Managing smart card authentication

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Setting up and managing smart card authentication in RHEL

Red Hat Customer Content Services

Abstract

This documentation collection provides instructions on how to manage smart card authentication in RHEL.

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Chapter 1. Configuring Identity Management for smart card authentication

Authentication based on smart cards is an alternative to passwords. You can store user credentials on a smart card in the form of a private key and a certificate, and special software and hardware is used to access them. Place the smart card into a reader or a USB port and supply the PIN code for the smart card instead of providing your password.

Identity Management (IdM) supports smart card authentication with:

  • User certificates issued by the IdM certificate authority
  • User certificates issued by an external certificate authority

This user story shows how to set up smart card authentication in IdM for both types of certificates. In the user story, the smartcard_ca.pem CA certificate is the file containing the certificate of a trusted external certificate authority.

The user story contains the following modules:

1.1. Configuring the IdM server for smart card authentication

If you want to enable smart card authentication for users whose certificates have been issued by the certificate authority of the EXAMPLE.ORG domain, whose LDAP distinguished name (DN) is CN=Certificate Authority,DC=EXAMPLE,DC=ORG, then you need to obtain the certificate of the authority so that you can run it with the script configuring the IdM server. You can, for example, download the certificate from a web page whose certificate has been issued by the authority. For details, see Steps 1 - 4a in Configuring a browser to enable certificate authentication.

To enable smart card authentication for IdM users who have been issued a certificate by the IdM Certificate Authority, obtain the CA certificate from the /etc/ipa/ca.crt file on the IdM server on which the IdM CA is running.

This section describes how to configure an IdM server for smart card authentication. First, obtain files with the CA certificates in the PEM format, then run the in-built ipa-advise script. Finally, reload the system configuration.

Prerequisites

  • You have root access to the IdM server.
  • You have the root CA certificate and any sub CA certificates.

Procedure

  1. Create a directory in which you will do the configuration:

    [root@server]# mkdir ~/SmartCard/
  2. Navigate to the directory:

    [root@server]# cd ~/SmartCard/
  3. Obtain the relevant CA certificates stored in files in PEM format. If your CA certificate is stored in a file of a different format, such as DER, convert it to PEM format. The IdM Certificate Authority certificate is located in the /etc/ipa/ca.crt file.

    Convert a DER file to a PEM file:

    # openssl x509 -in <filename>.der -inform DER -out <filename>.pem -outform PEM
  4. For convenience, copy the certificates to the directory in which you want to do the configuration:

    [root@server SmartCard]# cp /etc/ipa/ca.crt ~/SmartCard/
    [root@server SmartCard]# cp /tmp/smartcard_ca.pem ~/SmartCard/
  5. Optionally, if you use certificates of external certificate authorities, use the openssl x509 utility to view the contents of the files in the PEM format to check that the Issuer and Subject values are correct:

    [root@server SmartCard]# openssl x509 -noout -text -in smartcard_ca.pem | more
  6. Generate a configuration script with the in-built ipa-advise utility, using the administrator’s privileges:

    [root@server SmartCard]# kinit admin
    [root@server SmartCard]# sudo ipa-advise config-server-for-smart-card-auth > config-server-for-smart-card-auth.sh

    The config-server-for-smart-card-auth.sh script performs the following actions:

    • It configures the IdM Apache HTTP Server.
    • It enables Public Key Cryptography for Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT) on the Key Distribution Center (KDC).
    • It configures the IdM Web UI to accept smart card authorization requests.
  7. Execute the script, adding the PEM files containing the root CA and sub CA certificates as arguments:

    [root@server SmartCard]# chmod +x config-server-for-smart-card-auth.sh
    [root@server SmartCard]# ./config-server-for-smart-card-auth.sh smartcard_ca.pem ca.crt
    Ticket cache:KEYRING:persistent:0:0
    Default principal: admin@IDM.EXAMPLE.COM
    [...]
    Systemwide CA database updated.
    The ipa-certupdate command was successful
    Note

    Ensure that you add the root CA’s certificate as an argument before any sub CA certificates and that the CA or sub CA certificates have not expired.

  8. Optionally, if the certificate authority that issued the user certificate does not provide any Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) responder, you may need to disable OCSP check for authentication to the IdM Web UI:

    1. Set the SSLOCSPEnable parameter to off in the /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf file:

      SSLOCSPEnable off
    2. Restart the Apache daemon (httpd) for the changes to take effect immediately:

      [root@server SmartCard]# sudo systemctl restart httpd
    Warning

    Do not disable the OCSP check if you only use user certificates issued by the IdM CA. OCSP responders are part of IdM.

    For instructions on how to keep the OCSP check enabled, and yet prevent a user certificate from being rejected by the IdM server if it does not contain the information about the location at which the CA that issued the user certificate listens for OCSP service requests, see the SSLOCSPDefaultResponder directive in Apache mod_ssl configuration options.

The server is now configured for smart card authentication.

Note

To enable smart card authentication in the whole topology, run the procedure on each IdM server.

1.2. Configuring the IdM client for smart card authentication

This section describes how to configure IdM clients for smart card authentication. The procedure needs to be run on each IdM system, a client or a server, to which you want to connect while using a smart card for authentication. For example, to enable an ssh connection from host A to host B, the script needs to be run on host B.

