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The Shibboleth Protocol

Introduction to the Shibboleth Protocol

The Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI) provides general introduction to the Shibboleth Protocol in three levels of detail:

The lastest documents of the official technical documentation can be found here:

Regarding the integration of the CSSO Profiles, in particular the desktop application profile, more detailed information is necessary to determine the feasibility of the Shibboleth Proxy. Therefore we carried out a logging session to analyse the protocol observing the current EDIT Shibboleth demonstration scenario. The next paragraphs will focus on the current EDIT Shibboleth setup emphasising only on those protocol details necessary for the Shibboleth Proxy to intercept the Shibboleth protocol communication and carry out single sign-on functions in favour of the client user. Please refer to the logging session chapter, if you are interested in the complete logging results.

Initial setup

The current EDIT federation setup consists of the most simple Shibboleth configuration including one IdP responsible for authentication and attribute distribution, and one SP hosting some web applications like Drupal, Trac and Subversion to evaluate and demonstrate the EDIT Shibboleth framework.

The IdP host is installed on https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu and performs client authentication on request of the SP. Authentication is related to the actual BDTracker user database.

The SP is running on https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/. Drupal, Trac and Subversion demo instances are available under the paths /drupal-5.2, /trac and /svn respectively.

Currently, no WAYF service is installed, since we only set up a single IdP instance in the EDIT federation. So, the following protocol description omit the WAYF-step also.

Initial Client Request (Step 1)

The Shibboleth protocol will be initialised by a client request to access the URL https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/ on the service provider. This results in the following minimal HTTP-Request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: sp.e-taxonomy.eu

Redirection to IdP for authentication (Step 2)

Since, the client user is not an authenticated Shibboleth user, the SP answers with an HTTP-Redirect to the IdP, where the client has to perform its login.

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Set-Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F; path=/
Location: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp

Mainly, this response contains two relevant pieces of information:

  • Cookie shibstateXXX

  • Location URL instructing the client where to redirect to

The XXX naming part of the cookie represents the hash value of the providerId. The value of the cookie contains the target's URL and path of the initial client request to the SP.

The Location attribute contains the URL of the IdP, where the client has to direct his next request to.

https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?
  shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&
  time=1194870964&
  target=cookie&
  providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp

Shibboleth calls this request authentication request. It includes the following parameters:

shire::

location of the assertion consumer service endpoint at the SP(!https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/Shibboleth.sso/SAML/POST). Becomes the value of the action attribute of the form element within the IdP response to this authentication request.

time::

This parameter is optional and represents the current time in seconds past the epoch, and may be used to assist the IdP in detecting stale requests from the client.

target::

contains the location of the target ressource and must be preserved by the IdP and included in its response to the SP. The target parameter refers to the _shibstate_XXX cookie denoting the initial target URL !https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/.

providerId::

Unique indentifier(URI) of the SP(!https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-sp). Can be used by the IdP for special processing of the authentication request.

As returned from the SP within the Location response attribute, the client sends the following authentication request to the IdP:

GET /shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp HTTP/1.1
Host: idp.e-taxonomy.eu

IdP Response to the Authentication Request (Step 3)

Since the client is not authenticated yet at the IdP, the client has to append corresponding Authorisation information to the request. The EDIT's IdP currently requires HTTP-Basic authentication, so the client has to add the related credentials to the attribute Authorisation of the request:

GET /shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp HTTP/1.1
Host: idp.e-taxonomy.eu
Authorization: Basic bC5zdWhyYmlfkiiuwMHFlIy

After succesful authentication on the IdP, the SSO service of the IdP responds with an cookie and a HTML document containing a html form.

