Passwords, Secrets, Certificates, Tokens, Keys & Microsoft KeyVault - A Brief Overview

Tokens certificates

Have you received your token? No — Do not proceed. Go back and wait for you token to arrive.

Token-signing certificate requirements A token-signing certificate must meet the following requirements to work with AD FS: For a token-signing certificate to successfully sign a security token, the token-signing certificate must contain a private key. The AD FS service account must have access to the token-signing certificate's private key in the personal store of the local computer. This is taken care of by Setup.

In each case, to generate the private keys and corresponding certificates, you can use the InterSystems public key infrastructurewhich is discussed in the Security Administration Guide.

You can also use the AD FS Management snap-in to ensure this access if you subsequently change the token-signing certificate. Note It is a public key infrastructure PKI best practice to not share the private key for multiple purposes.

In this blog we delve into some of the more common security features of the Windows environment, such as passwords and certificates, along with Microsoft KeyVault. The username describes who wants access and the password is the secret that confirms that this person really is who they say they are. What we are doing is confirming that this person or user is authentic. This initial process is called authentication and it compares supplied credentials with what is stored in an authentication server. This is great and works nicely — but there is, however, an inherent problem.

Therefore, do not use the service communication certificate that you installed on the federation server as the token-signing certificate. How token-signing certificates are used across partners Every token-signing certificate contains cryptographic private keys and public keys that are used to digitally sign by means of the private key a security token.

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Later, after they are received by a partner federation server, these keys validate the authenticity by means of the public key of the encrypted security token. Because each security tokens certificates is digitally signed by the account partner, the resource partner can verify that the security token was in fact issued by the account partner and that it was not modified.

Digital signatures are verified by the public key portion of a partner's token-signing certificate.

How token-signing certificates are used across partners

After the signature is verified, the resource federation server generates its own security token for its organization and it signs the security token with its own token-signing certificate. For federation partner environments, when the token-signing certificate has been tokens certificates by a CA, ensure that: The certificate revocation lists CRLs of the certificate are accessible to relying parties and Web servers that trust the federation server.

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The root CA certificate is trusted by the relying parties and Web servers that trust the federation server.

The Web server in the resource partner uses the public key of the token-signing certificate to verify that the security tokens certificates is signed by the resource federation server.

The Web server then allows the appropriate access to the client.

Authenticity and Integrity Checking

Deployment considerations for token-signing certificates When you deploy the first federation server in a new AD FS installation, you must obtain a token-signing certificate and install it in the local computer personal certificate store on that federation server.

You can obtain a token-signing certificate by requesting one from an enterprise CA or a public CA or by creating a self-signed certificate.

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When you deploy an AD FS farm, token-signing certificates are installed differently, depending on how you create the server farm. There are two server farm options that you can consider when tokens certificates obtain token-signing certificates for your deployment: A private key from one token-signing certificate is shared among all the federation servers in a farm.

Getting your DigiCert document signing token ready to use

In a federation server farm environment, we recommend that all federation servers share or reuse the same token-signing certificate. You can install a single token-signing certificate from a CA on a federation server and then export the private key, as long as the issued certificate is marked as exportable.

As shown in the following illustration, the private key from a single token-signing certificate can be shared to all the federation servers in a farm. This option—compared to the following "unique token-signing certificate" option—reduces costs if you plan to obtain a token-signing certificate from a public CA. There is a unique token-signing certificate for each federation server in a farm.

Token-signing certificate requirements

When you use multiple, unique certificates throughout your farm, each server in that farm signs tokens with its own unique private key. As shown in the following illustration, you can obtain a separate token-signing certificate for every single federation server in the farm. This option is more expensive if you plan to obtain your token-signing certificates from a public CA.

See Also.

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  4. authentication - JWT vs. Client Certificates - Information Security Stack Exchange
  5. Token Setup, Document Signing |