As an administrator, run this procedure to enable smart card authentication using

This procedure is not required for authenticating to the IdM Web UI. Authenticating to the IdM Web UI involves two hosts, neither of which needs to be an IdM client:

  • the machine - possibly outside of the IdM domain - on which the browser is running
  • the IdM server on which httpd is running

The following procedure assumes that you are configuring smart card authentication on an IdM client that is not also an IdM master. For this reason you need two computers: an IdM master to generate the configuration script, and the IdM client on which to run the script.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. On an IdM master, generate a configuration script with ipa-advise using the administrator’s privileges:

    [root@server SmartCard]# kinit admin
    [root@server SmartCard]# ipa-advise config-client-for-smart-card-auth > config-client-for-smart-card-auth.sh

    The config-client-for-smart-card-auth.sh script performs the following actions:

    • It configures the smart card daemon.
    • It sets the system-wide trust store.
    • It configures the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) to allow smart card logins to the desktop.
  2. From the IdM master, copy the script to a directory of your choice on the IdM client machine:

    [root@server SmartCard]# scp config-client-for-smart-card-auth.sh root@client.idm.example.com:/root/SmartCard/
    Password:
    config-client-for-smart-card-auth.sh        100%   2419       3.5MB/s   00:00
  3. From the IdM master, copy the CA certificate files in the PEM format for convenience to the same directory on the IdM client machine as used in the previous step:

    [root@server SmartCard]# scp {smartcard_ca.pem,ca.crt} root@client.idm.example.com:/root/SmartCard/
    Password:
    smartcard_ca.pem                    100%   1237     9.6KB/s   00:00
    ca.crt                              100%   2514    19.6KB/s   00:00
  4. On the client machine, execute the script, adding the PEM files containing the CA certificates as arguments:

    [root@client SmartCard]# kinit admin
    [root@client SmartCard]# chmod +x config-client-for-smart-card-auth.sh
    [root@client SmartCard]# ./config-client-for-smart-card-auth.sh smartcard_ca.pem ca.crt
    Ticket cache:KEYRING:persistent:0:0
    Default principal: admin@IDM.EXAMPLE.COM
    [...]
    Systemwide CA database updated.
    The ipa-certupdate command was successful
    Note

    Ensure that you add the root CA’s certificate as an argument before any sub CA certificates and that the CA or sub CA certificates have not expired.

The client is now configured for smart card authentication.

1.3. Adding a certificate to a user entry in IdM

This procedure describes how to add an external certificate to a user entry in IdM.

Instead of uploading the whole certificate, it is also possible to upload certificate mapping data to a user entry in IdM. User entries containing either full certificates or certificate mapping data can be used in conjunction with corresponding certificate mapping rules to facilitate the configuration of smart card authentication for system administrators. For details, see Certificate mapping rules for configuring authentication on smart cards.

Note

If the user’s certificate has been issued by the IdM Certificate Authority, the certificate is already stored in the user entry, and you can skip this section.

1.3.1. Adding a certificate to a user entry in the IdM Web UI

Prerequisites

  • You have the certificate that you want to add to the user entry at your disposal.

Procedure

  1. Log into the IdM Web UI as an administrator if you want to add a certificate to another user. For adding a certificate to your own profile, you do not need the administrator’s credentials.
  2. Navigate to UsersActive userssc_user.
  3. Find the Certificate option and click Add.
  4. In the Command-Line Interface, display the certificate in the PEM format using the cat utility or a text editor:

    [user@client SmartCard]$ cat testuser.crt
  5. Copy and paste the certificate from the CLI into the window that has opened in the Web UI.
  6. Click Add.

    Figure 1.1. Adding a new certificate in the IdM Web UI

    idm add cert

The sc_user entry now contains an external certificate.

1.3.2. Adding a certificate to a user entry in the IdM CLI

Prerequisites

  • You have the certificate that you want to add to the user entry at your disposal.

Procedure

  1. Log into the IdM CLI as an administrator if you want to add a certificate to another user:

    [user@client SmartCard]$ kinit admin

    For adding a certificate to your own profile, you do not need the administrator’s credentials:

    [user@client SmartCard]$ kinit sc_user
  2. Create an environment variable containing the certificate with the header and footer removed and concatenated into a single line, which is the format expected by the ipa user-add-cert command:

    [user@client SmartCard]$ export CERT=`openssl x509 -outform der -in testuser.crt | base64 -w0 -`

    Note that certificate in the testuser.crt file must be in the PEM format.

  3. Add the certificate to the profile of sc_user using the ipa user-add-cert command:

    [user@client SmartCard]$ ipa user-add-cert sc_user --certificate=$CERT

The sc_user entry now contains an external certificate.

1.4. Installing tools for managing and using smart cards

To configure your smart card, you need tools which can generate certificates and store them on a smart card.

You must:

  • Install the gnutls-utils package which helps you to manage certificates.
  • Install the opensc package which provides a set of libraries and utilities to work with smart cards.
  • Start the pcscd service which communicates with the smart card reader.

Procedure

  1. Install the opensc and gnutls-utils packages:

    # dnf -y install opensc gnutls-utils
  2. Start the pcscd service.

    # systemctl start pcscd

Verify that the pcscd service is up and running.

1.5. Storing a certificate on a smart card

This section describes smart card configuration with the pkcs15-init tool, which helps you to configure:

  • Erasing your smart card
  • Setting new PINs and optional PIN Unblocking Keys (PUKs)
  • Creating a new slot on the smart card
  • Storing the certificate, private key, and public key in the slot
  • Locking the smart card settings (some smart cards require this type of finalization)

Prerequisites

  • The opensc package, which includes the pkcs15-init tool is installed.

    For details, see Installing tools for managing and using smart cards.

  • The card is inserted in the reader and connected to the computer.
  • You have the private key, public key, and certificate to store on the smart card. In this procedure, testuser.key, testuserpublic.key, and testuser.crt are the names used for the private key, public key, and the certificate.
  • Your current smart card user PIN and Security Officer PIN (SO-PIN)

Procedure

  1. Erase your smart card and authenticate yourself with your PIN:

    $ pkcs15-init --erase-card --use-default-transport-keys
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    PIN [Security Officer PIN] required.
    Please enter PIN [Security Officer PIN]:

    The card has been erased.

  2. Initialize your smart card, set your user PIN and PUK, and your Security Officer PIN and PUK:

    $ pkcs15-init --create-pkcs15 --use-default-transport-keys \
        --pin 963214 --puk 321478 --so-pin 65498714 --so-puk 784123
    Using reader with a card: Reader name

    The pcks15-init tool creates a new slot on the smart card.

