How to Prevent Username Enumeration Attacks with Spring Security

1. Overview

In this tutorial, we'll describe enumeration attacks in general. More specifically, we'll explore username enumeration attacks against a web application. And, most importantly, we'll explore options for handling them through Spring Security.

2. Explaining Enumeration Attacks

Enumeration technically means complete and ordered listing of all the items in a collection. Although this definition is restricted to mathematics, its essence makes it a potent hacking tool. Enumeration often exposes attack vectors that can be employed for exploitation. In this context, it is often known as resource enumeration.

Resource enumeration, as the name suggests, is a way to gather a list of resources from any host. These resources can be anything of value, including usernames, services, or pages. These resources can expose potential vulnerabilities in the host.

Now, there can be several possible ways, explored or even unexplored, to exploit these vulnerabilities.

3. Popular Enumeration Attacks for Web Applications

In a web application, one of the most often employed enumeration attacks is username enumeration attack. This basically employs any explicit or implicit feature of the web application to gather valid usernames. An attacker may use popular choices of username to attack the web application.

Now, what kind of feature in a web application may reveal whether a username is valid or not? Honestly, it can be as varied as possible. It may be a feature as designed, for example, a registration page letting a user know that the username is already taken.

Or, this may be as implicit as the fact that a login attempt with a valid username takes a much different amount of time compared to one with an invalid username.

4. Setup to Emulate Username Enumeration Attack

We'll use a simple user web application using Spring Boot and Spring Security to demonstrate these attack vectors. This web application will have a minimal set of features to support the demonstration. A detailed discussion on how to set up such an application is covered in a previous tutorial.

Common features on a web application often reveal information that can be used to launch enumeration attacks. Let's go through them.

4.1. User Registration

User registration needs a unique username, and email address is often chosen for simplicity. Now, if we pick an email which already exists, the application ought to tell us so:

Coupled with the fact that a list of emails is not hard to come by, this can lead to a username enumeration attack to fish out valid usernames in the application.

4.2. User Login

Similarly, when we try to login into an application, it requires us to provide username and password. Now, if a username we provide does not exist, the application may return this information to us:

This, as before, is simple enough to harness for a username enumeration attack.

4.3. Reset Password

Reset password is often implemented to send a password reset link to a user's email. Now, again this will require that we provide a username or email:

If this username or email does not exist in the application, the application will inform as such, leading to a similar vulnerability as we saw earlier.

5. Preventing Username Enumeration Attacks

There can be several ways to prevent a username enumeration attack. Many of them we can achieve through simple tweaks in the features like user messages on a web application.

Moreover, Spring Security over time has matured enough to support handling many of these attack vectors. There are features out-of-the-box and extension points to create custom safeguards. We'll explore some of these techniques.

Let's go through popular options available to prevent such attacks. Please note that not all of these solutions are suitable or even possible in every part of the web application. We'll discuss this in more detail as we go along.

5.1. Tweaking Messages

First, we must rule out all possibilities of inadvertently giving out more information than what is required. This would be difficult in registration but fairly simple in login and reset password pages.

For instance, we can easily make the message for login page abstract:

We can do similar tweaks to the message for the password reset page.

5.2. Including CAPTCHA

While tweaking the messages works well on some pages, there are pages like registration where it's tricky to do so. In such cases, we can use another tool called CAPTCHA.

Now, at this point, it's worthwhile to note that any enumeration attack most likely is robotic due to a vast number of possibilities to go through. Hence, detecting a human or robotic presence can help us prevent an attack. CAPTCHA serves as a popular way to achieve this.

There are several possible ways to implement or integrate CAPTCHA services in a web application. One of these services is reCAPTCHA by Google, which can be easily integrated on the registration page.

5.3. Rate Limiting

While CAPTCHA serves the purpose well, it does add latency and, more importantly, inconveniences to legitimate users. This is more relevant for frequently used pages like login.

One technique that can help prevent robotic attacks on frequently used pages like login is rate limiting. Rate limiting refers to preventing successive attempts for a resource after a certain threshold.

For example, we can block requests from a particular IP for a day after three failed attempts at login:

Spring Security makes this particularly convenient.

We begin by defining listeners for AuthenticationFailureBadCredentialsEvent and AuthenticationSuccessEvent. These listeners call a service that records the number of failed attempts from a particular IP. Once a set threshold is breached, subsequent requests are blocked in the UserDetailsService.

A detailed discussion on this approach is available in another tutorial.

5.4. Geo Limiting

Additionally, we can capture the location by country of a user during registration. We can use this to verify a login attempt originating from a different location. If we detect an unusual location, suitable action can be taken:

  • Enable Captcha selectively
  • Enforce step-up authentication (as part of multi-factor authentication)
  • Ask the user to verify the location securely
  • Block the user temporarily on successive requests

Again, Spring Security, through its extension points, makes it possible to plug in a custom location verification service in the AuthenticationProvider. A particular flavor of this has been described in detail in a previous tutorial.

5.5. Multi-Factor Authentication

Lastly, we should note that password-based authentication is often the first and, in most cases, the only step required. But it's not uncommon for applications to adopt multi-factor authentication mechanisms for better security. This is especially true for sensitive applications like online banking.

There are many possible factors when it comes to multi-factor authentication:

  • Knowledge Factor: This refers to what a user knows, like PIN
  • Possession Factor: This refers to what a user possesses, like a token or smartphone
  • Inherence Factor: This refers to what a user inherently has, like fingerprints

Spring Security is quite a convenience here as well, as it allows us to plug in a custom AuthenticationProvider. The Google Authenticator app is a popular choice to implement additional possession factor. This allows users to generate an ephemeral token on the app in their smartphone and use it for authentication in any application. Obviously, this requires setting up the user beforehand in the application, either during registration or later on.

Integrating Google Authenticator in a Spring security application has been well covered in a previous tutorial.

