X509Store2(StoreName storeName, StoreLocation storeLocation, OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store = new X509Store(storeName, storeLocation);
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public X509Store2(string storeName, StoreLocation storeLocation, OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store = new X509Store(storeName, storeLocation);
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public X509Certificate2Collection Certificates { get { return store.Certificates; } }

    public StoreLocation Location { get { return store.Location; } }

    public string Name { get { return store.Name; } }

    public IntPtr StoreHandle { get { return store.StoreHandle; } }

    public void Add(X509Certificate2 certificate)
    {
        store.Add(certificate);
    }

    public void AddRange(X509Certificate2Collection certificates)
    {
        store.AddRange(certificates);
    }

    private void Close()
    {
        store.Close();
    }

    private void Open(OpenFlags flags)
    {
        store.Open(flags);
    }

    public void Remove(X509Certificate2 certificate)
    {
        store.Remove(certificate);
    }
    public void RemoveRange(X509Certificate2Collection certificates)
    {
        store.RemoveRange(certificates);
    }

    public void Dispose()
    {
        this.Close();
    }
}

At this point I've copied all the public members of the X509Store class and called their counterparts in the store.  I've also set Open() and Close() to private so they can't be called.  In theory I could just remove them, but I didn't.

Enjoy!

Top Canadian Security Threats in 2010

by Steve Syfuhs / May 11, 2011 04:00 PM

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report for 2010 was released not too long ago.  It is a report on the threat landscape seen across 600 million systems worldwide.

This report has a summary for quite a number of countries (170 and counting), and Canada is in the list.  Here are the stats they found:

Microsoft detected malware on 4.2 of every 1,000 computers scanned in Canada in 4Q10 (a CCM score of 4.2, compared to the 4Q10 average worldwide CCM of 8.7).

image

  • The most common category in Canada in 4Q10 was Adware, which affected 35.6 percent of all cleaned computers, down from 41.0 percent in 3Q10.
  • The second most common category in Canada in 4Q10 was Misc. Trojans, which affected 35.3 percent of all cleaned computers, up from 29.0 percent in 3Q10.
  • The third most common category in Canada in 4Q10 was Misc. Potentially Unwanted Software, which affected 26.3 percent of all cleaned computers, down from 26.1 percent in 3Q10.

Adding ADFS as an Identity Provider in ACS v2

by Steve Syfuhs / May 10, 2011 04:00 PM

Ever have one of those days where you swear that you've written something, but can't find it?  I could have sworn that I wrote this article before.  Ah well.

--

It makes a lot of sense to use ACS to manage Identity Providers.  It also makes sense to use Active Directory for letting users sign in to your cloud application.  Therefore we would hope that ACS and ADFS play nicely together.  It turns out they do.  in a previous post I talked about federating ACS and ADFS, where ACS is an identity provider to ADFS.  Now lets reverse it.  We want users to be redirected to ACS, then to ADFS to sign in.

First things first.  Lets log into our ACS namespace and navigate to the Identity Provider section, and then Add an Identity Provider:

image

From there we want to select what type of provider to use, and in this case we will select WS-Federation:

image

We are now provided with a form to fill out.  There are five properties: Display Name, WS-Federation metadata, Login Link text, Image Url, and Email domain names.

Display name is fairly straightforward.  What do you want the internal name of this IdP to be?

Next we need to provide a link to the Federation Metadata document that ADFS provides.  The path is https://adfs.domain.com/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml.

Then we give it a public name, such as "ObjectSharp Internal Users".

If we want to use an image instead if showing text, we can provide a path to the image.

Finally we are asked for a semicolon separated list of email domains.  This may seem a bit confusing at first.  Basically, it allows us to filter out the IdP from the Home Realm Discovery page, and requires that the user enter in their email address.  That way, instead of seeing the "ObjectSharp Internal Users" link, we are provided a text box, where we need to enter an email address like ssyfuhs@objectsharp.com.  ACS will then look up the domain in their list, and if there is a reference to it, it will redirect to the IdP.