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=41483D1EC5DC97338458848CC51FD0F1; Path=/shibboleth-idp; Secure
...
<form id="shibboleth"  action="https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/Shibboleth.sso/SAML/POST" method="post">
<div>
<input type="hidden" name="TARGET" value="cookie" />
<input type="hidden" name="SAMLResponse" value="PFJlc3BvbnNlIHhtbG5zPSJ1cm46b2FzaXM6bmFtZXM6dGM6U0FNTDoxLjA6cHJvdG9jb2wiIHht
...
ZGRyZXNzPSIxNjAuNDUuMTE0LjIxNSI+PC9TdWJqZWN0TG9jYWxpdHk+PC9BdXRoZW50aWNhdGlv
blN0YXRlbWVudD48L0Fzc2VydGlvbj48L1Jlc3BvbnNlPg==
"

The cookie JSESSIONID ...

The form with the id shibboleth includes the URL of the assertion consumer service at the SP within the action parameter.

The form parameter TARGET contains the preserved target value from Step 2. The target will be delivered in the value of the related +shibstate_XXX_ cookie.

The form parameter SAMLResponse includes the case64 encoded and digitally signed SAML-response to the client's authentication request.

The HTML document itself contains a piece of javascript code automatically issuing the HTTP-POST request to the SP's assertion consumer service (!https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/Shibboleth.sso/SAML/POST):

POST /Shibboleth.sso/SAML/POST HTTP/1.1
Host: sp.e-taxonomy.eu
Referer: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp
Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F

TARGET=cookie&SAMLResponse=PFJlc3BvbnNlIHhtbG5zPSJ1cm46b2FzaXM6bmFtZXM6dGM6U0FNTDoxLjA6cHJvdG9jb2wiIHht%0D%0AbG5zOnNhbWw9InVybjpvYXNpczpuYW1lczp0YzpTQU1MOjEuMDphc3NlcnRpb24iIHhtbG5zOnNh%0X
...
NzPSIxNjAuNDUuMTE0LjIxNSI%2BPC9TdWJqZWN0TG9jYWxpdHk%2BPC9BdXRoZW50aWNhdGlv%0D%0AblN0YXRlbWVudD48L0Fzc2VydGlvbj48L1Jlc3BvbnNlPg%3D%3D%0D%0A

The POST request includes following relevant parameters:

Referer::

The HTTP-Referer attribute includes the URL transmitted by the SP to be send by the client to IdP as authentication request before.

_shibstate_XXX cookie::

The _shibstate_XXX cookie stores the target URL of the initial client request to the SP.

TARGET parameter::

Refers to the target stored within the _shibstate_XXX cookie.

SAMLResponse parameter::

Contains the URL encoded SAMLResponse from the IdP.

Final Request to the Target Resource (Step 4)

In response to the POST request, the SP's assertion consumer service creates a security context and returns and redirects the client to the originally requested resource.

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Set-Cookie: _shibsession_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=_19e3ab8d899be0053e1901e6e4a915a5; path=/
Set-Cookie: _saml_idp=aHR0cHM6Ly9pZHAuZS10YXhvbm9teS5ldS9zaGliYm9sZXRoLWlkcA%3D%3D; path=/;
Location: https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/

Location attribute::

URL of the orinally requested target resource

_shibsession_XXX cookie::

cookie storing the client handle. May be used by the SP to issue an attribute request to the IdP.

_saml_idp cookie::

base64-encoded URI values of the IdP(s) unique ids used by the SP.

With the following request, the SP finally responds to the initial client request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: sp.e-taxonomy.eu

Referer: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp
Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F; _shibsession_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=_19e3ab8d899be0053e1901e6e4a915a5; _saml_idp=aHR0cHM6Ly9pZHAuZS10YXhvbm9teS5ldS9zaGliYm9sZXRoLWlkcA%3D%3D

This, and any subsequent requests to the SP must include the shibsession_XXX cookie*, *shibstate_XXX cookie and the _saml_idp cookie::. This provides the SP with all information necessary and prevents the SP from repeating the authentication process.

I am not sure, if the Referer attribute is really necessary here.

Finally, the following chapter presents the complete results of Shibboleth protocol logging session.