  3. Set the label and the authentication ID for the slot:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-pin --label testuser \
        --auth-id 01 --so-pin 65498714 --pin 963214 --puk 321478
    Using reader with a card: Reader name

    The label is set to a human-readable value, in this case, testuser. The auth-id must be two hexadecimal values, in this case it is set to 01.

  4. Store and label the private key in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-private-key testuser.key --label testuser_key \
        --auth-id 01 --id 01 --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    Note

    The value you specify for --id must be the same when storing your private key, and certificate. If you do not specify a value for --id, a more complicated value is calculated by the tool and it is therefore easier to define your own value.

  5. Store and label the certificate in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-certificate testuser.crt --label testuser_crt \
        --auth-id 01 --id 01 --format pem --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
  6. (Optional) Store and label the public key in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-public-key testuserpublic.key
        --label testuserpublic_key --auth-id 01 --id 01 --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    Note

    If the public key corresponds to a private key and/or certificate, you should specify the same ID as that private key and/or certificate.

  7. (Optional) Some smart cards require you to finalize the card by locking the settings:

    $ pkcs15-init -F

    At this stage, your smart card includes the certificate, private key, and public key in the newly created slot. You have also created your user PIN and PUK and the Security Officer PIN and PUK.

1.6. Logging in to IdM with smart cards

This section provides information about using smart cards for logging in to IdM Web UI.

Prerequisites

  • The web browser is configured for using smart card authentication.
  • The IdM server has been configured for smart card authentication.
  • The certificate installed on your smart card is known to the IdM server.
  • You need the PIN to unlock the smart card.
  • The smart card has been plugged to the reader.

Procedure

  1. Open the IdM Web UI in the browser.
  2. Click on Log In Using Certificate.

    ipa login smart card

  3. If the Password Required dialog box opens, add the PIN to unlock the smart card and click the OK button.

    The User Identification Request dialog box opens.

    If the smart card contains more than one certificate, select the certificate you want to use for authentication in the drop down list below Choose a certificate to present as identification.

  4. Click the OK button.

Now you are successfully logged in to the IdM Web UI.

web ui users

1.7. Configuring GDM access using smart card authentication

The Gnome Desktop Manager (GDM) requires authentication. You can use your password, however, you can also use a smart card for authentication.

This section describes smart card authentication to access GDM.

The advantage of using smart card authentication is that if the user account is part of the Identity Management domain, you also get a ticket-granting ticket (TGT).

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. Insert the smart card in the reader.
  2. Enter the smart card PIN.
  3. Click Sign In.

You are successfully logged in to the RHEL system and you have a TGT provided by the IdM server.

Verification steps

  • In the Terminal window, enter klist and check the result:

    $ klist
    Ticket cache: KEYRING:persistent:1358900015:krb_cache_TObtNMd
    Default principal: example.user@REDHAT.COM
    
    Valid starting       Expires              Service principal
    04/20/2020 13:58:24  04/20/2020 23:58:24  krbtgt/EXAMPLE.COM@EXAMPLE.COM
    	renew until 04/27/2020 08:58:15

1.8. Configuring su access using smart card authentication

Changing to a different user requires authentication. You can use a password or a certificate. This section describes using your smart card with the su command. It means that after entering the su command, you are prompted for the smart card PIN.

Prerequisites

  • The smart card contains your certificate and private key.
  • The card is inserted in the reader and connected to the computer.

Procedure

  • In a terminal window, change to a different user with the su command:

    $ su - example.user
    PIN for smart_card

    If the configuration is successful, you are prompted to enter the smart card PIN.

Chapter 2. Configuring certificates issued by ADCS for smart card authentication in IdM

This scenario describes the following situation:

  • Your deployment is based on cross-forest trust between Identity Management (IdM) and Active Directory (AD).
  • You want to allow smart card authentication for users whose accounts are stored in AD.
  • Certificates are created and stored in Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS).

Configuration will be accomplished in the following steps:

Prerequisites

  • Identity Management (IdM) and Active Directory (AD) trust is installed

    For details, see Installing trust between IdM and AD.

  • Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS) is installed and certificates for users are generated

2.1. Smart card authentication

A smart card is a physical device which can provide personal authentication using certificates stored on the card. Personal authentication means that you can use smart cards in the same way as user passwords.

You can store user credentials on the smart card in the form of a private key and a certificate, and special software and hardware is used to access them. You place the smart card into a reader or a USB socket and supply the PIN code for the smart card instead of providing your password.

You can configure how you want smart card authentication to work in a particular IdM client:

  • Users can authenticate with the user name and password or with their smart cards
  • Users can authenticate with their smart cards, and passwords are not allowed
  • Users can use the smart card for logout with a function lock on removal, and passwords are not allowed

Identity Management (IdM) supports smart card authentication with:

Note

If you want to start to use smart card authentication, see the hardware requirements: Smart Card support in RHEL8.

2.2. Windows Server settings required for trust configuration and certificate usage

This section summarizes what must be configured on Windows Server:

  • Active Directory Certificate Services (ADCS) is installed
  • Certificate Authority is created
  • [Optional] If you are using Certificate Authority Web Enrollment, the Internet Information Services (IIS) must be configured

Export the certificate:

  • Key must have 2048 bits or more
  • Include a private key
  • You will need a certificate in the following format: Personal Information Exchange — PKCS #12(.PFX)

    • Enable certificate privacy

2.3. Copying certificates from Active Directory using sftp

To be able to use smart card authetication, you need to copy the following certificate files:

  • A root CA certificate in the CER format: adcs-winserver-ca.cer on your IdM server.
  • A user certificate with a private key in the PFX format: aduser1.pfx on an IdM client.
Note

This procedure expects SSH access is allowed. If SSH is unavailable the user must copy the file from the AD Server to the IdM server and client.

