Security

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Security
Tuesday, September 12, 2017PrintSubscribe
CMS (Site Content) & OAuth Registration Form

Open Authentication (OAuth) allows secure Single Sign-On in distributed cloud infrastructure. For example, you may build a collection of business applications that use Azure Active Directory to manage users. Individual applications do not store original user information and instead rely on Azure Active Directory to manage users, control sign-in, as well as offer password recovery, suspicious activity detection, and general account security. In this example, each custom application is registered with Microsoft Graph and maintains it’s own configuration settings to delegate user sign-in to Azure Active Directory.

Delegated security speeds up your application development while conforming to high standards of account management and protection.

Release 8.6.6.0 of Code On Time web app generator now offers an easy way to register authentication handlers for Google, Facebook, Windows Live, Identity Server, Microsoft Graph, SharePoint, DotNetNuke, and upcoming Cloud Identity (replacement for ASP.NET Membership in applications built with Code On Time).

The dynamic nature of OAuth configuration requires a place to store settings in the application. Make sure to enable the Content Management System in the database of your app. Log in as admin to your app, and navigate to Site Content.

Site Content page represents the content management system of your app.

Click on the plus (+) button and a form will ask the type of content the user wishes to create. Two options are available – (custom) and Open Authentication Registration. Future releases will allow creating access control lists, custom pages, data controllers, user profile images, workflow register entries, etc. Developers will be able to create editors for custom content items in their applications.

Creating a new Site Content record.

Choose “Open Authentication Registration” option and press OK. Select the Authentication provider from the list of available options in the Open Authentication Registration form, and additional configuration parameters will be displayed.

Selecting an authentication provider on the Open Authentication Registration wizard.

Enter the required properties and press “Save” to register the provider.

Open Authentication Registration form for an existing record.

The new registration record will be displayed in the Site Content. Selecting an existing OAuth registration will reopen the Open Authentication Registration form.

The new registration entry has been inserted. 

User Synchronization

When clients complete authentication with an external provider, the provider returns a username to the app. If a user account is found with a matching username in the application database, then the client is logged in as that user. If the matching user account is not found, what will happen next is determined by the provider configuration. If “Synchronize users” is enabled, a user account will be created with that username and randomly generated password and password answer. If the “Synchronize users” property is disabled, then the user is denied access to the application.

Synchronizing users via external authentication.

Most of the time, you will want to enable user synchronization to create “shadow” user accounts in your application database automatically. Shadow user accounts are representations of the external user identity in the application database. Changes made to these accounts will not affect the identity configuration managed by authentication provider. These accounts represent a cached user name and email. The user password, contact, and identity recovery information is not stored in the application data. If the user is deleted or renamed, then only the cached data is changed. Next sign-in authenticated by the provider will create another shadow user account.

If synchronization of users is disabled, then you will need to create user accounts ahead of time. The passwords assigned to these accounts do not need to be known to the users. Successful authentication by a registered external provider will log in the user with a matching name to the app.

Many applications save references to users in special columns (for example: Modified, Created, ApprovedBy, Owner, DeletedBy, etc). If authentication provider is enabled, then references to shadow user accounts will be recorded.

User Role Synchronization

Many OAuth providers maintain user roles. When a user is authenticated by an external provider, the provider may return a list of roles or groups assigned to that user. If “Synchronize user roles” is enabled for that authentication provider, then the reported user roles will be assigned to the user. Any shadow user roles assigned to the shadow user but not matched by the provider will be removed.

Requesting a list of user roles requires adding a system account to the provider registration. The system account must have permission to access the roles or groups of authenticated users.

If “Synchronize user roles” is enabled, press ADD SYSTEM ACCOUNT to save the registration record. You will be redirected to the authentication provider to acquire permission to read user roles.

Synchronizing user roles via external authentication.

If authentication is successful, the provider will redirect back to the Site Content page and update the registration record with system access tokens. The application will use the system access token to obtain shadow user roles from the authentication provider on each successful login. Access tokens do expire periodically and will need to be renewed. Simply select the provider registration and click Add System Account.

