Appendix B. The Security Namespace

This appendix provides a reference to the elements available in the security namespace and information on the underlying beans they create (a knowledge of the individual classes and how they work together is assumed - you can find more information in the project Javadoc and elsewhere in this document). If you haven't used the namespace before, please read the introductory chapter on namespace configuration, as this is intended as a supplement to the information there. Using a good quality XML editor while editing a configuration based on the schema is recommended as this will provide contextual information on which elements and attributes are available as well as comments explaining their purpose. The namespace is written in RELAX NG Compact format and later converted into an XSD schema. If you are familiar with this format, you may wish to examine the schema file directly.

B.1 Web Application Security

B.1.1 <debug>

Enables Spring Security debugging infrastructure. This will provide human-readable (multi-line) debugging information to monitor requests coming into the security filters. This may include sensitive information, such as request parameters or headers, and should only be used in a development environment.

B.1.2 <http>

If you use an <http> element within your application, a FilterChainProxy bean named "springSecurityFilterChain" is created and the configuration within the element is used to build a filter chain within FilterChainProxy. As of Spring Security 3.1, additional http elements can be used to add extra filter chains [25]. Some core filters are always created in a filter chain and others will be added to the stack depending on the attributes and child elements which are present. The positions of the standard filters are fixed (see the filter order table in the namespace introduction), removing a common source of errors with previous versions of the framework when users had to configure the filter chain explicitly in the FilterChainProxy bean. You can, of course, still do this if you need full control of the configuration.

All filters which require a reference to the AuthenticationManager will be automatically injected with the internal instance created by the namespace configuration (see the introductory chapter for more on the AuthenticationManager).

Each <http> namespace block always creates an SecurityContextPersistenceFilter, an ExceptionTranslationFilter and a FilterSecurityInterceptor. These are fixed and cannot be replaced with alternatives.

<http> Attributes

The attributes on the <http> element control some of the properties on the core filters.

access-decision-manager-ref

Optional attribute specifying the ID of the AccessDecisionManager implementation which should be used for authorizing HTTP requests. By default an AffirmativeBased implementation is used for with a RoleVoter and an AuthenticatedVoter.

access-denied-page

Deprecated in favour of the access-denied-handler child element.

authentication-manager-ref

A reference to the AuthenticationManager used for the FilterChain created by this http element.

auto-config

Automatically registers a login form, BASIC authentication, logout services. If set to "true", all of these capabilities are added (although you can still customize the configuration of each by providing the respective element). If unspecified, defaults to "false". Use of this attribute is not recommended. Use explicit configuration elements instead to avoid confusion.

create-session

Controls the eagerness with which an HTTP session is created by Spring Security classes. Options include:

  • always - Spring Security will proactively create a session if one does not exist.
  • ifRequired - Spring Security will only create a session only if one is required (default value).
  • never - Spring Security will never create a session, but will make use of one if the application does.
  • stateless - Spring Security will not create a session and ignore the session for obtaining a Spring Authentication.

disable-url-rewriting

Prevents session IDs from being appended to URLs in the application. Clients must use cookies if this attribute is set to true. The default is false.

entry-point-ref

Normally the AuthenticationEntryPoint used will be set depending on which authentication mechanisms have been configured. This attribute allows this behaviour to be overridden by defining a customized AuthenticationEntryPoint bean which will start the authentication process.

jaas-api-provision

If available, runs the request as the Subject acquired from the JaasAuthenticationToken which is implemented by adding a JaasApiIntegrationFilter bean to the stack. Defaults to false.

name

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

once-per-request

Corresponds to the observeOncePerRequest property of FilterSecurityInterceptor. Defaults to true.

path-type

Deprecated in favor of request-matcher.

pattern

Defining a pattern for the http element controls the requests which will be filtered through the list of filters which it defines. The interpretation is dependent on the configured request-matcher. If no pattern is defined, all requests will be matched, so the most specific patterns should be declared first.

realm

Sets the realm name used for basic authentication (if enabled). Corresponds to the realmName property on BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint.

request-matcher

Defines the RequestMatcher strategy used in the FilterChainProxy and the beans created by the intercept-url to match incoming requests. Options are currently ant, regex and ciRegex, for ant, regular-expression and case-insensitive regular-expression repsectively. A separate instance is created for each intercept-url element using its pattern and method attributes. Ant paths are matched using an AntPathRequestMatcher and regular expressions are matched using a RegexRequestMatcher. See the Javadoc for these classes for more details on exactly how the matching is preformed. Ant paths are the default strategy.

request-matcher-ref

A referenece to a bean that implements RequestMatcher that will determine if this FilterChain should be used. This is a more powerful alternative to pattern.

security

A request pattern can be mapped to an empty filter chain, by setting this attribute to none. No security will be applied and none of Spring Security's features will be available.

security-context-repository-ref

Allows injection of a custom SecurityContextRepository into the SecurityContextPersistenceFilter.

servlet-api-provision

Provides versions of HttpServletRequest security methods such as isUserInRole() and getPrincipal() which are implemented by adding a SecurityContextHolderAwareRequestFilter bean to the stack. Defaults to true.

use-expressions

Enables EL-expressions in the access attribute, as described in the chapter on expression-based access-control.

B.1.3 <access-denied-handler>

This element allows you to set the errorPage property for the default AccessDeniedHandler used by the ExceptionTranslationFilter, using the error-page attribute, or to supply your own implementation using the ref attribute. This is discussed in more detail in the section on the ExceptionTranslationFilter.

Parent Elements of <access-denied-handler>

<access-denied-handler> Attributes

error-page

The access denied page that an authenticated user will be redirected to if they request a page which they don't have the authority to access.

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean of type AccessDeniedHandler .

B.1.4 <headers>

This element allows for configuring additional (security) headers to be send with the response. It enables easy configuration for several headers and also allows for setting custom headers through the header element. Additional information, can be found in the Security Headers section of the reference.

