WildFly Elytron

WildFly Elytron

SSL Certificate Revocation Lists with WildFly

An Overview of Certificate Revocation Lists

Certificate Revocation Lists (CRLs) contain a list of certificates that have been revoked by the issuing Certificate Authority before their expected expiration date, and therefore should no longer be trusted. Elytron previously supported configuring only one Certificate Revocation List.

It is now possible to configure multiple CRL files, which is useful when several certificate authorities are used. This blog post assumes previous knowledge on how to configure SSL in Elytron. For more information on how to configure SSL, refer to the elytron documentation.

Configuring CRLs on the Client Side

Support for multiple CRLs is now available in the client and server side using WildFly Elytron. Let’s take a look at an example configuring one way SSL using CRLs in the client. The example application is available here.

Back Up Your Standalone Server Configuration

Prior to starting, back up your standalone server configuration by making a copy of your WILDFLY_HOME/standalone/configuration/standalone.xml file. You will need it in the end to restore your server’s configuration.

Pre-requisite Server Configuration

Since certificate revocation lists correspond to a specific certificate authority, we will create our own self signed Root Certificate Authority which will then be used to sign our server’s certificate. The following steps demonstrate how to achieve this set up:

Generate a Self Signed Root Certificate Authority

  • Navigate to the directory where you would like to configure your Root Certificate Authority. We will refer to this directory as SSL_CONFIG throughout this blog post.

  • Generate a 4096-bit long RSA key for our Root Certificate Authority and store it in the file ca.key:

openssl genrsa -out ca.key 4096
Generating RSA private key, 4096 bit long modulus (2 primes)
..................................................................++++
......................................................................
.............................................................................
......................................................++++
e is 65537 (0x010001)
  • Create the self-signed Root CA certificate ca.crt as follows:

openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -key ca.key -out ca.crt
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
-----
Country Name (2 letter code) [XX]:US
State or Province Name (full name) []:North Carolina
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]:Raleigh
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]:WildFly
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:jboss
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []:Root Certificate Authority
Email Address []:

Note the information about the CA is not relevant to the configuration.

Create the Server Certificate

  • Navigate to the server configuration directory:

cd WILDFLY_HOME/standalone/configuration/
  • Generate the private key for the server:

openssl genrsa -out server.key 4096
Generating RSA private key, 4096 bit long modulus (2 primes)
....................++++
............................................................................++++
e is 65537 (0x010001)
  • Generate a certificate signing request for our Root Certificate Authority.

openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr
You are about to be asked to enter information that will be incorporated
into your certificate request.
What you are about to enter is what is called a Distinguished Name or a DN.
There are quite a few fields but you can leave some blank
For some fields there will be a default value,
If you enter '.', the field will be left blank.
-----
Country Name (2 letter code) [XX]:US
State or Province Name (full name) []:North Carolina
Locality Name (eg, city) [Default City]:Raleigh
Organization Name (eg, company) [Default Company Ltd]:WildFly
Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) []:jboss
Common Name (eg, your name or your server's hostname) []:localhost
Email Address []:

Please enter the following 'extra' attributes
to be sent with your certificate request
A challenge password []:
An optional company name []:

Make sure you enter "localhost" as the Common Name, otherwise you might run into issues.

  • Create the following files, which will be helpful when creating the certificate revocation list:

touch SSL_CONFIG/certindex
echo 01 > SSL_CONFIG/certserial
echo 01 > SSL_CONFIG/crlnumber
  • Also, create the configuration file SSL_CONFIG/ca.conf with the content below:

[ ca ]
default_ca = myca

[ crl_ext ]
# issuerAltName=issuer:copy  #this would copy the issuer name to altname
authorityKeyIdentifier=keyid:always

 [ myca ]
 dir = ./
 new_certs_dir = $dir
 unique_subject = no
 certificate = $dir/ca.crt
 database = $dir/certindex
 private_key = $dir/ca.key
 serial = $dir/certserial
 default_days = 730
 default_md = sha1
 policy = myca_policy
 x509_extensions = myca_extensions
 crlnumber = $dir/crlnumber
 default_crl_days = 730

 [ myca_policy ]
 commonName = supplied
 stateOrProvinceName = supplied
 countryName = optional
 emailAddress = optional
 organizationName = supplied
 organizationalUnitName = optional

 [ myca_extensions ]
 basicConstraints = CA:false
 subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
 authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid:always
 keyUsage = digitalSignature,keyEncipherment
 extendedKeyUsage = serverAuth
 crlDistributionPoints = URI:http://example.com/root.crl
 subjectAltName  = @alt_names

