The case for Mobile OAuth in the OAM OAuth service

Introduction 

Several OAuth Clients are consumer applications that cannot keep the client secret confidential (application password or private key). These OAuth Clients are called public clients or non-confidential clients. Mobile Client applications i.e. native applications on mobile devices are also categorized as public clients because when a native application is first downloaded from an app store to a device, the client credentials that uniquely identify the client application are baked into the application. Since all users that download the native application have access to the binary, a malicious user could easily decompile the client credentials out of the binary and insert their own credentials. During an OAuth flow when the access code gets exchanged for the access token this leads to a major vulnerability as there is now no secure means of really identifying who is actually receiving and using the access token.

Hence, providing a mechanism to secure the mobile application on the device in order to ensure trusted access is a key requirement specifically for enterprise mobile applications that routinely require access to sensitive data. The OAM OAuth Service provides key features in the OAM OAuth 2.0 Service’s Mobile OAuth flow to facilitate secure enterprise mobile access for OAuth Client applications.

How it's done : Overview - Mobile Application Registration and Mobile Device Identification

The OAM OAuth  Service provides built-in support for a mechanism for mobile applications to be first registered with OAM to use OAuth Access Services. Security is enforced for mobile applications by creating a client profile and issuing client tokens specific to the application on a device. The user provides explicit authorization to register each mobile OAuth application. In the OAM OAuth 2.0 Service, mobile application registration is modeled using the same paradigm as the OAuth protocol flow where mobile application registration is modeled as a scope for which the user needs to provide explicit consent. As a result of the mobile application registration the application is issued a client token. The mobile application always submits this client token as an input parameter for accessing OAM OAuth 2.0 Service end points. Furthermore, the OAM OAuth 2.0 service also allows easy coupling of device identification with mobile application registration where mobile devices and applications can be checked against fraud and security using a built-in integration with Oracle Adaptive Access Manager (OAAM). The mobile application passes device claims along with the client token for accessing OAM OAuth 2.0 Service end points and the OAM OAuth2.0 Service provides a configuration to make certain claims as mandatory and certain claims as optional.

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About

Kanishk Mahajan is a Principal Product Manager in Oracle Identity Management with product responsibility within the Oracle Access Management suite

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