Infor Grid on CryptDB

I made a proof of concept of the Infor ION Grid running on CryptDB, a database that computes on encrypted data.

Fully homomorphic encryption

Let’s suppose Alice is a client that is computationally bounded, she has an input X, she wants to compute an arbitrary program P on her input X and get the result where P is computationally intensive, she wants to delegate her computation to a powerful server (e.g. cloud provider) while preserving the privacy of her input (untrusted cloud). The way to do this is to encrypt the input, do the computation on the cipher text, and output the encryption of the result. A fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) is an encryption scheme that achieves that. It is currently still impractical in its full form because the algorithms take exponential time, but it is generating a lot of research in both academia and the industry, and they are bringing variants that make it practical.


CryptDB is a practical database server that allows SQL queries on encrypted data using SQL-aware encryption schemes (e.g. deterministic encryption for joins, order-preserving encryption for comparison predicates, homomorphic encryption for sums). The threat model for CryptDB is to ensure the privacy of the data in the face of a compromise of the database server.

I learned about CryptDB during the MIT cyber security courseMicrosoft Always Encrypted with SQL Server is another implementation.

Proof of concept

I made a proof of concept of the Grid running on CryptDB. I have not followed the guidelines to optimize the encryption schemes for the Grid; I just used the default CryptDB with the goal to spark interest in homomorphic encryption. The ideal would be to apply homomorphic encryption to M3.

1. Preparation

Install Ubuntu 12.04 (as required by CryptDB), Ruby, Git, and JDK 7 (minimum requirement for the Grid):

sudo apt-get install ruby git openjdk-7-jdk

2. Install CryptDB

  1. Download and build CryptDB; it will take some time:
    git clone -b public git://
    cd cryptdb/cd cryptdb/
    sudo scripts/install.rb .

  2. It will install MySQL on default port 3306; for the root password, enter CryptDB’s default letmein
  3. Start the CryptDB proxy (e.g. on default port 3307; change the EDBDIR accordingly):
    export EDBDIR=/home/thibaud/cryptdb/
    cd $EDBDIR
    bins/proxy-bin/bin/mysql-proxy \
     --plugins=proxy --event-threads=4 \
     --max-open-files=1024 \
     --proxy-lua-script=$EDBDIR/mysqlproxy/wrapper.lua \
     --proxy-address= \

3. Install the Grid

  1. Install the Grid on MySQL (see part 8), but via CryptDB (i.e. port 3307 instead of 3306):
    mysql -u root -pletmein -h -P 3307
    create database InforIONGrid;
    use InforIONGrid;

  2. Change the Grid’s config/ to use CryptDB instead of MySQL (i.e. port 3307 instead of 3306):
  3. Fix the CryptDB proxy query parser (it fails on column aliases and on the USER() function):
    if string.find(query, "auto_increment_increment AS auto_increment_increment") then
        return -- fix for MySQL JDBC driver ConnectionImpl.loadServerVariables
    if query == "SELECT USER()" then
        query = "SELECT CURRENT_USER()" -- fix for Grid Agent

4. Start the Grid

Start the Grid as usual (see part 8).


The result is a Grid running transparently on CryptDB, unaware that the underlying data is encrypted, while CryptDB does the computation on the encrypted data on behalf of the Grid:

The CryptDB proxy intercepts the queries (QUERY), it parses them and encrypts them (NEW QUERY), it executes them on MySQL, it decrypts the result and returns the clear text to the Grid:


The advantages are that the Grid data is encrypted which preserves its privacy in case the database server is compromised, and the Grid application did not have to be rewritten for it.

If someone were to compromise the database server, they would only see encrypted table names and columns and encrypted data that does not reveal information about the actual data:


I hope this proof of concept inspires Infor Product Development to consider this type of security for their applications that run on the multi-tenant cloud, such as M3. Secure multi-party computation and homomorphic encryption are the future direction for the security of multi-tenant clouds and a potential market not yet realized.

That’s it!

Please like, comment, share, subscribe, and come write the next idea.

Building an Infor Grid Lab – Part 3

I am building an Infor ION Grid laboratory manually without LifeCycle Manager (LCM) for my learning purposes. In part 2, I had made the installation using cryptographic keys taken from an existing Grid installation. Today, I will create new keys.


The Grid uses TLS to ensure privacy, authentication, and integrity of communication within the Grid. That involves asymmetric cryptography, public/private key pairs, key exchange, digital certificates, digital signatures, symmetric keys, ciphers, etc.

Thankfully the Grid automates most of it. It uses the Java Cryptography Extension (JCE), the Bouncy Castle Crypto APIs, and 2048 bit RSA key pairs. The key material is unique to each installation.


