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Archives / 2006 / March
  • Client-side token cache for WCF

    WCF by default maintains a cache for security tokens per channel instance (A channel is related to a contract). Therefore, it is not possible to reuse the same token for different channel instances.

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  • Remote pair programming

    As most of you know, Pair programming is one of practices included in Extreme Programming. It is a programming technique that provides line-of-sight-and-hearing learning.

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  • Implementing a Secure token service with WCF

    I decided to write this post in order to show some necessary steps to build a Secure Token Service (STS) with the latest WCF CTP.

    There is a lot of messages in the newsgroups from people with problems to implement a solution like this, so they may find this article useful.

    The image below illustrates a generic architecture for an application that uses a brokered authentication with a STS.

     

     

     

     

     

    The client application is using a customBinding to secure the communication with the STS and a wsFederationHttpBinding to do that with the target service. In this case, the wsFederationHttpBinding includes the token obtained from the STS in the request message for the service.

    As you can see in the image, the following steps are performed in order to execute the final service:

     

    1. The client application sends a RequestSecurityTokenMessage (RST) to the STS according to WS-Trust specification.

    2. The STS receives a RST message, extract some information from it and creates a token. After that, it sends back a RequestSecurityTokenResponseMessage (RSTR) with the new token.

    3. The client application sends a request message to the service and includes the token obtained from the STS.

    4. The service executes the service and returns the response to the client application. The token is used to build the security claims for the authenticated user before calling the service method.

     

     

    WCF configuration for the client application

     

     

    <system.serviceModel >

            <client>

                <!-- Endpoint configuration -->

                <endpoint name="clientendpoint" address="http://localhost/WCFSampleService/service.svc"

                    binding="wsFederationHttpBinding"

                    contract="IHelloWorld"

                    behaviorConfiguration="ServiceBehavior"

                    bindingConfiguration="ServiceBinding">

                    <identity>

                        <dns value="WCFQuickstartServer"/>

                    </identity>

                </endpoint>

            </client>

     

            <bindings>

     

                <!-- Binding used to secure the communication with the STS -->

                <customBinding>

                    <binding name="UsernameBinding">

                        <security authenticationMode="UserNameForCertificate"

                                requireSecurityContextCancellation ="false"

                                requireSignatureConfirmation="false"

                                messageProtectionOrder ="SignBeforeEncryptAndEncryptSignature"

                                requireDerivedKeys="true">

                        </security>

                        <httpTransport/>

                    </binding>

                </customBinding>

     

                <!-- Binding used to secure the communication with the service -->

                <wsFederationHttpBinding>

                    <binding name="ServiceBinding">

                        <security mode="Message">

                            <message issuedTokenType="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/oasis-wss-saml-token-profile-1.1#SAMLV1.1" negotiateServiceCredential="false">

                                <!-- Uncomment this section to ask for specific claims to the STS

                                <claims>

                                    <add claimType  ="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/EmailAddress"/>

                                    <add claimType  ="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/GivenName"/>

                                    <add claimType  ="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/Surname"/>

                                </claims>

                                -->

     

                                <!-- Information related to the Secure token service -->

                                <issuer address="http://localhost/WCFSecurityTokenService/service.svc" bindingConfiguration="UsernameBinding"

                                    binding="customBinding">

                                    <identity>

                                        <dns value="WCFQuickstartServer"/>

                                    </identity>

                                </issuer>

                            </message>

                        </security>

                    </binding>

                </wsFederationHttpBinding>

            </bindings>

            <behaviors>

                <!-- Credentials configuration -->

                <behavior name="ServiceBehavior">

                    <clientCredentials>

                        <serviceCertificate>

                            <defaultCertificate findValue="CN=WCFQuickstartServer" storeLocation="LocalMachine" storeName="My" x509FindType="FindBySubjectDistinguishedName"/>

                            <authentication revocationMode="NoCheck" certificateValidationMode="None"></authentication>

                        </serviceCertificate>

                    </clientCredentials>

                </behavior>

            </behaviors>

     </system.serviceModel>

     

     

    Some notes about the configuration above:

     

    1. The communication between the client and the STS is secured by a UsernameForCertificate binding. That is, the STS expects a UsernameToken as client token (Token used to authenticate the client)  and a X509Certificate as service token (Token used to encrypt and sign the message).

    2. The "issueTokenType" attribute in the "message" element specifies the token type expected by the Service. The client application will include that value in the RST message and therefore the STS will know what kind of token it must create. If the STS does not support that kind of token, then it will return a fault message. For this sample, the client application is asking for a SAML token.

    3. The "negotiateServiceCredential" attribute in the "message" element specifies if the client must interchange additional messages with the STS in order to negotiate the service certificate. I will give more information about this flag later in the next paragraphs.

    4. The "address" attribute in the "issuer" element specifies the address of the STS. WCF also includes a default implementation of a InfoCard STS. In order to use that STS, you must configure the address http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/issuer/self.

