Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

DASVIDANIYA

It's quite hard to write goodbye blog posts or emails, and here I find myself embarking on such a task. It's always hard to say goodbye, but sometimes it needs to be said just to bring some closure.

It's been a extremely interesting ride for me at Sun over the last 9 years as a contractor and an employee. They say, 'once a unix geek, always a unix geek'. Well, for me it's kinda slightly different, it's "once a sun geek, always a sun geek". The spirit lives on. It's easy to take a geek out of sun, but It would be very hard to take the "sun" outta a geek !

As I type this post with a rock on my chest, I also breathe a sigh of relief. A sigh of relief from the topsy-turvy ride we have all been on for a long long time. I've lived through several RIF's and survived them all... And now I find myself making this bold move of moving out and onwards on my own.

I think it's time for me to take my destiny into my own hands, and carve out my own future. It's high time I pursue my dreams, and am moving on from here to pursue that dream.

I've have had the opportunity to work alongside some of the industry's most brilliant, coolest and fun'est folks, the opportunity to live and learn new technologies, the opportunity to work for a company that had a vision, a true vision ! These moments will be cherished forever.

In the last several months i've been involved in some fascinating projects which span healthcare, banking and telecommunications verticals. The lessons learnt have been simply wonderful (both on a technical and personal note).

I am sure all our paths would cross again, and having said that I'd prefer to not say goodbye but rather use a line from an old Bollywood favorite of mine "DASVIDANIYA" (from the movie Mera Naam Joker), which means "Until We Meet Again".

Now, before any of you jump to any conclusions or concoct any conspiracy theories, the reasons for me moving on are quite simple. I am moving on to carve out my own future. I shall be a continuing my participation on the advisory board of BastionHost. Apart from this, my primary day-job would be quite different from what I've been used to all along. I'm finally switching gears from my telecommute role that Ive been so used to over the years, to work behind a desk and be involved in spearheading the development of SaaS enabled infrastructures for the wealth management sector.

Sometimes in life one comes by opportunities that are rare, and if one does not act upon them regret is all one be left with, and that is something I refuse to live with.

If you would like to continue being in touch, you can follow my ramblings on tumblr. I am always available through Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter. I could also be reached via email at rohan[@]rohanpinto[.]com.

Last but not the least, I'm not gone yet.. ! I would be continuing in my role at Sun until the end of the month. From now on until then I'll be tying up loose ends and enabling transition what I currently have on my plate on to other folks on my team. (and I hope to make the MOST of the time I spend with my colleagues during this time).

For all those folks in the Identity Practice... I will be hanging around this arena of technology for a quite while folks, So Stay Strong, Live Large, and do keep in touch. You will find my continued participation in the OpenSSO and OpenDS Alias's. I am not sure whats gonna happen to these product lines after the Oracle Acquisition, but regardless of the outcome, lets keep the community going and the continue contributing to the project. I know "I Will", I hope you will too...

This blog at Sun Microsystems will no longer be updated.

Tuesday Apr 11, 2006

rollerweblogger 2 wordpress

With Debashish's Help I am moving all posts from this blog on rollerweblogger to wordpress. I hopefuly should complete this migration by this weekend. Once all the posts including comments are migrated over I hope you would continute reading my new wordpress hosted blog.

UPDATE : The reason for migrating the blog over is because I wish to enable yadis/lid/openid/sxore and infocard (PHP & JAVA) authentication on the blog. And it's not possible with a hosted service. So That was my only reason.

Monday Apr 10, 2006

Yet Another Infocard Java Based Infocard RP

AH!!! Hellooo world. Java based infocards are taking over... Here's Yet another Java Based Infocard Relying Party Demo. This time It's Ashish Jain's implementation of it. Ashish works for PingIdentity and is also the co-author of J2EE 1.4 Bible & Enterprise SOA (I bet you didnt need that introduction, as you would have known that already.).

His demo is available at pingidentity's Jetty Based demo server. His implementaion however does not use bouncycastle or XOM but is again a Java based RP developed from scratch using XMLBeans and XMLSEC.

It sure is a chweeth Object Oriented world aint it ??

UPDATE : There's one thing for sure that infocard and WS-\* is helping me with. IE: Making new connections and a LOT of new friends.