The Infor Documentation Infocenter has an Infor ION Grid Security Administration Guide:


The Infor documentation that is publicly available covers the default cryptographic properties of the Grid such as algorithms, providers, cipher suites, block cipher modes of operation, hashing functions, padding, key length, paths, file names, etc.; the Internet covers cryptography in general; and I am not revealing any secrets; therefore, I am revealing no more information than what is already available publicly. Besides, revealing cryptographic properties does not reveal any secrets, therefore Infor is not revealing any secrets either. Besides, the default properties can be changed to suit our needs. The security of a cryptosystem depends not on the knowledge of its cryptographic properties, but on its implementation and on the security of the secret key material. Thus, it is important you keep your systems up-to-date, and keep your secret key material secure. In doubt, read Auguste Kerckhoffs’s principle, “il faut qu’il puisse sans inconvénient tomber entre les mains de l’ennemi” or Claude Shannon’s maxim, “we shall assume that the enemy knows the system being used.”

Key material

For a minimalist Grid installation, we need the following four files, they are unique to each installation:

For the Grid, we need these files, where the file names must match the Grid name, e.g. Grid:

  • Grid.ks: this is the Java keystore for the Grid. It contains the Grid’s public/private key pair, and the Grid self-signed certificate which will be the root certificate authority (CA) to sign other keys.
  • (optional): this is the clear text password for both keystore and private key.

For each host, we need these files, where the file names are server:

  • server.ks: this is the Java keystore for the host. It contains the host’s public/private key pair, and the host certificate signed by the Grid.
  • this is the clear text password for both keystore and private key.
  • server.key: this is a symmetric key, signed and encrypted, used to encrypt/decrypt protected Grid properties.

In a production environment, keep all these files secure.

Console tool

The Grid has a console tool that automatically creates the key material:

In addition to the console tool, I will show the equivalent command using the Java keytool, and I will inspect the result with KeyStore Explorer.

1. Create Grid material

Use this command to create new key material for the Grid (replace the parameter values with your values, and use a strong password):

java ^
 -cp resources\grid-core.jar;resources\bcprov-jdk16.jar;resources\bcmail-jdk16.jar ^ ^
 -create=gridcert ^
 -gridname Grid ^
 -gridpassword password123 ^
 -gridkeystore secure

It produces these two files:

  • Grid.der
  • Grid.ks

Note: Grid.der is the root CA that typically system administrators will push to the users computers, and then those computers will automatically trust the certificates of M3, Smart Office, etc.

Note: Unfortunately, the command does not automatically generate a strong password for this keystore, which leaves it vulnerable to user choice.

The Grid certificate has the following extensions:

  • Basic Constraints: Subject is a CA, Path Length Constraint: 1
  • Subject Key Identifier
  • Key Usage: Digital Signature, Certificate Signing
  • Extended Key Usage: TLS Web Server Authentication, Code Signing, TLS Web Client Authentication

Alternatively, instead of the console tool, we can use the Java keytool:

keytool ^
 -genkeypair ^
 -keyalg RSA ^
 -keysize 2048 ^
 -sigalg SHA256WITHRSA ^
 -dname cn=Grid ^
 -ext BasicConstraints=ca:true,pathlen:1 ^
 -ext KeyUsage=digitalSignature,keyCertSign ^
 -ext ExtendedkeyUsage=serverAuth,codeSigning,clientAuth ^
 -validity 90 ^
 -keypass password123 ^
 -keystore secure\Grid.ks ^
 -storepass password123

Then, we need to do some export/import to add the certificate as a separate entry:

keytool ^
 -exportcert ^
 -file secure\Grid.der ^
 -keystore secure\Grid.ks ^
 -storepass password123
keytool ^
 -changealias ^
 -alias mykey ^
 -destalias grid_key ^
 -keypass password123 ^
 -keystore secure\Grid.ks ^
 -storepass password123
keytool ^
 -noprompt ^
 -importcert ^
 -alias mykey ^
 -file secure\Grid.der ^
 -keypass password123 ^
 -keystore secure\Grid.ks ^
 -storepass password123
keytool ^
 -changealias ^
 -alias mykey ^
 -destalias grid_cert ^
 -keypass password123 ^
 -keystore secure\Grid.ks ^
 -storepass password123

2. Create host material

Use this command to create new key material for the host (replace the parameter values with your values, and add as many roles and addresses as needed for this host):

java ^
 -cp resources\grid-core.jar;resources\bcprov-jdk16.jar;resources\bcmail-jdk16.jar ^ ^
 -create=hostcert ^
 -gridname Grid ^
 -gridpassword password123 ^
 -hostname localhost ^
 -gridkeystore secure ^
 -hostkeystore secure ^
 -role grid-admin ^
 -address localhost ^
 -address ::1 ^
 -address ^
 -address ^

It produces these two files:

  • server.ks

Note: Fortunately, the command automatically generates a strong password for this keystore.