More importantly, a solution like multi-factor authentication is only suitable if the application needs it. Hence, we should not use it primarily to prevent enumeration attacks.

5.6. Processing Time Delays

While processing a request like a login, checking if the username exists is often the very first thing we do. If a username does not exist, the request immediately returns with an error. On the contrary, a request with a valid username would involve many further steps, like password match and role verification. Naturally, the time to respond to both these cases may vary.

Now, even though we abstract the error message to hide the fact of whether a username is valid or not, a significant difference in processing time may tip off an attacker.

A possible solution for this issue can be to add a forced delay to rule out the difference in processing times. However, as this is not a problem that can occur with certainty, we should only employ this solution if necessary.

6. Wrapping Up

While we covered a lot of tricks to use when it comes to username enumeration attacks, it's natural to ask, when to use what? Obviously, there's no one answer for this, as it's largely based on the type of application and its requirements.

A few things, like messages to the user, must leak as little information as possible. Additionally, it's wise to restrict successive failed attempts towards a resource like login.

However, we should use any additional measures only if requirements deem them necessary. We should also weigh them rationally against the deterrence to usability.

Moreover, it's important to realize that we can apply any combination of these measures for different resources to selectively secure them.

7. Conclusion

In this tutorial, we discussed enumeration attacks – username enumeration attacks, in particular. We saw that through the lens of a simple Spring Boot application with Spring Security.

We went over several ways to progressively address the concerns of username enumeration attacks.

Lastly, we discussed the appropriateness of these measures in application security.

Link: https://www.baeldung.com/spring-security-enumeration-attacks

#spring  #spring-boot  #java 

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How to Prevent Username Enumeration Attacks with Spring Security

Enhance Amazon Aurora Read/Write Capability with ShardingSphere-JDBC

1. Introduction

Amazon Aurora is a relational database management system (RDBMS) developed by AWS(Amazon Web Services). Aurora gives you the performance and availability of commercial-grade databases with full MySQL and PostgreSQL compatibility. In terms of high performance, Aurora MySQL and Aurora PostgreSQL have shown an increase in throughput of up to 5X over stock MySQL and 3X over stock PostgreSQL respectively on similar hardware. In terms of scalability, Aurora achieves enhancements and innovations in storage and computing, horizontal and vertical functions.

Aurora supports up to 128TB of storage capacity and supports dynamic scaling of storage layer in units of 10GB. In terms of computing, Aurora supports scalable configurations for multiple read replicas. Each region can have an additional 15 Aurora replicas. In addition, Aurora provides multi-primary architecture to support four read/write nodes. Its Serverless architecture allows vertical scaling and reduces typical latency to under a second, while the Global Database enables a single database cluster to span multiple AWS Regions in low latency.

Aurora already provides great scalability with the growth of user data volume. Can it handle more data and support more concurrent access? You may consider using sharding to support the configuration of multiple underlying Aurora clusters. To this end, a series of blogs, including this one, provides you with a reference in choosing between Proxy and JDBC for sharding.

1.1 Why sharding is needed

AWS Aurora offers a single relational database. Primary-secondary, multi-primary, and global database, and other forms of hosting architecture can satisfy various architectural scenarios above. However, Aurora doesn’t provide direct support for sharding scenarios, and sharding has a variety of forms, such as vertical and horizontal forms. If we want to further increase data capacity, some problems have to be solved, such as cross-node database Join, associated query, distributed transactions, SQL sorting, page turning, function calculation, database global primary key, capacity planning, and secondary capacity expansion after sharding.

1.2 Sharding methods

It is generally accepted that when the capacity of a MySQL table is less than 10 million, the time spent on queries is optimal because at this time the height of its BTREE index is between 3 and 5. Data sharding can reduce the amount of data in a single table and distribute the read and write loads to different data nodes at the same time. Data sharding can be divided into vertical sharding and horizontal sharding.

1. Advantages of vertical sharding

  • Address the coupling of business system and make clearer.
  • Implement hierarchical management, maintenance, monitoring, and expansion to data of different businesses, like micro-service governance.
  • In high concurrency scenarios, vertical sharding removes the bottleneck of IO, database connections, and hardware resources on a single machine to some extent.

2. Disadvantages of vertical sharding

  • After splitting the library, Join can only be implemented by interface aggregation, which will increase the complexity of development.
  • After splitting the library, it is complex to process distributed transactions.
  • There is a large amount of data on a single table and horizontal sharding is required.

3. Advantages of horizontal sharding

  • There is no such performance bottleneck as a large amount of data on a single database and high concurrency, and it increases system stability and load capacity.
  • The business modules do not need to be split due to minor modification on the application client.

4. Disadvantages of horizontal sharding

  • Transaction consistency across shards is hard to be guaranteed;
  • The performance of associated query in cross-library Join is poor.
  • It’s difficult to scale the data many times and maintenance is a big workload.

Based on the analysis above, and the available studis on popular sharding middleware, we selected ShardingSphere, an open source product, combined with Amazon Aurora to introduce how the combination of these two products meets various forms of sharding and how to solve the problems brought by sharding.

ShardingSphere is an open source ecosystem including a set of distributed database middleware solutions, including 3 independent products, Sharding-JDBC, Sharding-Proxy & Sharding-Sidecar.

2. ShardingSphere introduction:

The characteristics of Sharding-JDBC are:

  1. With the client end connecting directly to the database, it provides service in the form of jar and requires no extra deployment and dependence.
  2. It can be considered as an enhanced JDBC driver, which is fully compatible with JDBC and all kinds of ORM frameworks.
  3. Applicable in any ORM framework based on JDBC, such as JPA, Hibernate, Mybatis, Spring JDBC Template or direct use of JDBC.
  4. Support any third-party database connection pool, such as DBCP, C3P0, BoneCP, Druid, HikariCP;
  5. Support any kind of JDBC standard database: MySQL, Oracle, SQLServer, PostgreSQL and any databases accessible to JDBC.
  6. Sharding-JDBC adopts decentralized architecture, applicable to high-performance light-weight OLTP application developed with Java

Hybrid Structure Integrating Sharding-JDBC and Applications

Sharding-JDBC’s core concepts

Data node: The smallest unit of a data slice, consisting of a data source name and a data table, such as ds_0.product_order_0.