This takes care of the ACS bit.  just like in the previous post, you need to tell the other IdP about the other.  So we need to tell ADFS that ACS will be calling.  This is pretty simple.  We just need to add a relying party to ADFS using the ACS metadata.  You can find the ACS metadata under Application Integration:

image

There isn't much to federating ADFS to ACS and vice-versa.

Custom Management Accounts for Windows Azure Access Control Service

by Steve Syfuhs / April 27, 2011 04:00 PM

When you start working with Windows Azure in your spare time there are quite a few things that you miss.

I knew that it was possible to manage Windows Azure with multiple accounts, but since I was the only one logging into my instance, I never bothered to look into it.  Well as it turns out, I needed to be able to manage Azure from a separate Live ID.  It's pretty simple to do.  You get into your subscription, navigate to User Management under the Hosted Services tab, and then you add a new Co-Admin.

Turns out that you can't manage ACS this way though.  You don't have access to the namespaces as the Co-Admin.  Crap.  That's really what I wanted to manage with the separate account.  After a minute of swearing at the control panel, I logged into ACS with my original account and looked around.

Portal Administrators

Aha!  It was staring me right in the face:

image

There is a full MSDN article on how to deal with Portal Administrators.

Upon clicking the link you are given a list of current administrators.  I wanted to add one.

When you add an administrator you are given a list Identity Providers to choose from.  Interesting.

image

This means that I can manage this ACS namespace using any IdP that I want.  I already have ADFS created as an IdP, so I'm going to use it.  Getting Single Sign-On is always a bonus.

It asks for a claim type.  When the ACS management portal receives a token, it will look for this claim type and compare it's value to the Identity claim value.  If it matches the value, you are authorized to manage the namespace.  I chose email address.  It seemed simple enough.  To log in I just navigate to https://syfuhs2.accesscontrol.windows.net/ and then gives me the default Home Realm Discovery page:

image

I've already preconfigured ACS to redirect any email addresses with the objectsharp.com domain to our ADFS instance.  Once I click submit it redirects to ADFS, I authenticate using Windows Authentication, and then I'm back at the ACS Control Panel.  The next time I go to log in, a cookie will be there and the Home Realm Discovery page will see that I logged in with ADFS last time, so it will list that option first:

image

It just so happens that ObjectSharp is Awesome.

Now how cool is that?

Creating a Claims Provider Trust in ADFS 2

by Steve Syfuhs / April 25, 2011 04:00 PM

One of the cornerstones of ADFS is the concept of federation (one would hope anyway, given the name), which is defined as a user's authentication process across applications, organizations, or companies.  Or simply put, my company Contoso is a partner with Fabrikam.  Fabrikam employees need access to one of my applications, so we create a federated trust between my application and their user store, so they can log into my application using their internal Active Directory.  In this case, via ADFS.

So lets break this down into manageable bits. 

First we have our application.  This application is a relying party to my ADFS instance.  By now hopefully this is relatively routine.

Next we have the trust between our ADFS and our partner company's STS.  If the company had ADFS installed, we could just create a trust between the two, but lets go one step further and give anyone with a Live ID access to this application.  Therefore we need to create a trust between the Live ID STS and our ADFS server.

This is easier than most people may think.  We can just use Windows Azure Access Control Services (v2).  ACS can be set up very easily to federate with Live ID (or Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc), so we just need to federate with ACS, and ACS needs to federate with Live ID.

Creating a trust between ADFS and ACS requires two parts.  First we need to tell ADFS about ACS, and second we need to tell ACS about ADFS.

To explain a bit further, we need to make ACS a Claims Provider to ADFS, so ADFS can call on ACS for authentication.  Then we need to make ADFS a relying party to ACS, so ADFS can consume the token from ACS.  Or rather, so ACS doesn't freak out when it see's a request for a token for ADFS.