Monday Apr 03, 2006

User-Controlled Identity and Changes In My Perception Of it.

Well, I do not wanna say that I buy the concept of User Controlled Identities in it's "entirety" But however I'd like to say that I am trying pretty hard to buy into the "concept". Amartya Sen, The co-author of "Identity and Violence" says that the "freedom to choose one's identity affiliations is the antidote to divisive extremism"

Well. I'd not hesitate to do my part in playing a role to eliminate divisive extremism. And just to add to that I'm buying Kim's concept.. slowly.. very very very very slowly... ;-)

However while on the "identity" subject, like the "rest of the world"... I too have a question for Kim. Whats with this symmetric proof key in the SAML assertion? Like me, I bet there are several-several folks out there who are awaiting an answer... Kim Please... Could you ? PLEASE...

Infocard Invoker with Self Signed Server Certificates

A few folks have been having issues using self signed server certificates to invoke the Identity Selector WinFX Component. Here's a short walkthorough on how to use a self signed certificate and save a few $$$'s from having to but a Certificate from a Trusted Authority.

The key is to use the sha1rsa Signature Algorithm instead of using the default md5rsa Signature Algorithm.


openssl genrsa -des3 -out pass.key 1024
openssl rsa -in pass.key -out server.key
openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -sha1 -newkey rsa:1024 -nodes -keyout server.key -out server.crt

Then copy the server.key and server.crt to your webservers config directory.
cp server.key /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.key/
cp server.crt /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.crt/

Change file access permissions
chmod go-rwx /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.key/server.key

Made a test cert
make testcert

Create a server.pem file as by concatenating the server.key file and the server.crt file as follows:
cat /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.key/server.key /etc/httpd/conf/ssl.crt/server.crt > /etc/httpd/conf/server.pem

restart your webserver.

Your self signed certificate should now invoke the identity selector without any issues...

NOTE : Remember folks. If youre learning anything at all from all of us who are blogging our experiences and processes about getitng infocard to work in all these various platforms and scenarios to PLEASE "pay it forward".

use-er ecc-entric identity

A must read : via Pat's blog :

From fellow Libertyite, Paul Madsen, comes this amusing take on user-centric identity. Many a true word spoken in jest!
Give it a read. The time spent would be well worth it.

Happy Monday.

Sunday Apr 02, 2006

infocard: Do you want a Girl toy or a Boy toy with that ?

I was chatting with a friend recently about "successful marketing strategies". and I was told that one of the most successfull ones had been the Mc Donalds Happy Meal. Yes, true, the Happy Meal really is one of the best. & then I thought... "infocard"... is this a "stratergy" that microsoft had ?

But InfoCard will only succeed if there are innovative people like you who are willing to take the time to build interesting relying parties and identity providers.

Microsoft is known for it's marketing strategies. They succeeded in making "windows" the defacto standard for desktops. I really dont care how the did it, but the bottom line is that they did it !! Well, I then remembered that "infocard" can be only as successful as it's adoption.

Well, Here's what I think. (my perception)
Microsoft has generated so much interest and buzz in the marketspace with the "Laws of Identity", The "Identity Metasystem" and "infocard" that everybody wanted to know what it was and how to use it. I was one of them....

Microsoft didnt want to make "infocard" implementation a "insert CD..., click next...(a few times), and then click finish..." procedure.. They wanted folks to adopt it. They also wanted the "community" to show that they could do it on their own with Java, PHP, etc... Basically they showed us a "carrot" and made us run for it... Once the "community" showed that they could easily do it, it would make everybody believe that implementing it is not a complex task. It's not expensive and it's do-able. Well, They sure succeeded at that.

PS: Kim, if that was the strategy, Hats off to you. You did it !!!(extremely well planned). Now you know why I idolize you. ;-)

Your Thoughts ?

Saturday Apr 01, 2006

ie7 that works with infocards (Build 7.0.5296.0)

After several email, I thought that it would be best to point folks to a direct download of ie7 Build 7.0.5296.0 (The version that works). So folks. Please stop emailing me for this version. Simply download it from : radpishare.de. If you send me emails, please do not be surprised when I reply with a link to this blog post.

