ssl.client.props client configuration file


Use the ssl.client.props file to configure SSL for clients. In previous releases of WAS, SSL properties were specified in the sas.client.props or soap.client.props files or as system properties. By consolidating the configurations, WAS enables you to manage security in a manner that is comparable to server-side configuration management. Configure the ssl.client.props file with multiple SSL configurations.

 

Set up the SSL configuration for clients

Client runtimes are dependent on the WAS ssl.client.props configurations.

Use the setupCmdLine.bat script on the command line to specify the com.ibm.SSL.ConfigURL system property.

-Dcom.ibm.SSL.ConfigURL=file: $WP_PROFILE
\properties\ssl.client.props

The com.ibm.SSL.ConfigURL property references a file URL that points to the ssl.client.props file. We can reference the CLIENTSSL variable on the command line of any script that uses the setupCmdLine.bat file. When you specify the com.ibm.SSL.ConfigURL system property, the SSL configuration is available to all protocols that use SSL. SSL configurations, which are referenced in the ssl.client.props file, also have aliases that we can reference. In the following sample code from sas.client.props, all of the SSL properties are replaced with a property that points to an SSL configuration in the ssl.client.props file:

com.ibm.ssl.alias=DefaultSSLSettings

The following sample code shows a property in the soap.client.props file that is similar to the com.ibm.SSL.ConfigURL property. This property references a different SSL configuration on the client side:

com.ibm.ssl.alias=DefaultSSLSettings

In the ssl.client.props file, we can change the administrative SSL configuration to avoid modifying the soap.client.props file.

Tip: Support for SSL properties is still specified in the sas.client.props and soap.client.props files. However, consider moving the SSL configurations to the ssl.client.props file, because this file is the new configuration model for client SSL. When we are configuring a client which does not call setupCmdLine.sh to connect to an appserver using security, verify the following system property is defined on the client configuration:

-Djava.security.properties=profile_root/properties/java.security 

 

Properties of the ssl.client.props file

This section describes the default ssl.client.props file properties in detail, by sections within the file. Be aware that if we specify javax.net.ssl system properties, these will override the settings in ssl.client.props file.

Global properties

Global SSL properties are process-specific properties that include FIPS (FIPS) enablement, the default SSL alias, the user.root property for specifying the root location of the key and truststore paths, and so on.


Table 1. Properties of the ssl.client.props file

Property Default Description
com.ibm.ssl.defaultAlias DefaultSSLSettings Default alias used whenever an alias is not specified by the protocol that calls the JSSEHelper API to retrieve an SSL configuration. Is the final arbiter on the client side for determining which SSL configuration to use.
com.ibm.ssl.validationEnabled false When set to true, this property validates each SSL configuration as it is loaded. Use this property for debug purposes only, to avoid unnecessary performance overhead during production.
com.ibm.ssl.performURLHostNameVerification false When set to true, this property enforces URL host name verification. When HTTP URL connections are made to target servers, the common name (CN) from the server certificate must match the target host name. Without a match, the host name verifier rejects the connection. The default value of false omits this check. As a global property, it sets the default host name verifier. Any javax.net.ssl.HttpsURLConnection object can choose to enable host name verification for that specific instance by calling the setHostnameVerifier method with its own HostnameVerifier instance.
com.ibm.security.useFIPS false When set to true, FIPS-compliant algorithms are used for SSL and other JCE-specific applications. Is typically not enabled unless the property is required by the operating environment.
user.root C:\WebSphere\AppServer \profiles\default This property can be used by key and truststore location properties as a single property for specifying the root path to the key and truststores. Typically, this property is the profile root. However, we can modify this property to any root directory on the local machine that has the proper read and potentially write authority to that directory.
profile_root of the profile C\WebSphere\AppServer \profiles\default Key and truststore location properties can use this property as a single property for specifying the root path to the key and truststores. We can modify this property to any root directory on the local machine that has the proper read (and potentially write) authority to that directory.

Certificate creation properties Use certificate creation properties to specify the default self-signed certificate values for the major attributes of a certificate. We can define the distinguished name (DN), expiration date, key size, and alias that are stored in the keystore.


