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// IClaimsPrincipal

Windows Domain Authentication on Windows Phone 7

by Steve Syfuhs / March 02, 2011 04:00 PM

One of the projects that’s been kicking around in the back of my head is how to make Windows Phone 7 applications able to authenticate against a Windows domain.  This is a must have for enterprise developers if they want to use the new platform.

There were a couple ways I could do this, but keeping with my Claims-shtick I figured I would use an STS.  Given that ADFS is designed specifically for Active Directory authentication, I figured it would work nicely.  It should work like this:

image

Nothing too spectacularly interesting about the process.  In order to use ADFS though, I need the correct endpoint.  In this case I’m using

https://[external.exampledomain.com]/adfs/services/Trust/13/usernamemixed

That takes care of half of the problem.  Now I actually need to make my application call that web service endpoint. 

This is kind of a pain because WP7/Silverlight don’t support the underlying protocol, WS-Federation.

Theoretically I could just add that endpoint as a service reference and build up all the pieces, but that is a nightmare scenario because of all the boiler-plating around security.  It would be nice if there was a library that supported WS-Federation for the phone.

As it turns out Dominick Baier came across a solution.  He converted the project that came from the Identity training kit initially designed for Silverlight.  As he mentions there were a few gotchas, but overall it worked nicely.  You can download his source code and play around.

I decided to take it a step further though.  I didn’t really like the basic flow of token requests, and I didn’t like how I couldn’t work with IPrincipal/IIdentity objects.

First things first though.  I wanted to start from scratch, so I opened the identity training kit and looked for the Silverlight project.  You can find it here: [wherever you installed the kit]\IdentityTrainingKitVS2010\Labs\SilverlightAndIdentity\Source\Assets\SL.IdentityModel.

Initially I thought I could just add it to a phone project, but that was a bad idea; there were too many build errors.  I could convert the project file to a phone library, but frankly I was lazy, so I just created a new phone library and copied the source files between projects.

There were a couple references missing, so I added System.Runtime.Serialization, System.ServiceModel, and System.Xml.Linq.

This got the project built, but will it work?

I copied Dominick’s code:

WSTrustClient _client;

private void button1_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    _client = GetWSTrustClient(
https://[...]/adfs/services/Trust/13/usernamemixed,
new UsernameCredentials("username", "password")); var rst = new RequestSecurityToken(WSTrust13Constants.KeyTypes.Bearer) { AppliesTo = new EndpointAddress("[…]") }; _client.IssueCompleted += client_IssueCompleted; _client.IssueAsync(rst); } void client_IssueCompleted(object sender, IssueCompletedEventArgs e) { _client.IssueCompleted -= client_IssueCompleted; if (e.Error != null) throw e.Error; var token = e.Result; button2.IsEnabled = true; } private WSTrustClient
GetWSTrustClient(string stsEndpoint, IRequestCredentials credentials) { var client = new WSTrustClient(new WSTrustBindingUsernameMixed(),
new EndpointAddress(stsEndpoint), credentials); return client; }

To my surprise it worked.  Sweet.

This left me wanting more though.  In order to access any of the claims within the token I had to do something with the RequestSecurityTokenResponse (RSTR) object.  Also, how do I make this identity stick around within the application?

The next thing I decided to do was figure out how to convert the RSTR object to an IClaimsIdentity.  Unfortunately this requires a bit of XML parsing.  Talk about a pain.  Helper class it is:

public static class TokenHandler
{
    private static XNamespace ASSERTION_NAMESPACE 
= "urn:oasis:names:tc:SAML:1.0:assertion"; private const string CLAIM_VALUE_TYPE
= "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#string"; // bit of a hack public static IClaimsPrincipal Convert(RequestSecurityTokenResponse rstr) { return new ClaimsPrincipal(GetClaimsIdentity(rstr)); } private static ClaimsIdentity GetClaimsIdentity(RequestSecurityTokenResponse rstr) { XDocument responseDoc = XDocument.Parse(rstr.RequestedSecurityToken.RawToken); XElement attStatement = responseDoc.Element(ASSERTION_NAMESPACE + "Assertion")
.Element(ASSERTION_NAMESPACE + "AttributeStatement"); var issuer = responseDoc.Root.Attribute("Issuer").Value; ClaimCollection claims = new ClaimCollection(); foreach (var c in attStatement.Elements(ASSERTION_NAMESPACE + "Attribute")) { string attrName = c.Attribute("AttributeName").Value; string attrNamespace = c.Attribute("AttributeNamespace").Value; string claimType = attrNamespace + "/" + attrName; foreach (var val in c.Elements(ASSERTION_NAMESPACE + "AttributeValue")) { claims.Add(new Claim(issuer, issuer, claimType,
val.Value, CLAIM_VALUE_TYPE)); } } return new ClaimsIdentity(claims); } }

Most of this is just breaking apart the SAML-goo.  Once I got all the SAML assertions I generated a claim for each one and created a ClaimsIdentity object.  This gets me a step closer to how I wanted things, but keeping the identity around within the application is still up in the air.  How can I keep the identity for the lifetime of the application?  I wanted something like Thread.CurrentPrincipal but the phone platform doesn’t let you access it.

There was a class, TokenCache, that was part of the original Silverlight project.  This sounded useful.  it turns out it’s Get/Add wrapper for a Dictionary<>.  It’s almost useful, but I want to be able to access this cache at any time.  A singleton sort of solves the problem, so lets try that.  I added this within the TokenCache class:

public static TokenCache Cache
{
    get
    {
        if (_cache != null)
            return _cache;

        lock (_sync)
        {
            _cache = new TokenCache();
        }

        return _cache;
    }
}

private static TokenCache _cache;
private static object _sync = new object();

 

now I can theoretically get access to the tokens at any time, but I want to make the access part of the base Application object.  I created a static class called ApplicationExtensions:

public static class ApplicationExtensions
{
    public static IClaimsPrincipal 
GetPrincipal(this Application app, string appliesTo) { if (!TokenCache.Cache.HasTokenInCache(appliesTo)) throw new ArgumentException("Token cannot be found to generate principal."); return TokenHandler.Convert(TokenCache.Cache.GetTokenFromCache(appliesTo)); } public static RequestSecurityTokenResponse
GetPrincipalToken(this Application app, string appliesTo) { return TokenCache.Cache.GetTokenFromCache(appliesTo); } public static void
SetPrincipal(this Application app, RequestSecurityTokenResponse rstr) { TokenCache.Cache.AddTokenToCache(rstr.AppliesTo.ToString(), rstr); } }

 

It adds three extension methods to the base Application object.  Now it’s sort of like Thread.CurrentPrincipal.

How does this work?  When the RSTR is returned I can call:

Application.Current.SetPrincipal(rstr);
 

Accessing the identity is two-part.

If I just want to get the identity and it’s claims I can call:

var principal = Application.Current.GetPrincipal("https://troymcclure/webapplication3/");

IClaimsIdentity ident = principal.Identity as IClaimsIdentity;
 

If I want to reuse the token as part of web service call I can get the token via:

var token = Application.Current.GetPrincipalToken(https://troymcclure/webapplication3/);
 

There is still quite a lot to do in order for this to be production ready code, but it does a pretty good job of solving all the problems I had with domain authentication on the Windows Phone 7 platform.

The Basics of Building a Security Token Service

by Steve Syfuhs / October 29, 2010 04:00 PM

Last week at TechDays in Toronto I ran into a fellow I worked with while I was at Woodbine.  He works with a consulting firm Woodbine uses, and he caught my session on Windows Identity Foundation.  His thoughts were (essentially—paraphrased) that the principle of Claims Authentication was sound and a good idea, however implementing it requires a major investment.  Yes.  Absolutely.  You will essentially be adding a new tier to the application.  Hmm.  I’m not sure if I can get away with that analogy.  It will certainly feel like you are adding a new tier anyway.