Actual table: The physical table that really exists in the horizontal sharding database, such as product order tables: product_order_0, product_order_1, and product_order_2.

Logic table: The logical name of the horizontal sharding databases (tables) with the same schema. For instance, the logic table of the order product_order_0, product_order_1, and product_order_2 is product_order.

Binding table: It refers to the primary table and the joiner table with the same sharding rules. For example, product_order table and product_order_item are sharded by order_id, so they are binding tables with each other. Cartesian product correlation will not appear in the multi-tables correlating query, so the query efficiency will increase greatly.

Broadcast table: It refers to tables that exist in all sharding database sources. The schema and data must consist in each database. It can be applied to the small data volume that needs to correlate with big data tables to query, dictionary table and configuration table for example.

3. Testing ShardingSphere-JDBC

3.1 Example project

Download the example project code locally. In order to ensure the stability of the test code, we choose shardingsphere-example-4.0.0 version.

git clone https://github.com/apache/shardingsphere-example.git

Project description:

shardingsphere-example
  ├── example-core
  │   ├── config-utility
  │   ├── example-api
  │   ├── example-raw-jdbc
  │   ├── example-spring-jpa #spring+jpa integration-based entity,repository
  │   └── example-spring-mybatis
  ├── sharding-jdbc-example
  │   ├── sharding-example
  │   │   ├── sharding-raw-jdbc-example
  │   │   ├── sharding-spring-boot-jpa-example #integration-based sharding-jdbc functions
  │   │   ├── sharding-spring-boot-mybatis-example
  │   │   ├── sharding-spring-namespace-jpa-example
  │   │   └── sharding-spring-namespace-mybatis-example
  │   ├── orchestration-example
  │   │   ├── orchestration-raw-jdbc-example
  │   │   ├── orchestration-spring-boot-example #integration-based sharding-jdbc governance function
  │   │   └── orchestration-spring-namespace-example
  │   ├── transaction-example
  │   │   ├── transaction-2pc-xa-example #sharding-jdbc sample of two-phase commit for a distributed transaction
  │   │   └──transaction-base-seata-example #sharding-jdbc distributed transaction seata sample
  │   ├── other-feature-example
  │   │   ├── hint-example
  │   │   └── encrypt-example
  ├── sharding-proxy-example
  │   └── sharding-proxy-boot-mybatis-example
  └── src/resources
        └── manual_schema.sql  

Configuration file description:

application-master-slave.properties #read/write splitting profile
application-sharding-databases-tables.properties #sharding profile
application-sharding-databases.properties       #library split profile only
application-sharding-master-slave.properties    #sharding and read/write splitting profile
application-sharding-tables.properties          #table split profile
application.properties                         #spring boot profile

Code logic description:

The following is the entry class of the Spring Boot application below. Execute it to run the project.

The execution logic of demo is as follows:

3.2 Verifying read/write splitting

As business grows, the write and read requests can be split to different database nodes to effectively promote the processing capability of the entire database cluster. Aurora uses a reader/writer endpoint to meet users' requirements to write and read with strong consistency, and a read-only endpoint to meet the requirements to read without strong consistency. Aurora's read and write latency is within single-digit milliseconds, much lower than MySQL's binlog-based logical replication, so there's a lot of loads that can be directed to a read-only endpoint.

Through the one primary and multiple secondary configuration, query requests can be evenly distributed to multiple data replicas, which further improves the processing capability of the system. Read/write splitting can improve the throughput and availability of system, but it can also lead to data inconsistency. Aurora provides a primary/secondary architecture in a fully managed form, but applications on the upper-layer still need to manage multiple data sources when interacting with Aurora, routing SQL requests to different nodes based on the read/write type of SQL statements and certain routing policies.

ShardingSphere-JDBC provides read/write splitting features and it is integrated with application programs so that the complex configuration between application programs and database clusters can be separated from application programs. Developers can manage the Shard through configuration files and combine it with ORM frameworks such as Spring JPA and Mybatis to completely separate the duplicated logic from the code, which greatly improves the ability to maintain code and reduces the coupling between code and database.

3.2.1 Setting up the database environment

Create a set of Aurora MySQL read/write splitting clusters. The model is db.r5.2xlarge. Each set of clusters has one write node and two read nodes.

3.2.2 Configuring Sharding-JDBC

application.properties spring boot Master profile description:

You need to replace the green ones with your own environment configuration.

# Jpa automatically creates and drops data tables based on entities
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto=create-drop
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.show_sql=true

#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-tables
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases-tables
#Activate master-slave configuration item so that sharding-jdbc can use master-slave profile
spring.profiles.active=master-slave
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-master-slave

application-master-slave.properties sharding-jdbc profile description:

spring.shardingsphere.datasource.names=ds_master,ds_slave_0,ds_slave_1
# data souce-master
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master.password=Your master DB password
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master.jdbc-url=Your primary DB data sourceurl spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master.username=Your primary DB username
# data source-slave
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_0.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_0.password= Your slave DB password
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_0.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_0.jdbc-url=Your slave DB data source url
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_0.username= Your slave DB username
# data source-slave
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_1.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_1.password= Your slave DB password
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_1.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_1.jdbc-url= Your slave DB data source url
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_slave_1.username= Your slave DB username
# Routing Policy Configuration
spring.shardingsphere.masterslave.load-balance-algorithm-type=round_robin
spring.shardingsphere.masterslave.name=ds_ms
spring.shardingsphere.masterslave.master-data-source-name=ds_master
spring.shardingsphere.masterslave.slave-data-source-names=ds_slave_0,ds_slave_1
# sharding-jdbc configures the information storage mode
spring.shardingsphere.mode.type=Memory
# start shardingsphere log,and you can see the conversion from logical SQL to actual SQL from the print
spring.shardingsphere.props.sql.show=true

 

3.2.3 Test and verification process description

  • Test environment data initialization: Spring JPA initialization automatically creates tables for testing.