Procedure

  1. Connect from the IdM server and copy the adcs-winserver-ca.cer root certificate to the IdM server:

    root@idmserver ~]# sftp Administrator@winserver.ad.example.com
    Administrator@winserver.ad.example.com's password:
    Connected to Administrator@winserver.ad.example.com.
    sftp> cd <Path to certificates>
    sftp> ls
    adcs-winserver-ca.cer    aduser1.pfx
    sftp>
    sftp> get adcs-winserver-ca.cer
    Fetching <Path to certificates>/adcs-winserver-ca.cer to adcs-winserver-ca.cer
    <Path to certificates>/adcs-winserver-ca.cer                 100%  1254    15KB/s 00:00
    sftp quit
  2. Connect from the IdM client and copy the aduser1.pfx user certificate to the client:

    [root@client1 ~]# sftp Administrator@winserver.ad.example.com
    Administrator@winserver.ad.example.com's password:
    Connected to Administrator@winserver.ad.example.com.
    sftp> cd /<Path to certificates>
    sftp> get aduser1.pfx
    Fetching <Path to certificates>/aduser1.pfx to aduser1.pfx
    <Path to certificates>/aduser1.pfx                 100%  1254    15KB/s 00:00
    sftp quit

Now the CA certificate is stored in the IdM server and the user certificates is stored on the client machine.

2.4. Configuring the IdM server and clients for smart card authentication using ADCS certificates

You must configure the IdM (Identity Management) server and clients to be able to use smart card authentication in the IdM environment. IdM includes the ipa-advise scripts which makes all necessary changes:

  • install necessary packages
  • it configures IdM server and clients
  • copy the CA certificates into expected locations

You can run ipa-advise on your IdM server.

This procedure describes:

  • On an IdM server: Preparing the ipa-advise script to configure your IdM server for smart card authentication.
  • On an IdM server: Preparing the ipa-advise script to configure your IdM client for smart card authentication.
  • On an IdM server: Applying the the ipa-advise server script on the IdM server using the AD certificate.
  • Moving the client script to the IdM client machine.
  • On an IdM client: Applying the the ipa-advise client script on the IdM client using the AD certificate.

Prerequisites

  • The certificate has been copied to the IdM server.
  • Obtain the Kerberos ticket.
  • Log in as a user with administration rights.

Procedure

  1. On the IdM server, use the ipa-advise script for configuring a client:

    [root@idmserver ~]# ipa-advise config-client-for-smart-card-auth > sc_client.sh
  2. On the IdM server, use the ipa-advise script for configuring a server:

    [root@idmserver ~]# ipa-advise config-server-for-smart-card-auth > sc_server.sh
  3. On the IdM server, execute the script:

    [root@idmserver ~]# sh -x sc_server.sh adcs-winserver-ca.cer
    • It configures the IdM Apache HTTP Server.
    • It enables Public Key Cryptography for Initial Authentication in Kerberos (PKINIT) on the Key Distribution Center (KDC).
    • It configures the IdM Web UI to accept smart card authorization requests.
  4. Copy the sc_client.sh script to the client system:

    [root@idmserver ~]# scp sc_client.sh root@client1.idm.example.com:/root
    Password:
    sc_client.sh                  100%  2857   1.6MB/s   00:00
  5. Copy the Windows certificate to the client system:

    [root@idmserver ~]# scp adcs-winserver-ca.cer root@client1.idm.example.com:/root
    Password:
    adcs-winserver-ca.cer                 100%  1254   952.0KB/s   00:00
  6. On the client system, run the client script:

    [root@idmclient1 ~]# sh -x sc_client.sh adcs-winserver-ca.cer

The CA certificate is installed in the correct format on the IdM server and client systems and next step is to copy the user certificates onto the smart card itself.

2.5. Converting the PFX file

Before you store the PFX (PKCS#12) file into the smart card, you must:

  • convert the file to the PEM format
  • extract the private key and the certificate to two different files

Prerequisites

  • The PFX file is copied into the IdM client machine.

Procedure

  1. On the IdM client, into the PEM format:

    [root@idmclient1 ~]# openssl pkcs12 -in aduser1.pfx -out aduser1_cert_only.pem -clcerts -nodes
    Enter Import Password:
  2. Extract the key into the separate file:

    [root@idmclient1 ~]# openssl pkcs12 -in adduser1.pfx -nocerts -out adduser1.pem > aduser1.key
  3. Extract the public certificate into the separate file:

    [root@idmclient1 ~]# openssl pkcs12 -in adduser1.pfx -clcerts -nokeys -out aduser1_cert_only.pem > aduser1.crt

At this point, you can store the aduser1.key and aduser1.crt into the smart card.

2.6. Installing tools for managing and using smart cards

To configure your smart card, you need tools which can generate certificates and store them on a smart card.

You must:

  • Install the gnutls-utils package which helps you to manage certificates.
  • Install the opensc package which provides a set of libraries and utilities to work with smart cards.
  • Start the pcscd service which communicates with the smart card reader.

Procedure

  1. Install the opensc and gnutls-utils packages:

    # dnf -y install opensc gnutls-utils
  2. Start the pcscd service.

    # systemctl start pcscd

Verify that the pcscd service is up and running.

2.7. Storing a certificate on a smart card

This section describes smart card configuration with the pkcs15-init tool, which helps you to configure:

  • Erasing your smart card
  • Setting new PINs and optional PIN Unblocking Keys (PUKs)
  • Creating a new slot on the smart card
  • Storing the certificate, private key, and public key in the slot
  • Locking the smart card settings (some smart cards require this type of finalization)

Prerequisites

  • The opensc package, which includes the pkcs15-init tool is installed.

    For details, see Installing tools for managing and using smart cards.

  • The card is inserted in the reader and connected to the computer.
  • You have the private key, public key, and certificate to store on the smart card. In this procedure, testuser.key, testuserpublic.key, and testuser.crt are the names used for the private key, public key, and the certificate.
  • Your current smart card user PIN and Security Officer PIN (SO-PIN)

Procedure

  1. Erase your smart card and authenticate yourself with your PIN:

    $ pkcs15-init --erase-card --use-default-transport-keys
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    PIN [Security Officer PIN] required.
    Please enter PIN [Security Officer PIN]:

    The card has been erased.