The host certificate has extensions for the role (e.g. grid-admin), for the host actor (SYSTEM), for the IP addresses and hostnames:

Alternatively, instead of the console tool, we can use the Java keytool. But it is tricky for we have to add the certificate extensions in hexadecimal. The IANA enterprise number for Lawson Software (Infor) is 10105. The OID names can be found in the OID repository. Note: Thomas Fanto registered child OID 238 for the Grid runtime information in 2009, but somehow the console tool uses child OID 237 instead, which is not reserved. Anyway, dump the OID values as hexadecimal (e.g. grid-admin is 677269642D61646D696E, and SYSTEM is 53595354454D). Prefix them with the ASN.1 UTF8String tag byte of 0x0C to encapsulate them as a UTF-8 String and with the byte length in HEX (e.g. grid-admin is 10 bytes long which is 0x0A, and SYSTEM is 6 bytes long which is 0x06). For the sequences, prefix them with the SEQUENCE tag byte of 0x30 and with the sequence byte length (e.g. 9+3+9+11+2*4 = 40 = 0x28).

keytool ^
 -genkey ^
 -alias localhost_key ^
 -keyalg RSA ^
 -keysize 2048 ^
 -sigalg SHA256WITHRSA ^
 -dname cn=localhost ^
 -ext ^
 -ext ^
 -ext ^
 -validity 90 ^
 -keypass password123 ^
 -keystore secure\server.ks ^
 -storepass password123

Then, we need to create a certificate signing request (CSR) for the host certificate, sign it with the Grid root CA, and import the resulting chain to the keystore:

keytool ^
 -certreq ^
 -alias localhost_key ^
 -keyalg SHA256WITHRSA ^
 -file secure\server.csr.txt ^
 -keystore secure\server.ks ^
 -storepass password123
keytool ^
 -gencert ^
 -infile secure\server.csr.txt ^
 -outfile secure\server.der ^
 -keystore secure\Grid.ks ^
 -storepass password123 ^
 -alias grid_key ^
 -ext BC=0
keytool ^
 -importcert ^
 -noprompt ^
 -trustcacerts ^
 -alias grid_key ^
 -file secure\Grid.der ^
 -keystore secure\server.ks ^
 -storepass password123
keytool ^
 -importcert ^
 -trustcacerts ^
 -alias localhost_key ^
 -file secure\server.der ^
 -keystore secure\server.ks ^
 -storepass password123

Then, save the keystore password with:

echo | set /p="password123" > secure\

3. Create symmetric material

Use this command to create new symmetric key material (replace the parameter values with your values):

java ^
 -cp resources\grid-core.jar;resources\bcprov-jdk16.jar;resources\bcmail-jdk16.jar ^ ^
 -create=symkey ^
 -gridname Grid ^
 -gridkeystore secure ^
 -gridpassword password123 ^
 -symkeypath secure ^
 -hostkeystore secure ^
 -hostname localhost

It produces this file:

  • server.key

It is used to encrypt/decrypt protected Grid properties such as passwords:

Alternatively, we can generate the server.key in Java by taking the Grid certificate’s distinguished name in ASN.1 DER encoded form, signing it with the Grid’s private key, and encrypting it with the host’s public key, but I am not allowed to show the source code for that, and I am struggling with replicating it with the OpenSSL RSA utility and AES encryption. So use the Grid command tool above to generate server.key.


We now have the new unique necessary and sufficient cryptographic key material for a minimalist Grid, and the Grid successfully validates it:

successfully initialized secret key
successfully initialized server keystore


I collected all the commands in my GitHub at keys.cmd.

Future work

Next time, I would like to:

  • Generate the symmetric key with OpenSSL
  • Continue researching security vulnerabilities
  • Use the new Grid installer
  • Setup an administrative router
  • Setup session providers
  • Install applications
  • Install the Grid on Linux and PostgreSQL


That was an illustration of how to manually create – for learning purposes – new cryptographic keys for a minimalist installation of the Infor ION Grid using the built-in tools, and alternatively using the Java keytool. I am learning so I probably missed a few things. Thankfully the Grid console tool automates most of it.

That’s it! Congratulations if you’ve made it so far.

Related posts

Let’s Encrypt Infor e-Commerce

Today I setup SSL/TLS for Infor e-Commerce using Let’s Encrypt, the new free, automated, and open Certificate Authority (CA).


Infor e-Commerce (f.k.a. Movex e-Sales) is a J2EE application running on IBM HTTP Server (IHS) and IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS), where IHS is on the DMZ and has a certificate on port 443, and where WAS is on the local network and has a certificate on port 9043. That’s two certificates.