Auto Login

If only one authentication provider is used to confirm user identities, then consider enabling “Force users to login with this provider”. If an anonymous user tries to access this application, then the app will immediately redirect to the authentication provider for sign in. This will also happen if the user logs out.

Enabling auto login for an external providier.

To access the system login form and sign in with an internal user account, append “?_autoLogin=false” to the URL of the page in your browser.

Redirect Uri and Local Redirect Uri

The Redirect Uri property determines the address that the provider will return to after a user has been authenticated. For providers that support defining more than one Redirect Uri, the Local Redirect Uri property will be passed to the provider when the app is running in “local mode”. This automatic switching makes it easy for developers to test the authentication pipeline on a development machine, without having to publish the app.

Specifying Redirect Uri.

Simply type in the address of your site (myapp.azurewebsites.net), and it will be expanded to the correct full URL (https://myapp.azurewebsites.net/appservices/saas/[ProviderName]).

Facebook

To create a registration for OAuth integration with Facebook, the properties Client Id, Client Secret, and Redirect Uri must be specified. Client ID and Client Secret can be obtained from the Facebook Developer Dashboard. Synchronization of roles is not supported.

Configuring Facebook OAuth Provider.

Google

The Google Developer Dashboard will provide the Client Id, and allow developers to generate a Client Secret. Adding system account also allows storing blob data in Google Drive by configuring the Google Drive Blob Adapter.

Configuring Google OAuth Provider.

Windows Live

The Microsoft Apps Dashboard allows creating new clients and secrets. Role synchronization is not supported.

Configuring Windows Live OAuth Provider.

Microsoft Graph

The Client Id and Client Secret values can be created from the Microsoft Apps Dashboard. The Microsoft Graph OAuth provider allows users to authenticate with their Windows Live, Office 365, Azure Active Directory, or SharePoint Online accounts. The Tenant ID property controls the source of external accounts. Specify the value “common” to allow all sources. Enter the specific Tenant ID of your tenant to restrict access to the app to only those accounts registered in the specific tenancy.

Configuring Microsoft Graph OAuth Provider.

If “Synchronize user roles” is enabled, be sure to press Add System Account to grant your app access to the roles or groups of the tenancy.

SharePoint

The Client Id and Client Secret properties can be acquired by navigating to “https://mysite.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/AppRegNew.aspx”. Make sure to replace the root with your SharePoint site URL. The Client Uri property is equal to “mysite.sharepoint.com” if you are connecting to SharePoint Online.

Configuring SharePoint OAuth Provider.

When configuration is complete, be sure to press Add System Account to allow the app access to the SharePoint groups of each user that authenticates with your app. This also enables storing blobs in SharePoint file system via the SharePoint Blob Adapter and creating “service” data controllers from SharePoint lists in your site.

DotNetNuke

Configuring a DotNetNuke portal as an authentication provider requires installation of Cloud On Time Connector for DotNetNuke. Specify the authentication endpoint in the Client Uri property. Define a comma-separated list of tokens in the Tokens property. These tokens will be persisted to the SiteContent table for each user. These tokens can be accessed by calling @Profile_Token_Name in SQL business rules or GetProperty(“Token_Name”) in code business rules, replacing the colon (:) with an underscore (_).

Configuring DotNetNuke OAuth Provider.

Identity Server

Be sure to consult the documentation of your Identity Server installation on how to configure authentication clients.

Configuring Identity Server OAuth Provider.

Monday, January 23, 2017PrintSubscribe
Identity Manager for Web and Mobile Apps

The user identity manager comes standard in applications created with Code On Time starting with the release 8.5.12.0.

User context menu in the app with Touch UI 2017 created with Code On Time.