As far as the WinFX components go, download whatever is available from Microsoft's website. It would work.

And as far as the PHP and Java Code release goes (for both the RP and the infocard creator)... Patience my dear Watson, Patience... We've all waited so long for the right folks to release their code.. So Bear with me/us and have a little more patience.

BTW: This infocard crypto stuff is just cool. The ciphers the methods to encrypt/decrypt the tokens are smooth... However Robin Wilton (racingsnake) had a very good question, and I'm awaiting Kim's response.. I hope he does.

OPEN infocard

Chuck Mortimore, has posted the exact steps required to "consume" infocards on his blog (xmldap). I'm not gonna steal the spotlight from him. He deserves more credit for this than anybody else. This is a cross post from Chuck's blog.

Chuck writes:

To get started, you need to get your hands on the XML Token. This should be pretty simple, as your web framework will generally hand back parameters already URL decoded.

Once you’ve got the token, you’ll need to decrypt the token. The token is transmitted as encrypted XML.

Head On Over to Chuck's Blog to see what the xmlToken would look like
OR look at my previous post on what it looks like. Chuck's Post is "complete". Mine's truncated..

Basically what you have here is an ephemeral symmetric encryption key, which has itself been encrypted with the Public Key of the SSL Cert for the website InfoCard is interacting with. As you can see from the metadata provided in the KeyInfo fragment, the key is encrypted using RSA with OAEP encoding and SHA1, using the certificate identified in the SecurityTokenReference with the provided fingerprint (the fingerprint is a SHA1 hash of the cert bytes)

Your first job is to decrypt that encryption key. Step one : remove the Base64 encoding. Step 2 : you need to write a function which takes the private key for the cert referenced by the fingerprint, along with the data as input, and decrypts in this manner RSA-OAEP

Once you’ve successfully decrypted the key ( it should be 256 bits), you can use it to decrypt the token. As you can see in the XML, you need to use AES with a ChainedBlockCipher. Decrypt the token (Don’t forget to strip the initialization vectors...thanks Gary).

Head On Over to Chuck's Blog to see what the decrypted token would look like

The next step would be to quickly check the validity period on this Assertion to make sure it’s still fresh. You might also want to check the AssertionID against a table of previously seen assertions to prevent replay...depends on your level of paranoia.

On to signature validation...you should follow the steps outlined in XML-DSIG, but to paraphrase, check the digest of the canonicalized assetion against the digest in the SignedInfo block, and then validate the signature of the canonicalized SignedInfo using a PublicKey constructed from the provided KeyInfo.

Now, what’s bugging me is the use for the Symmetric Proof key provided in the Subject of the Assertion. Super Pat and I discussed this for awhile, and since it’s not used immediately in this protocol exchange, our best guess is that it’s used in subsequent interactions with the service, although I must admit the InfoCard docs are a little fuzzy on this subject. If anyone can fill me in, I’d appreciate it!

Finally, if your signature validation worked, extract the claims, enforce any policy you’d like, create a session, set a cookie, etc...

Chuck has also reverse-engineered the infocard token creation and has published a tool that can create a token for you on his demo servers.

Now since "infocard walled garden" has been made not so mystical, Here's are my thoughts.

The OBJECT tag required to invoke the Identity Selector is a cool tool, But on the RP side, the RP is just a listener that received tokens "pushed" to it. One does not really need the use of a InformationCardSignInHelper (ie: icardie.dll for ie7)to invoke the Identity Selector (WinFX CTP). One can easily write a tool, that creates these tokens using random data and start pushing these tokens to RP's. I see this as an extremely simple way to set up a DoS attack.

  • So are infocards really "secure"?
  • Would they make the common man's life easier?
  • Would they make RP's more vulnerable to DoS attacks?

Like I said earlier, I am having a extremely hard time trying to digest the First Law from the "Laws Of Identity". For some reason I tend to lean strongly towards not being able to digest "user control". Hopefully over time, I shall grow out of it and be able to digest the theory.

SO: Higgins folks have a base to work off of for their open source version of "infocard-whatever" (not that they needed it). And I'd like to see if folks credit Chuck for HIS hard work.

Thursday Mar 30, 2006

infocard xmlToken

nothing special here. This is what the xmlToken that the Identity Selector send across to a Relying Party looks like.


more soon...