 [alt_names]
 DNS.1 = example.com
 DNS.2 = *.example.com
You must change the crlDistributionPoints to point to your domain if you wish to use distribution points to access the certificate revocation lists. This example uses a file in your system to configure the CRL as opposed to the CRL distribution points.
  • Sign the server’s certificate signing request with your Root Certificate Authority:

openssl ca -batch -config SSL_CONFIG/ca.conf -notext -in server.csr -out server.crt
Using configuration from ca.conf
Check that the request matches the signature
Signature ok
The Subject's Distinguished Name is as follows
countryName           :PRINTABLE:'US'
stateOrProvinceName   :ASN.1 12:'North Carolina'
localityName          :ASN.1 12:'Raleigh'
organizationName      :ASN.1 12:'WildFly'
organizationalUnitName:ASN.1 12:'jboss'
commonName            :ASN.1 12:'localhost'
Certificate is to be certified until Dec  9 19:15:58 2022 GMT (730 days)

Write out database with 1 new entries
Data Base Updated

Create the Server Keystore

The server’s keystore should include our server’s certificate along with its entire certificate chain i.e. server.crt → ca.crt.

  • Create the certificate chain as follows:

cat server.crt SSL_CONFIG/ca.crt > chained.crt

For Windows, use notepad to concatenate certificates.

  • Pack all the certificates, and the server private key into a pkcs12 file as follows:

openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey server.key -in chained.crt -out chained.pkcs12
Enter Export Password:
Verifying - Enter Export Password:

Enter secret as the password.

  • Import this pkcs12 file into a java keystore:

keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore chained.pkcs12 -srcstoretype PKCS12 -destkeystore server.keystore
Enter destination keystore password:
Re-enter new password:
Enter source keystore password:
Entry for alias 1 successfully imported.
Import command completed:  1 entries successfully imported, 0 entries failed or cancelled

Again, you can use the password secret for server.keystore.

Pre-requisite Client Configuration

Now that we have configured a server certificate signed by our Root Certificate Authority. We need to configure our client’s trust store.

Configure Client TrustStore

For the client’s trust store, it suffices if it holds the certificate for the Root Certificate Authority. The client will automatically trust any certificates which have been issued by the Root Certificate Authority or whose certificate chain contains the Root Certificate Authority.

Configure it as follows:

keytool -import -file SSL_CONFIG/ca.crt -alias ca -keystore client.truststore -storepass secret
Owner: CN=Root Certificate Authority, OU=jboss, O=WildFly, L=Raleigh, ST=North Carolina, C=US
Issuer: CN=Root Certificate Authority, OU=jboss, O=WildFly, L=Raleigh, ST=North Carolina, C=US
Serial number: 66724cf6a35ff0fd504e6b30bbbad73e8ae4e7b3
Valid from: Wed Dec 09 14:10:06 EST 2020 until: Thu Dec 09 14:10:06 EST 2021
Certificate fingerprints:
	 SHA1: 4A:63:B8:AA:D2:9A:D4:E4:21:14:C6:AA:4A:74:00:AD:02:DE:91:EB
	 SHA256: EC:06:81:49:F7:E6:D9:54:5E:77:79:EC:EE:D2:16:90:60:F6:B9:92:F3:4D:D9:2E:C2:F6:E8:28:4E:4D:52:98
Signature algorithm name: SHA256withRSA
Subject Public Key Algorithm: 4096-bit RSA key
Version: 3

Extensions:

#1: ObjectId: 2.5.29.35 Criticality=false
AuthorityKeyIdentifier [
KeyIdentifier [
0000: CD CA 95 5D C3 6E 03 C4   A3 59 A5 0C 4D 8C 20 9E  ...].n...Y..M. .
0010: 52 0A C3 86                                        R...
]
]

#2: ObjectId: 2.5.29.19 Criticality=true
BasicConstraints:[
  CA:true
  PathLen:2147483647
]

#3: ObjectId: 2.5.29.14 Criticality=false
SubjectKeyIdentifier [
KeyIdentifier [
0000: CD CA 95 5D C3 6E 03 C4   A3 59 A5 0C 4D 8C 20 9E  ...].n...Y..M. .
0010: 52 0A C3 86                                        R...
]
]

Trust this certificate? [no]:  y
Certificate was added to keystore

Configure the Server

You configure the SSL context by running JBoss CLI commands. For your convenience, this quickstart batches the commands into a configure-ssl.cli script provided in the root directory of this example.

