Posts tagged: OpenID

SAML SSO using PayPal

One of the benefits of using Open standards is the interoperability with other product and solutions. I connected with the Intel Cloud Access 360 team during IIW. And it took less than an learn more at to hook up PayPal Authentication to Google Apps and Salesforce login via SAML.

The following screen cast illustrates how Intel Cloud Access 360 can
a. initiate OpenID request to PayPal
b. accept PayPal OpenID response
c. create a SAML assertion with appropriate attributes to login into

OpenID Security Discussion

Here are the slides that we presented during the OpenID Summit. The basic premise was to identify the list of issues that have been mentioned in the past and classify them as

  • Protocol Issues
  • Browser / Http Issues
  • Deployment Issues.

Breno (Google) had a follow up session at IIW to address the protocol issues.

OpenID Protocol Issues

OpenID Protocol Issues

Michael Hanson (Mozilla)  and Jeff had a session to address browser / http issues. (Still trying to find notes from that session).

Open Identity for Open Government

At the Gov2.0 conference yesterday, US government announced Open identity for Open Government initiative.

PayPal is one of the participants that has joined the pilot programs for both OpenID and Information Card.

ReadWriteWeb provides a good explanation of the initiative here.

A good FAQ is available at ICF website here.

I consider this as another forcing function that provides an opportunity for several providers to work together. There is no dearth of opinions in the identity community :-) . GSA, I believe has done a tremendous job in putting together the ICAM profiles for OpenID , Information Cards and the Trust framework .The profiles have allowed the providers to focus and converge on some of the important issues surrounding the technologies.

RE: OpenID
There has been some questions from the very start (and there is still no consensus) if the resting state should be lightweight, simple to use, distributed, low-value transactions. Or should it grow and evolve towards more security, trust, e-commerce and whatever comes with it.

If the answer is latter, then the ICAM profile is very appropriate. The mandatory use of SSL, directed Identity, support of white list, trust framework for certification, sensitvity towards PII etc. are all good steps for a robust identity framework geared towards value-transactions. One could argue that the trust frameworks would push it towards a centralized system but hopefully there will be several entities serving as trust framework providers.
Authentication is a critical function for any site and it’s understandable that a site (that has something to protect) wouldn’t outsource it without first establishing trust (implicit or explicit). This has been one of the sticky points in the community since establishing trust (via RP specific whitelist or third party providers) can potentially hinder adoption and innovation.

RE: Information Card
Even though a lot has been done in the past few years, a few issues still remain:

  • Platform support for information card/selector is limited.
  • The UI experience is too foreign and that’s get even more challenging due to the maturity level of current selectors.
  • Mobility/portability of cards (and hence identity) is still unresolved.
  • There are very limited “maintained” tool/libraries for relying parties to use.
  • The issues around running a managed card provider (e.g. practices around issuing/renewing/revoking cards, cert/key expiry, advising user in an intelligent and non-intrusive way on what claims should (or not) be shared with the RP etc.) haven’t yet surfaced. Hopefully the pilot will make IdPs (that includes us) think harder on some of the production issues around running a card server.

Irrespective of how far the Open Identity initiative will go, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

OpenID Nascarization

Chris has an interesting post about user experience around OpenID - Does OpenID need to be hard?

I  raised the issue of Nascarization more than an year ago . There should be one OpenID button. Not two. Not three. Else it’s not scalable for the relying parties. And it’s confusing for the user.
OpenID isn’t new in terms of the user flow. Every other SSO type protocol (SAML, WS-Fed, OAuth) essentially has the same flow where the user shows up at the RP, authenticates at the IdP and logs in at the RP. VerifiedByVisa, PayPal user flows aren’t much different either.

They all also have the the following major constructs (one could argue that different protocols could learn/leverage from each other, but let’s not go there) :

  • Token format
  • Key Management
  • Discovery

Discovery is the hardest since that has the most impact on user flow. SAML doesn’t really have to face the issue to the same extent as OpenID since most SAML federations today are in B2B with limited or clearly defined IDPs.

Great to see the acknowledgment of the issues and a focus to address the problem. I’m hoping to see more developments in  IDIB and/or a cleaner discovery service. And as a user, I get my one button.

Speaking of elephants in the room, it would be nice to have some agreement on a way to exchange attributes/claims between IdP and RP. As it stands today, I can use SReg, AX or OAuth. There is definitely some overlap there and the lack of clarity often results in “wait” for most implementors.

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