REST Proxy Security

REST Proxy has two separate connections, one to a client and another to the broker. They are separate and distinct, and each of these connections requires a completely separate and different security configuration. You must configure security twice: once for the client-REST Proxy connection, and again for the REST Proxy-broker connection.

../../../_images/rest-proxy-security.png

REST Proxy security workflow

When a connection is initialized, there is a basic work request to REST Proxy. Such requests are plain text/JSON, and contain metadata and content to be stored in Kafka, or requests to retrieve data from Kafka. REST Proxy receives these requests, translates them into Kafka requests, and satisfies them with the Kafka broker.

No authorization actually occurs on REST Proxy (unlike in Schema Registry) so you must set broker ACLs to enforce any restrictions.

REST Proxy Authentication

You can use HTTP Basic Authentication or mutual TLS (mTLS) authentication for communication between a client and REST Proxy. You can use SASL or mTLS for communication between REST Proxy and the brokers.

License Client Authentication

If you are using principal propagation, you must configure license client authentication for SASL OAUTHBEARER (RBAC), SASL PLAIN, SASL SCRAM, and mTLS. For more information, see the following documentation:

License Client Authorization

If you are using principal propagation, you must configure authorization for RBAC and ACLs.

  • RBAC authorization Run this command to add ResourceOwner for the component user for the Confluent license topic resource (default name is _confluent-license).

    confluent iam rolebinding create \
    --role ResourceOwner \
    --principal User:<service-account-id> \
    --resource Topic:_confluent-license \
    --kafka-cluster-id <kafka-cluster-id>
    
  • ACL authorization Run this command to configure Kafka authorization, where bootstrap server, client configuration, service account ID is specified. This grants create, read, and write on the _confluent-license topic.

    kafka-acls --bootstrap-server <broker-listener> --command-config <client conf> \
    --add --allow-principal User:<service-account-id>  --operations Create,Read,Write \
    --topic _confluent-license
    

HTTP Basic Authentication

With HTTP Basic Authentication you can authenticate with REST Proxy using a username and password pair. They are presented to the REST Proxy server using the Authorization HTTP header.

To enable HTTP Basic Authentication:

  1. Add the following configuration to your REST Proxy properties file ( etc/kafka-rest/kafka-rest.properties):

    authentication.method=BASIC
    authentication.realm=KafkaRest
    authentication.roles=thisismyrole
    
  2. Create a JAAS configuration file. For an example, see <path-to-confluent>/etc/kafka-rest/rest-jaas.properties:

    KafkaRest {
        org.eclipse.jetty.jaas.spi.PropertyFileLoginModule required
        debug="true"
        file="<path-to-confluent>/etc/kafka-rest/password.properties";
    };
    

    Tip

    KafkaRest is in line with the realm specified as authentication.realm in kafka-rest.properties.

  3. Create a password properties file (<path-to-confluent>/etc/kafka-rest/password.properties). For example:

    thisismyusername: thisismypass,thisismyrole
    
  4. Start REST Proxy with HTTP Basic auth:

    KAFKAREST_OPTS="-Djava.security.auth.login.config=<path-to-confluent>/etc/kafka-rest/rest-jaas.properties" \
    bin/kafka-rest-start etc/kafka-rest/kafka-rest.properties
    
  5. Login to your REST Proxy with the username thisismyusername and the password thisismypass. The password in your password.properties file can also be hashed. For more information, see this link.

Configuration Options

authentication.method

Which method should REST Proxy use to authenticate requests. One of NONE or BASIC. To activate HTTP Basic Authentication, you must set it to BASIC.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “NONE”
  • Importance: high
authentication.realm

If authentication.method = BASIC, this configuration tells which section from the system JAAS config file to use to authenticate HTTP Basic Authentication credentials.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
authentication.roles

If authentication.method = BASIC, this configuration tells which user roles are allowed to authenticate with REST Proxy through HTTP Basic Authentication. If set to *, any role will be allowed to authenticate.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “*”
  • Importance: medium

Mutual TLS authentication

With mutual TLS (mTLS) authentication, you can authenticate with a HTTPS enabled REST Proxy using a client side X.509 certificate.