Logging the HTTP-Shibboleth Protocol

Initial Service Provider Request

Request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: sp.e-taxonomy.eu
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; de; rv:1.8.1.9) Gecko/20071025 Firefox/2.0.0.9
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: de-de,de;q=0.8,en-us;q=0.5,en;q=0.3
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Cache-Control: max-age=0

Response:

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:36:04 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/5.2.0-8+etch7 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c
Set-Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F; path=/
Location: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp
Content-Length: 572
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<html><head>
<title>302 Found</title>
</head><body>
<h1>Found</h1>
<p>The document has moved <a href="https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&amp;time=1194870964&amp;target=cookie&amp;providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp">here</a>.</p>
<hr>
<address>Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/5.2.0-8+etch7 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c Server at sp.e-taxonomy.eu Port 443</address>
</body></html>
  1. The request is redirected to the following IdP Location (Return Code 302):

https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp

  1. A cookie is set within the browser:

Set-Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F; path=/

Redirected Request to the Identity Provider

Request:

GET /shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp HTTP/1.1
Host: idp.e-taxonomy.eu
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; de; rv:1.8.1.9) Gecko/20071025 Firefox/2.0.0.9
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: de-de,de;q=0.8,en-us;q=0.5,en;q=0.3
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Authorization: Basic bC5zdWhyYmllcjo3aFRkMlIy
  1. The browser redirects to the URL returned with the initial request to the SP.

  2. A Basic Authentication result is introduced within the Header (Authorization)

Response:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:36:29 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) mod_jk/1.2.18 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c
Set-Cookie: JSESSIONID=41483D1EC5DC97338458848CC51FD0F1; Path=/shibboleth-idp; Secure
Expires: 19-Mar-1971 08:23:00 GMT
Cache-control: no-cache
Pragma: no-cache
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: text/html;charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Length: 9138

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">











<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
<head>
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="main.css" />
    <title>Shibboleth Authentication Request Processed</title>
</head>

<body onload="document.forms[0].submit()">



<h1>Shibboleth Authentication Request Processed</h1>

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
document.write("<p>You are automatically being redirected to the requested site. ");
document.write("If the browser appears to be hung up after 15-20 seconds, try reloading ");
document.write("the page before contacting the technical support staff in charge of the ");
document.write("desired resource or service you are trying to access.</p>");
document.write("<h2>Redirecting to requested site...</h2>");
// -->
</script>

<noscript>
<p>
<strong>Note:</strong> Since your browser does not support JavaScript, you must press the
Continue button once to proceed to the requested site.
</p>
</noscript>


<form id="shibboleth"  action="https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/Shibboleth.sso/SAML/POST" method="post">
<div>
<input type="hidden" name="TARGET" value="cookie" />
<input type="hidden" name="SAMLResponse" value="PFJlc3BvbnNlIHhtbG5zPSJ1cm46b2FzaXM6bmFtZXM6dGM6U0FNTDoxLjA6cHJvdG9jb2wiIHht
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" />
</div>
<noscript>
<div>
<input type="submit" value="Continue" />
</div>
</noscript>

</form>
</body>
</html>

The response sets the cookie JSESSIONID.

Further more, it contains a javascript from, which automatically generates a new request to the SP if javascript is installed. Otherwise, the button "Continue" must be pressed (Or the resulting request must be generated otherwise).

The submitted action sends a POST request to the service provider URL given within the action parameter, transmitting

  1. IdP Cookie

  2. Coded SAML-Response

Stylesheet Request to the Identity Provider

Request:

GET /shibboleth-idp/main.css HTTP/1.1
Host: idp.e-taxonomy.eu
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; de; rv:1.8.1.9) Gecko/20071025 Firefox/2.0.0.9
Accept: text/css,*/*;q=0.1
Accept-Language: de-de,de;q=0.8,en-us;q=0.5,en;q=0.3
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Referer: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp
Cookie: JSESSIONID=41483D1EC5DC97338458848CC51FD0F1
If-Modified-Since: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 07:35:02 GMT
If-None-Match: W/"440-1046244902000"
Authorization: Basic bC5zdWhyYmm345ksdsg9FRkMlIy
Cache-Control: max-age=0