  • Write data to the master instance

As shown in the ShardingSphere-SQL log figure below, the write SQL is executed on the ds_master data source.

  • Data query operations are performed on the slave library.

As shown in the ShardingSphere-SQL log figure below, the read SQL is executed on the ds_slave data source in the form of polling.

[INFO ] 2022-04-02 19:43:39,376 --main-- [ShardingSphere-SQL] Rule Type: master-slave 
[INFO ] 2022-04-02 19:43:39,376 --main-- [ShardingSphere-SQL] SQL: select orderentit0_.order_id as order_id1_1_, orderentit0_.address_id as address_2_1_, 
orderentit0_.status as status3_1_, orderentit0_.user_id as user_id4_1_ from t_order orderentit0_ ::: DataSources: ds_slave_0 
---------------------------- Print OrderItem Data -------------------
Hibernate: select orderiteme1_.order_item_id as order_it1_2_, orderiteme1_.order_id as order_id2_2_, orderiteme1_.status as status3_2_, orderiteme1_.user_id 
as user_id4_2_ from t_order orderentit0_ cross join t_order_item orderiteme1_ where orderentit0_.order_id=orderiteme1_.order_id
[INFO ] 2022-04-02 19:43:40,898 --main-- [ShardingSphere-SQL] Rule Type: master-slave 
[INFO ] 2022-04-02 19:43:40,898 --main-- [ShardingSphere-SQL] SQL: select orderiteme1_.order_item_id as order_it1_2_, orderiteme1_.order_id as order_id2_2_, orderiteme1_.status as status3_2_, 
orderiteme1_.user_id as user_id4_2_ from t_order orderentit0_ cross join t_order_item orderiteme1_ where orderentit0_.order_id=orderiteme1_.order_id ::: DataSources: ds_slave_1 

Note: As shown in the figure below, if there are both reads and writes in a transaction, Sharding-JDBC routes both read and write operations to the master library. If the read/write requests are not in the same transaction, the corresponding read requests are distributed to different read nodes according to the routing policy.

@Override
@Transactional // When a transaction is started, both read and write in the transaction go through the master library. When closed, read goes through the slave library and write goes through the master library
public void processSuccess() throws SQLException {
    System.out.println("-------------- Process Success Begin ---------------");
    List<Long> orderIds = insertData();
    printData();
    deleteData(orderIds);
    printData();
    System.out.println("-------------- Process Success Finish --------------");
}

3.2.4 Verifying Aurora failover scenario

The Aurora database environment adopts the configuration described in Section 2.2.1.

3.2.4.1 Verification process description

  1. Start the Spring-Boot project

2. Perform a failover on Aurora’s console

3. Execute the Rest API request

4. Repeatedly execute POST (http://localhost:8088/save-user) until the call to the API failed to write to Aurora and eventually recovered successfully.

5. The following figure shows the process of executing code failover. It takes about 37 seconds from the time when the latest SQL write is successfully performed to the time when the next SQL write is successfully performed. That is, the application can be automatically recovered from Aurora failover, and the recovery time is about 37 seconds.

3.3 Testing table sharding-only function

3.3.1 Configuring Sharding-JDBC

application.properties spring boot master profile description

# Jpa automatically creates and drops data tables based on entities
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto=create-drop
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.show_sql=true
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases
#Activate sharding-tables configuration items
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-tables
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases-tables
# spring.profiles.active=master-slave
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-master-slave

application-sharding-tables.properties sharding-jdbc profile description

## configure primary-key policy
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.actual-data-nodes=ds.t_order_item_$->{0..1}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.table-strategy.inline.sharding-column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.table-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=t_order_item_$->{order_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.column=order_item_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
# configure the binding relation of t_order and t_order_item
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.binding-tables[0]=t_order,t_order_item
# configure broadcast tables
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.broadcast-tables=t_address
# sharding-jdbc mode
spring.shardingsphere.mode.type=Memory
# start shardingsphere log
spring.shardingsphere.props.sql.show=true

 

3.3.2 Test and verification process description

1. DDL operation

JPA automatically creates tables for testing. When Sharding-JDBC routing rules are configured, the client executes DDL, and Sharding-JDBC automatically creates corresponding tables according to the table splitting rules. If t_address is a broadcast table, create a t_address because there is only one master instance. Two physical tables t_order_0 and t_order_1 will be created when creating t_order.

2. Write operation

As shown in the figure below, Logic SQL inserts a record into t_order. When Sharding-JDBC is executed, data will be distributed to t_order_0 and t_order_1 according to the table splitting rules.

When t_order and t_order_item are bound, the records associated with order_item and order are placed on the same physical table.

3. Read operation

As shown in the figure below, perform the join query operations to order and order_item under the binding table, and the physical shard is precisely located based on the binding relationship.

The join query operations on order and order_item under the unbound table will traverse all shards.

3.4 Testing database sharding-only function

3.4.1 Setting up the database environment

Create two instances on Aurora: ds_0 and ds_1

When the sharding-spring-boot-jpa-example project is started, tables t_order, t_order_itemt_address will be created on two Aurora instances.