  2. Initialize your smart card, set your user PIN and PUK, and your Security Officer PIN and PUK:

    $ pkcs15-init --create-pkcs15 --use-default-transport-keys \
        --pin 963214 --puk 321478 --so-pin 65498714 --so-puk 784123
    Using reader with a card: Reader name

    The pcks15-init tool creates a new slot on the smart card.

  3. Set the label and the authentication ID for the slot:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-pin --label testuser \
        --auth-id 01 --so-pin 65498714 --pin 963214 --puk 321478
    Using reader with a card: Reader name

    The label is set to a human-readable value, in this case, testuser. The auth-id must be two hexadecimal values, in this case it is set to 01.

  4. Store and label the private key in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-private-key testuser.key --label testuser_key \
        --auth-id 01 --id 01 --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    Note

    The value you specify for --id must be the same when storing your private key, and certificate. If you do not specify a value for --id, a more complicated value is calculated by the tool and it is therefore easier to define your own value.

  5. Store and label the certificate in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-certificate testuser.crt --label testuser_crt \
        --auth-id 01 --id 01 --format pem --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
  6. (Optional) Store and label the public key in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-public-key testuserpublic.key
        --label testuserpublic_key --auth-id 01 --id 01 --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    Note

    If the public key corresponds to a private key and/or certificate, you should specify the same ID as that private key and/or certificate.

  7. (Optional) Some smart cards require you to finalize the card by locking the settings:

    $ pkcs15-init -F

    At this stage, your smart card includes the certificate, private key, and public key in the newly created slot. You have also created your user PIN and PUK and the Security Officer PIN and PUK.

2.8. Configuring timeouts in sssd.conf

Authentication with a smart card certificate might take longer than the default timeouts used by SSSD. Time out expiration can be caused by:

  • slow reader
  • a forwarding form a physical device into a virtual environment
  • too many certificates stored on the smart card
  • slow response from the OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) responder if OCSP is used to verify the certificates

In this case you can prolong the following timeouts in the sssd.conf file, for example, to 60 seconds:

  • p11_child_timeout
  • krb5_auth_timeout

Prerequisites

  • You must be logged in as root.

Procedure

  1. Open the sssd.conf file:

    [root@idmclient1 ~]# vim /etc/sssd/sssd.conf
  2. Change the value of p11_child_timeout:

    [pam]
    p11_child_timeout = 60
  3. Change the value of krb5_auth_timeout:

    [domain/IDM.EXAMPLE.COM]
    krb5_auth_timeout = 60
  4. Save the settings.

Now, the interaction with the smart card is allowed to run for 1 minute (60 seconds) before authentication will fail with a timeout.

2.9. Creating certificate mapping rules for smart card authentication

If you want to use one certificate for a user who has accounts in AD (Active Directory) and in IdM (Identity Management), you can create a certificate mapping rule on the IdM server.

After creating such a rule, the user is able to authenticate with their smart card in both domains.

For details about certificate mapping rules, see Certificate mapping rules for configuring authentication on smart cards.

Chapter 3. Certificate mapping rules for configuring authentication on smart cards

Certificate mapping rules are a convenient way of allowing users to authenticate using certificates in scenarios when the Identity Management (IdM) administrator does not have access to certain users' certificates. This lack of access is typically caused by the fact that the certificates have been issued by an external certificate authority. A special use case is represented by certificates issued by the Certificate System of an Active Directory (AD) with which the IdM domain is in a trust relationship.

Certificate mapping rules are also convenient if the IdM environment is large with a lot of users using smart cards. In this situation, adding full certificates can be complicated. The subject and issuer are predictable in most scenarios and thus easier to add ahead of time than the full certificate. As a system administrator, you can create a certificate mapping rule and add certificate mapping data to a user entry even before a certificate is issued to a particular user. Once the certificate is issued, the user can log in using the certificate even though the full certificate has not yet been uploaded to the user entry.

In addition, as certificates have to be renewed at regular intervals, certificate mapping rules reduce administrative overhead. When a user’s certificate gets renewed, the administrator does not have to update the user entry. For example, if the mapping is based on the Subject and Issuer values, and if the new certificate has the same subject and issuer as the old one, the mapping still applies. If, in contrast, the full certificate was used, then the administrator would have to upload the new certificate to the user entry to replace the old one.

To set up certificate mapping:

  1. An administrator has to load the certificate mapping data (typically the issuer and subject) or the full certificate into a user account.
  2. An administrator has to create a certificate mapping rule to allow successful logging into IdM for a user

    1. whose account contains a certificate mapping data entry
    2. whose certificate mapping data entry matches the information on the certificate

    For details on the individual components that make up a mapping rule and how to obtain and use them, see Components of an identity mapping rule in IdM and Obtaining the issuer from a certificate for use in a matching rule .

Afterwards, when the end-user presents the certificate, stored either in the filesystem or on a smart card , authentication is successful.

3.1. Certificate mapping rules for trusts with Active Directory domains

This section outlines the different certificate mapping use cases that are possible if an IdM deployment is in a trust relationship with an Active Directory (AD) domain.

Certificate mapping rules are a convenient way to enable access to IdM resources for users who have smart card certificates that were issued by the trusted AD Certificate System. Depending on the AD configuration, the following scenarios are possible:

3.2. Components of an identity mapping rule in IdM

This section describes the components of an identity mapping rule in IdM and how to configure them. Each component has a default value that you can override. You can define the components in either the web UI or the CLI. In the CLI, the identity mapping rule is created using the ipa certmaprule-add command.

Mapping rule

The mapping rule component associates (or maps) a certificate with one or more user accounts. The rule defines an LDAP search filter that associates a certificate with the intended user account.

Certificates issued by different certificate authorities (CAs) might have different properties and might be used in different domains. Therefore, IdM does not apply mapping rules unconditionally, but only to the appropriate certificates. The appropriate certificates are defined using matching rules.

Note that if you leave the mapping rule option empty, the certificates are searched in the userCertificate attribute as a DER encoded binary file.

Define the mapping rule in the CLI using the --maprule option.