Before you begin, make sure you do the following:

  • Start the server with the standalone default profile as follows:

WILDFLY_HOME/bin/standalone.sh
  • Review the configure-ssl.cli file in the root of this directory. Comments in the script describe the purpose of each block of commands.

  • Open a new terminal, navigate to the root directory of this quickstart, and run the following command, replacing WILDFLY_HOME with the path to your server:

$ WILDFLY_HOME/bin/jboss-cli.sh --connect --file=configure-ssl.cli
For Windows, use the WILDFLY_HOME\bin\jboss-cli.bat script.

You should see the following result when you run the script:

The batch executed successfully
process-state: reload-required

Create the Certificate Revocation Lists

  • Navigate to your SSL_CONFIG directory.

  • Generate an empty CRL file as follows:

openssl ca -config ca.conf -gencrl -keyfile ca.key -cert ca.crt -out ca.crl.pem
Using configuration from ca.conf
  • Revoke the server’s certificate using this command:

openssl ca -config ca.conf -revoke WILDFLY_HOME/standalone/configuration/server.crt -keyfile ca.key -cert ca.crt
Using configuration from ca.conf
Revoking Certificate 01.
Data Base Updated
  • Regenerate the CRL file:

openssl ca -gencrl -keyfile ca.key -cert ca.crt -out ca.crl.pem -config ca.conf
Using configuration from ca.conf
  • Test the CRL:

cat ca.crt ca.crl.pem > test.pem

openssl verify -extended_crl -verbose -CAfile test.pem -crl_check WILDFLY_HOME/standalone/configuration/server.crt
error 23 at 0 depth lookup: certificate revoked
error server.crt: verification failed

Error 23 indicates the certificate has been revoked, as expected.

Configure a Client that verifies certificates against CRLs

The example application presents a simple client SslClient.java which checks the connection to the server is successful. To ensure the client configures certificate revocation lists, we have provided a common configuration framework in wildfly-config.xml.

Review this file to see how the certificate revocation lists are configured in the client SSL context:

<certificate-revocation-lists>
    <certificate-revocation-list path="PATH/TO/CRL"/>
</certificate-revocation-lists>
In this example we have only configured one CRL under the certificate-revocation-lists tag, as we are only concerned that our client accepts certificates signed by the CA we created. If we wanted our client to trust certificates from various CAs, and therefore be able to access the CRLs corresponding to each of those CAs, we could simply add additional certificate-revocation-list objects.

As a final step in configuring the client, update the path to the client’s trust store with the path to your trust store. Additionally, also update the certificate-revocation-list tag to the path the CRL we configured earlier.

Build and Deploy the Application

Ensure you have a running instance of your server. Then, navigate to the root directory of the example application and run the following commands:

cd ssl-server
mvn clean package wildfly:deploy

This deploys the ssl-server.war to the running instance of the server. You should see a message in the server log indicating that the archive deployed successfully.

Run the Client and Verify Certificate Rejection

Navigate to the root directory of the example application and run the following commands:

cd ssl-client
mvn clean install -Dtest=SslClient

You should see the following error in the log:

  test(SslClient): RESTEASY004655: Unable to invoke request:
javax.net.ssl.SSLHandshakeException: PKIX path validation failed: java.security.cert.CertPathValidatorException:
Certificate has been revoked, reason: UNSPECIFIED, revocation date: Wed Dec 09 14:26:04 EST 2020,
authority: CN=Root Certificate Authority, OU=jboss, O=WildFly, L=Raleigh, ST=North Carolina, C=US, extension OIDs: []

Alternatively, you could comment out the entire certificate-revocation-lists tag in your wildfy-config.xml file and verify that communication succeeds otherwise.

Undeploy the Application

When you are finished testing the application, follow these steps to undeploy the archive:

  1. Make sure you start the WildFly server.

  2. Open a terminal and navigate to the root directory of this example.

  3. Type the following commands to undeploy the archive:

cd ssl-server
mvn wildfly:undeploy

Restore the WildFly Standalone Server Configuration

You can restore your WildFly Standalone Server Configuration by replacing your WILDFLY_HOME/standalone/configuration/standalone.xml file with your backed up copy.

Configuring CRLs on the Server Side

This example has demonstrated how to configure CRLs on the client side. However, it is also possible to configure multiple CRLs on the server side for two-way SSL communication. Please review the documentation here. to learn more.

Summary

This blog post has given an overview on how certificate revocation lists can be used with WildFly on the client side. For more details, take a look at the Elytron documentation.