3.4.2 Configuring Sharding-JDBC

application.properties springboot master profile description

# Jpa automatically creates and drops data tables based on entities
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto=create
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.show_sql=true

# Activate sharding-databases configuration items
spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-tables
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases-tables
#spring.profiles.active=master-slave
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-master-slave

application-sharding-databases.properties sharding-jdbc profile description

spring.shardingsphere.datasource.names=ds_0,ds_1
# ds_0
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.jdbc-url= spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.password=
# ds_1
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.jdbc-url= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.password=
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-database-strategy.inline.sharding-column=user_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-database-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=ds_$->{user_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.binding-tables=t_order,t_order_item
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.broadcast-tables=t_address
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-data-source-name=ds_0

spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.actual-data-nodes=ds_$->{0..1}.t_order
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.actual-data-nodes=ds_$->{0..1}.t_order_item
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.column=order_item_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
# sharding-jdbc mode
spring.shardingsphere.mode.type=Memory
# start shardingsphere log
spring.shardingsphere.props.sql.show=true

 

3.4.3 Test and verification process description

1. DDL operation

JPA automatically creates tables for testing. When Sharding-JDBC’s library splitting and routing rules are configured, the client executes DDL, and Sharding-JDBC will automatically create corresponding tables according to table splitting rules. If t_address is a broadcast table, physical tables will be created on ds_0 and ds_1. The three tables, t_address, t_order and t_order_item will be created on ds_0 and ds_1 respectively.

2. Write operation

For the broadcast table t_address, each record written will also be written to the t_address tables of ds_0 and ds_1.

The tables t_order and t_order_item of the slave library are written on the table in the corresponding instance according to the slave library field and routing policy.

3. Read operation

Query order is routed to the corresponding Aurora instance according to the routing rules of the slave library .

Query Address. Since address is a broadcast table, an instance of address will be randomly selected and queried from the nodes used.

As shown in the figure below, perform the join query operations to order and order_item under the binding table, and the physical shard is precisely located based on the binding relationship.

3.5 Verifying sharding function

3.5.1 Setting up the database environment

As shown in the figure below, create two instances on Aurora: ds_0 and ds_1

When the sharding-spring-boot-jpa-example project is started, physical tables t_order_01, t_order_02, t_order_item_01,and t_order_item_02 and global table t_address will be created on two Aurora instances.

3.5.2 Configuring Sharding-JDBC

application.properties springboot master profile description

# Jpa automatically creates and drops data tables based on entities
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto=create
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.show_sql=true
# Activate sharding-databases-tables configuration items
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-tables
spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases-tables
#spring.profiles.active=master-slave
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-master-slave

application-sharding-databases.properties sharding-jdbc profile description

spring.shardingsphere.datasource.names=ds_0,ds_1
# ds_0
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.jdbc-url= 306/dev?useSSL=false&characterEncoding=utf-8
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_0.max-active=16
# ds_1
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.jdbc-url= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_1.max-active=16
# default library splitting policy
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-database-strategy.inline.sharding-column=user_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-database-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=ds_$->{user_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.binding-tables=t_order,t_order_item
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.broadcast-tables=t_address
# Tables that do not meet the library splitting policy are placed on ds_0
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-data-source-name=ds_0
# t_order table splitting policy
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.actual-data-nodes=ds_$->{0..1}.t_order_$->{0..1}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.table-strategy.inline.sharding-column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.table-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=t_order_$->{order_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
# t_order_item table splitting policy
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.actual-data-nodes=ds_$->{0..1}.t_order_item_$->{0..1}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.table-strategy.inline.sharding-column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.table-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=t_order_item_$->{order_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.column=order_item_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
# sharding-jdbc mdoe
spring.shardingsphere.mode.type=Memory
# start shardingsphere log
spring.shardingsphere.props.sql.show=true

 

3.5.3 Test and verification process description

1. DDL operation

JPA automatically creates tables for testing. When Sharding-JDBC’s sharding and routing rules are configured, the client executes DDL, and Sharding-JDBC will automatically create corresponding tables according to table splitting rules. If t_address is a broadcast table, t_address will be created on both ds_0 and ds_1. The three tables, t_address, t_order and t_order_item will be created on ds_0 and ds_1 respectively.

2. Write operation

For the broadcast table t_address, each record written will also be written to the t_address tables of ds_0 and ds_1.

The tables t_order and t_order_item of the sub-library are written to the table on the corresponding instance according to the slave library field and routing policy.

3. Read operation

The read operation is similar to the library split function verification described in section2.4.3.

3.6 Testing database sharding, table sharding and read/write splitting function

3.6.1 Setting up the database environment

The following figure shows the physical table of the created database instance.

3.6.2 Configuring Sharding-JDBC

application.properties spring boot master profile description

# Jpa automatically creates and drops data tables based on entities
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto=create
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.dialect=org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5Dialect
spring.jpa.properties.hibernate.show_sql=true

# activate sharding-databases-tables configuration items
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-tables
#spring.profiles.active=sharding-databases-tables
#spring.profiles.active=master-slave
spring.profiles.active=sharding-master-slave

application-sharding-master-slave.properties sharding-jdbc profile description

The url, name and password of the database need to be changed to your own database parameters.

