> 1. How do you secure the communication to the Authentication Server
The Authentication Server is currently a CGI (although it could be
used as a module, or a servlet, etc.) and, as such, can be accessed
through TLS. Furthermore, even in the case you don't use a direct
TLS connection to it, the AS provides for what we call "split mode",
in which the URL for the CGI processing user data is accessed through
TLS, so authentication data (typically, passwords) are hidden from
eavesdropping. We call it "split mode" because the TLS-based URL must
redirect the request to a plain (non-TLS) URL once the authentication
data have been verified, so the cookies coming from the (G)PoAs may
> 2. How do you secure the communication to the Point of Access.
The communication from the AS to the PoA is secured by the fact
that the assertions sent about the user (by redirection inside the
HTML page sent from the AS to the user when authentication succeeds)
are signed by the AS.
Again, communication from the user browser to the PoA in normal use
may be based in TLS if you require so.
> 3. How do you enforce that the links are requested through your PoA
> only? What stops the user from accessing the desired web-site
The PoA is in itself a access control module installed inside Apache.
If you go to a PAPI-protected location inside a Web server, it will
call the PAPI PoA in order to evaluate your access rights. If you are
not able to present valid PAPI tokens (the pair of cookies), access
will be denied.
I hope this helps in your understanding of PAPI. Needless to say,
we will be very happy in answering whatever further question you have.
"Esta vez no fallaremos, Doctor Infierno"
Diego R. Lopez
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The Spanish NREN
Tel: +34 955 056 621
Mobile: +34 669 898 094