Sep 25 – 29, 2023
Centro de Ciencias de Benasque
Europe/Madrid timezone

Update: Token based solutions from KIT

Sep 26, 2023, 11:15 AM
Centro de Ciencias de Benasque

Centro de Ciencias de Benasque

Av. de Francia, 17, 22440   Benasque Huesca, Spain   42.603194, 0.523222
Presentation (15' + 5' for questions) Development of innovative software and services IBERGRID


Marcus Hardt (KIT)


OIDC (OpenID Connect) is widely used for transforming our digital
infrastructures (e-Infrastructures, HPC, Storage, Cloud, ...) into the
token based world.

OIDC is an authentication protocol that allows users to be authenticated
with an external, trusted identity provider. Although typically meant for
web- based applications, there is an increasing need for integrating
shell- based services.

This contribution delivers an overview and the current state of several
tools, each of which provides a solution to a specific aspect of using
tokens on the commandline in production services:

oidc-agent is the tool for obtaining oidc-access tokens on the
commandline. It focuses on security and manages to provide ease of use
at the same time. The agent operates on a users workstation or laptop
and is well integrated with graphical user interfaces of several
operating systems, such as Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Advanced features
include agent-forwarding which allows users to securely obtain access
tokens from remote machines to which they are logged in.

mytoken is both, a server software and a new token type. Mytokens allow
obtaining access tokens for long time spans, of up to multiple years. It
introduces the concept of "capabilities" and "restrictions" to limit the
power of long living tokens. It is designed to solve difficult use-cases
such as computing jobs that are queued for hours before they run for
days. Running (and storing the output of) such a job is straightforward,
reasonably secure, and fully automisable using mytoken.

pam-ssh-oidc is a pam module that allows accepting access tokens in the
Unix pluggable authentication system. This allows using access tokens
for example in ssh sessions or other unix applications such as su. Our
pam module allows verification of the access token via OIDC or via 3rd
party REST interfaces.

motley-cue is a REST based service that works together with pam-ssh-oidc
to validate access tokens. Along the validation of access tokens,
motley-cue may - depending on the enabled features - perform additional
useful steps in the "SSH via OIDC" use-case. These include
Authorisation (based on VO membership)
Authorisation (based on identity assurance)
Dynamic user creation
One-time-password generation (in case the access token is too long for
the SSH-client used)
Account provisioning via plugin based system (interfaces with local
Unix accounts, LDAP accounts, and external REST interfaces)

mccli is a client side tool that enables clients to use OIDC
access-tokens that normally do not support them. Currently, ssh, sftp
and scp are supported protocols.

oidc-plugin for putty makes use of the new putty plugin interface to use
access tokens for authentication, whenever an ssh-server supports it.
The plugin interfaces with oidc-agent for windows to obtain tokens.

The combination of the tools presented allows creative new ways of using
the new token-based AAIs with old and new tools. Given enough time, this
contribution will include live-demos for all of the presented tools.

Primary authors

Diana Gudu (KIT) Mr Gabriel Zachmann (KIT) Marcus Hardt (KIT)

Presentation materials