spring.shardingsphere.datasource.names=ds_master_0,ds_master_1,ds_master_0_slave_0,ds_master_0_slave_1,ds_master_1_slave_0,ds_master_1_slave_1
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0.jdbc-url= spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0.max-active=16
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_0.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_0.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_0.jdbc-url= spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_0.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_0.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_0.max-active=16
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_1.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_1.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_1.jdbc-url= spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_1.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_1.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_0_slave_1.max-active=16
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1.jdbc-url= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1.username= 
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1.max-active=16
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_0.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_0.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_0.jdbc-url=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_0.username=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_0.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_0.max-active=16
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_1.type=com.zaxxer.hikari.HikariDataSource
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_1.driver-class-name=com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_1.jdbc-url= spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_1.username=admin
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_1.password=
spring.shardingsphere.datasource.ds_master_1_slave_1.max-active=16
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-database-strategy.inline.sharding-column=user_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-database-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=ds_$->{user_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.binding-tables=t_order,t_order_item
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.broadcast-tables=t_address
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.default-data-source-name=ds_master_0
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.actual-data-nodes=ds_$->{0..1}.t_order_$->{0..1}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.table-strategy.inline.sharding-column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.table-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=t_order_$->{order_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.actual-data-nodes=ds_$->{0..1}.t_order_item_$->{0..1}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.table-strategy.inline.sharding-column=order_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.table-strategy.inline.algorithm-expression=t_order_item_$->{order_id % 2}
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.column=order_item_id
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.type=SNOWFLAKE
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.tables.t_order_item.key-generator.props.worker.id=123
# master/slave data source and slave data source configuration
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.master-slave-rules.ds_0.master-data-source-name=ds_master_0
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.master-slave-rules.ds_0.slave-data-source-names=ds_master_0_slave_0, ds_master_0_slave_1
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.master-slave-rules.ds_1.master-data-source-name=ds_master_1
spring.shardingsphere.sharding.master-slave-rules.ds_1.slave-data-source-names=ds_master_1_slave_0, ds_master_1_slave_1
# sharding-jdbc mode
spring.shardingsphere.mode.type=Memory
# start shardingsphere log
spring.shardingsphere.props.sql.show=true

 

3.6.3 Test and verification process description

1. DDL operation

JPA automatically creates tables for testing. When Sharding-JDBC’s library splitting and routing rules are configured, the client executes DDL, and Sharding-JDBC will automatically create corresponding tables according to table splitting rules. If t_address is a broadcast table, t_address will be created on both ds_0 and ds_1. The three tables, t_address, t_order and t_order_item will be created on ds_0 and ds_1 respectively.

2. Write operation

For the broadcast table t_address, each record written will also be written to the t_address tables of ds_0 and ds_1.

The tables t_order and t_order_item of the slave library are written to the table on the corresponding instance according to the slave library field and routing policy.

3. Read operation

The join query operations on order and order_item under the binding table are shown below.

3. Conclusion

As an open source product focusing on database enhancement, ShardingSphere is pretty good in terms of its community activitiy, product maturity and documentation richness.

Among its products, ShardingSphere-JDBC is a sharding solution based on the client-side, which supports all sharding scenarios. And there’s no need to introduce an intermediate layer like Proxy, so the complexity of operation and maintenance is reduced. Its latency is theoretically lower than Proxy due to the lack of intermediate layer. In addition, ShardingSphere-JDBC can support a variety of relational databases based on SQL standards such as MySQL/PostgreSQL/Oracle/SQL Server, etc.

However, due to the integration of Sharding-JDBC with the application program, it only supports Java language for now, and is strongly dependent on the application programs. Nevertheless, Sharding-JDBC separates all sharding configuration from the application program, which brings relatively small changes when switching to other middleware.

In conclusion, Sharding-JDBC is a good choice if you use a Java-based system and have to to interconnect with different relational databases — and don’t want to bother with introducing an intermediate layer.

Author

Sun Jinhua

A senior solution architect at AWS, Sun is responsible for the design and consult on cloud architecture. for providing customers with cloud-related design and consulting services. Before joining AWS, he ran his own business, specializing in building e-commerce platforms and designing the overall architecture for e-commerce platforms of automotive companies. He worked in a global leading communication equipment company as a senior engineer, responsible for the development and architecture design of multiple subsystems of LTE equipment system. He has rich experience in architecture design with high concurrency and high availability system, microservice architecture design, database, middleware, IOT etc.

Wilford  Pagac

Wilford Pagac

1596789120

Best Custom Web & Mobile App Development Company

Everything around us has become smart, like smart infrastructures, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The innovation of smart devices makes it possible to achieve these heights in science and technology. But, data is vulnerable, there is a risk of attack by cybercriminals. To get started, let’s know about IoT devices.

What are IoT devices?

The Internet Of Things(IoT) is a system that interrelates computer devices like sensors, software, and actuators, digital machines, etc. They are linked together with particular objects that work through the internet and transfer data over devices without humans interference.

Famous examples are Amazon Alexa, Apple SIRI, Interconnected baby monitors, video doorbells, and smart thermostats.

How could your IoT devices be vulnerable?

When technologies grow and evolve, risks are also on the high stakes. Ransomware attacks are on the continuous increase; securing data has become the top priority.

When you think your smart home won’t fudge a thing against cybercriminals, you should also know that they are vulnerable. When cybercriminals access our smart voice speakers like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, it becomes easy for them to steal your data.

Cybersecurity report 2020 says popular hacking forums expose 770 million email addresses and 21 million unique passwords, 620 million accounts have been compromised from 16 hacked websites.

The attacks are likely to increase every year. To help you secure your data of IoT devices, here are some best tips you can implement.

Tips to secure your IoT devices

1. Change Default Router Name

Your router has the default name of make and model. When we stick with the manufacturer name, attackers can quickly identify our make and model. So give the router name different from your addresses, without giving away personal information.

2. Know your connected network and connected devices

If your devices are connected to the internet, these connections are vulnerable to cyber attacks when your devices don’t have the proper security. Almost every web interface is equipped with multiple devices, so it’s hard to track the device. But, it’s crucial to stay aware of them.

3. Change default usernames and passwords

When we use the default usernames and passwords, it is attackable. Because the cybercriminals possibly know the default passwords come with IoT devices. So use strong passwords to access our IoT devices.

4. Manage strong, Unique passwords for your IoT devices and accounts

Use strong or unique passwords that are easily assumed, such as ‘123456’ or ‘password1234’ to protect your accounts. Give strong and complex passwords formed by combinations of alphabets, numeric, and not easily bypassed symbols.

Also, change passwords for multiple accounts and change them regularly to avoid attacks. We can also set several attempts to wrong passwords to set locking the account to safeguard from the hackers.