  • Cache-Control, Pragma, and Expires - Can be set using the cache-control element. This ensures that the browser does not cache your secured pages.
  • Strict-Transport-Security - Can be set using the hsts element. This ensures that the browser automatically requests HTTPS for future requests.
  • X-Frame-Options - Can be set using the frame-options element. The X-Frame-Options header can be used to prevent clickjacking attacks.
  • X-XSS-Protection - Can be set using the xss-protection element. The X-XSS-Protection header can be used by browser to do basic control.
  • X-Content-Type-Options - Can be set using the content-type-options element. The X-Content-Type-Options header prevents Internet Explorer from MIME-sniffing a response away from the declared content-type. This also applies to Google Chrome, when downloading extensions.

Parent Elements of <headers>

B.1.5 <cache-control>

Adds Cache-Control, Pragma, and Expires headers to ensure that the browser does not cache your secured pages.

Parent Elements of <cache-control>

B.1.6 <hsts>

When enabled adds the Strict-Transport-Security header to the response for any secure request. This allows the server to instruct browsers to automatically use HTTPS for future requests.

<hsts> Attributes

include-sub-domains

Specifies if subdomains should be included. Default true.

max-age-seconds

Specifies the maximum ammount of time the host should be considered a Known HSTS Host. Default one year.

request-matcher-ref

The RequestMatcher instance to be used to determine if the header should be set. Default is if HttpServletRequest.isSecure() is true.

Parent Elements of <hsts>

B.1.7 <frame-options>

When enabled adds the X-Frame-Options header to the response, this allows newer browsers to do some security checks and prevent clickjacking attacks.

<frame-options> Attributes

policy

  • DENY The page cannot be displayed in a frame, regardless of the site attempting to do so. This is the default when frame-options-policy is specified.
  • SAMEORIGIN The page can only be displayed in a frame on the same origin as the page itself
  • ALLOW-FROM origin The page can only be displayed in a frame on the specified origin.

In other words, if you specify DENY, not only will attempts to load the page in a frame fail when loaded from other sites, attempts to do so will fail when loaded from the same site. On the other hand, if you specify SAMEORIGIN, you can still use the page in a frame as long as the site including it in a frame it is the same as the one serving the page.

strategy

Select the AllowFromStrategy to use when using the ALLOW-FROM policy.

  • static Use a single static ALLOW-FROM value. The value can be set through the value attribute.
  • regexp Use a regelur expression to validate incoming requests and if they are allowed. The regular expression can be set through the value attribute. The request parameter used to retrieve the value to validate can be specified using the from-parameter.
  • whitelistA comma-seperated list containing the allowed domains. The comma-seperated list can be set through the value attribute. The request parameter used to retrieve the value to validate can be specified using the from-parameter.

ref

Instead of using one of the predefined strategies it is also possible to use a custom AllowFromStrategy. The reference to this bean can be specified through this ref attribute.

value

The value to use when ALLOW-FROM is used a strategy.

from-parameter

Specify the name of the request parameter to use when using regexp or whitelist for the ALLOW-FROM strategy.

Parent Elements of <frame-options>

B.1.8 <xss-protection>

Adds the X-XSS-Protection header to the response to assist in protecting against reflected / “Type-1” Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks. This is in no-way a full protection to XSS attacks!

xss-protection-enabled

Enable or Disable reflected / “Type-1” Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) protection.

xss-protection-block

When true and xss-protection-enabled is true, adds mode=block to the header. This indicates to the browser that the page should not be loaded at all. When false and xss-protection-enabled is true, the page will still be rendered when an reflected attack is detected but the response will be modified to protect against the attack. Note that there are sometimes ways of bypassing this mode which can often times make blocking the page more desirable.

Parent Elements of <xss-protection>

B.1.9 <content-type-options>

Add the X-Content-Type-Options header with the value of nosniff to the response. This disables MIME-sniffing for IE8+ and Chrome extensions.

Parent Elements of <content-type-options>

B.1.10 <header>

Add additional headers to the response, both the name and value need to be specified.

<header-attributes> Attributes

header-name

The name of the header.

header-value

The value of the header to add.

header-ref

Reference to a custom implementation of the HeaderWriter interface.

Parent Elements of <header>

B.1.11 <anonymous>

Adds an AnonymousAuthenticationFilter to the stack and an AnonymousAuthenticationProvider. Required if you are using the IS_AUTHENTICATED_ANONYMOUSLY attribute.

Parent Elements of <anonymous>

<anonymous> Attributes

enabled

With the default namespace setup, the anonymous "authentication" facility is automatically enabled. You can disable it using this property.

granted-authority

The granted authority that should be assigned to the anonymous request. Commonly this is used to assign the anonymous request particular roles, which can subsequently be used in authorization decisions. If unset, defaults to ROLE_ANONYMOUS.

key

The key shared between the provider and filter. This generally does not need to be set. If unset, it will default to a secure randomly generated value. This means setting this value can improve startup time when using the anonymous functionality since secure random values can take a while to be generated.

username

The username that should be assigned to the anonymous request. This allows the principal to be identified, which may be important for logging and auditing. if unset, defaults to anonymousUser.

B.1.12 <csrf>

This element will add Cross Site Request Forger (CSRF) protection to the application. It also updates the default RequestCache to only replay "GET" requests upon successful authentication. Additional information can be found in the Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) section of the reference.

Parent Elements of <csrf>

<csrf> Attributes

token-repository-ref

The CsrfTokenRepository to use. The default is HttpSessionCsrfTokenRepository.

request-matcher-ref

The RequestMatcher instance to be used to determine if CSRF should be applied. Default is any HTTP method except "GET", "TRACE", "HEAD", "OPTIONS".

B.1.13 <custom-filter>

This element is used to add a filter to the filter chain. It doesn't create any additional beans but is used to select a bean of type javax.servlet.Filter which is already defined in the application context and add that at a particular position in the filter chain maintained by Spring Security. Full details can be found in the namespace chapter.

Parent Elements of <custom-filter>

<custom-filter> Attributes

after

The filter immediately after which the custom-filter should be placed in the chain. This feature will only be needed by advanced users who wish to mix their own filters into the security filter chain and have some knowledge of the standard Spring Security filters. The filter names map to specific Spring Security implementation filters.

before

The filter immediately before which the custom-filter should be placed in the chain

position

The explicit position at which the custom-filter should be placed in the chain. Use if you are replacing a standard filter.

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that implements Filter.

