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Re: [equinox-dev] Client side security store

Thanks Claus for posting that summary.  Between the points made by Claus and Peter it seems we could build enough usecases for a secure store on the client.  We have had a VERY weak one in Eclipse for years but it is only to keep honest people honest.

So, the question is, who out there has the necessary knowledge to implement or design such a thing.  I assume that most of the building blocks are already available.  No?


Peter Kriens <Peter.Kriens@xxxxxxxx>
Sent by: equinox-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx

09/21/2005 05:26 AM

Please respond to
Equinox development mailing list

Claus Nyhus Christensen <cnc@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Re: [equinox-dev] Client side security store

There has been discussions for the OSGi R4 framework to include a
certificate repository but time did not permit work in this area.

Any work in this direction is very interesting for OSGi because we
currently have a several specifications that require certificates but
we do not have a standardized repository.

Note that the User Admin has some features that move in the right
direction, and which are protected with Java 2 security.

Kind regards,

    Peter Kriens

CNC> Hi,

CNC> I am currently working on creating an Eclipse RCP front end for the J2EE
CNC> Adventure Builder Blueprint application
CNC> (http://java.sun.com/blueprints). I am doing this work with Nick Edgar
CNC> and Pascal Rapicault in preparation for a joint tutorial at the JAOO
CNC> conference next week.

CNC> During this work we discussed client side security. Jeff McAffer got
CNC> involved in the discussion, and he asked me to post some of my thoughts
CNC> on this mailing list :)

CNC> As a start I must say that I am a "J2EE person", i.e. I work for a J2EE
CNC> vendor and most of my work has been in this field. I have some (minor)
CNC> experience with Eclipse RCP, and working with Nick and Pascal really got
CNC> me hooked on making "fat clients"/Smart Clients for J2EE again.

CNC> Well, on to the subject:

CNC> Being from the J2EE world I am used to having support for security
CNC> functionality in the framework and tools. I can e.g. configure key and
CNC> trust stores for SSL communication, the browser can cache my username
CNC> and password when I log in to a web application and so on. When I want
CNC> my user interface to be a Smart Client I am more of less on my own.

CNC> Therefore, in out opinion Eclipse RCP would benefit greatly from have
CNC> some kind of security housekeeping support. In simple scenarios you have
CNC> to deal with user names and passwords (for different users and different
CNC> back end connections). Often you cannot simply cache them on the
CNC> connection but have to cache them locally in your program.  
CNC> Furthermore, in Denmark digital signatures play a major role (we have a
CNC> national system where every citizens can get a digital signature which
CNC> can be used when communicating with the government (tax, health care and
CNC> so on)) and I expect it to be just as big in other countries. While
CNC> digital signatures can be handled pretty easily on the server they are
CNC> kind of hard to manage on the client side (you have to install them in
CNC> your trust store and so on).

CNC> Based on this we think that it would be really great if Eclipse
CNC> RCP had some kind of API and security store for helping to manage this.
CNC> While a pure Java solution could be developed, we think it would be
CNC> better to provide some kind of bridge to the security store of the
CNC> operation system, providing for the possibility to share security
CNC> settings between applications. On OSX they have something called a key
CNC> chain, on Linux (Gnome) they have a key ring, and I am sure that Windows
CNC> has a similar thing. These systems are basically security stores where
CNC> you can store user names, passwords, digital signatures and then
CNC> retrieve them at a later point. Integration with these security stores
CNC> though a common Eclipse RCP API would in our opinion be a major thing
CNC> for client security. I can imagine scenarios where a system
CNC> administrator can push digital signatures to security stores on client
CNC> machines and the RCP applications will then easily be able to use them
CNC> for connecting to web services and so on.

CNC> I do not know that much about these security stores from a technical
CNC> point of view, so the above is really just ideas for what we think would
CNC> be good tools for the programmer to have when dealing with client side
CNC> security. Maybe it can serve as a starting point for further discussion.

CNC> Regards
CNC> Claus Nyhus
CNC> Trifork

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