5. Do not use Public WI-FI Networks

Are you try to keep an eye on your IoT devices through your mobile devices in different locations. I recommend you not to use the public WI-FI network to access them. Because they are easily accessible through for everyone, you are still in a hurry to access, use VPN that gives them protection against cyber-attacks, giving them privacy and security features, for example, using Express VPN.

6. Establish firewalls to discover the vulnerabilities

There are software and firewalls like intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system in the market. This will be useful to screen and analyze the wire traffic of a network. You can identify the security weakness by the firewall scanners within the network structure. Use these firewalls to get rid of unwanted security issues and vulnerabilities.

7. Reconfigure your device settings

Every smart device comes with the insecure default settings, and sometimes we are not able to change these default settings configurations. These conditions need to be assessed and need to reconfigure the default settings.

8. Authenticate the IoT applications

Nowadays, every smart app offers authentication to secure the accounts. There are many types of authentication methods like single-factor authentication, two-step authentication, and multi-factor authentication. Use any one of these to send a one time password (OTP) to verify the user who logs in the smart device to keep our accounts from falling into the wrong hands.

9. Update the device software up to date

Every smart device manufacturer releases updates to fix bugs in their software. These security patches help us to improve our protection of the device. Also, update the software on the smartphone, which we are used to monitoring the IoT devices to avoid vulnerabilities.

10. Track the smartphones and keep them safe

When we connect the smart home to the smartphone and control them via smartphone, you need to keep them safe. If you miss the phone almost, every personal information is at risk to the cybercriminals. But sometimes it happens by accident, makes sure that you can clear all the data remotely.

However, securing smart devices is essential in the world of data. There are still cybercriminals bypassing the securities. So make sure to do the safety measures to avoid our accounts falling out into the wrong hands. I hope these steps will help you all to secure your IoT devices.

If you have any, feel free to share them in the comments! I’d love to know them.

Are you looking for more? Subscribe to weekly newsletters that can help your stay updated IoT application developments.

#iot #enterprise iot security #how iot can be used to enhance security #how to improve iot security #how to protect iot devices from hackers #how to secure iot devices #iot security #iot security devices #iot security offerings #iot security technologies iot security plus #iot vulnerable devices #risk based iot security program

Sigrid  Farrell

Sigrid Farrell

1624439895

Spring Security Overview

In this article, we will take a bird’s eye view of Spring Security to understand what it is used for and what it has to offer us. Anything on the web is a potential victim of an attack. Unfortunately, securing a web application and implementing features like authorization and authentication are no walk in the park in a world where even the richest, most innovative technology companies get hacked. So when our boss gives us a task to secure the application, should we sit and wait, scared, not knowing what to do? Of course not.

Whether or not you are going to use Auth0 to secure your Spring app, you will need to know the basics of Spring Security to secure your application rapidly, and this makes it a must-know framework for any Spring developer. The thing with Spring Security is: It is difficult. Not because it is poorly designed or could be easier to use, but because of the complexity of its domain: Application security. Complex problems require technically sophisticated solutions, and security is one of them.

If you have ever taken a glance at a Spring Security-related documentation or tutorial, you might be scared of how complicated it looks. I mean, take a look at this picture from Wikipedia:

Acegi Security Basic Auth Flow

It is very natural to feel overwhelmed, especially if you are also new to Spring. Spring Security is a huge framework, but once you get the basics down, you can easily get the task of securing your app done by integrating it with an IDaaS service like Auth0 without the hassle of implementing everything yourself.

#spring security overview #spring #spring security #security

Angular 12 + Spring Boot: JWT Authentication example | Spring Security

In this tutorial, I will show you how to build a full stack Angular 12 + Spring Boot JWT Authentication example. The back-end server uses Spring Boot with Spring Security for JWT Authentication & Role based Authorization, Spring Data JPA for interacting with database. The front-end will be built using Angular 12 with HttpInterceptor & Form validation.

Related Posts:

– Angular 12 + Spring Boot: CRUD example

– Angular 12 + Spring Boot: File upload example

– Spring Boot, MongoDB: JWT Authentication with Spring Security

Contents [hide]

#angular #full stack #spring #angular #angular 12 #authentication #authorization #jwt #login #registration #security #spring boot #spring security #token based authentication

How to Prevent Username Enumeration Attacks with Spring Security

1. Overview

In this tutorial, we'll describe enumeration attacks in general. More specifically, we'll explore username enumeration attacks against a web application. And, most importantly, we'll explore options for handling them through Spring Security.

2. Explaining Enumeration Attacks

Enumeration technically means complete and ordered listing of all the items in a collection. Although this definition is restricted to mathematics, its essence makes it a potent hacking tool. Enumeration often exposes attack vectors that can be employed for exploitation. In this context, it is often known as resource enumeration.

Resource enumeration, as the name suggests, is a way to gather a list of resources from any host. These resources can be anything of value, including usernames, services, or pages. These resources can expose potential vulnerabilities in the host.

Now, there can be several possible ways, explored or even unexplored, to exploit these vulnerabilities.

3. Popular Enumeration Attacks for Web Applications

In a web application, one of the most often employed enumeration attacks is username enumeration attack. This basically employs any explicit or implicit feature of the web application to gather valid usernames. An attacker may use popular choices of username to attack the web application.

Now, what kind of feature in a web application may reveal whether a username is valid or not? Honestly, it can be as varied as possible. It may be a feature as designed, for example, a registration page letting a user know that the username is already taken.

Or, this may be as implicit as the fact that a login attempt with a valid username takes a much different amount of time compared to one with an invalid username.

4. Setup to Emulate Username Enumeration Attack

We'll use a simple user web application using Spring Boot and Spring Security to demonstrate these attack vectors. This web application will have a minimal set of features to support the demonstration. A detailed discussion on how to set up such an application is covered in a previous tutorial.