B.1.14 <expression-handler>

Defines the SecurityExpressionHandler instance which will be used if expression-based access-control is enabled. A default implementation (with no ACL support) will be used if not supplied.

Parent Elements of <expression-handler>

<expression-handler> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that implements SecurityExpressionHandler.

B.1.15 <form-login>

Used to add an UsernamePasswordAuthenticationFilter to the filter stack and an LoginUrlAuthenticationEntryPoint to the application context to provide authentication on demand. This will always take precedence over other namespace-created entry points. If no attributes are supplied, a login page will be generated automatically at the URL "/spring_security_login" [26] The behaviour can be customized using the <form-login> Attributes.

Parent Elements of <form-login>

<form-login> Attributes

always-use-default-target

If set to true, the user will always start at the value given by default-target-url, regardless of how they arrived at the login page. Maps to the alwaysUseDefaultTargetUrl property of UsernamePasswordAuthenticationFilter. Default value is false.

authentication-details-source-ref

Reference to an AuthenticationDetailsSource which will be used by the authentication filter

authentication-failure-handler-ref

Can be used as an alternative to authentication-failure-url, giving you full control over the navigation flow after an authentication failure. The value should be he name of an AuthenticationFailureHandler bean in the application context.

authentication-failure-url

Maps to the authenticationFailureUrl property of UsernamePasswordAuthenticationFilter. Defines the URL the browser will be redirected to on login failure. Defaults to /spring_security_login?login_error, which will be automatically handled by the automatic login page generator, re-rendering the login page with an error message.

authentication-success-handler-ref

This can be used as an alternative to default-target-url and always-use-default-target, giving you full control over the navigation flow after a successful authentication. The value should be the name of an AuthenticationSuccessHandler bean in the application context. By default, an implementation of SavedRequestAwareAuthenticationSuccessHandler is used and injected with the default-target-url .

default-target-url

Maps to the defaultTargetUrl property of UsernamePasswordAuthenticationFilter. If not set, the default value is "/" (the application root). A user will be taken to this URL after logging in, provided they were not asked to login while attempting to access a secured resource, when they will be taken to the originally requested URL.

login-page

The URL that should be used to render the login page. Maps to the loginFormUrl property of the LoginUrlAuthenticationEntryPoint. Defaults to "/spring_security_login".

login-processing-url

Maps to the filterProcessesUrl property of UsernamePasswordAuthenticationFilter. The default value is "/j_spring_security_check".

password-parameter

The name of the request parameter which contains the password. Defaults to "j_password".

username-parameter

The name of the request parameter which contains the username. Defaults to "j_username".

B.1.16 <http-basic>

Adds a BasicAuthenticationFilter and BasicAuthenticationEntryPoint to the configuration. The latter will only be used as the configuration entry point if form-based login is not enabled.

Parent Elements of <http-basic>

<http-basic> Attributes

authentication-details-source-ref

Reference to an AuthenticationDetailsSource which will be used by the authentication filter

entry-point-ref

Sets the AuthenticationEntryPoint which is used by the BasicAuthenticationFilter.

B.1.17 <http-firewall> Element

This is a top-level element which can be used to inject a custom implementation of HttpFirewall into the FilterChainProxy created by the namespace. The default implementation should be suitable for most applications.

<http-firewall> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that implements HttpFirewall.

B.1.18 <intercept-url>

This element is used to define the set of URL patterns that the application is interested in and to configure how they should be handled. It is used to construct the FilterInvocationSecurityMetadataSource used by the FilterSecurityInterceptor. It is also responsible for configuring a ChannelProcessingFilter if particular URLs need to be accessed by HTTPS, for example. When matching the specified patterns against an incoming request, the matching is done in the order in which the elements are declared. So the most specific matches patterns should come first and the most general should come last.

<intercept-url> Attributes

access

Lists the access attributes which will be stored in the FilterInvocationSecurityMetadataSource for the defined URL pattern/method combination. This should be a comma-separated list of the security configuration attributes (such as role names).

filters

Can only take the value none. This will cause any matching request to bypass the Spring Security filter chain entirely. None of the rest of the <http> configuration will have any effect on the request and there will be no security context available for its duration. Access to secured methods during the request will fail.

method

The HTTP Method which will be used in combination with the pattern to match an incoming request. If omitted, any method will match. If an identical pattern is specified with and without a method, the method-specific match will take precedence.

pattern

The pattern which defines the URL path. The content will depend on the request-matcher attribute from the containing http element, so will default to ant path syntax.

requires-channel

Can be http or https depending on whether a particular URL pattern should be accessed over HTTP or HTTPS respectively. Alternatively the value any can be used when there is no preference. If this attribute is present on any <intercept-url> element, then a ChannelProcessingFilter will be added to the filter stack and its additional dependencies added to the application context.

If a <port-mappings> configuration is added, this will be used to by the SecureChannelProcessor and InsecureChannelProcessor beans to determine the ports used for redirecting to HTTP/HTTPS.

B.1.19 <jee>

Adds a J2eePreAuthenticatedProcessingFilter to the filter chain to provide integration with container authentication.

Parent Elements of <jee>

<jee> Attributes

mappable-roles

A comma-separate list of roles to look for in the incoming HttpServletRequest.

user-service-ref

A reference to a user-service (or UserDetailsService bean) Id

B.1.20 <logout>

Adds a LogoutFilter to the filter stack. This is configured with a SecurityContextLogoutHandler.

Parent Elements of <logout>

<logout> Attributes

The delete-cookies attribute

A comma-separated list of the names of cookies which should be deleted when the user logs out.

The invalidate-session attribute

Maps to the invalidateHttpSession of the SecurityContextLogoutHandler. Defaults to "true", so the session will be invalidated on logout.

The logout-success-url attribute

The destination URL which the user will be taken to after logging out. Defaults to "/".

Setting this attribute will inject the SessionManagementFilter with a SimpleRedirectInvalidSessionStrategy configured with the attribute value. When an invalid session ID is submitted, the strategy will be invoked, redirecting to the configured URL.

The logout-url attribute

The URL which will cause a logout (i.e. which will be processed by the filter). Defaults to "/j_spring_security_logout".

The success-handler-ref attribute

May be used to supply an instance of LogoutSuccessHandler which will be invoked to control the navigation after logging out.