    5. The claims element is only valid for SAML tokens. It specifies what claims are expected in the token.

     

     

    WCF configuration for the STS

     

     

    <system.serviceModel>

            <services>

                <service behaviorConfiguration="ServiceBehavior" name="MySecureTokenService">

                    <endpoint binding="customBinding" address="" bindingConfiguration="ServiceBinding" contract="IMySecureTokenService"></endpoint>

                </service>

            </services>

            <bindings>

                <customBinding>

                    <binding name="ServiceBinding">

                        <security authenticationMode="UserNameForCertificate"

                                requireSecurityContextCancellation ="false"

                                requireSignatureConfirmation="false"

                                messageProtectionOrder ="SignBeforeEncryptAndEncryptSignature"

                                requireDerivedKeys="true">

                        </security>

                        <httpTransport/>

                    </binding>

                </customBinding>

            </bindings>

            <behaviors>

                <behavior name="ServiceBehavior" returnUnknownExceptionsAsFaults="false">

                    <serviceCredentials>

                        <serviceCertificate findValue="CN=WCFQuickstartServer" storeLocation="LocalMachine" storeName="My" x509FindType="FindBySubjectDistinguishedName"/>

                        </serviceCredentials>

                </behavior>

            </behaviors>

     </system.serviceModel>

     

     

    In this case, the STS implementation is in the class "MySecureTokenService" and it exposes the contract "IMySecureTokenService".

    The binding configuration is similar to the configuration in the client.

     

     

    WCF configuration for the Service

     

     

    <system.serviceModel>

            <services>

                <service

                    behaviorConfiguration="ServiceBehavior"

                    name="SampleService.HelloWorldService">

                    <endpoint binding="wsFederationHttpBinding"

                        address=""

                        bindingConfiguration="ServiceBinding"

                        contract="SampleService.IHelloWorld"/>

                </service>

            </services>

            <bindings>

                <wsFederationHttpBinding>

                    <binding name="ServiceBinding">

                        <security mode="Message">

                            <message issuedTokenType="http://docs.oasis-open.org/wss/oasis-wss-saml-token-profile-1.1#SAMLV1.1" negotiateServiceCredential="false">

                                <!--<claims>

                                    <add claimType="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/EmailAddress"/>

                                    <add claimType="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/GivenName"/>

                                    <add claimType="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ws/2005/05/identity/claims/Surname"/>

                                </claims>-->

                                <issuer address="http://localhost/SamlSecurityTokenService/SamlTokenIssuer.ashx" bindingConfiguration="UsernameBinding" binding="customBinding">

                                    <identity>

                                        <dns value="WCFQuickstartServer"/>

                                    </identity>

                                </issuer>

                            </message>

                        </security>

                    </binding>

                </wsFederationHttpBinding>

            </bindings>

            <behaviors>

                <behavior name="ServiceBehavior" returnUnknownExceptionsAsFaults="false">

                    <serviceCredentials>

                        <serviceCertificate findValue="CN=WCFQuickstartServer" storeLocation="LocalMachine" storeName="My" x509FindType="FindBySubjectDistinguishedName"/>

                    </serviceCredentials>

     

                </behavior>

            </behaviors>

     </system.serviceModel>

     

     

    Again, the configuration of the wsFederationHttpBinding is identical to the configuration in the client application.

     

     

    STS implementation

     

     

    The contract for the STS is quite simple and looks as follows:

     

     

    [ServiceContract]

    public interface IMySecurityTokenService

    {

        [OperationContract(Action = "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/02/trust/RST/Issue",

                          ReplyAction = "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/02/trust/RSTR/Issue")]

            Message IssueToken(Message rstMessage);

    }

     

     

    It exposes one method "IssueToken" for the action "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/02/trust/RST/Issue" that is part of the WS-Trust specification.

     

     

    public class MySecureTokenService : IMySecurityTokenService

    {

            public MySecureTokenService()

            {

            }

     

            public Message IssueToken(Message rstMessage)

            {

                RequestSecurityToken rst = RequestSecurityToken.CreateFrom(rstMessage.GetReaderAtBodyContents());

     

                SecurityToken issuedToken = null;

     

                //Code to create the token goes here ......

     

                // setup RSTR

                RequestSecurityTokenResponse rstr = new RequestSecurityTokenResponse();

     

                //attach security token to RSTR

                rstr.RequestedSecurityToken = issuedToken;

                rstr.TokenType = rst.TokenType;

     

                // send RSTR

                rstr.MakeReadOnly();

                Message rstrMessage = Message.CreateMessage(rstMessage.Version, "http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/ws/2005/02/trust/RSTR/Issue", rstr);

                rstrMessage.Headers.RelatesTo = rstMessage.Headers.MessageId;

     

                return rstrMessage;

            }

        }

     

     

    The STS implementation receives a generic message containing the RST and creates a token using that information.
    At the end, it returns a message containing the RSTR with the issued token. For this sample, I have omitted the code to build the token since you can create any token there (UsernameToken, SamlSecurityToken, etc)  depending on the value of the property "rst.TokenType".

     

     

    Avoiding the service credential negotiation

     

    WCF provides a new feature to negotiate the service credentials for a service.

    When this feature is turned on, the client does not need to manually configure or specify the service credentials for the service. As a result, the client application interchanges an additional message with the service using a a protocol called SP-Nego.

    There is not any documentation or information around for that protocol, so it could be a problem if want to host your service in different platform like WSE. That is not a problem in WCF because the security bindings know how to interpret this message and create a response according to its content.

     

    There are two ways to disable this feature in WCF:

     

    1. Secure the communication with a customBinding since it does not provide this feature.

    2. Turn off the attribute "negotiateServiceCredential" in the "message" element for the bindings wsFederationHttpBinding or wsHttpBinding.

     

    UPDATE: The STS implementation code is available in this post http://weblogs.asp.net/cibrax/archive/2006/09/08/SAML-_2D00_-STS-implementation-for-WCF.aspx

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