What strikes me as the main investment is the Security Token Service.  When you break it down, there are a lot of moving parts in an STS.  In a previous post I asked what it would take to create something similar to ADFS 2.  I said it would be fairly straightforward, and broke down the parts as well as what would be required of them.  I listed:

  • Token Services
  • A Windows Authentication end-point
  • An Attribute store-property-to-claim mapper (maps any LDAP properties to any claim types)
  • An application management tool (MMC snap-in and PowerShell cmdlets)
  • Proxy Services (Allows requests to pass NAT’ed zones)

These aren’t all that hard to develop.  With the exception of the proxy services and token service itself, there’s a good chance we have created something similar to each one if user authentication is part of an application.  We have the authentication endpoint: a login form to do SQL Authentication, or the Windows Authentication Provider for ASP.NET.  We have the attribute store and something like a claims mapper: Active Directory, SQL databases, etc.  We even have an application management tool: anything you used to manage users in the first place.  This certainly doesn’t get us all the way there, but they are good starting points.

Going back to my first point, the STS is probably the biggest investment.  However, it’s kind of trivial to create an STS using WIF.  I say that with a big warning though: an STS is a security system.  Securing such a system is NOT trivial.  Writing your own STS probably isn’t the best way to approach this.  You would probably be better off to use an STS like ADFS.  With that being said it’s good to know what goes into building an STS, and if you really do have the proper resources to develop one, as well as do proper security testing (you probably wouldn’t be reading this article on how to do it in that case…), go for it.

For the sake of simplicity I’ll be going through the Fabrikam Shipping demo code since they did a great job of creating a simple STS.  The fun bits are in the Fabrikam.IPSts project under the Identity folder.  The files we want to look at are CustomSecurityTokenService.cs, CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration.cs, and the default.aspx code file.  I’m not sure I like the term “configuration”, as the way this is built strikes me as factory-ish.

image

The process is pretty simple.  A request is made to default.aspx which passes the request to FederatedPassiveSecurityTokenServiceOperations.ProcessRequest() as well as a newly instantiated CustomSecurityTokenService object by calling CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration.Current.CreateSecurityTokenService().

The configuration class contains configuration data for the STS (hence the name) like the signing certificate, but it also instantiates an instance of the STS using the configuration.  The code for is simple:

namespace Microsoft.Samples.DPE.Fabrikam.IPSts
{
    using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Configuration;
    using Microsoft.IdentityModel.SecurityTokenService;

    internal class CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration
: SecurityTokenServiceConfiguration
    {
        private static CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration current;

        private CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration()
        {
            this.SecurityTokenService = typeof(CustomSecurityTokenService);
            this.SigningCredentials =
new X509SigningCredentials(this.ServiceCertificate);
            this.TokenIssuerName = "https://ipsts.fabrikam.com/";
        }

        public static CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration Current
        {
            get
            {
                if (current == null)
                {
                    current = new CustomSecurityTokenServiceConfiguration();
                }

                return current;
            }
        }
    }
}

It has a base type of SecurityTokenServiceConfiguration and all it does is set the custom type for the new STS, the certificate used for signing, and the issuer name.  It then lets the base class handle the rest.  Then there is the STS itself.  It’s dead simple.  The custom class has a base type of SecurityTokenService and overrides a couple methods.  The important method it overrides is GetOutputClaimsIdentity():

protected override IClaimsIdentity GetOutputClaimsIdentity(
IClaimsPrincipal principal, RequestSecurityToken request, Scope scope)
{
    var inputIdentity = (IClaimsIdentity)principal.Identity;

    Claim name = inputIdentity.Claims.Single(claim =>
claim.ClaimType == ClaimTypes.Name);
    Claim email = new Claim(ClaimTypes.Email,
Membership.Provider.GetUser(name.Value, false).Email);
    string[] roles = Roles.Provider.GetRolesForUser(name.Value);

    var issuedIdentity = new ClaimsIdentity();
    issuedIdentity.Claims.Add(name);
    issuedIdentity.Claims.Add(email);

    foreach (var role in roles)
    {
        var roleClaim = new Claim(ClaimTypes.Role, role);
        issuedIdentity.Claims.Add(roleClaim);
    }

    return issuedIdentity;
}

It gets the authenticated user, grabs all the roles from the RolesProvider, and generates a bunch of claims then returns the identity.  Pretty simple.