B.1.21 <openid-login>

Similar to <form-login> and has the same attributes. The default value for login-processing-url is "/j_spring_openid_security_check". An OpenIDAuthenticationFilter and OpenIDAuthenticationProvider will be registered. The latter requires a reference to a UserDetailsService. Again, this can be specified by id, using the user-service-ref attribute, or will be located automatically in the application context.

Parent Elements of <openid-login>

<openid-login> Attributes

always-use-default-target

Whether the user should always be redirected to the default-target-url after login.

authentication-details-source-ref

Reference to an AuthenticationDetailsSource which will be used by the authentication filter

authentication-failure-handler-ref

Reference to an AuthenticationFailureHandler bean which should be used to handle a failed authentication request. Should not be used in combination with authentication-failure-url as the implementation should always deal with navigation to the subsequent destination

authentication-failure-url

The URL for the login failure page. If no login failure URL is specified, Spring Security will automatically create a failure login URL at /spring_security_login?login_error and a corresponding filter to render that login failure URL when requested.

authentication-success-handler-ref

Reference to an AuthenticationSuccessHandler bean which should be used to handle a successful authentication request. Should not be used in combination with default-target-url (or always-use-default-target) as the implementation should always deal with navigation to the subsequent destination

default-target-url

The URL that will be redirected to after successful authentication, if the user's previous action could not be resumed. This generally happens if the user visits a login page without having first requested a secured operation that triggers authentication. If unspecified, defaults to the root of the application.

login-page

The URL for the login page. If no login URL is specified, Spring Security will automatically create a login URL at /spring_security_login and a corresponding filter to render that login URL when requested.

login-processing-url

The URL that the login form is posted to. If unspecified, it defaults to /j_spring_security_check.

password-parameter

The name of the request parameter which contains the password. Defaults to "j_password".

user-service-ref

A reference to a user-service (or UserDetailsService bean) Id

username-parameter

The name of the request parameter which contains the username. Defaults to "j_username".

Child Elements of <openid-login>

B.1.22 <attribute-exchange>

The attribute-exchange element defines the list of attributes which should be requested from the identity provider. An example can be found in the OpenID Support section of the namespace configuration chapter. More than one can be used, in which case each must have an identifier-match attribute, containing a regular expression which is matched against the supplied OpenID identifier. This allows different attribute lists to be fetched from different providers (Google, Yahoo etc).

Parent Elements of <attribute-exchange>

<attribute-exchange> Attributes

identifier-match

A regular expression which will be compared against the claimed identity, when deciding which attribute-exchange configuration to use during authentication.

Child Elements of <attribute-exchange>

B.1.23 <openid-attribute>

Attributes used when making an OpenID AX Fetch Request

Parent Elements of <openid-attribute>

<openid-attribute> Attributes

count

Specifies the number of attributes that you wish to get back. For example, return 3 emails. The default value is 1.

name

Specifies the name of the attribute that you wish to get back. For example, email.

required

Specifies if this attribute is required to the OP, but does not error out if the OP does not return the attribute. Default is false.

type

Specifies the attribute type. For example, http://axschema.org/contact/email. See your OP's documentation for valid attribute types.

B.1.24 <port-mappings>

By default, an instance of PortMapperImpl will be added to the configuration for use in redirecting to secure and insecure URLs. This element can optionally be used to override the default mappings which that class defines. Each child <port-mapping> element defines a pair of HTTP:HTTPS ports. The default mappings are 80:443 and 8080:8443. An example of overriding these can be found in the namespace introduction.

Parent Elements of <port-mappings>

Child Elements of <port-mappings>

B.1.25 <port-mapping>

Provides a method to map http ports to https ports when forcing a redirect.

Parent Elements of <port-mapping>

<port-mapping> Attributes

http

The http port to use.

https

The https port to use.

B.1.26 <remember-me>

Adds the RememberMeAuthenticationFilter to the stack. This in turn will be configured with either a TokenBasedRememberMeServices, a PersistentTokenBasedRememberMeServices or a user-specified bean implementing RememberMeServices depending on the attribute settings.

Parent Elements of <remember-me>

<remember-me> Attributes

authentication-success-handler-ref

Sets the authenticationSuccessHandler property on the RememberMeAuthenticationFilter if custom navigation is required. The value should be the name of a AuthenticationSuccessHandler bean in the application context.

data-source-ref

A reference to a DataSource bean. If this is set, PersistentTokenBasedRememberMeServices will be used and configured with a JdbcTokenRepositoryImpl instance.

remember-me-parameter

The name of the request parameter which toggles remember-me authentication. Defaults to "_spring_security_remember_me". Maps to the "parameter" property of AbstractRememberMeServices.

key

Maps to the "key" property of AbstractRememberMeServices. Should be set to a unique value to ensure that remember-me cookies are only valid within the one application [27]. If this is not set a secure random value will be generated. Since generating secure random values can take a while, setting this value explicitly can help improve startup times when using the remember me functionality.

services-alias

Exports the internally defined RememberMeServices as a bean alias, allowing it to be used by other beans in the application context.

services-ref

Allows complete control of the RememberMeServices implementation that will be used by the filter. The value should be the id of a bean in the application context which implements this interface. Should also implement LogoutHandler if a logout filter is in use.

token-repository-ref

Configures a PersistentTokenBasedRememberMeServices but allows the use of a custom PersistentTokenRepository bean.

token-validity-seconds

Maps to the tokenValiditySeconds property of AbstractRememberMeServices. Specifies the period in seconds for which the remember-me cookie should be valid. By default it will be valid for 14 days.

use-secure-cookie

It is recommended that remember-me cookies are only submitted over HTTPS and thus should be flagged as secure. By default, a secure cookie will be used if the connection over which the login request is made is secure (as it should be). If you set this property to false, secure cookies will not be used. Setting it to true will always set the secure flag on the cookie. This attribute maps to the useSecureCookie property of AbstractRememberMeServices.

user-service-ref

The remember-me services implementations require access to a UserDetailsService, so there has to be one defined in the application context. If there is only one, it will be selected and used automatically by the namespace configuration. If there are multiple instances, you can specify a bean id explicitly using this attribute.