This may seem a bit confusing at first, but it will become clearer when we walk through the process.

First we need to get the Federation Metadata for our ACS instance.  In this case I've created an ACS namespace called "syfuhs2".  The metadata can be found here: https://syfuhs2.accesscontrol.windows.net/FederationMetadata/2007-06/FederationMetadata.xml.

Next I need to create a relying party in ACS, telling it about ADFS.  To do that browse to the Relying party applications section within the ACS management portal and create a new relying party:

image

Because ADFS natively supports trusts, I can just pass in the metadata for ADFS to ACS, and it will pull out the requisite pieces:

image

Once that is saved you can create a rule for the transform under the Rule Groups section:

image

For this I'm just going to generate a default set of rules.

image

This should take care of the ACS side of things.  Next we move into ADFS.

Within ADFS we want to browse to the Claims Provider Trusts section:

image

And then we right-click > Add Claims Provider Trust

This should open a Wizard:

image

Follow through the wizard and fill in the metadata field:

image

Having Token Services that properly generate metadata is a godsend.  Just sayin'.

Once the wizard has finished, it will open a Claims Transform wizard for incoming claims.  This is just a set of claims rules that get applied to any tokens received by ADFS.  In other words, what should happen to the claims within the token we receive from ACS?

In this case I'm just going to pass any claims through:

image

In practice, you should write a rule that filters out any extraneous claims that you don't necessarily trust.  For instance, if I were to receive a role claim with a value "Administrator" I may not want to let it through because that could give administrative access to the user, even though it wasn't explicitly set by someone managing the application.

Once all is said and done, you can browse to the RP, redirect for authentication and will be presenting with this screen:

image

After you've made your first selection, a cookie will be generated and you won't be redirected to this screen again.  If you select ACS, you then get redirected to the ACS Home Realm selection page (or directly to Live ID if you only have Live ID).

Windows Azure Access Control Services Federation with Facebook

by Steve Syfuhs / April 21, 2011 04:00 PM

Sometime in the last few years Facebook has gotten stupidly popular.  Given the massive user base, it actually makes a little bit of sense to take advantage of the fact that you can use them as an identity provider.  Everyone has a Facebook account (except… me), and you can get a fair bit of information out of it on the user.

The problem though is that it uses OpenAuth, and I, of course, don't like OpenAuth.  This makes it very unlikely for me to spend any amount time working with the protocol, and as such wouldn't jump at the chance to add it into an application.  Luckily ACS supports Facebook natively – AND it's easy to setup.

First things first, we need to log into our ACS management portal, and select Identity Providers under Trust Relationships.  Then we need to add a new Identity Provider:

image

Then we need to select Facebook as the type we want to add:

image

Once we start filling out the details for the federation we need to get some things from Facebook directly.

image

There are three fields we need to worry about, Application ID, Application secret, and Application permissions.  We can get the first two from the settings page of our Facebook application, which you can get to at www.facebook.com/developers/.

You should create a separate application for each instance you create, and I'll explain why in a minute.

You then need the Application permissions.  This is a list of claims to request access to from Facebook.  The full list can be found here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/authentication/permissions/, but for now email will suffice.

Once you have saved this identity provider you need to create a rule for each relying party.  This will define how the claims are transformed before being sent to your relying party. If you already have rules set up you can modify one:

image

I'm pretty content with just using the default rules, which is to just pass everything, but you need to generate them first:

image

image

Once the rules have been generated you can save the rule.

Now you can test the federation.

It should fail.

If you watched everything in Fiddler you will see a chunk of JSON returned that looks something like:

{
   "error": {
      "type": "OAuthException",
      "message": "Invalid redirect_uri: Given URL is not allowed by the Application configuration."
   }
}

This is about my warning earlier about creating a separate application for each ACS namespace.  Basically, Facebook doesn't like the request for authentication because it has no idea who the requestor is.  Therefore I need to tell Facebook about my application.

