Metacoda Identity Sync and Microsoft Security Advisory ADV190023

Those of you who use Metacoda Identity Sync may have already heard about Microsoft Security Advisory ADV190023. You may have heard about it from Stuart Rogers’ post on SAS Communities: SAS Viya The Importance of LDAP Encryption. Stuart’s article is about SAS Viya, but the Microsoft changes may have an impact on those sites that do LDAP-based identity synchronization with their SAS 9 platforms too. This includes Metacoda customers that use Metacoda Identity Sync. Naturally, this is something we have been getting some questions about recently – “How will it impact on the identity sync process?”

I think a good place to start would be to read the linked articles above, then discuss with your domain admins. They will be able to tell you if they plan on making the recommended changes and, if so, when they plan to make them. This might require you to change the way you configure your LDAP connection.

There has been some confusion about what changes Microsoft will make and when. It also looks like the extent and timing of those changes has evolved over time too. Quoting some of the sections of the advisory, as of today: Continue reading “Metacoda Identity Sync and Microsoft Security Advisory ADV190023”

Reviewing SSL/TLS Certificate Chain for Active Directory Server

Sometimes when I am setting up, or helping someone setup, identity synchronisation between the SAS® platform and Microsoft Active Directory (AD), I run into SSL/TLS certificate validation issues. I am usually using Metacoda Identity Sync, but it can also happen when doing a sync with custom Base SAS code. Often the underlying cause is that the AD server’s CA certificate is not in the SAS Private JRE Trusted CA Bundle (see Did I add that CA Certificate to the SAS Trusted CA Bundle?). When troubleshooting this, one of the first things I will do is look at the certificate that the AD server is providing, and I mostly use an OpenSSL s_client command for this. There are 4 command variations I use depending on whether I am trying to use the main directory or the global catalog, and with LDAP plus STARTTLS, or just LDAPS.

For connecting to the main directory on the unencrypted LDAP port 389 with an upgrade to encrypted using STARTTLS:

echo "Q" | openssl s_client -connect dc.example.com:389 -starttls ldap -showcerts

For connecting to the main directory on the encrypted LDAPS port 636:

echo "Q" | openssl s_client -connect dc.example.com:636 -showcerts

For connecting to the global catalog on the unencrypted port 3268 with an upgrade to encrypted using STARTTLS:

echo "Q" | openssl s_client -connect gc.example.com:3268 -starttls ldap -showcerts

For connecting to the global catalog on the encrypted port 3269:

echo "Q" | openssl s_client -connect gc.example.com:3269 -showcerts

If you want to examine the returned certificate in more detail then you can also pipe it to an OpenSSL x509 command e.g.

echo "Q" | openssl s_client -connect dc.example.com:389 -starttls ldap -showcerts | openssl x509 -noout -text

If you have questions, or any other tips for troubleshooting SSL/TLS certificates with AD, then please leave a comment below.

Auto Creation of Linux Home Directories for SAS Users

In a previous post I’ve described a method for configuring Active Directory Authentication for SAS® on Linux (with realmd). One of the packages that’s installed is oddjob-mkhomedir. This package normally handles any requirement for auto-creating home directories for those AD users on Linux. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to get used by the SAS Object Spawner. I ran into this issue again today when logging into SAS Studio 4.2 as an AD user on the SAS Viya™ 3.2 platform. I wasn’t able to login because the AD user’s Linux home directory didn’t exist and hadn’t been auto created. After manually creating the home directory the login succeeded. I would rather get auto-creation working so I wouldn’t need to manually create home directories for each SAS user that was likely to use SAS Studio. Thankfully I was able to find a solution that I’ll describe in this post. Continue reading “Auto Creation of Linux Home Directories for SAS Users”