At this point you’ve just moved the authentication and Roles stuff away from the application.  Nothing has really changed data-wise.  If you only cared about roles, name, and email you are done.  If you needed something more you could easily add in the logic to grab the values you needed. 

By no means is this production ready, but it is a good basis for how the STS creates claims.

Converting Bootstrap Tokens to SAML Tokens

by Steve Syfuhs / September 09, 2010 04:00 PM

there comes a point where using an eavesdropping application to catch packets as they fly between Secure Token Services and Relying Parties becomes tiresome.  For me it came when I decided to give up on creating a man-in-the-middle between SSL sessions between ADFS and applications.  Mainly because ADFS doesn’t like that.  At all.

Needless to say I wanted to see the tokens.  Luckily, Windows Identity Foundation has the solution by way of the Bootstrap token.  To understand what it is, consider how this whole process works.  Once you’ve authenticated, the STS will POST a chunk of XML (the SAML Token) back to the RP.  WIF will interpret it as necessary and do it’s magic generating a new principal with the payload.  However, in some instances you need to keep this token intact.  This would be the case if you were creating a web service and needed to forward the token.  What WIF does is generate a bootstrap token from the SAML token, in the event you needed to forward it off to somewhere.

Before taking a look at it, let's add in some useful using statements:

using System;
using System.IdentityModel.Tokens;
using System.Text;
using System.Threading;
using System.Xml;
using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Claims;
using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Tokens;
using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Tokens.Saml11;

The bootstrap token is attached to IClaimsPrincipal identity:

SecurityToken bootstrapToken = ((IClaimsPrincipal)Thread.CurrentPrincipal).Identities[0].BootstrapToken;

However if you do this out of the box, BootstrapToken will be null.  By default, WIF will not save the token.  We need to explicitly enable this in the web.config file.  Add this line under <microsoft.IdentityModel><service><securityTokenHandlers>:

<securityTokenHandlerConfiguration saveBootstrapTokens="true" />

Once you’ve done that, WIF will load the token.

The properties are fairly straightforward, but you can’t just get a blob from it:

image

Luckily we have some code to convert from the bootstrap token to a chunk of XML:

SecurityToken bootstrapToken = ((IClaimsPrincipal)Thread.CurrentPrincipal).Identities[0].BootstrapToken;

StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder();

using (var writer = XmlWriter.Create(sb))
{
     new Saml11SecurityTokenHandler(new SamlSecurityTokenRequirement()).WriteToken(writer, bootstrapToken);
}

string theXml = sb.ToString();

We get a proper XML document:

image

That’s all there is to it.

Using the ASP.NET Roles Provider with Windows Identity Foundation

by Steve Syfuhs / August 30, 2010 04:00 PM

Using the Windows Identity Foundation to handle user authentication and identity management can require you to drastically rethink how you will build your application.  There are a few fundamental differences between how authentication and roles will be handled when you switch to a Claims model. 

As an example if you used an STS to provide Claims to your application, you wouldn’t (couldn’t really) use the FormsAuthentication class.

Another thing to keep in mind is how you would handle Roles.  WIF sort of handles roles if you were to use <location> tags in web.config files like:

  <location path="test.aspx">
    <system.web>
      <authorization>
        <deny users="*" />
        <allow roles="admin" />
      </authorization>
    </system.web>
  </location>

WIF would handle this in an earlier part of the page lifecycle, and only allow authenticated users with a returned Role claim of admin.  This works well for some cases, but not all.