B.1.27 <request-cache> Element

Sets the RequestCache instance which will be used by the ExceptionTranslationFilter to store request information before invoking an AuthenticationEntryPoint.

Parent Elements of <request-cache>

<request-cache> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that is a RequestCache.

B.1.28 <session-management>

Session-management related functionality is implemented by the addition of a SessionManagementFilter to the filter stack.

Parent Elements of <session-management>

<session-management> Attributes

invalid-session-url

Setting this attribute will inject the SessionManagementFilter with a SimpleRedirectInvalidSessionStrategy configured with the attribute value. When an invalid session ID is submitted, the strategy will be invoked, redirecting to the configured URL.

session-authentication-error-url

Defines the URL of the error page which should be shown when the SessionAuthenticationStrategy raises an exception. If not set, an unauthorized (401) error code will be returned to the client. Note that this attribute doesn't apply if the error occurs during a form-based login, where the URL for authentication failure will take precedence.

session-authentication-strategy-ref

Allows injection of the SessionAuthenticationStrategy instance used by the SessionManagementFilter

session-fixation-protection

Indicates how session fixation protection will be applied when a user authenticates. If set to "none", no protection will be applied. "newSession" will create a new empty session, with only Spring Security-related attributes migrated. "migrateSession" will create a new session and copy all session attributes to the new session. In Servlet 3.1 (Java EE 7) and newer containers, specifying "changeSessionId" will keep the existing session and use the container-supplied session fixation protection (HttpServletRequest#changeSessionId()). Defaults to "changeSessionId" in Servlet 3.1 and newer containers, "migrateSession" in older containers. Throws an exception if "changeSessionId" is used in older containers.

If session fixation protection is enabled, the SessionManagementFilter is injected with an appropriately configured DefaultSessionAuthenticationStrategy. See the Javadoc for this class for more details.

Child elements of <session-management>

B.1.29 <concurrency-control>

Adds support for concurrent session control, allowing limits to be placed on the number of active sessions a user can have. A ConcurrentSessionFilter will be created, and a ConcurrentSessionControlAuthenticationStrategy will be used with the SessionManagementFilter. If a form-login element has been declared, the strategy object will also be injected into the created authentication filter. An instance of SessionRegistry (a SessionRegistryImpl instance unless the user wishes to use a custom bean) will be created for use by the strategy.

Parent Elements of <concurrency-control>

<concurrency-control> Attributes

error-if-maximum-exceeded

If set to "true" a SessionAuthenticationException will be raised when a user attempts to exceed the maximum allowed number of sessions. The default behaviour is to expire the original session.

expired-url

The URL a user will be redirected to if they attempt to use a session which has been "expired" by the concurrent session controller because the user has exceeded the number of allowed sessions and has logged in again elsewhere. Should be set unless exception-if-maximum-exceeded is set. If no value is supplied, an expiry message will just be written directly back to the response.

max-sessions

Maps to the maximumSessions property of ConcurrentSessionControlAuthenticationStrategy.

session-registry-alias

It can also be useful to have a reference to the internal session registry for use in your own beans or an admin interface. You can expose the internal bean using the session-registry-alias attribute, giving it a name that you can use elsewhere in your configuration.

session-registry-ref

The user can supply their own SessionRegistry implementation using the session-registry-ref attribute. The other concurrent session control beans will be wired up to use it.

B.1.30 <x509>

Adds support for X.509 authentication. An X509AuthenticationFilter will be added to the stack and an Http403ForbiddenEntryPoint bean will be created. The latter will only be used if no other authentication mechanisms are in use (its only functionality is to return an HTTP 403 error code). A PreAuthenticatedAuthenticationProvider will also be created which delegates the loading of user authorities to a UserDetailsService.

Parent Elements of <x509>

<x509> Attributes

authentication-details-source-ref

A reference to an AuthenticationDetailsSource

subject-principal-regex

Defines a regular expression which will be used to extract the username from the certificate (for use with the UserDetailsService).

user-service-ref

Allows a specific UserDetailsService to be used with X.509 in the case where multiple instances are configured. If not set, an attempt will be made to locate a suitable instance automatically and use that.

B.1.31 <filter-chain-map>

Used to explicitly configure a FilterChainProxy instance with a FilterChainMap

<filter-chain-map> Attributes

path-type

Superseded by the request-matcher attribute

request-matcher

Supersedes the 'path-type' attribute. Defines the strategy use for matching incoming requests. Currently the options are 'ant' (for ant path patterns), 'regex' for regular expressions and 'ciRegex' for case-insensitive regular expressions.

Child Elements of <filter-chain-map>

B.1.32 <filter-chain>

Used within to define a specific URL pattern and the list of filters which apply to the URLs matching that pattern. When multiple filter-chain elements are assembled in a list in order to configure a FilterChainProxy, the most specific patterns must be placed at the top of the list, with most general ones at the bottom.

Parent Elements of <filter-chain>

<filter-chain> Attributes

filters

A comma separated list of references to Spring beans that implement Filter. The value "none" means that no Filter's should be used for this FilterChain.

pattern

A-pattern that creates RequestMatcher in combination with the request-matcher

request-matcher-ref

A reference to a RequestMatcher that will be used to determine if the Filter's from the filters attribute should be invoked.

B.1.33 <filter-invocation-definition-source>

Deprecated synonym for filter-security-metadata-source

<filter-invocation-definition-source> Attributes

id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

lowercase-comparisons

Compare after forcing to lowercase

path-type

Superseded by request-matcher

request-matcher

Supersedes the 'path-type' attribute. Defines the strategy use for matching incoming requests. Currently the options are 'ant' (for ant path patterns), 'regex' for regular expressions and 'ciRegex' for case-insensitive regular expressions.

use-expressions

Enables the use of expressions in the 'access' attributes in <intercept-url> elements rather than the traditional list of configuration attributes. Defaults to 'false'. If enabled, each attribute should contain a single boolean expression. If the expression evaluates to 'true', access will be granted.

Child Elements of <filter-invocation-definition-source>

B.1.34 <filter-security-metadata-source>

Used to explicitly configure a FilterSecurityMetadataSource bean for use with a FilterSecurityInterceptor. Usually only needed if you are configuring a FilterChainProxy explicitly, rather than using the <http> element. The intercept-url elements used should only contain pattern, method and access attributes. Any others will result in a configuration error.