Matching rule

The matching rule component selects a certificate to which you want to apply the mapping rule. The default matching rule matches certificates with the digitalSignature key usage and clientAuth extended key usage.

Define the matching rule in the CLI using the --matchrule option.

Domain list

The domain list specifies the identity domains in which you want IdM to search the users when processing identity mapping rules. If you leave the option unspecified, IdM searches the users only in the local domain to which the IdM client belongs.

Define the domain in the CLI using the --domain option.

Priority

When multiple rules are applicable to a certificate, the rule with the highest priority takes precedence. All other rules are ignored.

  • The lower the numerical value, the higher the priority of the identity mapping rule. For example, a rule with a priority 1 has higher priority than a rule with a priority 2.
  • If a rule has no priority value defined, it has the lowest priority.

Define the mapping rule priority in the CLI using the --priority option.

Certificate mapping rule example

To define, using the CLI, a certificate mapping rule called simple_rule that allows authentication for a certificate issued by the Smart Card CA of the EXAMPLE.ORG organisation as long as the Subject on that certificate matches a certmapdata entry in a user account in IdM:

# ipa certmaprule-add simple_rule --matchrule '<ISSUER>CN=Smart Card CA,O=EXAMPLE.ORG' --maprule '(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn!nss_x500}<S>{subject_dn!nss_x500})'

3.3. Obtaining the issuer from a certificate for use in a matching rule

This procedure describes how to obtain the issuer information from a certificate so that you can copy and paste it into the matching rule of a certificate mapping rule. To get the issuer format required by a matching rule, use the openssl x509 utility.

Prerequisites

  • You have the user certificate in a .pem or .crt format

Procedure

  1. Obtain the user information from the certificate. Use the openssl x509 certificate display and signing utility with:

    • the -noout option to prevent the output of an encoded version of the request
    • the -issuer option to output the issuer name
    • the -in option to specify the input file name to read the certificate from
    • the -nameopt option with the RFC2253 value to display the output with the most specific relative distinguished name (RDN) first

      If the input file contains an Identity Management certificate, the output of the command shows that the Issuer is defined using the Organisation information:

      # openssl x509 -noout -issuer -in idm_user.crt -nameopt RFC2253
      issuer=CN=Certificate Authority,O=REALM.EXAMPLE.COM

      If the input file contains an Active Directory certificate, the output of the command shows that the Issuer is defined using the Domain Component information:

      # openssl x509 -noout -issuer -in ad_user.crt -nameopt RFC2253
      issuer=CN=AD-WIN2012R2-CA,DC=AD,DC=EXAMPLE,DC=COM
  2. Optionally, to create a new mapping rule in the CLI based on a matching rule which specifies that the certificate issuer must be the extracted AD-WIN2012R2-CA of the ad.example.com domain and the subject on the certificate must match the certmapdata entry in a user account in IdM:

    # ipa certmaprule-add simple_rule --matchrule '<ISSUER>CN=AD-WIN2012R2-CA,DC=AD,DC=EXAMPLE,DC=COM' --maprule '(ipacertmapdata=X509:<I>{issuer_dn!nss_x500}<S>{subject_dn!nss_x500})'

Additional information

For details about the supported formats for the matching rule and the mapping rule, and an explanation of the priority and domain fields, see the sss-certmap(5) man page.

Chapter 4. Configuring and importing local certificates to a smart card

This chapter describes a scenario where:

  • The host is not connected to a domain.
  • You want to authenticate with a smart card on this host.
  • You want to configure SSH access using smart card authentication.
  • You want to configure the smart card with authselect.

Use the following configuration to accomplish this scenario:

  • Obtain a user certificate for the user who wants to authenticate with a smart card. The certificate should be generated by a trustworthy Certification Authority used in the domain.

    If you cannot get the certificate, you can generate a user certificate signed by a local certificate authority for testing purposes,

  • Store the certificate and private key in a smart card.
  • Configure the smart card authentication for SSH access.
Important

If a host can be part of the domain, add the host to the domain and use certificates generated by Active Directory or Identity Management Certification Authority.

For details about how to create IdM certificates for a smart card, see Configuring Identity Management for smart card authentication .

Prerequisites

  • Authselect installed

    The authselect tool configures user authentication on Linux hosts and you can use it to configure smart card authentication parameters. For details about authselect, see Explaining authselect.

  • Smart Card or USB device supported by RHEL 8

    For details, see Smart Card support in RHEL8.

4.1. Creating local certificates

This section describes how to perform these tasks:

  • Generate the OpenSSL certificate authority
  • Create a certificate signing request
Warning

The following steps are intended for testing purpose only. Certificates generated by a local self-signed Certificate Authority are not as secure as using AD, IdM, or RHCS Certification Authority. You should use a certificate generated by your enterprise Certification Authority even if the host is not part of the domain.

Procedure

  1. Create a directory where you can generate the certificate, for example:

    # mkdir /tmp/ca
    # cd /tmp/ca
  2. Set up the certificate (copy this text to your command line in the ca directory):

    cat > ca.cnf <<EOF
    [ ca ]
    default_ca = CA_default
    
    [ CA_default ]
    dir              = .
    database         = \$dir/index.txt
    new_certs_dir    = \$dir/newcerts
    
    certificate      = \$dir/rootCA.crt
    serial           = \$dir/serial
    private_key      = \$dir/rootCA.key
    RANDFILE         = \$dir/rand
    
    default_days     = 365
    default_crl_days = 30
    default_md       = sha256
    
    policy           = policy_any
    email_in_dn      = no
    
    name_opt         = ca_default
    cert_opt         = ca_default
    copy_extensions  = copy
    
    [ usr_cert ]
    authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid, issuer
    
    [ v3_ca ]
    subjectKeyIdentifier   = hash
    authorityKeyIdentifier = keyid:always,issuer:always
    basicConstraints       = CA:true
    keyUsage               = critical, digitalSignature, cRLSign, keyCertSign
    
    [ policy_any ]
    organizationName       = supplied
    organizationalUnitName = supplied
    commonName             = supplied
    emailAddress           = optional
    
    [ req ]
    distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
    prompt             = no
    
    [ req_distinguished_name ]
    O  = Example
    OU = Example Test
    CN = Example Test CA
    EOF
  3. Create the following directories:

    # mkdir certs crl newcerts
  4. Create the following files:

    # touch index.txt crlnumber index.txt.attr
  5. Write the number 01 in the serial file:

    # echo 01 > serial

    This command writes a number 01 in the serial file. It is a serial number of the certificate. With each new certificate released by this CA the number increases by one.