Response:

HTTP/1.1 304 Not Modified
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:36:31 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) mod_jk/1.2.18 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c
Connection: Keep-Alive
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=100

IdP-Generated POST Request to the Service Provider

Request:

POST /Shibboleth.sso/SAML/POST HTTP/1.1
Host: sp.e-taxonomy.eu
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; de; rv:1.8.1.9) Gecko/20071025 Firefox/2.0.0.9
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: de-de,de;q=0.8,en-us;q=0.5,en;q=0.3
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Referer: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp
Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F
Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded
Content-Length: 8161

TARGET=cookie&SAMLResponse=PFJlc3BvbnNlIHhtbG5zPSJ1cm46b2FzaXM6bmFtZXM6dGM6U0FNTDoxLjA6cHJvdG9jb2wiIHht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%0D%0AZHNpZyNyc2Etc2hhMSI%2BPC9kczpTaWduYXR1cmVNZXRob2Q%2BCjxkczpSZWZlcmVuY2UgVVJJPSIj%0D%0AXzU1MmY3YmZmMzU0OTcwMTYyNTQ2NWE4NDBmZGE5NzNhIj4KPGRzOlRyYW5zZm9ybXM%2BCjxkczpU%0D%0AcmFuc2Zvcm0gQWxnb3JpdGhtPSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczLm9yZy8yMDAwLzA5L3htbGRzaWcjZW52%0D%0AZWxvcGVkLXNpZ25hdHVyZSI%2BPC9kczpUcmFuc2Zvcm0%2BCjxkczpUcmFuc2Zvcm0gQWxnb3JpdGht%0D%0APSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczLm9yZy8yMDAxLzEwL3htbC1leGMtYzE0biMiPjxlYzpJbmNsdXNpdmVO%0D%0AYW1lc3BhY2VzIHhtbG5zOmVjPSJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnczLm9yZy8yMDAxLzEwL3htbC1leGMtYzE0%0D%0AbiMiIFByZWZpeExpc3Q9ImNvZGUgZHMga2luZCBydyBzYW1sIHNhbWxwIHR5cGVucyAjZGVmYXVs%0D%0AdCB4c2QgeHNpIj48L2VjOkluY2x1c2l2ZU5hbWVzcGFjZXM%2BPC9kczpUcmFuc2Zvcm0%2BCjwvZHM6%0D%0AVHJhbnNmb3Jtcz4KPGRzOkRpZ2VzdE1ldGhvZCBBbGdvcml0aG09Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cudzMub3Jn%0D%0ALzIwMDAvMDkveG1sZHNpZyNzaGExIj48L2RzOkRpZ2VzdE1ldGhvZD4KPGRzOkRpZ2VzdFZhbHVl%0D%0APlpzNVJVT20rL0Uzd242NHpsQktWVXlMZERYYz08L2RzOkRpZ2VzdFZhbHVlPgo8L2RzOlJlZmVy