Step 1. Backup

Backup the following IHS and WAS files in case you need to restore them:

│   ├───conf
│   │       httpd.conf
│   │
│   └───Plugins
│       └───config
│           └───webserver1
│                   plugin-cfg.xml
│                   plugin-key.crl
│                   plugin-key.kdb
│                   plugin-key.rdb
│                   plugin-key.sth
                │   └───cells
                │       └───Node01Cell
                │           │   security.xml
                │           │
                │           └───nodes
                │               ├───AppNode01
                │               │       key.p12
                │               │       trust.p12
                │               │
                │               └───WebNode01
                │                   └───servers
                │                       └───webserver1
                │                               httpd.conf
                │                               plugin-cfg.xml
                │                               plugin-key.crl
                │                               plugin-key.kdb
                │                               plugin-key.rdb
                │                               plugin-key.sth
                │                               server.xml

Step 2. Setup IHS on DMZ

Setup IHS on the DMZ (DNS, firewall, etc.) to serve requests on the Internet:

Step 3. Key database

Let’s verify the key database.

The public/private keys, certificate signing requests (CSR), intermediate certificates, and signed certificates are managed in the IBM key database file format (KDB). Apparently, that format does not allow importing private keys that are created externally (e.g. with OpenSSL or EFF’s Certbot), so we must create them internally using either the IBM Key Management tool (iKeyman), the WAS admin console, or the gsk7cmd command. I will use iKeyman.
  1. Find the latest version of iKeyman (there are several versions of iKeyman throughout IHS and WAS); use version 8.0.399 or later for the most recent cryptographic properties (e.g. SHA256):
  2. Open the default plugin key database:

    The default password is WebAS. You can recover a lost password by calculating the stash (plugin-key.sth) XOR 245, or you can create a new key database from scratch.
  3. Ensure the Signer Certificates contains the same signer certificates as the WAS default trust store (e.g. datapower and root); compare by fingerprints. They should already be there; otherwise, extract them from the WAS admin console, and add them to the key database. That will allow IHS to trust WAS over SSL:

Step 4. Generate key pair + CSR

Let’s generate a public/private key pair and CSR.

  1. In iKeyman, delete the default personal certificate:
  2. Create a new key pair and CSR with the FQDN and cryptographic properties of your choice, leave the email address blank or certbot will throw an error, and save to some temporary file (e.g. certreq.arm):
  3. The result is a new public/private key pair in the key database (plugin-key.kdb) and a new CSR in PKCS#10 format (certreq.arm):

Step 5. Submit CSR to Let’s Encrypt

Let’s submit the CSR to Let’s Encrypt and get a signed certificate in return.

In the ACME protocol, the Let’s Encrypt servers will issue a set of challenges, and our web server must respond correctly to prove ownership of the domain. Normally, it is all automated, but there is no certbot plugin for IHS, so I will use the manual plugin. And because I have not yet tried an ACME client for Windows, I will use certbot on my Linux virtual machine.
  1. Execute certbot with the CSR as input:
    certbot certonly --manual --csr ~/certreq.arm
  2. Enter your email address, accept the Terms of Service, enter the domain name, and select Yes to log your IP address. It will present a challenge (a signed nonce):
  3. Create the specified file with the specified content at the specified path:
  4. Test the URL over the Internet (the Let’s Encrypt servers will request it):
  5. Back in certbot, press ENTER to complete the domain validation:
  6. The result is a signed certificate, intermediate chain, and full chain:

Step 5bis. Submit CSR to another CA

If you prefer, you can skip Let’s Encrypt, and submit the CSR to another CA of your choice (Verisign, Thawte, GoDaddy, Comodo, etc.).

Step 6. Add the certificate

Let’s receive the signed certificate into the key database.

  1. In iKeyman > Personal Certificates, receive the certificate 0000_cert.pem:
  2. Extract the Let’s Encrypt root certificate from one of the chains (e.g. with OpenSSL), or download it directly from IdenTrust at DST Root CA X3, and save it to a temporary file somewhere (e.g. dst_root.pem).
  3. In Signer Certificates, add the intermediate certificate 0000_chain.pem (Let’s Encrypt Authority X3), and the root certificate dst_root.pem (DST Root CA X3):
  4. Copy the key database files to WAS:

Step 7. SSL in IHS

Let’s enable SSL in IHS.

  1. Open the IHS configuration file in a text editor (e.g. Notepad):
  2. Add the following directives:
    LoadModule ibm_ssl_module modules/
    KeyFile C:\IBM\HTTPServer\Plugins\config\webserver1\plugin-key.kdb
    SSLStashFile C:\IBM\HTTPServer\Plugins\config\webserver1\plugin-key.sth
    Listen *:443
    <VirtualHost *:443>
    SSLProtocolDisable SSLv2 SSLv3
    SSLServerCert default
  3. Add the following to redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS; it is required for at least the login page, password change, credit card, XML Gateway, and a few other sensitive pages; it is optional for the rest:
    LoadModule rewrite_module modules/
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} =80
    RewriteRule ^(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [R,L]
  4. Copy httpd.conf to WAS:

Step 8. SSL in WAS

Let’s enable SSL in WAS.

