The CAS authentication process is primarily controlled by an authentication manager, which orchestrates a collection of authentication handlers.

Authentication Manager

CAS ships with a single yet flexible authentication manager which performs authentication according to the following contract.

For any given credential the manager does the following:

  1. Iterate over all configured authentication handlers.
  2. Attempt to authenticate a credential if a handler supports it.
  3. On success attempt to resolve a principal.
  4. Check whether a resolver is configured for the handler that authenticated the credential.
  5. If a suitable resolver is found, attempt to resolve the principal.
  6. If a suitable resolver is not found, use the principal resolved by the authentication handler.
  7. Check whether the security policy (e.g. any, all) is satisfied.
  8. If security policy is met return immediately.
  9. Continue if security policy is not met.
  10. After all credentials have been attempted check security policy again and throw AuthenticationException if not satisfied.

There is an implicit security policy that requires at least one handler to successfully authenticate a credential.

To see the relevant list of CAS properties, please review this guide.

Authentication Sequence

At runtime, CAS maintains a collection of authentication handlers/strategies that typically execute one after another. Each CAS module that presents a form of authentication strategy will simply insert itself into this collection at bootstrap time. At the end of this process, the result of all authentication transactions is collected and optionally processed by an authentication policy where success/failure of certain strategies/sources may be taken into account to fully satisfy the authentication requirements. The collection of authentication handlers tries to preserve order in a rather more deterministic way. The idea is that adopters can assign an order value to an authentication handler thereby explicitly positioning it in the collection and controlling its execution sequence.

Authentication Handlers

There are a variety of authentication handlers and schemes supported by CAS. Use the menu to navigate around the site and choose.

Default Credentials

To test the default authentication scheme in CAS, use casuser and Mellon as the username and password respectively. These are automatically configured via the static authencation handler, and MUST be removed from the configuration prior to production rollouts.

To see the relevant list of CAS properties, please review this guide.

Authentication Policy

CAS presents a number of strategies for handling authentication security policies. Policies in general control the following:

  1. Should the authentication chain be stopped after a certain kind of authentication failure?
  2. Given multiple authentication handlers in a chain, what constitutes a successful authentication event?

Policies are typically activated after:

  1. An authentication failure has occurred.
  2. The authentication chain has finished execution.

Typical use cases of authentication policies may include:

  1. Enforce a specific authentication’s successful execution, for the entire authentication event to be considered successful.
  2. Ensure a specific class of failure is not evident in the authentication chain’s execution log.
  3. Ensure that all authentication schemes in the chain are executed successfully, for the entire authentication event to be considered successful.

To see the relevant list of CAS properties, please review this guide.

Principal Resolution

Please see this guide more full details on principal resolution.

Principal Transformation

Authentication handlers that generally deal with username-password credentials can be configured to transform the user id prior to executing the authentication sequence. Each authentication strategy in CAS provides settings to properly transform the principal. Refer to the relevant settings for the authentication strategy at hand to learn more.

Long Term Authentication

CAS has support for long term Ticket Granting Tickets, a feature that is also referred to as “Remember Me” to extend the length of the SSO session beyond the typical configuration. Please see this guide for more details.

Proxy Authentication

Please see this guide for more details.

Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Please see this guide for more details.

Login Throttling

CAS provides a facility for limiting failed login attempts to support password guessing and related abuse scenarios. Please see this guide for additional details on login throttling.

A ticket-granting cookie is an HTTP cookie set by CAS upon the establishment of a single sign-on session. This cookie maintains login state for the client, and while it is valid, the client can present it to CAS in lieu of primary credentials. Please see this guide for additional details.