<filter-security-metadata-source> Attributes

id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

lowercase-comparisons

Compare after forcing to lower case

path-type

Superseded by request-matcher

request-matcher

Supersedes the 'path-type' attribute. Defines the strategy use for matching incoming requests. Currently the options are 'ant' (for ant path patterns), 'regex' for regular expressions and 'ciRegex' for case-insensitive regular expressions.

use-expressions

Enables the use of expressions in the 'access' attributes in <intercept-url> elements rather than the traditional list of configuration attributes. Defaults to 'false'. If enabled, each attribute should contain a single boolean expression. If the expression evaluates to 'true', access will be granted.

Child Elements of <filter-security-metadata-source>

B.2 Authentication Services

Before Spring Security 3.0, an AuthenticationManager was automatically registered internally. Now you must register one explicitly using the <authentication-manager> element. This creates an instance of Spring Security's ProviderManager class, which needs to be configured with a list of one or more AuthenticationProvider instances. These can either be created using syntax elements provided by the namespace, or they can be standard bean definitions, marked for addition to the list using the authentication-provider element.

B.2.1 <authentication-manager>

Every Spring Security application which uses the namespace must have include this element somewhere. It is responsible for registering the AuthenticationManager which provides authentication services to the application. All elements which create AuthenticationProvider instances should be children of this element.

<authentication-manager> Attributes

alias

This attribute allows you to define an alias name for the internal instance for use in your own configuration. Its use is described in the namespace introduction.

erase-credentials

If set to true, the AuthenticationManger will attempt to clear any credentials data in the returned Authentication object, once the user has been authenticated. Literally it maps to the eraseCredentialsAfterAuthentication property of the ProviderManager. This is discussed in the Core Services chapter.

id

This attribute allows you to define an id for the internal instance for use in your own configuration. It is the same a the alias element, but provides a more consistent experience with elements that use the id attribute.

Child Elements of <authentication-manager>

B.2.2 <authentication-provider>

Unless used with a ref attribute, this element is shorthand for configuring a DaoAuthenticationProvider. DaoAuthenticationProvider loads user information from a UserDetailsService and compares the username/password combination with the values supplied at login. The UserDetailsService instance can be defined either by using an available namespace element (jdbc-user-service or by using the user-service-ref attribute to point to a bean defined elsewhere in the application context). You can find examples of these variations in the namespace introduction.

Parent Elements of <authentication-provider>

<authentication-provider> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that implements AuthenticationProvider .

If you have written your own AuthenticationProvider implementation (or want to configure one of Spring Security's own implementations as a traditional bean for some reason, then you can use the following syntax to add it to the internal ProviderManager's list:

<security:authentication-manager>
  <security:authentication-provider ref="myAuthenticationProvider" />
</security:authentication-manager>
<bean id="myAuthenticationProvider" class="com.something.MyAuthenticationProvider"/>
    
user-service-ref

A reference to a bean that implements UserDetailsService that may be created using the standard bean element or the custom user-service element.

Child Elements of <authentication-provider>

B.2.3 <jdbc-user-service>

Causes creation of a JDBC-based UserDetailsService.

<jdbc-user-service> Attributes

authorities-by-username-query

An SQL statement to query for a user's granted authorities given a username.

The default is

select username, authority from authorities where username = ?
cache-ref

Defines a reference to a cache for use with a UserDetailsService.

data-source-ref

The bean ID of the DataSource which provides the required tables.

group-authorities-by-username-query

An SQL statement to query user's group authorities given a username.

The default is

select
  g.id, g.group_name, ga.authority
from
  groups g, group_members gm, group_authorities ga
where
  gm.username = ? and g.id = ga.group_id and g.id = gm.group_id
id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

role-prefix

A non-empty string prefix that will be added to role strings loaded from persistent storage (default is "ROLE_"). Use the value "none" for no prefix in cases where the default is non-empty.

users-by-username-query

An SQL statement to query a username, password, and enabled status given a username.

The default is

select username, password, enabled from users where username = ?

B.2.4 <password-encoder>

Authentication providers can optionally be configured to use a password encoder as described in the namespace introduction. This will result in the bean being injected with the appropriate PasswordEncoder instance, potentially with an accompanying SaltSource bean to provide salt values for hashing.

Parent Elements of <password-encoder>

<password-encoder> Attributes

base64

Whether a string should be base64 encoded

hash

Defines the hashing algorithm used on user passwords. We recommend strongly against using MD4, as it is a very weak hashing algorithm.

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that implements PasswordEncoder .

Child Elements of <password-encoder>

B.2.5 <salt-source>

Password salting strategy. A system-wide constant or a property from the UserDetails object can be used.

Parent Elements of <salt-source>

<salt-source> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean Id.

system-wide

A single value that will be used as the salt for a password encoder.

user-property

A property of the UserDetails object which will be used as salt by a password encoder. Typically something like "username" might be used.

B.2.6 <user-service>

Creates an in-memory UserDetailsService from a properties file or a list of "user" child elements. Usernames are converted to lower-case internally to allow for case-insensitive lookups, so this should not be used if case-sensitivity is required.

<user-service> Attributes

id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

properties

The location of a Properties file where each line is in the format of

username=password,grantedAuthority[,grantedAuthority][,enabled|disabled]

Child Elements of <user-service>

B.2.7 <user>

Represents a user in the application.

Parent Elements of <user>

<user> Attributes

authorities

One of more authorities granted to the user. Separate authorities with a comma (but no space). For example, "ROLE_USER,ROLE_ADMINISTRATOR"

disabled

Can be set to "true" to mark an account as disabled and unusable.

locked

Can be set to "true" to mark an account as locked and unusable.

name

The username assigned to the user.

password

The password assigned to the user. This may be hashed if the corresponding authentication provider supports hashing (remember to set the "hash" attribute of the "user-service" element). This attribute be omitted in the case where the data will not be used for authentication, but only for accessing authorities. If omitted, the namespace will generate a random value, preventing its accidental use for authentication. Cannot be empty.

B.3 Method Security

B.3.1 <global-method-security>

This element is the primary means of adding support for securing methods on Spring Security beans. Methods can be secured by the use of annotations (defined at the interface or class level) or by defining a set of pointcuts as child elements, using AspectJ syntax.