In larger applications we may want custom Roles, and the ability to map these roles to the Roles provided by the STS. 

This is by no means a place to tell you when you should use what architectural design, but a lot of times we want somewhere in the middle of these extremes…

Sometimes we just want to use the Roles class to check for role membership based on the Role claims.  From what I can find there is no RolesProvider implementation for WIF, so I wrote a very simple provider.  It is by all rights a hack.  The reason I say this is because there are quite a few methods that just can’t be implemented.  For instance, getting roles for other users is impossible, or adding a user to a role, or creating a role, deleting a role, etc.  This is all impossible because we can’t send anything back to the STS telling it what to do with the roles.

We are also limited to the scope of the roles.  I can only get the roles of the currently logged in user, nothing beyond.  So, with all the usual warnings (it works on my machine, don’t blame me if it steals your soul, etc)…

using System;
using System.Linq;
using System.Threading;
using System.Web.Security;
using Microsoft.IdentityModel.Claims;

public class ClaimsRoleProvider : RoleProvider
{
    IClaimsIdentity claimsIdentity;
    ClaimCollection userClaims;

    private void initClaims()
    {
        claimsIdentity = ((IClaimsPrincipal)(Thread.CurrentPrincipal)).Identities[0];
        userClaims = claimsIdentity.Claims;
    }

    public override string ApplicationName
    {
        get
        {
            initClaims();
            return claimsIdentity.GetType().ToString();
        }
        set
        {
            throw new NotImplementedException();
        }
    }

    public override bool RoleExists(string roleName)
    {
        initClaims();

        return userClaims.Where(r => r.Value == roleName).Any();
    }

    public override bool IsUserInRole(string username, string roleName)
    {
        initClaims();

        return userClaims.Where(r => r.Value == roleName).Any();
    }

    public override string[] GetRolesForUser(string username)
    {
        initClaims();

        return userClaims.Where(r => r.ClaimType == ClaimTypes.Role).Select(r => r.Value).ToArray();
    }

    public override string[] GetAllRoles()
    {
        initClaims();

        return userClaims.Where(r => r.ClaimType == ClaimTypes.Role).Select(r => r.Value).ToArray();
    }

    #region Not implementable

    public override string[] GetUsersInRole(string roleName)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    public override void RemoveUsersFromRoles(string[] usernames, string[] roleNames)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    public override void CreateRole(string roleName)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    public override bool DeleteRole(string roleName, bool throwOnPopulatedRole)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    public override string[] FindUsersInRole(string roleName, string usernameToMatch)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    public override void AddUsersToRoles(string[] usernames, string[] roleNames)
    {
        throw new NotImplementedException();
    }

    #endregion
}

The next step is to modify the web.config to use this provider.  I put this in a separate assembly so it could be re-used.

    <roleManager enabled="true" defaultProvider="claimsRoleProvider">
      <providers>
        <clear />
        <add name="claimsRoleProvider" type="ClaimsRoleProvider, MyAssem.Providers,
Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=4a27739ef3347280" />
      </providers>
    </roleManager>

One final thing to be aware of… Roles.IsUserInRole(string roleName) uses IPrincipal.Identity.Name in it’s overloaded version in lieu of a username parameter which could result in this ArgumentNullException:

Value cannot be null.
Parameter name: username

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.
Exception Details: System.ArgumentNullException: Value cannot be null.
Parameter name: username
Source Error:

Line 17:         var claims = from c in claimsIdentity.Claims select c;
Line 18: 
Line 19:         bool inRole = Roles.IsUserInRole("VPN");
Line 20:         
Line 21:         foreach (var r in claims)

Since the IClaimsIdentity is getting generated based on the claims it receives, it sets the Name property to whatever claim value is associated with the http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/name claim type. If one isn't present, it will be set to null.

It took way too long for me to figure that one out. :)

// About

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