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Re: [equinox-dev] Client side security store

The only way to get a secure key store is to use hardware like a TPM. You 
will also need a secure JVM, etc...

BJ Hargrave
Senior Software Engineer, IBM
OSGi Fellow and CTO of the OSGi Alliance
Office: +1 407 849 9117 Mobile: +1 386 848 3788

Jeff McAffer <Jeff_McAffer@xxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent by: equinox-dev-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxx
2005-09-22 09:48 PM
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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 

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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 
CNC> Adventure Builder Blueprint application
CNC> (http://java.sun.com/blueprints). I am doing this work with Nick 
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 
CNC> on this mailing list :)

CNC> As a start I must say that I am a "J2EE person", i.e. I work for a 
CNC> vendor and most of my work has been in this field. I have some 
CNC> experience with Eclipse RCP, and working with Nick and Pascal really 
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 
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 
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 
CNC> to deal with user names and passwords (for different users and 
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 
CNC> national system where every citizens can get a digital signature 
CNC> can be used when communicating with the government (tax, health care 
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 
CNC> kind of hard to manage on the client side (you have to install them 
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 
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 
CNC> chain, on Linux (Gnome) they have a key ring, and I am sure that 
CNC> has a similar thing. These systems are basically security stores 
CNC> you can store user names, passwords, digital signatures and then
CNC> retrieve them at a later point. Integration with these security 
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 
CNC> machines and the RCP applications will then easily be able to use 
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 
CNC> be good tools for the programmer to have when dealing with client 
CNC> security. Maybe it can serve as a starting point for further 

CNC> Regards
CNC> Claus Nyhus
CNC> Trifork

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