The account management screen enables users to switch identity at will. Account Manager may optionally store encrypted login token to enable automatic login on mobile and desktop devices. Users can see all stored identities and have them removed as needed. Issued login tokens can be also invalidated remotely. Every signing into the app will create a fresh “login” token, which replaces the last used for the user name.

image

New accounts (logins) can be added directly in the account manager.

Login in an app with Touch UI 2017.

Account Manager works on any form factor:

Account Manager in the app with Touch UI on a mobile device.

The devices with the small form factor will display the current user identity in the “hamburger” menu.

Current user identity is displayed in the "hamburger" menu.   

User identity management options available through the "hamburger" menu.

Offline applications created with Code On Time are passing the  login token in the header of requests to read/write data. Offline app pages are stored directly in the device and cannot pariticipate in the session management of the server-side application components. Thus every request needs to provide an authentication information to access protected resources.

This new mechanism replaces persistent identity cookies of ASP.NET, whcih have been previously used for persistent login in apps created with Code On Time.

The accounts start being persisted on the device when the user selects “Remember me next time” option on the login screen. New touch-settins.json configuration file provides an easy way to disable account manager when needed.

Monday, January 2, 2017PrintSubscribe
Authenticating Users with Windows Live

Every application requires a list of user accounts that have been granted (or denied) access to the data. In order to maintain membership consistency, every user needs to be associated with a password. Recommended practices for passwords dictate that every password must be unique, contain a long series of mixed alphanumeric characters, and that users should change their passwords regularly. It is likely that many users do not follow these recommended practices, and tend to reuse simple and easy to remember passwords across various systems. This can lead to a security issue if one of the systems becomes compromised – malicious users can then gain access to all systems that share the same password.

In an attempt to solve solutions to the problems mentioned above, authentication can be delegated to a “higher authority”. Application admins can register their app to accept responses from a federated authentication server. When a new user attempts to sign up to the application, they can choose to register an account using their federated account. They will be redirected to the authentication server’s login page, and grant permission for the app to gain access to their email. This information is then used to automatically create an account in the app and sign them in. Therefore, the user simply has to ensure that their account in the federated system is secure.

Applications created with Code On Time can use OAuth 2.0 to register their users. Simply define a resource under the Content Management System (CMS) that lists your client ID, client secret, and redirect URI. A local redirect URI can be defined for testing purposes.

Registering Your App

The first step to enable Windows Live authentication is to register your app.

Navigate to https://apps.dev.microsoft.com. In the top-right corner, press “Add an App”. Enter a name for your app and press “Create Application”.

Adding an application to Windows Live.

Under the “Application Secrets” section, press “Generate New Password”.

Generating a new password for the application.

Make sure to copy the new secret.

Next, press “Add Platform” under the “Platforms” section. Select “Web”.

Adding a platform for the app.

Enter your application URI, with the path “/appservices/saas/windowslive”. Optionally add a local URI for testing purposes.

Adding redirect URI for the app.

Scroll to the bottom of the page, and press “Save”.

Enabling Windows Live Login in the App

The connection needs to be registered in your application. Navigate to the Site Content page of your app, and create a new record with the following settings:

Property Value
File Name windowslive
Path sys/saas
Text

Client Id:
1234567890

Client Secret:
12345mysecret67890

Redirect Uri:  
https://demo.codeontime.com/appservices/saas/windowslive

Local Redirect Uri:
http://localhost:31733/appservices/saas/windowslive

Make sure to change the Text to the correct values for your app.

Logging In with Windows Live

Log out of your app, and press Login to open the login form. The “LOGIN WITH WINDOWS LIVE” action will now be displayed.

The login form now displays a button to "LOGIN WITH WINDOWS LIVE".

Press “LOGIN WITH WINDOWS LIVE”, and you will be redirected to the Windows Live login screen. Once logged in, a permission request will be displayed.

Windows Live displays a permission request - the app is requesting access to the profile's email.

Press “Yes”, and your browser will be redirected back to the app. The app will attempt to sign in with the account matching the returned email. If no account is found, then an account will be created with the email as the username, and a random GUID assigned to the password and password answer.