Wednesday Mar 29, 2006

Worlds FIRST Java Based infocard RP - LIVE

Chuck Mortimore has just deployed the world first Java Based Infocard Relying Party app. I'm following up soon with a PHP based Relying Party app... (Chuck beat me to it.. even though we've been constantly communicating and collaborating.. Guess Chuck's had the advantage of time... But However, We played tag-team and managed to get it to work !!!) Getting Java to work was easy.. PHP seems to be a bit harder with decoding and parsing encoded XML. I always thought that PHP was easier.. But was proven wrong this time... I'm trying to do exactly the same thing in PHP as the Java code and all I get is garbage. There must be something different in the urldecode / base64_decode functions in PHP and the way in which it handles "special characters".

HOWEVER: Chuck's the one who deserves 100% credit for deploying it first.

Kim, Please publish your code... not the relying party provider (RP) code, We got that already.. We would like to see the WinFx Identity Invoker Code... (please... please... please... please... please...)

For those who appreciate HARD WORK. Take a moment to toast Chuck. Infinite cheers Chuck !!! You ROCK !!!

Open Source rocks !!!..... Kim.. break down those walls. Let East Meet West. Let infocard be really "open". Please do not restrict us to work within those "infocard walled gardens"... please let us open up channels to securing the identity space. & ah !! in-ter-oh-por-ate !!

PS: When I say "us".. I mean "we the people", @the "open source community".... ;-)

Next Stop: How to Federate your "infocard" authentication token.

Tuesday Mar 28, 2006

John Doe's Infocard

LOL... had some time to kill..... and so I made a few images that you could use as your infocard image to help you identify the different infocards you create and distinguish between them instead of relying on the infocard super-imposed name.


And here's John Doe's Infocard. Use the password "password" to import the infocard.
This distribution of John Doe's infocard could probably make John Doe a "celebrity" again.

remember to save John Doe's infocard with the extention .crds

I know that most of the sites that would accept this card would also have a "confirm registration" email sent out. Well, I shall soon do something to address that too. The email address registered on this card is john.doe.infocard-AT-gmail-DOT-com. So, what I shall also do is setup gmail forward to forward all emails to a_secret_email_address@blogger.com, and then setup a blog to publish all those emails received. Well, then I could probably write a javascript or any utility to auto-click & confirm all url's in the posts, or to parse the contents of emails received and to a HTTPrequest.get() on all URL's that the blogpost contains. But since that would take some effort, and is not something I am too keen on doing anyway, and also since I currently do not have too much stale time on my hands, I shall do that only if I see the card being used... or I may also decide against it and keep this as "insider" info ;-)

Guess I would be wasting too much time on this. so the idea is now officially canned.
ROTFL.

NOTE : This is in no way an attempt to initiate a world-wide attempt to present John Doe's infocard as a mechanism to break all web service's/application's that may someday accept infocard as it's auth medium. I received a few emails and phonecalls to clarify the intent here..
So Here's a public post of the intent. If you see that this can be used as a way in which tens of thousands of folks use a "common" credential (with User Control and Consent) to authenticate, and even deceive the "registration confirmation" system into accepting the credential, then I hope you see the big picture. These AuthN mediums are not for a person to person authentication system but for a "automated" system. I see this as a means in which hackers have a platform to authenticate into systems, initiate a new breed of DoS attacks, Hijack Identities, & misuse the system. Please see this not as an attempt to "attack" but as an attempt to show you that there can be several ways in which a system's stability can be compromised using extremely simple means. It does not require a rocket scientist to do such tasks. & mind you there are several folks "out there" who do this just for the kicks. So when you folks read about infocard and it's capabilities in all its basking glory, please remember not to tie yourselves down to a "infocard walled garden" and think outside of the BOX.
As "WE" work on securing the system/'s even more, the "outsiders" would always find innovative ways of breaking it. Therefore "WE" need to work as a "TEAM" and CO-LAB-OH-RATE!!
Please... Lets not work on "proprietorizing" IDENTITY. We got to have a solution that the industry sees as something that is SECURE, OPEN & more importantly INTER-OPERABLE. Remember it takes 2 to tango.