Table 2. Certificate creation properties

Property Default Description
com.ibm.ssl.defaultCertReqAlias default_alias This property specifies the default alias to use to reference the self-signed certificate that is created in the keystore. If the alias already exists with that name, the default alias is appended with _#, where the number sign (#) is an integer that starts with 1 and increments until it finds a unique alias.
com.ibm.ssl.defaultCertReqSubjectDN cn=${hostname}, o=IBM,c=US This property uses the property distinguished name (DN) set for the certificate when it is created. The ${hostname} variable is expanded to the host name on which it resides. Use correctly formed DNs as specified by the X.509 certificate.
com.ibm.ssl.defaultCertReqDays 365 This property specifies the validity period for the certificate and can be as small as 1 day and as large as the maximum number of days that a certificate can be set, which is approximately 15 years.
com.ibm.ssl.defaultCertReqKeySize 1024 Is the default key size. The valid values depend upon the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) security policy files that are installed. By default, WAS JVMs ship with the export policy file that limits the key size to 1024. To get a large key size such as 2048, we can download the restricted policy files from the Web site.

Certificate revocation checking To enable certificate revocation checking, we can set a combination of Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) properties. These properties are not used unless you set the com.ibm.ssl.trustManager property to IbmPKIX. In addition, to successfully process revocation checking on the client, turn off the signer exchange prompt. To turn off the signer exchange prompt, change the com.ibm.ssl.enableSignerExchangePrompt property to false.

See the related link to the "Enabling certificate revocation checking with the default IbmPKIX trust manager" topic.

SSL configuration properties Use the SSL configuration properties section to set multiple SSL configurations. For a new SSL configuration specification, set the com.ibm.ssl.alias property because the parser starts a new SSL configuration with this alias name. The SSL configuration is referenced by using the alias property from another file, such as sas.client.props or soap.client.props, through the default alias property. The properties specified in the following table enable you to create a javax.net.ssl.SSLContext, among other SSL objects.


Table 3. SSL configuration properties

Property Default Description
com.ibm.ssl.alias DefaultSSLSettings Is the name of this SSL configuration and must be the first property for an SSL configuration because it references the SSL configuration. If we change the name of this property after it is referenced elsewhere in the configuration, the runtime defaults to the com.ibm.ssl.defaultAlias property whenever the reference is not found. The error trust file is null or key file is null might display when you start an application using an SSL reference that is no longer valid.
com.ibm.ssl.protocol SSL_TLS Is the SSL handshake protocol used for this SSL configuration. This property attempts TLS first, but accepts any remote handshake protocol, including SSLv3 and TLS. Valid values for this property include SSLv2 (client side only), SSLv3, SSL, TLS, TLSv1, and SSL_TLS.
com.ibm.ssl.securityLevel HIGH This property specifies the cipher group used for the SSL handshake. The typical selection is HIGH, which specifies 128-bit or higher ciphers. The MEDIUM selection provides 40-bit ciphers. The LOW selection provides ciphers that do not perform encryption, but do perform signing for data integrity. If we specify our own cipher list selection, uncomment the property com.ibm.ssl.enabledCipherSuites.

The use of javax.net.ssl system properties causes this value to always be HIGH.

