Custom Principal and LoginModule for Wildfly

posted by Roberto Cortez on

Did you ever had the need to implement your own custom JAAS Principal and LoginModule for you JEE application? There are a couple of reasons for it. I’ve done it in the following cases:

  • Authenticate the user using different strategies.
  • Have additional user information on the Principal object.
  • Share user information between applications using the Principal object.

Maybe you have your own specific reason, it doesn’t matter. Today’s post will guide you on how to do it for Wildfly. There are a few articles on the topic, but each of them deal with a different aspect of the problem. I got motivated to write this post to aggregate all the steps in a single article, including the Arquillian test.

Wildfly uses PicketBox for Java Application Security and already implements some handy classes to take care of the authentication of the user for you. Have a look into UsersRolesLoginModule, DatabaseServerLoginModule, LdapUsersLoginModule, BaseCertLoginModule and so on. Let’s start by creating a Maven project with the following dependency:

Next, just create a CustomPrincipal and a CustomLoginModule classes:

Note that we’re extending the org.jboss.security.SimplePrincipal present in PicketBox, but you can also implement java.security.Principal instead.

Here again we’re extending a PicketBox class, org.jboss.security.auth.spi.UsersRolesLoginModule. You can code your own login module by implementing javax.security.auth.spi.LoginModule, but I recommend to extend one of the PicketBox classes, since they already have a lot of the behaviour that you will need. org.jboss.security.auth.spi.UsersRolesLoginModule is a very simple login module that authenticates an user by matching his login and password to a file. You shouldn’t use it for production applications, but it’s very handy for prototypes.

CustomLoginModule is also overriding two methods. These are needed to access our CustomPrincipal in a JEE application. The login() method as the name says is called when the user is performing the login action, so in here we create our CustomPrincipal object. On the other hand, the getIdentity() method is called to return the Principal that corresponds to the user primary identity, so we return our own instance if the login was successful.

Ok, great. How do we test it now? We use Arquillian, JUnit and HttpUnit. Start by adding the needed Maven dependencies (these are all the project dependencies):

Note that we also included the javaee-api 7 dependency. Next, we’re creating a simple EJB to access our CustomPrincipal and a Servlet to perform the authentication:

Now the Servlet:

I think the code is self-explanatory, but we still need to wire everything together. The way we configure our login module to be used on Wildfly and on our application is by using Security Domains. You can add a Security Domain by hand using the standalone/configuration/standalone.xml and domain/configuration/domain.xml files on the Wildfly installation folder, but we’re going to do something more interesting.

Using the Command Line Interface (CLI), is really easy to make changes to the server configuration without modifying any XML. This also allows you to setup a test environment and clean up your changes in the end. To achieve that, create the following files:

jboss-add-login-module.cli

As you probably have guessed, jboss-add-login-module.cli contains the CLI commands to add our Security Domain to the Wildfly instance. We first add the Security Domain and then assign the login modules to the domain. Both commands should be able to be executed as a single command, but for some reason I was getting an error so I had to split them apart. The configuration is not available on the server unless you perform a reload command. For the login module, please note the FQN of our CustomLoginModule associated with the configuration. That’s how we wire the custom login module to the Security Domain. The configuration also references two other files: user.properties and roles.properties that are used to perform the user credential verification and load the user roles. Here are examples for both files:

user.properties

Define all valid usernames and their corresponding passwords.

roles.properties

Define the sets of roles for valid usernames.

We still need the CLI commands to remove the Security Domain at the cleanup phase:

jboss-remove-login-module.cli

Almost done? Not yet! We still need to associate our Security Domain to our JEE application so our custom code runs when we perform authentication or execute Principal related behaviour. We need the following files now:

jboss-web.xml

The previous file sets the Security Domain into Servlets.

jboss-ejb3.xml

This file sets the Security Domain in EJB’s.

Uff! Now we’re finally ready to see some action! We required a bit of setup to have this example working! Here is the test class:

That’s it! Now your servlet login method will authenticate using your custom login module and methods like getUserPrincipal() from the servlet request or getCallerPrincipal() from the EJBContext will return the CustomPrincipal instance.

Fire up a Wildfly instance and run the test using mvm test or just use your favourite IDE.

A few problems:

  • It should be possible to add the security domain using only one single CLI command, but for some reason I was getting an erro. I need to have a better look into this.
  • I couldn’t find a way to run code before and after the Arquillian deployment, so the code to add the Security Domain is inside the deployment method. I’ll try to find a way to do it.

If you want additional information, please check the following references:

If you’re too lazy to write the code on your own or just want a working sample, you can download it here. Enjoy!

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Comments ( 5 )

  1. ReplyNickname ( required )

    Cool. Thanks!

  2. ReplyMike

    Thank You for this article. I have a question:
    There is boolen authenticate(HttpServletResponse response) method in HttpServletRequest interface. How can i force this method to use Your custom login module?

  3. ReplyRoberto Cortez

    Thank you for your time to read it!

    On jboss-web.xml you have there the CustomSecurityDomain which is linked to the CustomLoginModule. This should be enough.

    Hope I could help.

    • ReplyMike

      But it’s not enough. Your example gives always false at request.authenticate(response);.
      Probably I have to write some kind of authenticator. But I dont know how :(. Can You help me?

      • ReplyRoberto Cortez

        Hi Mike,

        Sorry for this late response. I coded an example for you, you can grab it here.

        So authenticate, forces the server to ask the user for authentication. So you need the web.xml to define the login-config auth method. For you to experience the login popup I didn’t add an Arquillian test, so you need to deploy it into Wildfly. Remember that you need to add the login module configuration contained in the jboss-add-login-module.cli. You can do that by running the following script in Wildfly bin folder: jboss-cli.sh –file=PATH_TO_FILE/jboss-add-login-module.cli.

        Let me know if you need anything else.

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