11: Se curity and Deployment in .NET

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11: Se curity and Deployment
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Figure 1131: Disabling InfoPath design mode as an administrative policy
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manually expanded, modi ed, and then compressed again into a cab le If a power user knew InfoPath very well, he or she could make all of the changes to the form template les in a simple text editor without InfoPath! To make sure that no one else can overwrite your published template, ensure that only you have write access to its location However, if a malicious user copied your form template and made changes, he or she could essentially circumvent some of the security or validation features of your template For example, if you have data validation that requires elds to be lled out before submit, the validation constraints may have been removed Maybe you had a read-only view or read-only elds that become enabled only for an administrator role; yes, these elds may now be writable to a nonadministrator If somebody really wants to modify your form template, it s going to be pretty dif cult to effectively stop that user unless you impose a very strict security policy on his or her account and computer If your form submits data to a back-end data source, that back-end system should not trust that the form is the only mechanism that can perform the submission For example, if the form submits data to a back-end store such as a database or
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Web service, the onus should be on that external system to validate the data structure and integrity That way, no matter what a hacker could do to change a form template or even simulate his or her own form, the data still ends up being submitted to the same place And the hacker has no more of a privilege to submit specialized data than anyone else who lled out your form as it was intended
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Digital Signatures
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How many times have you said or been told, I didn t do that! We hope not too many times But think about how that statement could play out in the real world of business It would be very unfortunate if someone submitted an order to your company for one million units of your product but then later claimed they meant one hundred How can you hold that customer accountable for the original order Did he or she really request one million units, or did the order form somehow get changed after it was submitted What if that someone refuted lling out an order form altogether All of these issues are solved by using digital signatures to sign documents, such as an e-mail, for example InfoPath enables users to sign form data by using an XML Signature to sign the XML data either in whole or just the parts that you choose as the form template designer To sign the data with an XML Signature you use a certi cate, in fact, the very same kind of certi cate we used when signing the form template for full trust For this chapter and our purposes, we ll generically de ne a digital signature as some or all form data (including the signing information) in an XML le that is signed by using a certi cate (which may or may not be provided by a trusted certi cate authority, as discussed earlier in this chapter) For details on the speci cation for XML Signature, please see the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web site referenced in the Appendix
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Forms Services
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Digital signatures are supported in browser-enabled form templates running in the Internet Explorer browser
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11: Se curity and Deployment
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Signing a Form Template versus Form Data
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Try not to confuse digitally signing the form template (a previous topic in this chapter) with digitally signing form data (the current topic) Signing the form template uses Microsoft s Authenticode technology to associate a certi cate with the form template (xsn) le In contrast, signing form data uses the XML Signature speci cation as de ned by the W3C to sign a part or the whole of a form (xml) le Similar to how Authenticode makes it possible to sign form templates, XML Signature also uses certi cates, but for signing XML form data
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If a CA is secure and trusted, and the private key of the certi cate is disclosed to only the one who signs the data, InfoPath digital signatures are effective by design This means InfoPath upholds stringent provisions for what it means to properly sign data In some jurisdictions there may be legal implications, which could include using digitally signed data as evidence in a court of law The actual value of digitally signed data, however, is a hotly debated topic The value of signed data could depend on the software and other circumstantial evidence surrounding a case Unfortunately, we cannot provide legal guidance on this matter We recommend that you check with the governments in which you will be doing business to determine the value of digitally signed data InfoPath digital signatures provide a solution that partially implements the XML Signature speci cation as recommended by the W3C (ie, only X509 data is supported) What this means to you is that when users ll out and sign a form, the following three document properties are guaranteed: 1 Authenticity (who lled out the form ) 2 Data integrity (has the data been changed since lled out and signed ) 3 Nonrepudiation (could the ller of the form refute lling it out ) As you can see, digital signatures are critical mechanisms for establishing proof-positive identi cation and authenticity of a form In fact, digitally signed data is the de facto standard for sending data between businesses as well as doing business with others Despite all of the privacy questions that InfoPath digital signatures address, they do not, however, encrypt form data In other words, digitally
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