com.ibm.ssl.trustManager IbmX509 This property specifies the default trust manager that use to validate the certificate sent by the target server. This trust manager does not perform certificate revocation list (CRL) checking. We can choose to change this value to IbmPKIX for CRL checking using CRL distribution lists in the certificate, which is a standard way to perform CRL checking. When you want to perform custom CRL checking, implement a custom trust manager and specify the trust manager in the com.ibm.ssl.customTrustManagers property. The IbmPKIX option might affect performance because this option requires IBMCertPath for trust validation. Use IbmX509 unless CRL checking is necessary. If using the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) properties, set this property value to IbmPKIX.
com.ibm.ssl.keyManager IbmX509 This property specifies the default key manager to use for choosing the client alias from the specified keystore. This key manager uses the com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreClientAlias property to specify the keystore alias. If this property is not specified, the choice is delegated to JSSE. JSSE typically chooses the first alias that it finds.
com.ibm.ssl.contextProvider IBMJSSE2 Is used to choose the JSSE provider for the SSL context creation. IBM recommends that you default to IBMJSSE2 when you use a JVM. The client plug-in can use the SunJSSE provider when using a Sun JVM.
com.ibm.ssl.enableSignerExchangePrompt true This property determines whether to display the signer exchange prompt when a signer is not present in the client truststore. The prompt displays information about the remote certificate so that WAS can decide whether or not to trust the signer. It is very important to validate the certificate signature. This signature is the only reliable information that can guarantee that the certificate has not been modified from the original server certificate. For automated scenarios, disable this property to avoid SSL handshake exceptions. Run the retrieveSigners script, which sets up the SSL signer exchange, to download the signers from the server prior to running the client. If using the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) properties, set this property value to false.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreClientAlias default Is used to reference an alias from the specified keystore when the target does not request client authentication. When WAS creates a self-signed certificate for the SSL configuration, this property determines the alias and overrides the global com.ibm.ssl.defaultCertReqAlias property.
com.ibm.ssl.customTrustManagers Commented out by default This property enables you to specify one or more custom trust managers, which are separated by commas. These trust managers can be in the form of algorithm|provider or classname. For example, IbmX509|IBMJSSE2 is in the algorithm|provider format, and the com.acme.myCustomTrustManager interface is in the classname format. The class must implement the javax.net.ssl.X509TrustManager interface. Optionally, the class can implement the com.ibm.wsspi.ssl.TrustManagerExtendedInfo interface. These trust managers run in addition to the default trust manager specified by the com.ibm.ssl.trustManager interface. These trust managers do not replace the default trust manager.
com.ibm.ssl.customKeyManager Commented out by default This property enables you to have one, and only one, custom key manager. The key manager replaces the default key manager specified in the com.ibm.ssl.keyManager property. The form of the key manager is algorithm|provider or classname. See the format examples for the com.ibm.ssl.customTrustManagers property. The class must implement the javax.net.ssl.X509KeyManager interface. Optionally, the class can implement the com.ibm.wsspi.ssl.KeyManagerExtendedInfo interface. This key manager is responsible for alias selection.
com.ibm.ssl.dynamicSelectionInfo Commented out by default This property enables dynamic association with the SSL configuration. The syntax for a dynamic association is outbound_protocol, target_host, or target_port. For multiple specifications, use the vertical bar ( | ) as the delimiter. We can replace any of these values with an asterisk (*) to indicate a wildcard value. Valid outbound_protocol values include: IIOP, HTTP, LDAP, SIP, BUS_CLIENT, BUS_TO_WEBSPHERE_MQ, BUS_TO_BUS, and ADMIN_SOAP. When you want the dynamic selection criteria to choose the SSL configuration, uncomment the default property, and add the connection information. For example, add the following on one line

com.ibm.ssl.dynamicSelectionInfo=HTTP, .ibm.com,443|HTTP,.ibm.com,9443
com.ibm.ssl.enabledCipherSuites Commented out by default This property enables you to specify a custom cipher suite list and override the group selection in the com.ibm.ssl.securityLevel property. The valid list of ciphers varies according to the provider and JVM policy files that are applied. For cipher suites, use a space as the delimiter.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreName ClientDefaultKeyStore This property references a keystore configuration name. If we have not already defined the keystore, the rest of the keystore properties must follow this property. After you define the keystore, we can specify this property to reference the previously specified keystore configuration. New keystore configurations in the ssl.client.props file have a unique name.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreName ClientDefaultTrustStore This property references a truststore configuration name. If we have not already defined the truststore, the rest of the truststore properties must follow this property. After you define the truststore, we can specify this property to reference the previously specified truststore configuration. New truststore configurations in the ssl.client.props file should have a unique name.

Keystore configurations SSL configurations reference keystore configurations whose purpose is to identify the location of certificates. Certificates represent the identity of clients that use the SSL configuration. We can specify keystore configurations with other SSL configuration properties. However, IBM recommends that specify the keystore configurations in this section of the ssl.client.props file after the com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreName property identifies the start of a new keystore configuration. After you fully define the keystore configuration, the com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreName property can reference the keystore configuration at any other point in the file.


