WildFly Elytron

Using the IP Address of a Remote Client for Authorization Decisions

WildFly 20 adds the ability to make use of the IP address of a remote client when making authorization decisions. This blog post will give an overview of this new feature.

Authorization Decisions

Roles and permissions can be assigned to a security identity based on attributes that are loaded from the identity’s security realm. Sometimes it might be necessary to also take into account the IP address of a remote client when making authorization decisions. As an example, we might want to make use of the IP address of a remote client in order to assign a user a particular role when establishing a connection to the server from a corporate network and a different role when establishing a connection to the server from a different network. This can now be done using a new role decoder in the Elytron subsystem.

Source Address Role Decoder

A role decoder that assigns roles to an identity based on the IP address of the remote client can be configured using a new source-address-role-decoder resource in the Elytron subsystem. For example, a source-address-role-decoder can be added as follows:

/subsystem=elytron/source-address-role-decoder=myRoleDecoder:add(source-address="", roles=[admin])

The source-address attribute in the above command specifies the IP address. Instead of specifying the IP address directly, it’s also possible to use the pattern attribute instead to configure a regular expression that specifies the IP address to match. Only one of source-address and pattern should be specified. The roles attribute indicates the list of roles to assign to the identity if the IP address of the remote client matches the configured source-address or pattern. The above example command specifies that an identity should be assigned the admin role when establishing a connection to the server from the IP address.

Once a source-address-role-decoder has been configured, it can be referenced from a security-domain. In the rest of this post, we’re going to go through a complete example that shows how to make use of this new resource. We’re going to be using the EJB Client to attempt to invoke a secured EJB that has been deployed to WildFly. We’re going to try connecting to the server from different IP addresses.

Example Project

First, clone the elytron-examples repo locally:

git clone https://github.com/wildfly-security-incubator/elytron-examples
cd elytron-examples

We’re going to be looking at the source-address-role-decoder project.

Server Configuration

A WildFly CLI script that contains all of the commands used in this example can be found in the source-address-role-decoder project.

Prerequisite Configuration

Let’s first add a user - this is the user that we’re going to use later on when attempting to invoke the EJB. For this example, we’re going to create a filesystem-based identity store and add a user named alice with password alice123+ using the following CLI commands:


Next, we’re going to add the filesystem-realm that we just created to the ApplicationDomain security domain that is already defined in the default Elytron subsystem configuration and we’re going to make this the default security realm for this security domain:

/subsystem=elytron/security-domain=ApplicationDomain:list-add(name=realms, value={realm=exampleRealm})
/subsystem=elytron/security-domain=ApplicationDomain:write-attribute(name=default-realm, value=exampleRealm)

Finally, we’ll add an application-security-domain mapping in the EJB3 subsystem to indicate that security for EJBs should be handled by Elytron. We’ll also update the http-remoting-connector in the Remoting subsystem to reference the SASL authentication factory that is backed by our Elytron security domain.

/subsystem=remoting/http-connector=http-remoting-connector:write-attribute(name=sasl-authentication-factory, value=application-sasl-authentication)

Finally, let’s reload the server using the :reload command.

Configuring a Source Address Role Decoder

Notice that in the prerequisite configuration above, the filesystem-based identity store only assigns alice the employee role. Let’s say that we want to assign a user an additional role, admin, if she is connecting from the IP address. We can configure this as follows:

/subsystem=elytron/source-address-role-decoder=ipRoleDecoder1:add(source-address="", roles=[admin])

To make use of this new role decoder, we can update our security domain to reference it:


Deploying the EJB

Now that we’ve finished configuring our server, let’s deploy our EJB. From the $PATH_TO_ELYTRON_EXAMPLES/source-address-role-decoder directory, run the following command:

mvn clean install wildfly:deploy

Client Configuration

The client configuration that we will be using for this example can be found in $PATH_TO_ELYTRON_EXAMPLES/src/main/resources/wildfly-config.xml. Notice that this file contains all of the information that’s needed to connect to the server. In particular, it specifies that we want to use alice as the username and it also specifies her password. (It also specifies that we want to use "" as the IP address for our EJB Client. We are using this for demonstration purposes here since our server and client are both running locally.)

Our RemoteClient is going to look up the EJB that’s deployed on the server and it’s going to invoke two methods using that EJB. The first method it invokes requires the employee role. This method simply returns the principal name. The second method our client invokes requires admin role.

Let’s run the client:

mvn exec:exec

Now, let’s take a closer look at the output:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Successfully called secured bean, caller principal alice

Principal has admin permission: true
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

We can see that we were able to successfully invoke both EJB methods. This is because our filesystem-based identity store assigns alice the employee role that’s required to invoke the first method. Our source-address-role-decoder assigns alice the admin role since the IP address of our remote client is

Now, let’s update our $PATH_TO_ELYTRON_EXAMPLES/src/main/resources/wildfly-config.xml file so that a different IP address will be used for our remote client. To do this, we’re going to update the bind-address as follows:

<bind-address bind-address="" bind-port="61111" match=""/>

Now, try running the client and inspecting the output again:

mvn clean install exec:exec
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Successfully called secured bean, caller principal alice

Principal has admin permission: false
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Notice that this time, only one of the two EJB methods can be successfully invoked. In particular, since alice is now connecting from (instead of from, our source-address-role-decoder no longer assigns alice the admin role. Thus, she is unable to invoke the method that requires admin role.

Aggregate Role Decoders

Note that it’s also possible to configure an aggregate-role-decoder that is made up of two or more role decoders, as shown in the following example:

/subsystem=elytron/source-address-role-decoder=ipRoleDecoder1:add(source-address="", roles=[admin])
/subsystem=elytron/source-address-role-decoder=ipRoleDecoder2:add(source-address="", roles=[guest])

Each role decoder will be attempted and the returned roles will be a union of the roles returned by each decoder.


This blog post has given an overview of how to make use of an IP address of a remote client for authorization decisions. For more information, be sure to take a look at the Elytron documentation.