To enable mTLS, you must first enable HTTPS on REST Proxy. See REST Proxy Configuration Options for HTTPS for the configuration options you must set.

After HTTPS is configured, you must configure the REST Proxy truststore to be able to verify the incoming client X.509 certificates. For example, you can configure the REST Proxy truststore to point to a keystore with the root CA certificate used to sign the client certificates loaded into it.

Finally, you can turn mTLS on by setting ssl.client.auth to true.

Configuration Options

ssl.client.auth

Used for HTTPS. Whether or not to require the HTTPS client to authenticate using the server’s trust store. Must be set to true to enable mTLS.

  • Type: boolean
  • Default: false
  • Importance: medium
ssl.truststore.location

Location of the trust store.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
ssl.truststore.password

The password for the trust store file.

  • Type: password
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
ssl.truststore.type

The type of trust store file.

  • Type: string
  • Default: JKS
  • Importance: medium

Authentication between REST Proxy and Kafka Brokers

If you are using REST Proxy to communicate with a secured Kafka broker, you must configure REST Proxy with appropriate credentials so that it can authenticate with Kafka. Kafka can be configured to authenticate with SASL and mTLS. The following section provides details on how to configure REST Proxy for each case.

SASL Authentication

Kafka SASL configurations are described here.

Note that all the SASL configurations (for REST Proxy to broker communication) are prefixed with client.. If you want the configuration to apply just to admins, consumers or producers, replace the prefix with admin., consumer. or producer..

Important

Make sure the bootstrap.servers configuration is set with SASL_PLAINTEXT://host:port (or SASL_SSL://host:port) end-points, or you will accidentally open a SASL connection to a non-SASL port.

To enable SASL authentication with the Kafka broker set client.security.protocol to either SASL_PLAINTEXT or SASL_SSL.

Then set client.sasl.jaas.config with the credentials to be used by REST Proxy to authenticate with Kafka. For example:

client.sasl.jaas.config=org.apache.kafka.common.security.plain.PlainLoginModule required username="kafkarest" password="kafkarest";

Alternatively you can create a JAAS config file, for example etc/kafka-rest/etc/kafka-rest/rest-jaas.properties:

KafkaClient {
  org.apache.kafka.common.security.plain.PlainLoginModule required
  username="kafkarest"
  password="kafkarest";
};

The name of the section in the JAAS file must be KafkaClient. Then pass it as a JVM argument:

export KAFKAREST_OPTS="-Djava.security.auth.login.config=<path-to-confluent>/etc/kafka-rest/rest-jaas.properties"

For details about configuring Kerberos see JDK’s Kerberos Requirements.

Configuration Options

client.security.protocol

Protocol used to communicate with brokers. Valid values are: PLAINTEXT, SSL, SASL_PLAINTEXT, SASL_SSL.

  • Type: string
  • Default: PLAINTEXT
  • Importance: high
client.sasl.jaas.config

JAAS login context parameters for SASL connections in the format used by JAAS configuration files. JAAS configuration file format is described in Oracle’s documentation. The format for the value is: ‘(=)*;’

  • Type: string
  • Default: null
  • Importance: high
client.sasl.kerberos.service.name

The Kerberos principal name that Kafka runs as. This can be defined either in Kafka’s JAAS config or in Kafka’s configuration.

  • Type: string
  • Default: null
  • Importance: medium
client.sasl.mechanism

SASL mechanism used for client connections. This may be any mechanism for which a security provider is available. GSSAPI is the default mechanism.

  • Type: string
  • Default: GSSAPI
  • Importance: medium
client.sasl.kerberos.kinit.cmd

Kerberos kinit command path.

  • Type: string
  • Default: /usr/bin/kinit
  • Importance: low
client.sasl.kerberos.min.time.before.relogin

Login thread sleep time between refresh attempts.

  • Type: long
  • Default: 60000
  • Importance: low
client.sasl.kerberos.ticket.renew.jitter

Percentage of random jitter added to the renewal time.

  • Type: double
  • Default: 0.05
  • Importance: low
client.sasl.kerberos.ticket.renew.window.factor

Login thread will sleep until the specified window factor of time from last refresh to ticket’s expiry has been reached, at which time it will try to renew the ticket.

