UK federation News
Posted on Monday, 19 April 2021
When doing a SAML authentication loop, a Service can set a
ForceAuthn flag which demands that the Identity Provider "MUST authenticate the presenter directly rather than rely on a previous security context" which should be interpreted along the lines of "must reauthenticate the user" or "must prove user presence" and that assuming a current (cookie authenticated) session is not acceptable.
This is known to cause issues in some use-cases, for example where IdP operators are using the
RemoteUser authentication flow in Shibboleth IdP rather than the default Password flow. While there are ways to work around this issue by updating the IdP configuration, this can render the IdP non-compliant.
RemoteUser flow is often used to delegate the authentication step to another IdP (usually ADFS or Azure). Shibboleth Identity Provider v4 introduced support for SAML Proxying which supports this workflow natively, without needing the
RemoteUser call-out, and as such, supports the
ForceAuthn flag correctly.
If your IdP is using the
RemoteUser flow in this way then, to ensure compliance with the relevant specifications, our strong recommendation is that you consider moving to the native SAML Proxying functionality when you've upgraded to v4.
Programme to strengthen XML encryption in the UK federation kicks off on 23 February
Posted on Tuesday, 16 February 2021
Please find below, the text of an email sent to the Jisc-shibboleth mailing list earlier today, which outlines the plans for how the UK federation will raise the strength of XML encryption across the UK federation.
End of life for Shibboleth IdP v3 and IdP v4 upgrade guide
Posted on Friday, 2 October 2020
In March 2020, the Shibboleth IdP v4 was released, at the same time the Shibboleth IdP v3 end of life was announced, which will be the 31st December 2020.
The Trust and Identity team at Jisc supporting the UK federation have now made available an IdP v4 upgrade guide
Shibboleth Service Provider Security Advisory 31st August 2020
Posted on Tuesday, 1 September 2020
A security advisory  has been released for the Shibboleth Service Provider involving deployments running on Windows and using the "modern" module for Microsoft IIS V7+. This module contains a flaw that can be triggered remotely, resulting in a potential denial of service condition exploitable by an unauthenticated attacker. Also, a service patch for the Windows distribution of the Service Provider software is now available . This update contains a fix for a bug  in the IIS module. Other important information can be found in the release notes which should be reviewed when upgrading .
UK Federation Town Hall Week
Posted on Monday, 1 June 2020
We’d hoped to do this in person, but obvious reasons mean we are running virtual UK federation "Town Hall" sessions across a whole week of 8th-13th June (at lunch times 1-2pm), using Zoom. We’ll be covering a variety of topics and plan on the sessions being not entirely didactic. So please come armed with questions. If there is anything you would like to see covered, please email me (email@example.com) in the next week and we’ll see if we can add it in.
- Baseline in the UK federation
- CoC, R&S, Sirtfi & other attributes
- Shibboleth health check lessons
- Publisher round table: Ask anything
- SSO & aspects of content piracy
- Delegated authentication
- Readiness for Shibboleth v.4
- VerifID: Commercial Student Verification
- About T&I Consultancy