Response Compression with Custom Servlet Filters

One major drawback of the response-manipulating servlet filters that I have showcased on this site is that the delivered compression functionality needed to be disabled for them to work.  This involved unchecking the “Compress Responses” checkbox on the web profile configuration page in the PIA.  Disabling this functionality causes a performance impact because of the resulting large response messages that get sent to the client.  I recently got a comment from Jonathan Rehm explaining how he has achieved GZIP compression within a custom servlet filter.  I decided to integrate the code he shared into a standalone response compression servlet filter.  This servlet filter can co-exist with any other custom filters that you may have deployed.  I will demonstrate how to deploy this custom response compression servlet filter in this post.

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Managing Configuration Data on the Web Server

Some of the servlet filters that I have previously demonstrated make use of configuration data that originates from the PeopleSoft application.  This configuration data consists of things like which fields to mask and what components to restrict access to.  This data is ultimately what controls how the servlet filters behave.  In this post, I would like to discuss how I go about communicating configuration data from the PeopleSoft application to the web server and the techniques that I use to manage this data.  First I will go over the design, installation, and use of a caching utility that I wrote to manage the configuration data.  Last I will discuss how I integrate my servlet filters and PeopleSoft application with this solution.

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Sensitive Data Masking in PeopleSoft

I’d like to share a demonstration of a field-level data masking solution that I’ve created for PeopleSoft.  This project showcases a lot of the techniques that I have discussed throughout the year on this blog with respect to creating a secure PeopleSoft application with a good user experience.  This bolt-on solution provides a user interface to configure what fields to mask, the conditional ability for end users to unmask data, and a way to track the sensitive data exposure throughout the system.

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PeopleSoft HTML Element IDs

The HTML element IDs that appear on PeopleSoft pages follow an officially undocumented naming convention.  It would be nice to know the exact naming convention that is being used on these HTML element IDs so that there would be no uncertainty when it comes to DOM manipulation with injected client side code.  Fortunately, there have been many PeopleSoft experts in the past that have demonstrated how the HTML element IDs on PeopleSoft pages typically have their record and field names present in the ID.  It is worth noting that not all fields follow the RECORDNAME_FIELDNAME naming convention.  This is true for fields that have a value set for the page field name in the page field properties in App Designer.  An example of this would be the National ID field that appears on the relationships page.

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Global Script and Style Injection

Modifying or transforming response data generated by the web server is a great use of servlet filters.  I read a nice Stack Overflow thread that discusses the idea of injecting text into the head of an HTML response using a servlet filter.  The code provided in this thread is a great example of how to modify HTML response data that gets sent to the client.  I made some slight modifications to this code so that I can inject custom scripts and styles in the HTML responses generated by the PeopleSoft web server.  This servlet filter will be a bolt-on solution to achieve global script and style injection in PeopleSoft.  Below are the steps to configure this servlet filter for the PeopleSoft web server.

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Sending SMS Text Messages in PeopleSoft

In this post I will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to send SMS text messages in PeopleSoft.  I will be consuming Nexmo’s SMS API to send SMS messages.  There are many SMS API services similar to Nexmo and there is no particular reason that I chose Nexmo over the other providers for this tutorial.  I have some experience with using other providers and the quality of service is comparable across the board. There will be four main steps in this tutorial: creating a Nexmo account, importing Nexmo SSL certificates, importing custom objects, and testing the service.

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Safely Handling User Inputted Data

It should be well understood that you should never trust user input in your application.  As an application developer, I always try my hardest to enforce very strict rules when accepting and outputting user inputted data. You can never really be too careful when it comes to handling data that you do not know (or can’t trust) the source of. Fortunately, PeopleCode is very robust in terms of providing built-in functions to safely handle the input and output of data.  I would like to demonstrate an example of how a malicious user can execute a stored cross-site scripting attack on an insecure custom application within my PeopleSoft system. I will then show how to mitigate this attack by hardening the security of my custom application with a built-in PeopleCode function.

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How to Set Up a Data Masking Servlet Filter

I previously demonstrated how servlet filters can be used to view and modify HTTP requests that the client sends to the web server.  This post will demonstrate how servlet filters can view and modify the HTTP responses that the web server sends back to the client.  The servlet filter that will be used in this demonstration is one to mask social security numbers (SSNs) that appear in the response messages.  Using servlet filters to perform sensitive data masking does not change the actual value of the data in the database, but it still protects the true values from being exposed through the PIA.

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Enabling Location-Based Security in PeopleSoft with Event Mapping

I wanted to share a proof-of-concept approach to creating a simple application layer firewall with event mapping in PeopleSoft.  This post is similar to my Using the Event Mapping Framework to Enforce Two-Factor Authentication post, but this post highlights more on the general idea of using event mapping to extend the delivered PeopleSoft security model.  What I will be showing is how you can conditionally reject requests to specific resources based on the IP address that the user is coming from.  This is a simple way to add an additional layer of security to your PeopleSoft applications with very little overhead.  This functionality will be accomplished with event mapping, which is a new feature in the 8.55 PeopleTools.

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Implementing Google Authenticator in PeopleSoft

I previously demonstrated how I use Google Authenticator to protect sensitive resources in my PeopleSoft applications.  I would like to share the code involved to get this to work.  If you are unfamiliar with what Google Authenticator is and how it works, then I suggest reading about it here.  A while back, I read a nice article that demonstrated a simple Java implementation of the Time-based One-time Password (TOTP) algorithm (specified in RFC 6238) that is used with Google Authenticator. After making slight modifications to the code, I was able to easily integrate this Java implementation in my PeopleSoft application. I packaged the code up into a JAR file that I will explain how to use in this post. UPDATE:  I recently discovered that there are some other mobile applications that implement the same TOTP algorithm as Google Authenticator. Some examples of these applications are Duo, Authy, and even Oracle Mobile Authenticator.  This means that any of these other TOTP-generating applications can be used with the solution that I am demonstrating in this tutorial.

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