Monday Mar 27, 2006

Internet Explorer 7 Build 5299 5296

UPDATE : Build 5299 did not work. I'm now hunting for Build 5296. Because the Build that works on my desktop is Build 5296. If anybody has a downloaded copy of Build 5296. Please please let me have a copy.....
OK. OK..... I've tried and tried and the march 20th release of ie7 just does not work (Kim had pre warned me/us about it, But I just didnt heed his advise.). The ONLY ie7 release that works with infocards is BUILD 5299 (for now). Now I had a desktop with Build 5299 installed, but unfortunately I had not saved a copy of it. I just finished rebuilding my virtual infocard test environment and was having a extremely hard time trying to download ie7 Build 5299. I desperately wanted Build 5299 for testing purposes. I am aware of all the security flaws that come along with it, but I just dont care about them for now. All I wanted is a browser that worked with infocards. So after much effort, I did find a ie7 Build 5299 download on rapidshare. So in case you would like to use ie7 Build 5299, here are the download links.
  1. IE 7 build 5299 (link 1)
  2. IE 7 build 5299 (link 2)
  3. IE 7 build 5299 (link 3)
WARNING: USE AT YOUR OWN RISK Also read the whole list of ie7 security flaws & vulnerabilities prior to proceeding.

UPDATE : Build 5299 did not work. I'm now hunting for Build 5296. Because the Build that works on my desktop is Build 5296. If anybody has a downloaded copy of Build 5296. Please please let me have a copy.....

Sunday Mar 26, 2006

infocard: An Expensive Affair

This " - night - Graveyard-shift " infocard project of mine is working out to be an expensive affair for me, in the $$ terms. I travel around so much (every mon-fri) that in order to work on it at nights, I needed to have WinXP with SP2 and ie7 on it. There's no way I would risk putting my endeared Ferarri through the BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) trauma. Well There was no way for me to carry all my desktops around when I travel. So came VMware to the rescue.

My VMWare Workstation costs US$199, and then another WinXP Pro license was another US$299. And another CD$100 for bribing my wife with a L'Occitane gift pack to entice her to let me spend this money. Whew!!.

I hope this expense pays off in terms of learning. I believe that there can be no cost factor associated with learning. And hope & pray that this pays off in the long run.

Now I have a "infocard" ready system in addition to a development environment, and a webserver with me all the time. Hopefully in the coming weeks, (with my new set of ammunition), I should be able to blog more on my discoveries...

So stay tuned...

Friday Mar 24, 2006

User-Centric Identity Webcast

A FYI Reminer & a cross-post from superpatterns. The reason I'm crossposting this is because I believe that this is something important and something that everybody should participate in as the info that this webcast would provide you would prove extremely valuable.

There's a lot of buzz around 'user-centric identity' right now the notion of involving users in the management of their personal information and its use, rather than leaving it to some enterprise or other organization. The folks at the Liberty Alliance have written a whitepaper entitled 'Personal Identity' that shows how Liberty's Identity Federation Framework (ID-FF) and its successor SAML 2.0 can be used to implement user-centric identity for example, a user providing their own identity services via a Liberty-enabled device such as a cellphone. It's a good read. it starts from the basics, so you should be able to follow it even if you're new to Liberty and SAML.

vOn the same topic, John Kemp of Nokia and my esteemed colleague Hubert Le Van Gong will be presenting a webcast on April 12 2006 at 8am Pacific. PLEASE NOTE: Registration is required and limited to the first 100 respondents! The last webcast on the Liberty People Service 'sold out' very quickly, so get in there straight away if you're interested. If you're too late, don't despair - the webcast will be available in archive form after the event. I'll update this entry with the URL once it's online.

To register for the webcast, follow these steps.

  1. Go to http://projectliberty.webex.com
  2. Under the heading Attend a Meeting, click Register
  3. Search for centric
  4. Select User Centric Identity: Success Today and click on the Register Button. (Don't bother clicking on the link - it doesn't lead anywhere useful!)
  5. Fill out the required information and click Register Now at the bottom of the page.
Please email Tricia DeHart of the Liberty Alliance Project with any questions.

About

Rohan Pinto

Search

Top Tags
Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today
Feeds
RSS Atom