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NOTE: Ubisecure product names were unified in autumn 2011. All products which started with term "Ubilogin" were renamed to start with term "Ubisecure". In documentation this name change is implemented retroactively, i.e., the new naming practice is used also when referring to old software versions which started with term "Ubilogin" at the time of their release.

About This Documentation

This documentation describes the purpose, installation and configuration of Ubisecure Windows Authentication Provider. 

The Ubisecure Windows Authentication Provider is a Ubisecure software component which provides the Windows Single Sign-On authentication method for Ubisecure Server. This authentication method is based on Integrated Windows authentication protocol which is available in modern web browsers. The Integrated Windows authentication protocol allows AD domain users to authenticate to Microsoft IIS web servers with their existing workstation logon credentials, without entering a username and password. The Kerberos v5 protocol is extended for Web applications.

Windows Integrated Authentication is sometimes referred to as Automatic NTLM HTTP authentication or Windows SPNEGO Authentication. More information can be found in IETF RFC4559.

Ubisecure Windows Authentication Provider

The Ubisecure Windows Authentication Provider is a Ubisecure software component which provides the Windows Single Sign-On authentication method for Ubisecure Server. This authentication method is based on Integrated Windows authentication protocol which is available with the Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox (see chapter 9.5) and Google Chrome (5.0.375 or newer) browsers. On a Windows 2003 domain the authentication protocol is based on the Kerberos protocol. 
The Integrated Windows Authentication protocol enables the users to authenticate to Microsoft IIS web servers with their existing workstation logon credentials, without entering a username and password. The protocol is only enabled for Intranet use because this authentication protocol requires that the web server and the user's workstation are members of the same Windows domain.
Ubisecure implements the Integrated Windows authentication protocol as an Authentication Provider (later in this document: Windows AP). This enables very flexible installations. Ubisecure Authentication Server may be installed on a server that is not on a Windows domain or that is not running the Microsoft IIS web server.
Ubisecure also enables web applications running on non-Microsoft platforms to benefit from the ease of use of the Integrated Windows authentication protocol.
A sequence diagram of the login process is shown in Chapter 12.


Certificate Authentication Provider - SSO

Ubisecure Single Sign-On

The Ubisecure Single Sign-On software product provides a web access management solution that enables access management and single sign-on user authentication using a wide selection of authentication methods, for example: username and password, One-Time Passwords, smart card (or other client certificate), or GSM short messages (plain text or signed). 
The key functionality of Ubisecure Single Sign-On is to offer access management and related services for web applications with a selection of authentication methods to best serve the needs of the application or user level in question.

Ubisecure Single Sign-On Authentication Process

authentication process

Figure 1. The Ubisecure Single Sign-On authentication and single sign-on process with Web Application
  1. The user makes a request with his browser to a restricted web application.
  2. The Ubisecure Web Application intercepts the request because no valid credentials are included in the request. The Web Application creates a ticket request and redirects the request to the Ubisecure Authentication Server (UAS).
  3. The browser forwards the ticket request to UAS. UAS validates the ticket request and starts the authentication process.
  4. Authentication process. SSO functionality: If the user has a valid existing session with UAS then the authentication process is skipped.
  5. When the user has been authenticated, UAS creates a ticket response and redirects the browser back to the web application. UAS also creates an authentication session with the user.
  6. The browser repeats the initial request to the web application, now with a ticket response included.
  7. The Web Application validates the ticket response and allows the request to get through to the web application.

Ubisecure Authentication Server authenticates users, implements access control and sends authentication information in encrypted format to Ubisecure Web Applications. The Ubisecure Web Application deciphers and validates authentication information received from the Authentication Server and allows validated requests to get through to the web application. The Web Application also passes information about the authenticated identity to the web application.

Ubisecure Authentication Providers

Ubisecure Authentication Providers extend the available authentication methods available to Ubisecure Authentication Server (UAS) in cases where authentication must be performed on a different network or platform. There are four types of Ubisecure Authentication Providers:

  1. Windows Authentication Provider
  2. Certificate Authentication Provider
  3. Http Header Authentication Provider
  4. Custom Authentication Provider

Ubisecure Authentication Provider Authentication Process

Ubisecure Authentication Server and an Authentication Provider interoperate in a similar way to Ubisecure Authentication Server and a Web Application. All communication between UAS and the Authentication Provider is done through browser redirects.
Figure 1 gives an overview of the authentication process where a Web Application requests authentication services from the Ubisecure Authentication Server. With the Authentication Providers the roles are reversed:

  • The Ubisecure Authentication Server takes the role of a Web Application.
  • The Authentication Provider takes the role of an Ubisecure Authentication Server.

    authentication process w. auth provider

    Figure 2. The Ubisecure authentication process with an Authentication Provider

  1. The browser has been redirected from a Web Application to UAS with a ticket request.
  2. The user selects an authentication method involving an Authentication Provider. The UAS creates an authentication request and redirects the browser to the Authentication Provider.
  3. The browser forwards the authentication request to the Authentication Provider. The Authentication Provider validates the authentication request and starts the authentication process.
  4. Authentication process.
  5. The Authentication Provider creates an authentication response and redirects the browser back to UAS.
  6. The browser forwards the authentication response to UAS
  7. UAS validates the authentication response and creates a ticket response for the Web Application that initially started the process. UAS also creates an authentication session with the user.

Although the functionality provided by the Authentication Provider is very similar to the functionality provided by UAS, there are however some key differences:

  • The Authentication Provider generally does not start a session with the browser and therefore does not provide single sign-on functionality. Single sign-on is implemented by UAS.
  • The Authentication Provider does not implement access control. UAS implements access control for the Web Applications.
  • The Authentication Provider generally provides services for a single authentication server whereas the authentication server provides services for an unlimited number of Web Applications.

Deployment

The Authentication Provider architecture makes it possible to install UAS and the Authentication Provider on disconnected networks. Only the user's browser needs to connect to both servers. No direct connection between Ubisecure Authentication Server and the server running Ubisecure Authentication Provider is required. This possibility enables very advanced scenarios.

Windows Authentication Providers

Some authentication protocols, such as the Windows Integrated protocol with Internet Explorer or Firefox, are only enabled for Intranet use, because they require that the client computer is on the same Active Directory domain. With Ubisecure solution, it is possible to install a Windows Authentication Provider on the Intranet even if the Ubisecure Authentication Server is connected to the Internet.

Organization to Organization Authentication Providers

Advanced AP deployment

Figure 3. Advanced Authentication Provider deployment scenario

  • The users at Organization A authenticate locally on the Intranet to a Windows Active Directory
  • This authentication information is forwarded by the Ubisecure Authentication Provider to Ubisecure Authentication Server
  • The result is that the Extranet Site at Organization B allows transparent and seamless authenticated access for users from Organization A

Identity Mappings

The Authentication Provider passes the name of the authenticated identity to UAS. UAS maps this identity to a Ubisecure identity. UAS manages separate identity mappings for each Authentication Provider.
After a Ubisecure identity is established all normal access control features of Ubisecure Authentication Server are applied.


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