WildFly Elytron

WildFly Elytron

Normalize principal propagation/injection across elytron and legacy

In WildFly 23 there is a new configuration option in the EJB subsystem that allows to switch between legacy and elytron principal propagation. This blog post will provide an explanation about the difference between these propagation modes and where the configuration can be done.

Definition of terms

Secured EJB refers to EJB that has any security metadata configured at the EJB level. Unsecured EJB is EJB without such security metadata.

Incoming run-as identity refers to the security identity that was active for the context before the run-as* annotation was applied. For further information please see RunAsPrincipal annotation documentation.

Background

Issue WFLY-12537 was created to resolve incompatibility between Elytron and legacy principal propagation.

If Elytron was used before this issue was resolved, then the security identity of an unsecured EJB was always anonymous if there was no incoming run-as identity. This is not true for legacy, where the identity is anonymous only if mentioned unsecured EJB was called from remote context. The identity for local EJB is the current security identity obtained from security domain.

This behaviour was made consistent after issue WFLY-12537 got resolved. However in WildFly 23, we decided to provide possibility for both options in order to avoid regressions for users.

Configuration

New attribute called legacy-compliant-principal-propagation was added to the application-security-domain component in the ejb3 subsystem. You can configure it the following way:

/subsystem=ejb3/application-security-domain=other:add(security-domain=ApplicationDomain,legacy-compliant-principal-propagation=false)

See below the full description of the difference.

  • legacy-compliant-principal-propagation set to true If incoming run-as identity exists then it is the identity of the EJB. Otherwise, if the EJB is secured, then the identity is the current security identity obtained from a security domain. If the EJB is unsecured then identity is anonymous regardless of whether the EJB was called from remote context or not.

  • legacy-compliant-principal-propagation set to false If incoming run-as identity exists then it is the identity of the EJB. Otherwise,

    • if the EJB is local then the security identity of this EJB is the current security identity obtained from security domain.

    • if the EJB is unsecured and called from remote context then its identity is anonymous. If the EJB is secured and called from remote context then its identity is the current security identity obtained from security domain.

The attribute’s default value is true.

Summary

This blog post has given an overview of how to switch between legacy compliant principal propagation and Elytron principal propagation in the EJB subsystem.