<global-method-security> Attributes

access-decision-manager-ref

Method security uses the same AccessDecisionManager configuration as web security, but this can be overridden using this attribute. By default an AffirmativeBased implementation is used for with a RoleVoter and an AuthenticatedVoter.

authentication-manager-ref

A reference to an AuthenticationManager that should be used for method security.

jsr250-annotations

Specifies whether JSR-250 style attributes are to be used (for example "RolesAllowed"). This will require the javax.annotation.security classes on the classpath. Setting this to true also adds a Jsr250Voter to the AccessDecisionManager, so you need to make sure you do this if you are using a custom implementation and want to use these annotations.

<metadata-source-ref> Attribute

An external MethodSecurityMetadataSource instance can be supplied which will take priority over other sources (such as the default annotations).

The mode Attribute

This attribute can be set to aspectj to specify that AspectJ should be used instead of the default Spring AOP. Secured methods must be woven with the AnnotationSecurityAspect from the spring-security-aspects module.

It is important to note that AspectJ follows Java's rule that annotations on interfaces are not inherited. This means that methods that define the Security annotaitons on the interface will not be secured. Instead, you must place the Security annotation on the class when using AspectJ.

order

Allows the advice "order" to be set for the method security interceptor.

pre-post-annotations

Specifies whether the use of Spring Security's pre and post invocation annotations (@PreFilter, @PreAuthorize, @PostFilter, @PostAuthorize) should be enabled for this application context. Defaults to "disabled".

proxy-target-class

If true, class based proxying will be used instead of interface based proxying.

run-as-manager-ref

A reference to an optional RunAsManager implementation which will be used by the configured MethodSecurityInterceptor

secured-annotations

Specifies whether the use of Spring Security's @Secured annotations should be enabled for this application context. Defaults to "disabled".

B.3.2 <after-invocation-provider>

This element can be used to decorate an AfterInvocationProvider for use by the security interceptor maintained by the <global-method-security> namespace. You can define zero or more of these within the global-method-security element, each with a ref attribute pointing to an AfterInvocationProvider bean instance within your application context.

Parent Elements of <after-invocation-provider>

<after-invocation-provider> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean that implements AfterInvocationProvider.

B.3.3 <pre-post-annotation-handling>

Allows the default expression-based mechanism for handling Spring Security's pre and post invocation annotations (@PreFilter, @PreAuthorize, @PostFilter, @PostAuthorize) to be replace entirely. Only applies if these annotations are enabled.

Parent Elements of <pre-post-annotation-handling>

Child Elements of <pre-post-annotation-handling>

B.3.4 <invocation-attribute-factory>

Defines the PrePostInvocationAttributeFactory instance which is used to generate pre and post invocation metadata from the annotated methods.

Parent Elements of <invocation-attribute-factory>

<invocation-attribute-factory> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean Id.

B.3.5 <post-invocation-advice>

Customizes the PostInvocationAdviceProvider with the ref as the PostInvocationAuthorizationAdvice for the <pre-post-annotation-handling> element.

Parent Elements of <post-invocation-advice>

<post-invocation-advice> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean Id.

B.3.6 <pre-invocation-advice>

Customizes the PreInvocationAuthorizationAdviceVoter with the ref as the PreInvocationAuthorizationAdviceVoter for the <pre-post-annotation-handling> element.

Parent Elements of <pre-invocation-advice>

<pre-invocation-advice> Attributes

ref

Defines a reference to a Spring bean Id.

B.3.7 Securing Methods using <protect-pointcut>

Rather than defining security attributes on an individual method or class basis using the @Secured annotation, you can define cross-cutting security constraints across whole sets of methods and interfaces in your service layer using the <protect-pointcut> element. You can find an example in the namespace introduction.

Parent Elements of <protect-pointcut>

<protect-pointcut> Attributes

access

Access configuration attributes list that applies to all methods matching the pointcut, e.g. "ROLE_A,ROLE_B"

expression

An AspectJ expression, including the 'execution' keyword. For example, 'execution(int com.foo.TargetObject.countLength(String))' (without the quotes).

B.3.8 <intercept-methods>

Can be used inside a bean definition to add a security interceptor to the bean and set up access configuration attributes for the bean's methods

<intercept-methods> Attributes

access-decision-manager-ref

Optional AccessDecisionManager bean ID to be used by the created method security interceptor.

Child Elements of <intercept-methods>

B.3.9 <method-security-metadata-source>

Creates a MethodSecurityMetadataSource instance

<method-security-metadata-source> Attributes

id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

use-expressions

Enables the use of expressions in the 'access' attributes in <intercept-url> elements rather than the traditional list of configuration attributes. Defaults to 'false'. If enabled, each attribute should contain a single boolean expression. If the expression evaluates to 'true', access will be granted.

Child Elements of <method-security-metadata-source>

B.3.10 <protect>

Defines a protected method and the access control configuration attributes that apply to it. We strongly advise you NOT to mix "protect" declarations with any services provided "global-method-security".

<protect> Attributes

access

Access configuration attributes list that applies to the method, e.g. "ROLE_A,ROLE_B".

method

A method name

B.4 LDAP Namespace Options

LDAP is covered in some details in its own chapter. We will expand on that here with some explanation of how the namespace options map to Spring beans. The LDAP implementation uses Spring LDAP extensively, so some familiarity with that project's API may be useful.

B.4.1 Defining the LDAP Server using the <ldap-server> Element

This element sets up a Spring LDAP ContextSource for use by the other LDAP beans, defining the location of the LDAP server and other information (such as a username and password, if it doesn't allow anonymous access) for connecting to it. It can also be used to create an embedded server for testing. Details of the syntax for both options are covered in the LDAP chapter. The actual ContextSource implementation is DefaultSpringSecurityContextSource which extends Spring LDAP's LdapContextSource class. The manager-dn and manager-password attributes map to the latter's userDn and password properties respectively.

If you only have one server defined in your application context, the other LDAP namespace-defined beans will use it automatically. Otherwise, you can give the element an "id" attribute and refer to it from other namespace beans using the server-ref attribute. This is actually the bean id of the ContextSource instance, if you want to use it in other traditional Spring beans.