  6. Create an OpenSSL root CA key:

    # openssl genrsa -out rootCA.key 2048
  7. Create a self-signed root Certification Authority certificate:

    # openssl req -batch -config ca.cnf \
        -x509 -new -nodes -key rootCA.key -sha256 -days 10000 \
        -set_serial 0 -extensions v3_ca -out rootCA.crt
  8. Create the key for your username:

    # openssl genrsa -out example.user.key 2048

    This key is generated in the local system which is not secure, therefore, remove the key from the system when the key is stored in the card.

    You can create a key directly in the smart card as well. For doing this, follow instructions created by the manufacturer of your smart card.

  9. Create the certificate signing request configuration file (copy this text to your command line in the ca directory):

    cat > req.cnf <<EOF
    [ req ]
    distinguished_name = req_distinguished_name
    prompt = no
    
    [ req_distinguished_name ]
    O = Example
    OU = Example Test
    CN = testuser
    
    [ req_exts ]
    basicConstraints = CA:FALSE
    nsCertType = client, email
    nsComment = "testuser"
    subjectKeyIdentifier = hash
    keyUsage = critical, nonRepudiation, digitalSignature, keyEncipherment
    extendedKeyUsage = clientAuth, emailProtection, msSmartcardLogin
    subjectAltName = otherName:msUPN;UTF8:testuser@EXAMPLE.COM, email:testuser@example.com
    EOF
  10. Create a certificate signing request for your example.user certificate:

    # openssl req -new -nodes -key example.user.key \
        -reqexts req_exts -config req.cnf -out example.user.csr
  11. Configure the new certificate. Expiration period is set to 1 year:

    # openssl ca -config ca.cnf -batch -notext \
        -keyfile rootCA.key -in example.user.csr -days 365 \
        -extensions usr_cert -out example.user.crt

At this point, the certification authority and certificates are successfully generated and prepared for import into a smart card.

4.2. Copying certificates to the SSSD directory

Gnome Desktop Manager (GDM) requires SSSD. If you use GDM, you need to copy the PEM certificate to the /etc/sssd/pki directory.

Prerequisites

  • The local CA authority and certificates have been generated

Procedure

  1. Ensure that you have SSSD installed on the system.

    # rpm -q sssd
    sssd-2.0.0.43.el8_0.3.x86_64
  2. Create a /etc/sssd/pki directory:

    # file /etc/sssd/pki
    /etc/sssd/pki/: directory
  3. Copy the rootCA.crt as a PEM file in the /etc/sssd/pki/ directory:

    # cp /tmp/ca/rootCA.crt /etc/sssd/pki/sssd_auth_ca_db.pem

Now you have successfully generated the certificate authority and certificates, and you have saved them in the /etc/sssd/pki directory.

Note

If you want to share the Certificate Authority certificates with another application, you can change a location in sssd.conf:

  • SSSD PAM responder: pam_cert_db_path in the [pam] section
  • SSSD ssh responder: ca_db in the [ssh] section

For details, see man page for sssd.conf.

Red Hat recommends to keep the default path and use a dedicated Certificate Authority certificate file for SSSD to make sure that only Certificate Authorities trusted for authentication are listed here.

4.3. Installing tools for managing and using smart cards

To configure your smart card, you need tools which can generate certificates and store them on a smart card.

You must:

  • Install the gnutls-utils package which helps you to manage certificates.
  • Install the opensc package which provides a set of libraries and utilities to work with smart cards.
  • Start the pcscd service which communicates with the smart card reader.

Procedure

  1. Install the opensc and gnutls-utils packages:

    # dnf -y install opensc gnutls-utils
  2. Start the pcscd service.

    # systemctl start pcscd

Verify that the pcscd service is up and running.

4.4. Storing a certificate on a smart card

This section describes smart card configuration with the pkcs15-init tool, which helps you to configure:

  • Erasing your smart card
  • Setting new PINs and optional PIN Unblocking Keys (PUKs)
  • Creating a new slot on the smart card
  • Storing the certificate, private key, and public key in the slot
  • Locking the smart card settings (some smart cards require this type of finalization)

Prerequisites

  • The opensc package, which includes the pkcs15-init tool is installed.

    For details, see Installing tools for managing and using smart cards.

  • The card is inserted in the reader and connected to the computer.
  • You have the private key, public key, and certificate to store on the smart card. In this procedure, testuser.key, testuserpublic.key, and testuser.crt are the names used for the private key, public key, and the certificate.
  • Your current smart card user PIN and Security Officer PIN (SO-PIN)

Procedure

  1. Erase your smart card and authenticate yourself with your PIN:

    $ pkcs15-init --erase-card --use-default-transport-keys
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    PIN [Security Officer PIN] required.
    Please enter PIN [Security Officer PIN]:

    The card has been erased.

  2. Initialize your smart card, set your user PIN and PUK, and your Security Officer PIN and PUK:

    $ pkcs15-init --create-pkcs15 --use-default-transport-keys \
        --pin 963214 --puk 321478 --so-pin 65498714 --so-puk 784123
    Using reader with a card: Reader name

    The pcks15-init tool creates a new slot on the smart card.

  3. Set the label and the authentication ID for the slot:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-pin --label testuser \
        --auth-id 01 --so-pin 65498714 --pin 963214 --puk 321478
    Using reader with a card: Reader name

    The label is set to a human-readable value, in this case, testuser. The auth-id must be two hexadecimal values, in this case it is set to 01.