  1. Ensure the default key store has a personal certificate signed by the signer certificates verified earlier:
  2. Set the default SSL configuration to use that server certificate (default):

WAS will not have the Let’s Encrypt certificate, but that’s OK for now.

Step 9. Backup + restart

Backup the files, and restart IHS and WAS.


The result is that the browser now trusts the site:


Let’s Encrypt does not provide Extended Validation (EV) certificates.

Future work

  • Use an ACME client for Windows
  • Automate the manual steps
  • Setup certificate renewal
  • Setup certificate revocation
  • Setup the new certificate in WAS too
  • Setup WAS for remote web server management
  • Replace IHS with nginx


That was my setup of SSL/TLS for Infor e-Commerce using Let’s Encrypt as the certificate authority. In a next post, I would like to setup the certificate in WAS too and setup automatic certificate renewal.

That’s it! Please like, comment, subscribe, share, contribute.


Infor M3 Enterprise Collaborator (MEC) now includes support for SSH FTP (SFTP), a secure file transfer protocol.

FTP vs. PGP vs. SFTP vs. FTPS

Plain FTP does not provide security properties such as confidentiality (against eavesdropping) and integrity (against tampering). FTP provides authentication, but it is plain text. As such, plain FTP is insecure and strongly discouraged.

Even coupled with PGP file encryption and signature verification to protect the contents of the file, the protocol, the credentials, the files and the folders are still vulnerable.

On the other hand, SFTP provides secure file transfer over an insecure network. SFTP is part of the SSH specification. This is what I will explore in this post.

There is also FTPS (also known as FTP-SSL and FTP Secure). Maybe I will explore that in another post.

MEC 9.x, 10.x,

If you have MEC or earlier, your MEC does not have full built-in support for SFTP or FTPS. I found some traces in MEC, 11.4.1 and 11.4.2. And I was told that support for SFTP was made as a plugin sort of, in some MEC 9.x version; maybe they meant FTPS. Anyway, if you are handy, you can make it work. Or you can manually install any SFTP/FTPS software of your choice and connect it to MEC. Do not wait to secure your file transfers.


MEC comes with built-in support for SFTP, and I found traces of FTPS. Unfortunately, it did not yet ship with documentation. I was told a writer is documenting it now. Anyway, we can figure it out by ourselves. Let’s try.

Here are the release notes:

In Partner Admin > Managed > Advanced, there are two new SFTP channels, SFTPPollIn and SFTPOut, which are SFTP clients:
5 6

By looking deeper at the Java classes, we find JCraft JSch, a pure implementation of SSH2 in Java, and Apache Commons VFS2:
2 13

SFTPOut channel

In this post, I will explore the SFTPOut channel in MEC which is an SFTP client for MEC to exchange files with an existing SFTP server.

Unit tests

Prior to setting up MEC SFTPOut, we have to ensure our MEC host can connect to the SFTP server. In my case, I am connecting to [], on default port 22, with userid mecuser, and path /outbound. Contact the SFTP server administrator to get the values, and eventually contact the networking team to adjust firewall rules, name servers, etc.

Do the basic networking tests (ICMP ping, DNS resolution, TCP port, etc.):

Then, do an SSH test (in my example I use the OpenSSH client of Cygwin). As usual with SSH TOFU, verify the fingerprint on a side channel (e.g. via secure email, or via phone call to the administrator of the SFTP server assuming we already know their voice):

Then, do an SFTP test:

Optionally, compile and execute the example of JSch. For that, download Ant, set JAVA_HOME and ANT_HOME in build.bat, set the user@host in, and execute this:
javac -cp build examples\
java -cp build;examples Sftp


Those tests confirm our MEC host can successfully connect to the SFTP server, authenticate, and exchange files (in my case I have permissions to put and retrieve files, not to remove files).

Now, we are ready to do the same SFTP in MEC.

Partner Admin

In Partner Admin > Manage > Communication, create a new Send channel with protocol SFTPOut, hostname, port, userid, password, path, filename, extension, and other settings:

I have not yet played with all the file name options.

The option for private key file is for key-based client authentication (instead of password-based client authentication). For that, generate a public/private RSA key pair, for example with ssh-keygen, and send the public key to the SFTP server administrator, and keep the private key for MEC.

The button Send test message will send a file of our choice to that host/path:

The proxy settings are useful for troubleshooting.

A network trace in Wireshark confirms it is SSH:

Now, we are ready to use the channel as we would use any other channel in MEC.


