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AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution
Shibboleth Identity Provider Security Advisory
20 December 2018
AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
Product: Shibboleth Identity Provider
Operating System: Linux variants
Impact/Access: Unauthorised Access -- Remote/Unauthenticated
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Shibboleth Identity Provider Security Advisory [19 December 2018]
Shibboleth IdP Vulnerable to Untrusted Relying Party Access Via CAS Proxy
The CAS protocol specification  strictly defines the conditions under which
a relying party is granted the privilege to proxy:
1. Proxy callback endpoint must present a trusted X.509 certificate over HTTPS.
2. HTTP response code must be 200.
The Shibboleth IdP uses an application-specific facility, a Trust Engine, to
configure trusted certificates. A software bug, however, causes the Java system
trust store to be consulted as a fallback when a certificate fails the Trust
Engine validation process. Since the default system trust store contains common
commercial CAs, the consequence for most deployers is that the scope of trusted
certificates is far broader than intended. The increase in trusted certificate
scope risks granting an untrusted relying party the privilege to proxy.
All 3.x versions of the IdP software prior to V3.4.2 are affected.
There are a couple notable requirements that must be met in order to exploit
1. A malicious service is authorized to proxy in the CAS service registry.
2. An authenticated user visits a malicious service such that it receives
a proxy-granting ticket.
The first point depends on the kinds of expressions commonly used to register
CAS service endpoints. While regular expression wildcards are commonplace,
they tend to be scoped within organizational DNS boundaries. Further, the
wildcards tend to be in the path part of URLs.
The Shibboleth Project recommends upgrading to Shibboleth IdP V3.4.2,
which contains a fix for the CAS proxy vulnerability. For deployers
upgrading from versions prior to 3.4.0, please consult the documentation 
to port your CAS proxy trust configuration.
If upgrading is not possible, the IdP should be configured to use a minimized
system trust store containing the smallest set of trusted certificates required
for proper function. Please consult the documentation  for detailed
Paul B. Henson, Cal Poly Pomona
Marvin S Addison, Virginia Tech
URL for this Security Advisory:
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