Table 4. Keystore configuration properties

Property Default Description
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreName ClientDefaultKeyStore Name of the keystore as it is referenced by the runtime. Other SSL configurations can reference this name further down in the ssl.client.props file to avoid duplication.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStore ${user.root}/etc/key.p12 Location of the keystore in the required format of the com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreType property. Typically, this property references a keystore file name. However, for cryptographic token types, this property references a Dynamic Link Library (DLL) file.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStorePassword WebAS Is the default password, which is the cell name for the profile when it is created. The password is typically encoded using an {xor} algorithm. Use iKeyman to change the password in the keystore, then change this reference. If we do not know the password and if the certificate is created for you, change the password in this property, then delete the keystore from the location where it resides. Restart the client to recreate the keystore by using the new password, but only if the keystore name ends with DefaultKeyStore and if the fileBased property is true. Delete both the keystore and truststore at the same time so that a proper signer exchange can occur when both are recreated together.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreType PKCS12 Is the keystore type. Use the default, PKCS12, because of its interoperability with other applications. We can specify this property as any valid keystore type that is supported by the JVM on the provider list.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreProvider IBMJCE The IBM Java Cryptography Extension property is the keystore provider for the keystore type. The provider is typically IBMJCE or IBMPKCS11Impl for cryptographic devices.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreFileBased true Indicates to the runtime that the keystore is file-based, meaning it is located on the file system.
com.ibm.ssl.keyStoreReadOnly false Indicates to the run time for WAS whether the key store can be modified during the run time.

Truststore Configurations

SSL configurations reference truststore configurations, whose purpose is to contain the signer certificates for servers that are trusted by this client. You can specify these properties with other SSL configuration properties. However, IBM recommends specified truststore configurations in this section of the ssl.client.props file after the com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreName property has identified the start of a new truststore configuration. After you fully define the truststore configuration, the com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreName property can reference the configuration at any other point in the file.

A truststore is a keystore that JSSE uses for trust evaluation. A truststore contains the signers that WAS requires before it can trust the remote connection during the handshake. If we configure the com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreName=ClientDefaultKeyStore property, we can reference the keystore as the truststore. Further configuration is not required for the truststore because all of the signers that are generated through signer exchanges are imported into the keystore where they are called by the runtime.


Table 5. Truststore Configuration properties

Property Default Description
com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreName ClientDefaultTrustStore Name of the truststore as it is referenced by the runtime. Other SSL configurations can reference further down in the ssl.client.props file to avoid duplication.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStore ${user.root}/etc/trust.p12 Location of the truststore in the format that is required by the truststore type that is referenced by the com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreType property. Typically, this property references a truststore file name. However, for cryptographic token types, this property references a DLL file.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStorePassword WebAS This property specifies the default password, which is the cell name for the profile when it is created. The password is typically encoded using an {xor} algorithm. We can use iKeyman to change the password in the keystore, then change the reference in this property. If we do not know the password and if the certificate was created for you, change the password in this property, then delete the truststore from the location where it resides. Restart the client to recreate the truststore by using the new password, but only if the keystore name ends with DefaultTrustStore and the fileBased property is true. IBM recommends that you delete the keystore and the truststore at the same time so that a proper signer exchange can occur when both are recreated together.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreType PKCS12 Is the truststore type. Use the default PKCS12 type because of its interoperability with other applications. We can specify this property as any valid truststore type that is supported by the JVM functionality on the provider list.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreProvider IBMJCE Is the truststore provider for the truststore type. The provider is typically IBMJCE or IBMPKCS11Impl for cryptographic devices.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreFileBased true Indicates to the runtime that the truststore is file-based, meaning it is located on the file system.
com.ibm.ssl.trustStoreReadOnly false Indicates to the run time for WAS whether the truststore can be modified during the run time.





 

Related concepts


Keystore configurations for SSL

 

Related tasks


Associating an SSL configuration dynamically with an outbound protocol and remote secure endpoint
Create an SSL configuration

 

Related


Example: Enabling certificate revocation checking with the default IbmPKIX trust manager