In this post, we will discuss about Digest Authentication with Spring Security. You can also read my previous post on Basic Authentication with Spring Security.

What is Digest Authentication?

  • This authentication method makes use of a hashing algorithms to encrypt the password (called password hash) entered by the user before sending it to the server. This, obviously, makes it much safer than the basic authentication method, in which the user’s password travels in plain text (or base64 encoded) that can be easily read by whoever intercepts it.
  • There are many such hashing algorithms in java also, which can prove really effective for password security such as MD5, SHA, BCrypt, SCrypt and PBKDF2WithHmacSHA1 algorithms.
  • Please remember that once this password hash is generated and stored in database, you can not convert it back to original password. Each time user login into application, you have to regenerate password hash again, and match with hash stored in database. So, if user forgot his/her password, you will have to send him a temporary password and ask him to change it with his new password. Well, it’s common trend now-a-days.

Let's start building simple Spring Boot application with Digest Authentication using Spring Security.

Adding dependencies in pom.xml

We will use spring-boot-starter-security as maven dependency for Spring Security.

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
  <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-security</artifactId>
</dependency>

Digest related Java Configuration

@Bean
DigestAuthenticationFilter digestFilter(DigestAuthenticationEntryPoint digestAuthenticationEntryPoint, UserCache digestUserCache, UserDetailsService userDetailsService) {
  DigestAuthenticationFilter filter = new DigestAuthenticationFilter();
  filter.setAuthenticationEntryPoint(digestAuthenticationEntryPoint);
  filter.setUserDetailsService(userDetailsService);
  filter.setUserCache(digestUserCache);
  return filter;
}
 
@Bean
UserCache digestUserCache() throws Exception {
  return new SpringCacheBasedUserCache(new ConcurrentMapCache("digestUserCache"));
}
 
@Bean
DigestAuthenticationEntryPoint digestAuthenticationEntry() {
  DigestAuthenticationEntryPoint digestAuthenticationEntry = new DigestAuthenticationEntryPoint();
  digestAuthenticationEntry.setRealmName("GAURAVBYTES.COM");
  digestAuthenticationEntry.setKey("GRM");
  digestAuthenticationEntry.setNonceValiditySeconds(60);
  return digestAuthenticationEntry;
}

You need to register DigestAuthenticationFilter in your spring context. DigestAuthenticationFilter requires DigestAuthenticationEntryPoint and UserDetailsService to authenticate user.

The purpose of the DigestAuthenticationEntryPoint is to send the valid nonce back to the user if authentication fails or to enforce the authentication.

The purpose of UserDetailsService is to provide UserDetails like password and list of role for that user. UserDetailsService is an interface. I have implemented it with DummyUserDetailsService which loads every passed userName's details. But, you can restrict it to some few user or make it Database backed. One thing to remember is the password passed need to be in plain text format here. You can also use InMemoryUserDetailsManager for storing handful of user configured either through Java configuration or with xml based configuration which could access your application.

In the example, I also have used the caching for UserDetails. I have used SpringBasedUserCache and underlying cache is ConcurrentMapCache. You can use any other caching solution.

Running the example

You can download the example code from Github. I will be using Postman to run the example. Here are the few steps you need to follow.

1. Open postman and enter url (localhost:8082).

2. Click on Authorization tab below the url and select Digest Auth from Type dropdown.

3. Enter username(gaurav), realm(GAURAVBYTES.COM), password(pwd), algorithm(MD5) and leave nonce as empty. Click Send button.

4. You will get 401 unauthorized as response like below.

5. If you see the Headers from the response, you will see "WWW-Authenticate" header. Copy the value of nonce field and enter in the nonce textfield.

6. Click on Send Button. Voila!!! You got the valid response.

This is how we implement Digest Authentication with Spring Security. I hope you find this post informative and helpful.

In this post we will discuss about Basic Authentication and how to use it using Spring Security.

BASIC Authentication

  • It’s simplest of all techniques and probably most used as well. You use login/password forms – it’s basic authentication only. You input your username and password and submit the form to server, and application identify you as a user – you are allowed to use the system – else you get error.
  • The main problem with this security implementation is that credentials are propagated in a plain way from the client to the server. Credentials are merely encoded with Base64 in transit, but not encrypted or hashed in any way. This way, any sniffer could read the sent packages over the network.
  • HTTPS is, therefore, typically preferred over or used in conjunction with Basic Authentication which makes the conversation with the web server entirely encrypted. The best part is that nobody can even guess from the outside that Basic Auth is taking place.

Let's create a simple Spring Boot application which Basic Authentication enabled. You can read my previous post on how to create Simple Spring Boot application, if not familiar with it.

Add dependencies in pom.xml

We will add spring-boot-starter-security dependency to the pom.xml

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
  <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-security</artifactId>
</dependency>

Configurations for Basic Authentication

We need to register BasicAuthenticationFilter and BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint as bean in the Spring context.