%0D%0AZW5jZT4KPC9kczpTaWduZWRJbmZvPgo8ZHM6U2lnbmF0dXJlVmFsdWU%2BCkhCWEU4UGsyV25qRGc3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%0D%0AU2lnbmF0dXJlVmFsdWU%2BCjxkczpLZXlJbmZvPgo8ZHM6WDUwOURhdGE%2BCjxkczpYNTA5Q2VydGlm%0D%0AaWNhdGU%2BCk1JSUdvRENDQklpZ0F3SUJBZ0lCQlRBTkJna3Foa2lHOXcwQkFRVUZBRENCZ1RFTE1B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%0D%0AYXRhPgo8L2RzOktleUluZm8%2BPC9kczpTaWduYXR1cmU%2BPFN0YXR1cz48U3RhdHVzQ29kZSBWYWx1%0D%0AZT0ic2FtbHA6U3VjY2VzcyI%2BPC9TdGF0dXNDb2RlPjwvU3RhdHVzPjxBc3NlcnRpb24geG1sbnM9%0D%0AInVybjpvYXNpczpuYW1lczp0YzpTQU1MOjEuMDphc3NlcnRpb24iIEFzc2VydGlvbklEPSJfMjNi%0D%0AMGVkNGNjZTdmYTcxMjQ2YzdhYmFkYWNmZWY1YjYiIElzc3VlSW5zdGFudD0iMjAwNy0xMS0xMlQx%0D%0AMjozNjozMC40MThaIiBJc3N1ZXI9Imh0dHBzOi8vaWRwLmUtdGF4b25vbXkuZXUvc2hpYmJvbGV0%0D%0AaC1pZHAiIE1ham9yVmVyc2lvbj0iMSIgTWlub3JWZXJzaW9uPSIxIj48Q29uZGl0aW9ucyBOb3RC%0D%0AZWZvcmU9IjIwMDctMTEtMTJUMTI6MzY6MzAuNDE4WiIgTm90T25PckFmdGVyPSIyMDA3LTExLTEy%0D%0AVDEyOjQxOjMwLjQxOFoiPjxBdWRpZW5jZVJlc3RyaWN0aW9uQ29uZGl0aW9uPjxBdWRpZW5jZT5o%0D%0AdHRwczovL3NwLmUtdGF4b25vbXkuZXUvc2hpYmJvbGV0aC1zcDwvQXVkaWVuY2U%2BPEF1ZGllbmNl%0D%0APmh0dHBzOi8vc2hpYmJvbGV0aC5lLXRheG9ub215LmV1L0ZlZGVyYXRpb248L0F1ZGllbmNlPjwv%0D%0AQXVkaWVuY2VSZXN0cmljdGlvbkNvbmRpdGlvbj48L0NvbmRpdGlvbnM%2BPEF1dGhlbnRpY2F0aW9u%0D%0AU3RhdGVtZW50IEF1dGhlbnRpY2F0aW9uSW5zdGFudD0iMjAwNy0xMS0xMlQxMjozNjozMC40MTha%0D%0AIiBBdXRoZW50aWNhdGlvbk1ldGhvZD0idXJuOm9hc2lzOm5hbWVzOnRjOlNBTUw6MS4wOmFtOnVu%0D%0Ac3BlY2lmaWVkIj48U3ViamVjdD48TmFtZUlkZW50aWZpZXIgRm9ybWF0PSJ1cm46bWFjZTpzaGli%0D%0AYm9sZXRoOjEuMDpuYW1lSWRlbnRpZmllciIgTmFtZVF1YWxpZmllcj0iaHR0cHM6Ly9pZHAuZS10%0D%0AYXhvbm9teS5ldS9zaGliYm9sZXRoLWlkcCI%2BXzI3ZTEwOTJhZGY5NzVlMTE3NmFjMWViZmQxZjQy%0D%0AZTY5PC9OYW1lSWRlbnRpZmllcj48U3ViamVjdENvbmZpcm1hdGlvbj48Q29uZmlybWF0aW9uTWV0%0D%0AaG9kPnVybjpvYXNpczpuYW1lczp0YzpTQU1MOjEuMDpjbTpiZWFyZXI8L0NvbmZpcm1hdGlvbk1l%0D%0AdGhvZD48L1N1YmplY3RDb25maXJtYXRpb24%2BPC9TdWJqZWN0PjxTdWJqZWN0TG9jYWxpdHkgSVBB%0D%0AZGRyZXNzPSIxNjAuNDUuMTE0LjIxNSI%2BPC9TdWJqZWN0TG9jYWxpdHk%2BPC9BdXRoZW50aWNhdGlv%0D%0AblN0YXRlbWVudD48L0Fzc2VydGlvbj48L1Jlc3BvbnNlPg%3D%3D%0D%0A

Response:

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:36:19 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/5.2.0-8+etch7 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c
Set-Cookie: _shibsession_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=_19e3ab8d899be0053e1901e6e4a915a5; path=/
Set-Cookie: _saml_idp=aHR0cHM6Ly9pZHAuZS10YXhvbm9teS5ldS9zaGliYm9sZXRoLWlkcA%3D%3D; path=/; expires=Mon, 19 Nov 2007 12:36:19 GMT
Location: https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/
Content-Length: 385
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
<html><head>
<title>302 Found</title>
</head><body>
<h1>Found</h1>
<p>The document has moved <a href="https://sp.e-taxonomy.eu/">here</a>.</p>
<hr>
<address>Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/5.2.0-8+etch7 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c Server at sp.e-taxonomy.eu Port 443</address>
</body></html>

The request forwards the POST request return within the last response from the IdP to the SP.

The response sets two cookies

  1. Shibboleth Session Cookie

  2. SAML-IdP Cookie

Furthermore the response redirects the browser to the URL on the SP requested originally.

Final Redirected Request to the Service Provider

Request:

GET / HTTP/1.1
Host: sp.e-taxonomy.eu
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; de; rv:1.8.1.9) Gecko/20071025 Firefox/2.0.0.9
Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5
Accept-Language: de-de,de;q=0.8,en-us;q=0.5,en;q=0.3
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Referer: https://idp.e-taxonomy.eu/shibboleth-idp/SSO?shire=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2FShibboleth.sso%2FSAML%2FPOST&time=1194870964&target=cookie&providerId=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2Fshibboleth-sp
Cookie: _shibstate_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=https%3A%2F%2Fsp.e-taxonomy.eu%2F; _shibsession_696dfa45123e105c56d68e2dc402728cf50d208c=_19e3ab8d899be0053e1901e6e4a915a5; _saml_idp=aHR0cHM6Ly9pZHAuZS10YXhvbm9teS5ldS9zaGliYm9sZXRoLWlkcA%3D%3D

Response:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:36:19 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/5.2.0-8+etch7 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c
Content-Length: 1378
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2 Final//EN">
<html>
 <head>
  <title>Index of /</title>
 </head>
 <body>
<h1>Index of /</h1>
<table><tr><th><img src="/icons/blank.gif" alt="[ICO]"></th><th><a href="?C=N;O=D">Name</a></th><th><a href="?C=M;O=A">Last modified</a></th><th><a href="?C=S;O=A">Size</a></th><th><a href="?C=D;O=A">Description</a></th></tr><tr><th colspan="5"><hr></th></tr>
<tr><td valign="top"><img src="/icons/folder.gif" alt="[DIR]"></td><td><a href="apache2-default/">apache2-default/</a></td><td align="right">20-Nov-2004 20:16  </td><td align="right">  - </td></tr>
<tr><td valign="top"><img src="/icons/folder.gif" alt="[DIR]"></td><td><a href="apache2-env/">apache2-env/</a></td><td align="right">02-Nov-2007 21:43  </td><td align="right">  - </td></tr>
<tr><td valign="top"><img src="/icons/folder.gif" alt="[DIR]"></td><td><a href="drupal-5.2/">drupal-5.2/</a></td><td align="right">12-Dec-2006 09:32  </td><td align="right">  - </td></tr>
<tr><td valign="top"><img src="/icons/folder.gif" alt="[DIR]"></td><td><a href="trac/">trac/</a></td><td align="right">21-Aug-2007 16:13  </td><td align="right">  - </td></tr>
<tr><th colspan="5"><hr></th></tr>
</table>
<address>Apache/2.2.3 (Debian) DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2 mod_python/3.2.10 Python/2.4.4 PHP/5.2.0-8+etch7 mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8c Server at sp.e-taxonomy.eu Port 443</address>
</body></html>

This final request tries to get the originally requested URL. It transmits three cookies:

  1. Shibstate

  2. Shibsession

  3. SAML_IDP

Conclusion

It appears, that such kind of Shibboleth proxy should work, simply by establishing SSL-Connections to SP and IdP, and reimplementing the protocol presented above.

The only problem left, is to recognise the authentication method requested from the IdP, and to provide the necessary credentials.

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