The Rack Adapter in Java

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The RBAC service can be accessed from anywhere in the application stack via a simple HTTP call However, the simplest method is to use a Rack adapter that sits in front of the protected application and checks whether the user can access the requested URL This Rack adapter relies on a block to set the user name and resource that will be passed to the RBAC service to determine whether a user is authorized to act on that resource In this way, the rackup configuration of the protected application can
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determine exactly how to identify users and resources The following example shows a Rack adapter for RBAC:
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require 'json' require 'cgi' module Rack class RBAC # rbac_host:: The host for the RBAC server # block:: Extract the requested resource and # user and return as a two element hash # { :user, :resource } def initialize(app, rbac_host, &block) # :yields: env @app = app @rbac_host = rbac_host @rbac_port = 3333 @extract_user_and_resource = block end def call(env) # Pull the user and resource from the provided block user, resource = @extract_user_and_resourcecall(env) values_at(:user, :resource) # If the GET fails or we are unable to parse the # response then they are unauthorized Otherwise, we # use the value from the authorized key in the # response json authorized = begin resp = Net::HTTPget( @rbac_host, "/users/#{user}/authorizations resource=# {resource}", @rbac_port)
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208 JSONparse(resp)["authorized"] rescue false end
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if authorized # They're authorized, let them through @appcall(env) else # Oh noes! Tell them to leave [401, {'Content-Type' => 'text/html'}, "Unauthorized\n"] end rescue => e # If we failed for any other reason, return a 500 [500, {'Content-Type' => 'text/html'}, "Unable to authorize: #{emessage}\n"] end end end
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You can use Rack::RBAC to protect a simple application server with configru:
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require 'rack_rbac' use Rack::RBAC, "localhost" do |env| # We are taking the user from the X-User header # This would ideally be set by an adapter higher in the # chain {:user => CGIescape(env["HTTP_X_USER"]), :resource => CGIescape(env["PATH_INFO"])} end run Procnew { |env| [200, {"Content-Type" => "text/html"}, "Rack::RBAC gave you access\n"] }
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This example relies on the X-User HTTP header being set, but alternate implementations could do a lookup of the user in a database, based on information stored in a cookie If X-User is used, it should be set by another adapter higher in the chain, such as the HTTP basic authentication adapter In order to test the implementation, both servers need to be started, and the RBAC service needs to be populated with user and resource information Because it is a simple HTTP server, this can be done with a few curl commands, as follows:
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$ curl -X POST -d "name=pinot&roles=cat" http://localhost:3333/users $ curl -X POST -d "name=/litterbox&roles=cat" \ http://localhost:3333/resources
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Now if the protected server is started with rackup configru, a few curl commands verify that only pinot can access /litterbox:
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$ curl # => $ curl # => -H "X-User: trotter" "http://localhost:9292/litterbox" unauthorized -H "X-User: pinot" "http://localhost:9292/litterbox" authorized
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This is all there is to setting up a simple RBAC service that integrates with other applications via a Rack adapter Users can be assigned to roles, and resources can be restricted to access only by specific roles through HTTP calls Querying user authorization involves simply a single HTTP call to the service As usage of the system grows, authorization lookups can be cached either on the service side or on the rack side In addition, the system can be extended to support other means of user lookup or resource specification In a RESTful Rails setup, the resource would likely be specified as a combination of the HTTP method and the request path
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The final piece of the security puzzle is encryption When sending any sensitive information over the wire, encryption is a necessity Although authentication and authorization help ensure that information is sent by the correct client to the correct server, they cannot prevent a man in the middle from reading the traffic Man-in-the-middle attacks are easier for would-be attackers when the victim is on a cloud solution such
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