@Bean
BasicAuthenticationFilter basicAuthFilter(AuthenticationManager authenticationManager, BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint basicAuthEntryPoint) {
  return new BasicAuthenticationFilter(authenticationManager, basicAuthEntryPoint());
}
 
@Bean
BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint basicAuthEntryPoint() {
  BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint bauth = new BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint();
  bauth.setRealmName("GAURAVBYTES");
  return bauth;
}

Enabling basic authentication and configuring properties

Basic Authenication is by default enabled when you add spring-security in your classpath. You need to configure the username and password for basic authentication. Here are some of the security properties. You can see SecurityProperties for other properties that you can configure like realm name etc.

security: 
  basic: 
    enabled: true
  user: 
    name: gaurav
    password: bytes

XML based configuration for Basic Authentication

<beans:beans xmlns="http://www.springframework.org/schema/security"
    xmlns:beans="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
    xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans
          http://www.springframework.org/schema/beans/spring-beans-3.2.xsd
          http://www.springframework.org/schema/security
          http://www.springframework.org/schema/security/spring-security-3.1.xsd">
 
    <http>
        <intercept-url pattern="/*" access="ROLE_USER" />
         
        <!-- Adds Support for basic authentication -->
        <http-basic/>
    </http>
 
    <authentication-manager>
        <authentication-provider>
            <user-service>
                <user name="gaurav" password="bytes" authorities="ROLE_USER" />
            </user-service>
        </authentication-provider>
    </authentication-manager>
</beans:beans>

This is how to enable basic authentication in Spring Boot application using Spring Security. You can get the full working example code for basic authentication on Github.

In this post, we will create a Restful web-services which will use JPA to persist the data in the embedded database(h2). Also, you can read more on Restful web-services.

Adding pom.xml dependencies

We will add spring-boot-starter-jpa to manage dependencies. We will use h2 embedded database server for persistence.

<dependency>
  <groupId>org.springframework.boot</groupId>
  <artifactId>spring-boot-starter-data-jpa</artifactId>
</dependency>
<dependency>
  <groupId>com.h2database</groupId>
  <artifactId>h2</artifactId>
  <scope>runtime</scope>
</dependency>

Creating entities

We have three entities in the example project viz. Product, Rating, User.

@Entity
@Table(name = "product_ratings", schema = "product")
public class Rating {
  @Id
  @GeneratedValue
  @Column(name="rating_id")
  private Long ratingId;
 
  private double rating;
 
  @Column(name="product_id")
  private String productId;
 
  @Column(name="user_id")
  private String userId;
 
  public Rating() {
  
  }
 
  public Rating(Long ratingId, double rating, String productId, String userId) {
    super();
    this.ratingId = ratingId;
    this.rating = rating;
    this.productId = productId;
    this.userId = userId;
  }
  //getters, setters, toString, hashCode, equals
}

@Entity annotation specifies that this is an entity class. @Table annotation specifies the primary table for an entity class. You can configure the table_name and schema using this annotation for the entity class. @Id specifies that this field is the primary key of the entity. @GeneratedValue specifies how primary key will be generated. @Column is used to specify the mapped column for the property or field. You can also configure if the property is unique, nullable, length, precision, scale and/or if you want to insert or update it in the table.

Creating Repositories

You can extend the JpaRepository, CrudRepository interface to create your repository.

@Transactional
public interface ProductRepository extends JpaRepository<Product, String> {

}

Here, I created a ProductRepository interface which extends JpaRepository interface. You may wonder that instead of writing a repository class, we have created an interface and where will this get the implementation? The simple answer is SimpleJpaRepository class. A Proxy is generated by Spring and all the request is catered by the SimpleJpaRepository.

This contains all the basic methods like find, delete, save, findAll and few sort related/ criteria based search methods. Could be a case that you need to write your own specific method and in my case finding all the ratings of product. This could be done as follows.

@Transactional
public interface RatingRepository extends JpaRepository<Rating, Long> {
  public Iterable<Rating> getRatingsByProductId(final String productId);
}

@EnableJpaRepositories annotation

This annotation will enable JPA repositories. This will scan for Spring Data repositories in annotated configuration class by default. You can also change the basePackages to scan in this annotation.

@SpringBootApplication
@EnableJpaRepositories
public class App {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    SpringApplication.run(App.class, args);
  }
}

In our example, we have used this annotation in our App class, so it will scan all the packages in and under com.gauravbytes.gkart

These are the few steps to create a simple JPA project. You can get the full code on Github.

Few important points

If you are using embedded server in the above example, then you may need to set the following configurations.

  • Adding schema.sql in the classpath, if you are using schema in your tables(entity classes). You can get sample here.
  • You can change the datasource name(by default testdb) and other properties. See org.springframework.boot.autoconfigure.jdbc.DataSourceProperties for full list of properties that you can configure.