  • The SFTPOut channel does not allow us to verify the key fingerprint it receives from the SFTP server. Depending on your threat model, this is a security vulnerability.
  • There is a lack of documentation (they are working on it)
  • At first, I could not get the Send test message to work because of the unique file name (I am not familiar with the options) and the jzlib JAR file (see below).
  • MEC is missing JAR file jzlib, and I got this Java stacktrace:
    com.jcraft.jsch.JSchException: java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: com/jcraft/jzlib/ZStream
    at com.jcraft.jsch.Session.initDeflater(
    at com.jcraft.jsch.Session.updateKeys(
    at com.jcraft.jsch.Session.receive_newkeys(
    at com.jcraft.jsch.Session.connect(
    at com.jcraft.jsch.Session.connect(

    I was told it should be resolved in the latest Infor CCSS fix. Meanwhile, download the JAR file from JCraft JZlib, copy/paste it to the following folders, and restart MEC Grid application and Partner Admin:
    Partner Admin\classes\
  • Passwords are stored in clear text in the database, that is a security vulnerability yikes! SELECT PropValue FROM PR_Basic_Property WHERE PropKey='Password' . I was told it should be fixed in the Infor Cloud branch, and is scheduled to be merged back.
  • With the proxy (Fiddler in my case), I was only able to intercept a CONNECT request, nothing else; I do not know if that is the intention.
  • In one of our customer environments, the SFTPOut panel threw:

Future work

When I have time, I would like to:

  • Try the SFTPPollIn channel, it is an SFTP client that polls an existing SFTP server at a certain time interval
  • Try the private key-based authentication
  • Try SFTP through the proxy
  • Try FTPS
  • Keep an eye for the three fixes (documentation, jzlib JAR file, and password protection)


This was an introduction about MEC’s support for SFTP, and how to setup the SFTPOut channel for MEC to act as an SFTP client and securely exchange files with an existing SFTP server. There is more to explore in future posts.

Please like, comment, subscribe, share, author. Thank you.

UPDATES 2017-01-13

  • Corrected definition of SFTPPollIn (it is not an SFTP server as I had incorrectly said)
  • Added security vulnerability about lack of key fingerprint verification in MEC SFTPOut channel
  • Emphasized the security vulnerability of the passwords in clear text

X.509 Token policy for M3 Web Services

I finally tested the X.509 Token policy in Infor M3 Web Services (MWS), and I share my results here.

X.509 Token Policy in MWS has been available for at least 7 years. For the setup, we create a public-private key and digital certificate for the SOAP client, and the SOAP client and SOAP server exchange certificates to authenticate each other.


For an overview of WS-Security (WSS) in the context of M3, see my previous post.

The MWS Designer (MWSD) User Guide has two modest chapters dedicated to WS-Security and X.509 Token policy, and snippets of source code for a Java client:
doc55 doc77

For more information about the implementation of WS-Security in MWS, read the documentation of Apache CXF and Apache WSS4J (Merlin), and explore the MWS server source code in the lws-server and lws-common JARs:

Enable X.509 Token policy

First, create a web service in MWSD, of any type (API, MDP, SQL), deploy it, and test it to ensure it works correctly, e.g. CRS610MI.GetBasicData:

Then, go to Infor ION Grid Management Pages > MWSSecurity > Policy Settings > Service Context (e.g. services), select the web service (e.g. CRS610MI), and click the lock icon to Enable X.509 policy token:2

Server certificate

Then, go to Certificate Management, and download the server certificate, MWSServerCert.cer:

Note: Download it over HTTPS (secure) and not HTTP (clear text); otherwise verify in a side channel the key fingerprint received.

Now, import the server certificate into the client keystore so that the client can authenticate the server:

$ keytool -importcert -file MWSServerCert.cer -alias MwsServer -keystore keystoreClient.jks

PROBLEM: Weak crypto

MWS uses weak cryptography [1], MD5 hashing algorithm and RSA key size 1024 bit:

Nowadays, it should use SHA256 and RSA key size 2048 bit. Maybe it is possible to upgrade the keys on the server; for future work:

Client keys and certificate

Then, generate a public-private key and digital certificate for the SOAP client; use any tool such as JRE’s keytool or OpenSSL:

$ keytool -genkeypair -keystore keystoreClient.jks -alias trustedclient_host -keyalg RSA

$ keytool -exportcert -keystore keystoreClient.jks -alias trustedclient_host -file trustedclient_host.cer

PROBLEM 1: Do not use the weak crypto recommended by the MWSD User Guide in the parameters keyalg and sigalg. Instead, let the keytool use the default values which today for RSA is 2048 bit key size and SHA256withRSA hashing [2].

PROBLEM 2: Use RSA because with DSA the MWS server throws “ Unsupported key type: Sun DSA Public Key”

PROBLEM 3: The MWSD User Guide uses -alias myalias. But when we upload the certificate to the server, the server changes the alias to “trustedClient_” + hostName regardless. So I use that alias too.

Note: Keep the private key private! If you need to send it somewhere, do so only over a secure channel (regular email is not a secure channel). On the other hand, the public key and certificate are public, so you can shout them in the street no problem.