  4. Store and label the private key in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-private-key testuser.key --label testuser_key \
        --auth-id 01 --id 01 --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    Note

    The value you specify for --id must be the same when storing your private key, and certificate. If you do not specify a value for --id, a more complicated value is calculated by the tool and it is therefore easier to define your own value.

  5. Store and label the certificate in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-certificate testuser.crt --label testuser_crt \
        --auth-id 01 --id 01 --format pem --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
  6. (Optional) Store and label the public key in the new slot on the smart card:

    $ pkcs15-init --store-public-key testuserpublic.key
        --label testuserpublic_key --auth-id 01 --id 01 --pin 963214
    Using reader with a card: Reader name
    Note

    If the public key corresponds to a private key and/or certificate, you should specify the same ID as that private key and/or certificate.

  7. (Optional) Some smart cards require you to finalize the card by locking the settings:

    $ pkcs15-init -F

    At this stage, your smart card includes the certificate, private key, and public key in the newly created slot. You have also created your user PIN and PUK and the Security Officer PIN and PUK.

4.5. Configuring SSH access using smart card authentication

SSH connections require authentication. You can use a password or a certificate. This section describes:

  • the configuration necessary for enabling authentication using a certificate stored on a smart card
  • the lock on removal configuration using the authselect tool

The lock on removal configuration enforces log out after the smart card removal.

For details about configuring smart cards with authselect, see Configuring smart cards using authselect.

Prerequisites

  • The smart card contains your certificate and private key.
  • The card is inserted in the reader and connected to the computer.
  • SSSD is installed and configured.
  • Your username matches the Common Name (CN) or User ID (UID) in the certificate’s SUBJECT.
  • The pcscd service is running on your local machine.

    For details, see Installing tools for managing and using smart cards.

Procedure

  1. Create a new directory for SSH keys in the home directory of the user who uses smart card authentication:

    # mkdir /home/example.user/.ssh
  2. Run the ssh-keygen -D command with the opensc library to retrieve the existing public key paired with the private key on the smart card, and add it to the authorized_keys list of the user’s SSH keys directory to enable SSH access with smart card authentication.

    # ssh-keygen -D /usr/lib64/pkcs11/opensc-pkcs11.so >> ~example.user/.ssh/authorized_keys
  3. SSH requires access right configuration for the /.ssh directory and the authorized_keys file. To set or change the access rights, enter:

    # chown -R example.user:example.user ~example.user/.ssh/
    # chmod 700 ~example.user/.ssh/
    # chmod 600 ~example.user/.ssh/authorized_keys
  4. Optionally, display the keys:

    # cat ~example.user/.ssh/authorized_keys

    The terminal displays the keys.

  5. Verify that the smart card authentication is enabled in the /etc/sssd/sssd.conf file:

    In the [pam] section, enable the pam certificate authentication module: pam_cert_auth = True

    If the sssd.conf file has not been created yet, you can create the minimal functional configuration by copying the following script to the command line:

    # cat > /etc/sssd/sssd.conf <<EOF
    [sssd]
    services = nss, pam
    domains = shadowutils
    
    [nss]
    
    [pam]
    pam_cert_auth = True
    
    [domain/shadowutils]
    id_provider = files
    EOF
  6. To use the SSH keys, configure the authentication with the authselect command:

    # authselect select sssd with-smartcard with-smartcard-lock-on-removal --force

Now, you can verify the SSH access with the following command:

# ssh -I /usr/lib64/opensc-pkcs11.so -l example.user localhost hostname

If the configuration is successful, you are prompted to enter the smart card PIN.

The configuration works now locally. Now you can copy the public key and distribute it to authorized_keys files located on all servers on which you want to use SSH.

Chapter 5. Configuring smart cards using authselect

This section describes how to configure your smart card to achieve one of the following aims:

  • Enable both password and smart card authentication
  • Disable password and enable smart card authentication
  • Enable lock on removal

Prerequisites

5.1. Certificates eligible for smart cards

Before you can configure a smart card with authselect, you must import a certificate into your card. You can use the following tools to generate the certificate:

5.2. Enabling user password authentication to configure smart card authentication

This section describes how to enable both smart card and password authentication on your system.

Prerequisites

  • The Smart card contains your certificate and private key.
  • The card is inserted into the reader and connected to the computer.
  • The authselect tool is installed on your system.

Procedure

  • Enter the following command to allow smart card and password authentication:

    # authselect select sssd with-smartcard --force

At this point, smart card authentication is enabled, however, password authentication will work if you forget your smart card at home.

5.3. Configuring authselect to enforce smart card authentication

The authselect tool enables you to configure smart card authentication on your system and to disable the default password authentication. The authselect command must include the following options:

  • with-smartcard — enabling smart card authentication
  • with-smartcard-required  — enabling exclusive smart card authentication (authentication with a password is disabled)

Prerequisites

  • Smart card contains your certificate and private key.
  • The card is inserted into the reader and connected to the computer.
  • The authselect tool is installed on your local system.

Procedure

  • Enter the following command to enforce smart card authentication:

    # authselect select sssd with-smartcard  with-smartcard-required --force

At this point, you can only log in with a smart card. Password authentication will not be working any more.

5.4. Configuring smart card authentication with lock on removal

The authselect service enables you to configure your smart card authentication to lock your screen instantly after removing the smart card from the reader. The authselect command must include the following variables:

  • with-smartcard — enabling smart card authentication
  • with-smartcard-required — enabling exclusive smart card authentication (authentication with a password is disabled)
  • with-smartcard-lock-on-removal — enforcing log out after the smart card removal

Prerequisites

  • Smart card contains your certificate and private key.
  • The card is inserted into the reader and connected to the computer.
  • The authselect tool is installed on your local system.

Procedure

  • Enter the following command to enable smart card authentication, disable password authentication, and enforce lock on removal:

    # authselect select sssd  with-smartcard  with-smartcard-required with-smartcard-lock-on-removal --force

Now, when you remove the card, the screen locks. You must re-insert your smart card to unlock it.

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