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Paragon Initiative:
One Login To Rule them All - Seamless and Secure Cross-Domain Authentication
Feb 24, 2016 @ 11:48:28

On the Paragon Initiative site they've posted a new tutorial sharing a method for creating "one login to rule them all" for your PHP-based applications. The goal is to make one system that can provides a single authentication point and secure credential storage.

Problem: You want to create a system whereby when a user authenticates to example.com, they're also automatically logged in at foo.com, bar.com, baz.com, and any other domains that you decide to add to the list at a later date. Okay, great, that seems straightforward, except there's a complication: The Same Origin Policy prevents you from getting/setting cookies on domains other than the one you control.

[...] Let's narrow it down a little bit further: Unlike a situation where e.g. "Login with Facebook" would be appropriate, you control all of the domains. They just happen to be different, so the Same Origin Policy kicks in. For simplicity, feel free to assume they're on the same server and application codebase, but you have a multi-site architecture in place where some of the sites have a different domain name.

Let's work around this limitation with as few moving parts as possible.

He then shoes how to use libsodium (via the Halite wrapper) to secure your credentials (passwords) and hooking it into a custom API endpoint that takes in a hex-encoded JSON string and a signature for the payload. He then expands this to provide "automatic login" handling making use of another endpoint to fetch an image to and log in the user by passing it the payload and signature values. He ends the post with a few security concerns around using this method and some things that it assumes are correct (and robust enough).

tagged: login single seamless crossdomain payload signature libsodium tutorial api

Link: https://paragonie.com/blog/2016/02/one-login-rule-them-all-seamless-and-secure-cross-domain-authentication