Here is the client certificate with stronger crypto:

Now, upload the client certificate to the MWS server, so that the server can authenticate the client (peer authentication):

Note: Upload over HTTPS (secure) and not HTTP (clear text); otherwise verify in a side channel the key fingerprint the server received.

Test with SoapUI

Now, test using any SOAP client that supports WS-Security, such as SoapUI.

Create a new SOAP project as usual:

Go to Project View > WS-Security Configurations > Keystores, and add keystoreClient.jks and Password:

Go to Outgoing WS-Security Configurations, and add a configuration, e.g. outgoing.

Add an action Timestamp:

PROBLEM 1: The Timestamp must be non-zero, e.g. 10; if I set it to zero the server throws “Security processing failed (actions mismatch) […] An error was discovered processing the <wsse:Security> header” and I do not know why.

Add an Signature action (it is for the client to sign the message with its private key, and for the server to use the client’s public key and verify the integrity of the message received). Select the client Keystore, select the Alias of the client, set the keystore Password, in Parts add Name Body with the Namespace of <soapenv:Body> which is and Encode Content, and leave the rest default:

Add an Encryption action (it is for the client to encrypt the message with the server’s public key, and for the server to decrypt it with its private key). Select the client Keystore, select the Alias of the server, set the keystore Password, in Parts add the same as above, and leave the rest default:

PROBLEM 2: SoapUI is buggy and does not always seem to immediately pick my changes in the configurations, so I had to close and re-open it to pick my changes.

Now for decryption, go to Incoming WS-Security Configurations, add a configuration, e.g. incoming (the server will encrypt the SOAP response with the client’s public key, so this is for the client to decrypt that using its private key; and the server will sign the SOAP response with its private key, and the client will verify the signature of the message received using the server’s public key). Select the Decrypt Keystore, the Signature Keystore, and set the keystore Password:

PROBLEM 3: There is a bug with decryption in SoapUI 5.2.1, and I solved it by replacing the version of wss4j.jar as explained in this post:

Now, create the sample SOAP request (SoapUI already created a sample request), remove the <soapenv:Header> which we do not need, set your input parameters (e.g. CustomerNumber), add Basic authentication with the M3 Username and Password, select to Authenticate pre-emptively (optional), select the Outgoing WSS and Incoming WSS, and click Submit:

The client will encrypt and sign the Body, the server will decrypt it and verify the signature, the server will execute the web service (e.g. CRS610MI.GetBasicData), it will encrypt and sign the response, and return it to the client.


We now have the decrypted and verified SOAP response (e.g. CustomerName, CustomerAddress):

PROBLEM: Plain HTTP and authentication

My understanding of WS-Security is that by design it is an option to transport the message over plain HTTP. That scenario will occur when the message passes the TLS termination point and into proxies and gateways over plain HTTP. For that, we could securely set the M3 user/password in the SOAP header at <cred:lws> and add them to the Encryption and Signature actions. However, I tried it, and I removed the user/password from the HTTP Basic authentication, but MWS throws “401 Unauthorized […] WWW-Authenticate: Basic […] fault […] missing_credentials”:

I found some old documentation from 2009 that sheds more light; maybe I have to use the Username Token instead; for future work:
doc126 doc127

Grid best practice

As a general best practice for the Grid, ensure the Configuration Manager > Routers > Default Router, has WWW Authentication Methods disabled for plain HTTP, and enabled for HTTPS only, to prevent sending user/password over plain HTTP:


Here are some tips for troubleshooting.

Use SoapUI’s six tabs of logs:

Set the MWS logs to DEBUG level:

Set the MWS Debug Settings to create dump files of all the encrypted and signed SOAP requests (_IN.xml) and responses (_OUT.xml) in the MWS\dumps folder:

Set your SOAP client to use a proxy like Fiddler:
Fiddler_ Fiddler


That was my result of testing X.509 Token policy for M3 Web Services with SoapUI. It requires quite a good understanding of the public-key cryptography concepts (public-private keys, certificates, keystores, the dance between client and server, encryption, digital signatures), and it opened more questions than it answered.

Future work

I may work on the following in the future:

  • Implement a similar test client in Java
  • Upgrade the MWS server to stronger crypto
  • Call the web service over plain HTTP (instead of HTTPS)
  • Authenticate over plain HTTP (maybe Username Token, instead of Basic authentication or <cred:lws>)
  • Test MWS against WS-Attacker

That’s it.

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SOAP WS-Security in the context of M3

Here is my high-level understanding of SOAP Web Services Security (WS-Security, or WSS), at least the WSS X.509 Certificate Token Profile, and how to apply it in the context of Infor M3.


