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WebAuth 4.6.0 Announcement

The ITS WebAuth team is pleased to announce Stanford WebAuth 4.6.0. This is a bug-fix and new feature release for mod_webauth, WebLogin, and the WebKDC. The primary new features are support for path-scoped cookies, and a remctl-based password change protocol. The primary bug fixes are WebAuthOptional support for Apache 2.4, better keyring handling with the ITK MPM, and locking and preserving of permissions of keyrings across writes.

When upgrading to this release from prior versions, you will need to change the ownership of the keyring created by mod_webauth to match the User and Group Apache directives. Previously, the keyring was managed during Apache configuration and was therefore created readable only by root. It is now managed by the Apache child processes and needs to be readable and writable by the user those child processes run as.

For documentation and downloads of WebAuth 4.6.0, see:


The user-visible changes in this release are:

  • mod_webauth supports a new configuration directive, WebAuthCookiePath, which scopes all cookies set by mod_webauth to the given path. This allows separate sections of the same virtual host to be treated as independent for authentication purposes. This can be useful when controlling factor restrictions via the user information service. When using this directive with a logout link, be sure that the logout configuration (WebAuthDoLogout) is subject to the same WebAuthCookiePath directive or it will not work properly. Be aware that the current version of mod_webauth does not correctly handle receiving multiple cookies with the same name from the browser. When using this directive, ensure that all WebAuth-protected portions of the site use this directive and none of the scopes are overlapping.

  • WebAuthOptional should now work properly with Apache 2.4. Thanks to Benjamin Coddington for the patches.

  • Don't delete notes in mod_webauth after using them for authentication in case the authentication is happening in a subrequest and the parent request has not yet completed. Deleting the note could cause two redirects to WebLogin due to an ordering issue when processing notes and subrequests. Patch from Benjamin Coddington.

  • mod_webauth and mod_webkdc now maintain separate in-memory keyrings per virtual host, and the WebAuthKeyring, WebKdcKeyring, and related directives are now correctly honored in the virtual host configuration and can be meaningfully set to different values. This allows the modules to work properly with the ITK MPM with separate keyrings owned by different users for each virtual host so that proper privilege separation between virtual hosts is maintained. When using the modules in this configuration, configure each virtual host with WebAuthKeyring or WebKdcKeyring directives pointing to separate keyring files writable by the user that virtual host will use. Thanks to Vegard Edvardsen for the patch.

  • Be even more thorough in telling browsers not to cache responses from WebLogin, redirects and logout pages from mod_webauth, and any page marked with WebAuthDontCache. Add private and max-age=0 to the existing Cache-Control headers, add Vary: *, and (for WebLogin pages) set an expiration time in the past.

  • webauth_keyring_write and webauth_keyring_auto_update now lock the keyring, using a separate lock file named by appending ".lock" to the name of the keyring. This applies to the keyrings used by mod_webauth, mod_webkdc, and the wa_keyring utility and ensures that only one process attempts to update a keyring at the same time. These functions continue to use atomic replacement on all writes, and no locks are used for reading the keyring.

  • WebAuth keyring updates via either mod_webauth's and mod_webkdc's auto-update support or via wa_keyring now preserve the keyring ownership and permissions where possible, with the exception that the permissions are not preserved if the old permissions included group access and the group ownership could not be preserved.

  • Use the authenticated identity returned by the WebKDC as the username for multifactor authentication in WebLogin rather than preserving what the user originally typed. The WebKDC may have done Kerberos canonicalization and aname to localname mapping.

  • The WebAuth Kerberos API now supports Kerberos password change via the remctl protocol, which is more robust than the kpasswd protocol when password changes can take some time. This can be configured via the new webauth_krb5_change_config function. The remote remctl server must provide a command and subcommand that takes a single argument, the new password, and changes the password for the authenticated principal that sent the command.

  • The WebAuth::Krb5 change_password function now takes an optional args parameter that can be used to set the same configuration that can be set with webauth_krb5_change_config.

  • WebLogin now supports using the remctl-based password change protocol instead of kpasswd. This is controlled by setting $PASSWORD_CHANGE_HOST and several other variables in the WebLogin configuration. See docs/weblogin-config for more information.

  • Set the correct template variable when the code field is left blank on the WebLogin multifactor form.

  • Map unknown realm and invalid principal errors during Kerberos authentication in mod_webkdc to WA_PEC_USER_REJECTED instead of a generic Kerberos error. This will display a more accurate error message to the user of WebLogin instead of a generic internal error message.

  • Correct a bug in the workaround for parsing of invalid XML from the WebKDC in WebLogin that caused it to not be effective.

  • Log a more detailed error message on WebAuth exceptions during WebLogin password change.

  • Fix configure probes for OpenSSL on platforms without transitive shared library dependencies.

  • Update to rra-c-util 5.3:

    • Avoid leaking dummy symbols into shared libraries.
    • Probe for libdl for OpenSSL libraries (required on AIX).
    • Distinguish failure to format output in asprintf wrappers.
    • Check return status of snprintf properly.
    • Better remctld process management in the test suite.
    • Better memory management in Kerberos tests.
    • Fix syntax error when buiding portable/krb5.h with a C++ compiler.
    • Skip Perl critic tests with read-only source directory.
  • Update to C TAP Harness 3.0:

    • Add new diag_file_add and _remove API to the C TAP library.
    • Add new test_cleanup_register API to the C TAP library.
    • Suppress lazy plans and test summaries if the test failed with bail.
    • Add warn_unused_result gcc attributes to relevant functions.
    • Reopen standard input for tests to /dev/null.
    • Clean up inherited file descriptors from the test harness.
Last modified Friday, 12-Dec-2014 02:31:13 PM

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