[WEB SECURITY] Social login / federated identity

Martin O'Neal martin.oneal at corsaire.com
Fri Feb 22 03:35:56 EST 2013

"I told you so", just doesn't seem to do it justice...


-----Original Message-----
From: websecurity [mailto:websecurity-bounces at lists.webappsec.org] On
Behalf Of Martin O'Neal
Sent: 16 October 2012 11:01
To: Paul Johnston
Cc: websecurity at lists.webappsec.org
Subject: Re: [WEB SECURITY] Social login / federated identity

> I think this is a complete misunderstanding on your part

No, but it is a complete assumption on your part. ;)

SSO within a cluster of services, with a common owner etc makes perfect
sense. Who wants to have multiple accounts across a number of products
with a single vendor for example? (you know who you are!)

SSO across dissimilar platforms, different vendors etc simply trades
convenience for your security and privacy. 

In a perfect world, your SSO provider would be entirely independent,
host all their auth in a bullet-proof system, and for the price of a few
API calls, life would be peachy. As it is though, it's not. Facebook for
example have their own problems in keeping their auth data secure, so
tying yourself into their systems adds a whole world of additional risk
to your site. And in the event of it all going pear-shaped, there isn't
a lot you can do to fix the situation, without exiting the SSO.


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