WS-Security is a standard by the OASIS consortium to provide message encryption and digital signature, the usual security properties to prevent eavesdropping and tampering of a message. It uses asymmetric cryptography with public-private keys and digital certificates. There is an additional property which is central to WSS: the security happens at the message level, not at the transport level, i.e. the security follows the message even across proxies and deep packet inspection gateways, for end-to-end security. WSS is common for example in financial institutions that need to inspect and route a message through several nodes that can read the non-secure part of the SOAP envelope yet not reveal the secret in the message, until it reaches the appropriate destination. If a node on the path gets compromised, the security of the message is not compromised. Despite its continued use, WSS has only had few major updates in 10 years, is not considered secure [1] [2], the Internet agrees it is complicated and design-by-committee, and there is no industry momentum behind it.

SSL/TLS, on the other hand, provides similar security properties with encryption and digital signature, using public key cryptography as well, but the security happens at the transport level, i.e. before the message level, for point-to-point security only. Thus, intermediate proxies and deep packet inspection gateways are unable to reveal the message to inspect it and route it, unless they have a copy of the destination’s private key. The workaround is to setup a chain of TLS segments, but the compromise of a node on the path, would compromise the message. TLS has additional security properties such as cipher suite negotiation, forward secrecy, and certificate revocation. TLS is constantly being updated with the latest security properties, and is widely supported and documented.

I have seen WSS interfaces used at banks and credit card companies that still have ancient mainframes and old middleware, and WSS is always used in combination with TLS, with peer authentication, thus four sets of public/private keys and digital certificates.

Infor Grid

Several applications of the Infor Grid expose SOAP web services, but I could not find how to setup WS-Security at the Grid level, so I assume it is not supported at the Grid level, only at the application level; that’s OK as SOAP over HTTPS is sufficient for the Grid’s needs.


M3 Web Services (MWS)

The MWS application does have settings to configure WS-Security (X.509 Token policy); that would be useful for an external partner to call M3 with message-level security (otherwise there is always SOAP over HTTPS); I will explore this in a future post:

M3 Enterprise Collaborator (MEC)

The MEC application on the Grid does not have built-in SOAP web services. But in MEC Partner Admin the MEC developer can setup SOAP. The SOAP client Send Web Service process does not support WS-Security; this is most unfortunate as here is precisely where I want to setup the secure interfaces with the banks and credit card companies, bummer, I will have to develop my own WS-Security client in Java. On the other hand, the SOAP server WebServiceSyncIn does support WS-Security; I will explore this in a future post:

Future work

In future posts, I will:

  • Explore WS-Security in MWS
  • Explore WS-Security in MEC SOAP client
  • Explore WS-Security in MEC SOAP server


That was my high level understanding of WS-Security, at least the WSS X.509 Certificate Token Profile, and how to apply it in the context of M3. I am no expert in WS-Security, but this understanding is sufficient for my needs with M3.

That’s it!

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M3 Web Services from Infor Process Automation

In order to securely call Infor M3 Web Services (MWS) from Infor Process Automation (IPA) we need to import the Infor Grid’s certificate in IPA’s Java truststore; here is how.

MWS authentication

MWS works with SOAP over HTTP over SSL/TLS with the digital certificate of the Infor Grid.

The Infor Grid router for MWS must have Basic authentication enabled over HTTPS (secure) and have all authentication disabled over HTTP (insecure); you can check in the Infor Grid > Configuration Manager > Routers > Default Router:

MWS from IPA

In the IPA Configuration > Web Service Connection, we set the Basic authentication with the M3 user and password:

In Infor Process Designer (IPD), we use the SOAP Web Service activity node to the HTTPS URL of MWS:

Tip: un-hard-code the scheme://host:port and replace it by a variable <!_configuration.main.MWS> to define.


When we execute the process we get the following exception: HTTP transport error: PKIX path building failed: unable to find valid certification path to requested target

That is because IPA does not know the Infor Grid certificate.

The IPA Configuration for the Web Service Connection does not have settings for an explicit truststore. Instead, IPA implicitly relies on the JVM’s truststore; let’s set it up.

Step 1. Infor Grid certificate

Get the Infor Grid certificate file. It is a signed public key that you can get for example from the main Grid Information at something like https∶//host123.local:26108/grid/info.html

Note: Preferably get the certificate of the root CA as it usually signs the certificates for all environments (DEV, TST, PRD, etc.).

Step 2. IPA server truststore

Check the path of the IPA server’s JVM as given in the Landmark Grid > Landmark-LM Application > Configuration > Properties > Java executable:

Import the certificate into that JVM’s truststore using the Java keytool:

keytool -import -keystore lib\security\cacerts -file grid.cer


Note: I may have mixed up the keystore and the truststore in the command; to be verified.

Step 3. IPD truststore

The path to the Infor Process Designer (IPD) JVM is given by the IPDesigner.ini file:
3.7 3.8

Import the certificate into that JVM’s truststore as well.

Step 4. Test

Now execute the process. The Web Service activity node should not throw that exception anymore.


If you have a certificate purchased from a certificate authority that is already trusted by the JVM, such as VeriSign, this setup is not necessary.

That’s it. Let me know what you think in the comments below.