To do this you need to get into the Web site settings for your application Facebook:

image

You will need to set the Site URL property to the ACS namespace:

image

Given the requirement for the FQDN, you need to create an application for each namespace you decide to create.

At this point federation with Facebook should now work.  If you are using the default login page you should see something like this:

image

And if you sign-in you should get a token from Facebook which ACS will normalize, and then return to your relying party.  Based on the permissions request you set above you should see something this:

image

** UPDATE **

Some of you may be wondering about this AccessToken claim.  Part of the ACS configuration asks for a set of permissions to request, and these permissions are tied to this access token.  Instead of receiving everything within claims, you need to make a separate call to Facebook to get these details by using the access token.

Dominick Baier has a good article explaining how to accomplish this: http://www.leastprivilege.com/AccessControlServiceV2AndFacebookIntegration.aspx.

** END UPDATE **

For those of you who want to federate with Facebook but don't like the idea of writing OpenAuth goo, ACS easily simplifies the process.

Windows Azure ACS v2 Mix Announcement

by Steve Syfuhs / April 11, 2011 04:00 PM

Part of the Mix11 announcement was that ACS v2 was released to production.  It was actually released last Thursday but we were told to keep as quiet as possible so they could announce it at Mix.  Here is the marketing speak:

The new ACS includes a plethora of new features that customers and partners have been asking with enthusiasm: single sign on from business and web identity providers, easy integration with our development tools, support for both enterprise-grade and web friendly protocols, out of the box integration with Facebook, Windows Live ID, Google and Yahoo, and many others.

Those features respond to such fundamental needs in modern cloud based systems that ACS has already become a key asset in many of our own offerings.

There is a substantial difference between v1 and v2.  In v2, we now see:

Federation provider and Security Token Service (FINALLY!)

  • Out of box federation with Active Directory Federation Services 2.0, Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo, Facebook

New authorization scenarios

  • Delegation using OAuth 2.0

Improved developer experience

  • New web-based management portal
  • Fully programmatic management using OData
  • Works with Windows Identity Foundation

Additional protocol support

  • WS-Federation, WS-Trust, OpenID 2.0, OAuth 2.0 (Draft 13)

That's a lot of stuff to keep up with, but luckily Microsoft has made it easier for us by giving us a whole whack of content to learn from.

First off, all of the training kits have now been updated to support v2:

Second, there are a bunch of new Channel9 videos just released:

Third, and finally, the Claims Based Identity and Access Control Guide was updated!

Talk about a bunch of awesome stuff.

Windows Azure Access Control Services v2 RTW

by Steve Syfuhs / April 10, 2011 04:00 PM

So how do you know when Windows Azure Access Control Services has upgraded to V2?  You get federation metadata…

image

Or you follow the Windows Azure App Fabric team blog!

I have been waiting MONTHS for this release, begging and pleading with Microsoft to get more information on when the big day would come.  Needless to say I am super excited!

This version adds:

Federation provider and Security Token Service (FINALLY!)

  • Out of box federation with Active Directory Federation Services 2.0, Windows Live ID, Google, Yahoo, Facebook

New authorization scenarios

  • Delegation using OAuth 2.0

Improved developer experience

  • New web-based management portal
  • Fully programmatic management using OData
  • Works with Windows Identity Foundation

Additional protocol support

  • WS-Federation, WS-Trust, OpenID 2.0, OAuth 2.0 (Draft 13)

Now to just migrate from Appfabric Labs…

And in Other News...

by Steve Syfuhs / March 31, 2011 04:00 PM

Got this email earlier today:

Dear Steve Syfuhs,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2011 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Developer Security technical communities during the past year.

[…] 

Needless to say I'm super excited about this award, and the opportunity that it gives me to talk more about security.  More on this later.

Now I just need to figure out what to put in my email signature. Winking smile

// About

Steve is a renaissance kid when it comes to technology. He spends his time in the security stack.