Tag Archives: jaas

A Quick Spring Security Lock-Down

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My new shiny web application is fantastically useful, but only to a certain group of people (i.e. my team), and should only be accessible by them.

So, before being able to put it into real production, I needed a security framework around it.

A legacy JAAS component of ours exists, but given my application was making use of the Spring framework, I compared Spring’s offering to the JAAS infrastructure.

Popular opinion seems to be that JAAS was build for J2SE, not J2EE, and is designed for things at a much ‘lower level’ than web applications, such as client-side applets rather than server-side applications.


First things first: Maven dependencies.

I’m using spring-webmvc 2.5.6, so I’d like to get security working with the application as it stands now – the latest pre-3.0 release of spring-security is 2.0.6-RELEASE:



The web context requires two things:

1. Context location


(we’ll create the security context in the next step)

2. Filter definition



The url-pattern will mean all requests pass through the filter (which will have more explicit criteria).

Security Context

Now we get to the real meat of the security layer!

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<beans:beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/security"

    <http auto-config="true">
        <intercept-url pattern="/**" access="ROLE_USER" />
        <http-basic />

        <password-encoder hash="md5"/>
            <user name="user" password="aabbccddeeff001122334455667788ff" authorities="ROLE_USER" />

Here we can see the configuration for http requests. The ‘auto-config’ sets the defaults (refer to the doco in the references), which are overridden by the contents of the tag. We’ll let in one user for now with the role ‘ROLE_USER’, defined in the authentication-provider section.

Including http-basic just puts the preference on using the basic HTTP prompt, but removing that line would use Spring’s default login page (with user/pass and ‘remember me’ checkbox).

And its done! Deploying the application and loading the page demands a login before progressing.


Future improvements might involve setting up a styled login page, hooking up an LDAP connection (but with restrictions).
Oh, and Selenium tests..


Spring Source, Spring Security Reference Documentation <http://static.springsource.org/spring-security/site/docs/2.0.x/reference/ns-config.html>
Peter Mularien, 5 Minute Guide to Spring Security <http://www.mularien.com/blog/2008/07/07/5-minute-guide-to-spring-security/>


Whoops! IntelliJ broke my JAAS config…

One of IntelliJ’s features is maintenance of copyright headers in source and text files. The update of the header can be selected to run upon commit (so that your commited code always has the latest copyright!).

* SomeClass.java - 11 Nov 2010
* Copyright (c) 2010 - My Organisation

Kind of cool and useful depending on your coding standards.

I’m updating a module of ours that uses Java Authentication and Authorization service (JAAS) to hook into LDAP.

The JAAS configuration file, unlike most properties and config files, uses Java-style block comments (such as the example above), and not hash comments. IntelliJ has recognized my jaas.config as a properties file, and upon committing to source control, inserts the copyright as a hash-comment block:

# jaas.test.config - 11 Nov 2010
# Copyright (c) 2010 - My Organisation

The result – My tests fail because JAAS config loader throws an exception!


I hoped that I could somehow indicate that a JAAS config file should be matched to the same style used in Java files.

I can set up a file type for the file easily enough:

But I can’t find a way to apply a copyright template to the file type…damn! The copyright templates seem static.

We could, in theory, apply one of those static file types to out JAAS config file; Add “jaas*.config” to Java or Javascript file types – but you’d have to be willing to put up with the errors and warnings!

For now, using the custom file type will do – IntelliJ doesn’t modify the copyright since it doesn’t know what the file is anymore. At least it won’t update to the wrong format by accident this way..!