<ldap-server> Attributes

id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

ldif

Explicitly specifies an ldif file resource to load into an embedded LDAP server. The ldiff is should be a Spring resource pattern (i.e. classpath:init.ldiff). The default is classpath*:*.ldiff

manager-dn

Username (DN) of the "manager" user identity which will be used to authenticate to a (non-embedded) LDAP server. If omitted, anonymous access will be used.

manager-password

The password for the manager DN. This is required if the manager-dn is specified.

port

Specifies an IP port number. Used to configure an embedded LDAP server, for example. The default value is 33389.

root

Optional root suffix for the embedded LDAP server. Default is "dc=springframework,dc=org"

url

Specifies the ldap server URL when not using the embedded LDAP server.

B.4.2 <ldap-authentication-provider>

This element is shorthand for the creation of an LdapAuthenticationProvider instance. By default this will be configured with a BindAuthenticator instance and a DefaultAuthoritiesPopulator. As with all namespace authentication providers, it must be included as a child of the authentication-provider element.

Parent Elements of <ldap-authentication-provider>

<ldap-authentication-provider> Attributes

group-role-attribute

The LDAP attribute name which contains the role name which will be used within Spring Security. Maps to the DefaultLdapAuthoritiesPopulator's groupRoleAttribute property. Defaults to "cn".

group-search-base

Search base for group membership searches. Maps to the DefaultLdapAuthoritiesPopulator's groupSearchBase constructor argument. Defaults to "" (searching from the root).

group-search-filter

Group search filter. Maps to the DefaultLdapAuthoritiesPopulator's groupSearchFilter property. Defaults to (uniqueMember={0}). The substituted parameter is the DN of the user.

role-prefix

A non-empty string prefix that will be added to role strings loaded from persistent. Maps to the DefaultLdapAuthoritiesPopulator's rolePrefix property. Defaults to "ROLE_". Use the value "none" for no prefix in cases where the default is non-empty.

server-ref

The optional server to use. If omitted, and a default LDAP server is registered (using <ldap-server> with no Id), that server will be used.

user-context-mapper-ref

Allows explicit customization of the loaded user object by specifying a UserDetailsContextMapper bean which will be called with the context information from the user's directory entry

user-details-class

Allows the objectClass of the user entry to be specified. If set, the framework will attempt to load standard attributes for the defined class into the returned UserDetails object

user-dn-pattern

If your users are at a fixed location in the directory (i.e. you can work out the DN directly from the username without doing a directory search), you can use this attribute to map directly to the DN. It maps directly to the userDnPatterns property of AbstractLdapAuthenticator. The value is a specific pattern used to build the user's DN, for example "uid={0},ou=people". The key "{0}" must be present and will be substituted with the username.

user-search-base

Search base for user searches. Defaults to "". Only used with a 'user-search-filter'.

If you need to perform a search to locate the user in the directory, then you can set these attributes to control the search. The BindAuthenticator will be configured with a FilterBasedLdapUserSearch and the attribute values map directly to the first two arguments of that bean's constructor. If these attributes aren't set and no user-dn-pattern has been supplied as an alternative, then the default search values of user-search-filter="(uid={0})" and user-search-base="" will be used.

user-search-filter

The LDAP filter used to search for users (optional). For example "(uid={0})". The substituted parameter is the user's login name.

If you need to perform a search to locate the user in the directory, then you can set these attributes to control the search. The BindAuthenticator will be configured with a FilterBasedLdapUserSearch and the attribute values map directly to the first two arguments of that bean's constructor. If these attributes aren't set and no user-dn-pattern has been supplied as an alternative, then the default search values of user-search-filter="(uid={0})" and user-search-base="" will be used.

Child Elements of <ldap-authentication-provider>

B.4.3 <password-compare>

This is used as child element to <ldap-provider> and switches the authentication strategy from BindAuthenticator to PasswordComparisonAuthenticator.

Parent Elements of <password-compare>

<password-compare> Attributes

hash

Defines the hashing algorithm used on user passwords. We recommend strongly against using MD4, as it is a very weak hashing algorithm.

password-attribute

The attribute in the directory which contains the user password. Defaults to "userPassword".

Child Elements of <password-compare>

B.4.4 <ldap-user-service>

This element configures an LDAP UserDetailsService. The class used is LdapUserDetailsService which is a combination of a FilterBasedLdapUserSearch and a DefaultLdapAuthoritiesPopulator. The attributes it supports have the same usage as in <ldap-provider>.

<ldap-user-service> Attributes

cache-ref

Defines a reference to a cache for use with a UserDetailsService.

group-role-attribute

The LDAP attribute name which contains the role name which will be used within Spring Security. Defaults to "cn".

group-search-base

Search base for group membership searches. Defaults to "" (searching from the root).

group-search-filter

Group search filter. Defaults to (uniqueMember={0}). The substituted parameter is the DN of the user.

id

A bean identifier, used for referring to the bean elsewhere in the context.

role-prefix

A non-empty string prefix that will be added to role strings loaded from persistent storage (e.g. "ROLE_"). Use the value "none" for no prefix in cases where the default is non-empty.

server-ref

The optional server to use. If omitted, and a default LDAP server is registered (using <ldap-server> with no Id), that server will be used.

user-context-mapper-ref

Allows explicit customization of the loaded user object by specifying a UserDetailsContextMapper bean which will be called with the context information from the user's directory entry

user-details-class

Allows the objectClass of the user entry to be specified. If set, the framework will attempt to load standard attributes for the defined class into the returned UserDetails object

user-search-base

Search base for user searches. Defaults to "". Only used with a 'user-search-filter'.

user-search-filter

The LDAP filter used to search for users (optional). For example "(uid={0})". The substituted parameter is the user's login name.



[25] See the introductory chapter for how to set up the mapping from your web.xml

[26] This feature is really just provided for convenience and is not intended for production (where a view technology will have been chosen and can be used to render a customized login page). The class DefaultLoginPageGeneratingFilter is responsible for rendering the login page and will provide login forms for both normal form login and/or OpenID if required.

[27] This doesn't affect the use of PersistentTokenBasedRememberMeServices, where the tokens are stored on the server side.