Common features on a web application often reveal information that can be used to launch enumeration attacks. Let's go through them.

4.1. User Registration

User registration needs a unique username, and email address is often chosen for simplicity. Now, if we pick an email which already exists, the application ought to tell us so:

Coupled with the fact that a list of emails is not hard to come by, this can lead to a username enumeration attack to fish out valid usernames in the application.

4.2. User Login

Similarly, when we try to login into an application, it requires us to provide username and password. Now, if a username we provide does not exist, the application may return this information to us:

This, as before, is simple enough to harness for a username enumeration attack.

4.3. Reset Password

Reset password is often implemented to send a password reset link to a user's email. Now, again this will require that we provide a username or email:

If this username or email does not exist in the application, the application will inform as such, leading to a similar vulnerability as we saw earlier.

5. Preventing Username Enumeration Attacks

There can be several ways to prevent a username enumeration attack. Many of them we can achieve through simple tweaks in the features like user messages on a web application.

Moreover, Spring Security over time has matured enough to support handling many of these attack vectors. There are features out-of-the-box and extension points to create custom safeguards. We'll explore some of these techniques.

Let's go through popular options available to prevent such attacks. Please note that not all of these solutions are suitable or even possible in every part of the web application. We'll discuss this in more detail as we go along.

5.1. Tweaking Messages

First, we must rule out all possibilities of inadvertently giving out more information than what is required. This would be difficult in registration but fairly simple in login and reset password pages.

For instance, we can easily make the message for login page abstract:

We can do similar tweaks to the message for the password reset page.

5.2. Including CAPTCHA

While tweaking the messages works well on some pages, there are pages like registration where it's tricky to do so. In such cases, we can use another tool called CAPTCHA.

Now, at this point, it's worthwhile to note that any enumeration attack most likely is robotic due to a vast number of possibilities to go through. Hence, detecting a human or robotic presence can help us prevent an attack. CAPTCHA serves as a popular way to achieve this.

There are several possible ways to implement or integrate CAPTCHA services in a web application. One of these services is reCAPTCHA by Google, which can be easily integrated on the registration page.

5.3. Rate Limiting

While CAPTCHA serves the purpose well, it does add latency and, more importantly, inconveniences to legitimate users. This is more relevant for frequently used pages like login.

One technique that can help prevent robotic attacks on frequently used pages like login is rate limiting. Rate limiting refers to preventing successive attempts for a resource after a certain threshold.

For example, we can block requests from a particular IP for a day after three failed attempts at login:

Spring Security makes this particularly convenient.

We begin by defining listeners for AuthenticationFailureBadCredentialsEvent and AuthenticationSuccessEvent. These listeners call a service that records the number of failed attempts from a particular IP. Once a set threshold is breached, subsequent requests are blocked in the UserDetailsService.

A detailed discussion on this approach is available in another tutorial.

5.4. Geo Limiting

Additionally, we can capture the location by country of a user during registration. We can use this to verify a login attempt originating from a different location. If we detect an unusual location, suitable action can be taken:

  • Enable Captcha selectively
  • Enforce step-up authentication (as part of multi-factor authentication)
  • Ask the user to verify the location securely
  • Block the user temporarily on successive requests

Again, Spring Security, through its extension points, makes it possible to plug in a custom location verification service in the AuthenticationProvider. A particular flavor of this has been described in detail in a previous tutorial.

5.5. Multi-Factor Authentication

Lastly, we should note that password-based authentication is often the first and, in most cases, the only step required. But it's not uncommon for applications to adopt multi-factor authentication mechanisms for better security. This is especially true for sensitive applications like online banking.

There are many possible factors when it comes to multi-factor authentication:

  • Knowledge Factor: This refers to what a user knows, like PIN
  • Possession Factor: This refers to what a user possesses, like a token or smartphone
  • Inherence Factor: This refers to what a user inherently has, like fingerprints

Spring Security is quite a convenience here as well, as it allows us to plug in a custom AuthenticationProvider. The Google Authenticator app is a popular choice to implement additional possession factor. This allows users to generate an ephemeral token on the app in their smartphone and use it for authentication in any application. Obviously, this requires setting up the user beforehand in the application, either during registration or later on.

Integrating Google Authenticator in a Spring security application has been well covered in a previous tutorial.

More importantly, a solution like multi-factor authentication is only suitable if the application needs it. Hence, we should not use it primarily to prevent enumeration attacks.

5.6. Processing Time Delays

While processing a request like a login, checking if the username exists is often the very first thing we do. If a username does not exist, the request immediately returns with an error. On the contrary, a request with a valid username would involve many further steps, like password match and role verification. Naturally, the time to respond to both these cases may vary.

Now, even though we abstract the error message to hide the fact of whether a username is valid or not, a significant difference in processing time may tip off an attacker.

A possible solution for this issue can be to add a forced delay to rule out the difference in processing times. However, as this is not a problem that can occur with certainty, we should only employ this solution if necessary.

6. Wrapping Up

While we covered a lot of tricks to use when it comes to username enumeration attacks, it's natural to ask, when to use what? Obviously, there's no one answer for this, as it's largely based on the type of application and its requirements.

A few things, like messages to the user, must leak as little information as possible. Additionally, it's wise to restrict successive failed attempts towards a resource like login.

However, we should use any additional measures only if requirements deem them necessary. We should also weigh them rationally against the deterrence to usability.

Moreover, it's important to realize that we can apply any combination of these measures for different resources to selectively secure them.

7. Conclusion

In this tutorial, we discussed enumeration attacks – username enumeration attacks, in particular. We saw that through the lens of a simple Spring Boot application with Spring Security.

We went over several ways to progressively address the concerns of username enumeration attacks.

Lastly, we discussed the appropriateness of these measures in application security.

Link: https://www.baeldung.com/spring-security-enumeration-attacks

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