JBoss.org Community Documentation

8.5.4. Writing Custom Login Modules

If the login modules bundled with the JBossSX framework do not work with your security environment, you can write your own custom login module implementation that does. Recall from the section on the JaasSecurityManager architecture that the JaasSecurityManager expected a particular usage pattern of the Subject principals set. You need to understand the JAAS Subject class's information storage features and the expected usage of these features to be able to write a login module that works with the JaasSecurityManager. This section examines this requirement and introduces two abstract base LoginModule implementations that can help you implement your own custom login modules.

You can obtain security information associated with a Subject in six ways in JBoss using the following methods:

java.util.Set getPrincipals()
java.util.Set getPrincipals(java.lang.Class c)
java.util.Set getPrivateCredentials()
java.util.Set getPrivateCredentials(java.lang.Class c)
java.util.Set getPublicCredentials()
java.util.Set getPublicCredentials(java.lang.Class c)

For Subject identities and roles, JBossSX has selected the most natural choice: the principals sets obtained via getPrincipals() and getPrincipals(java.lang.Class). The usage pattern is as follows:

  • User identities (username, social security number, employee ID, and so on) are stored as java.security.Principal objects in the Subject Principals set. The Principal implementation that represents the user identity must base comparisons and equality on the name of the principal. A suitable implementation is available as the org.jboss.security.SimplePrincipal class. Other Principal instances may be added to the Subject Principals set as needed.

  • The assigned user roles are also stored in the Principals set, but they are grouped in named role sets using java.security.acl.Group instances. The Group interface defines a collection of Principals and/or Groups, and is a subinterface of java.security.Principal. Any number of role sets can be assigned to a Subject. Currently, the JBossSX framework uses two well-known role sets with the names Roles and CallerPrincipal. The Roles Group is the collection of Principals for the named roles as known in the application domain under which the Subject has been authenticated. This role set is used by methods like the EJBContext.isCallerInRole(String), which EJBs can use to see if the current caller belongs to the named application domain role. The security interceptor logic that performs method permission checks also uses this role set. The CallerPrincipal Group consists of the single Principal identity assigned to the user in the application domain. The EJBContext.getCallerPrincipal() method uses the CallerPrincipal to allow the application domain to map from the operation environment identity to a user identity suitable for the application. If a Subject does not have a CallerPrincipal Group, the application identity is the same as operational environment identity.