Introduction to Securing Liferay DXP

Liferay follows the OWASP Top 10 (2013) and CWE/SANS Top 25 lists to ensure Liferay DXP is as secure as possible. Following these recommendations protects the product against known kinds of attacks and security vulnerabilities. For example, Liferay DXP’s persistence layer is generated and maintained by the Service Builder framework which prevents SQL Injection using Hibernate and parameter based queries.

To prevent Cross Site Scripting (XSS), user-submitted values are escaped on output. To support integration features, Liferay DXP doesn’t encode input. Data is stored in the original form as submitted by the user. Liferay DXP includes built-in protection against CSRF attacks, Local File Inclusion, Open Redirects, Uploading and serving files of dangerous types, Content Sniffing, Clickjacking, Path Traversal, and many other common attacks.

To stay on top, Liferay DXP also contains fixes for state-of-the-art attacks and techniques to improve product security. For example, Liferay DXP uses PBKDF2 to store passwords. Liferay DXP also contains mitigation for Quadratic Blowup XXE attack, Rosetta Flash vulnerability, Reflected File Download, and other kinds of attacks.

This section of tutorials shows you how to configure various security and login features, such as LDAP, single sign-on, Service Access Policies, and more. What follows is an overview of what’s available.

Authentication Overview

Liferay DXP user authentication can take place using any of a variety of prepared solutions:

  • Form authentication using the Sign In Portlet with extensible adapters for checking and storing credentials (portal database, LDAP)
  • Single-Sign-On (SSO) solutions - NTLM, CAS, SiteMinder, OpenSSO, OpenID, Facebook
  • SAML plugin
  • JAAS integration with application server

Note: Although Liferay’s SSO solutions are incompatible with WebDAV, they can be used with Liferay Sync. See the Publishing Files article for more information on WebDAV and Liferay Sync.

You can authenticate and authorize apps remotely using the AuthVerifier layer:

  • Password based HTTP Basic + Digest authentication
  • Token based OAuth plugin
  • Portal session based solution for JavaScript applications

Both user authentication and remote application authentication are extensible. Developers can create custom Login portlets and plugins, extend the default Login portlet auth.pipeline, create AutoLogin extensions for SSO, or create custom AuthVerifier implementations.

Authorization and Permission Checking

There are several adjustable authorization layers in place to prevent unauthorized or unsecured access to data:

  • Remote IP and HTTPS transport check to limit access to Liferay DXP’s Java servlets
  • Extensible Access Control Policies layer to perform any portal service related authorization check
  • Extensible role-based permission framework for almost any portal entity or data (stored in the portal database or elsewhere)
  • Portlet Container security checks to control portlet access
  • Remote IP check for portal remote API authentication methods
  • Service Access Policies to control access to portal remote API

Additional Security Features

Users can be assigned to sites, teams, user groups, or organizations. Custom roles can be created, permissions can be assigned to those roles, and those roles can be applied to users. Roles are scoped to apply only with a specific context like a site, an organization, or globally. See the Roles and Permissions documentation for more information.

There are additional security plugins available from Liferay Marketplace. For example, you can find an Audit plugin for tracking user actions or an AntiSamy plugin for clearing HTML from XSS vectors.

There are many ways to fine-tune or disable various security features. Here are a few examples of these kinds of configuration actions:

  • Disable the Sign In portlet’s Create Account link
  • Configure Liferay DXP’s HTTPS web server address
  • Configure the list of allowed servers to which users can be redirected
  • Configure the list of portlets that can be accessed from any page
  • Configure the file types allowed to be uploaded and downloaded

Secure Configuration and Run Recommendations

Liferay DXP is built using the “secure by default” concept in mind. It’s not recommended to disable built-in protections or to allow all values in security white-lists. Such acts may lead to security misconfiguration and an insecure deployment.

Also, customers are advised to deploy security patches as described on the customer portal.

For community and CE deployments, the stay secure by always using the latest community version, which contains all previous security patches. Until a new version is released, the Community Security Team issues patches for the latest CE version via the security page.

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