  • Type: double
  • Default: 0.8
  • Importance: low

Mutual TLS authentication

Kafka SSL configurations are described here.

REST Proxy to Kafka SSL configurations are described here.

To enable mTLS with the Kafka broker you must set client.security.protocol to SSL or SASL_SSL.

If the Kafka broker is configured with ssl.client.auth=required, and you configure client certificates for REST Proxy with client.ssl.keystore.*, that should make REST Proxy do SSL authentication with the Kafka broker.

Credentials Propagation

This is a commercial component of Confluent Platform.

Principal propagation takes the principal from authentication mechanism configured for client to the REST Proxy and propagates that same principal when making requests to the Kafka broker.

From a security perspective, there is authentication on the first JSON request (over HTTP), and REST Proxy translates the principal used in this HTTP authentication into a principal that can be authenticated (SSL/SASL) against the Kafka broker. For example, if you use SSL for both stages then you must have the client SSL certificates for REST Proxy too.

Credentials for all principals that will propagate must be present on the REST Proxy server. Note that this is both a technical challenge (for example, SSL principals must map to Kerberos principals) and a security challenge (everything required to impersonate a user is stored in REST Proxy outside the user’s control).

To use Credentials Propagation, the REST Proxy Security Plugins are required.

HTTP Basic Authentication to SASL Authentication

To enable HTTP Basic Authentication to SASL Authentication credentials propagation, you must set authentication.method to BASIC, confluent.rest.auth.propagate.method to JETTY_AUTH, and client.security.protocol to either SASL_PLAINTEXT or SASL_SSL.

Security plugin supports all the sasl.mechanism supported by Kafka clients. Just like a regular Kafka client, the plugin also expects a JAAS config file to be configured through -Djava.security.auth.login.config. It is required for all the principals to be specified in the JAAS config file under the section KafkaClient.

In the JAAS config file, all of the principals must be explicitly specified. The plugin supports specifying principals using following supported mechanisms: GSSAPI, PLAIN, SCRAM-SHA-256 and SCRAM-SHA-512. Also, the plugin ignores any configured sasl.mechanism and picks it automatically based on the LoginModule specified for the principal.

KafkaClient {
  com.sun.security.auth.module.Krb5LoginModule required
  useKeyTab=true
  storeKey=true
  keyTab="/etc/security/keytabs/restproxy-localhost.keytab"
  principal="CN=restproxy/localhost@EXAMPLE.COM";

  com.sun.security.auth.module.Krb5LoginModule required
  useKeyTab=true
  storeKey=true
  keyTab="/etc/security/keytabs/kafka_client_2.keytab"
  principal="kafka-client-2@EXAMPLE.COM";

  org.apache.kafka.common.security.plain.PlainLoginModule required
  username="alice-plain"
  password="alice-secret";

  org.apache.kafka.common.security.scram.ScramLoginModule required
  username="alice-scram"
  password="alice-secret";

  org.apache.kafka.common.security.scram.ScramLoginModule required
  username="alice-scram-256"
  password="alice-secret"
  mechanism="SCRAM-SHA-256";
};

Here is the mapping of sasl.mechanism for the configured login modules:

Principal’s Login Module SASL Mechanism
com.sun.security.auth.module.Krb5LoginModule
GSSAPI
org.apache.kafka.common.security.plain.PlainLoginModule
PLAIN
org.apache.kafka.common.security.scram.ScramLoginModule
SCRAM-SHA-512
For SCRAM-SHA-256 set
mechanism=SCRAM-SHA-256
as an option in ScramLoginModule

All the mechanisms except SCRAM-SHA-256 would be automatically detected by the plugin and SCRAM-SHA-256 can be explicitly mentioned as an option in the ScramLoginModule.

Configuration Options

confluent.rest.auth.propagate.method

The mechanism used to authenticate REST Proxy requests. When broker security is enabled, the principal from this authentication mechanism is propagated to Kafka broker requests. Either JETTY_AUTH or SSL.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “SSL”
  • Importance: low

mTLS to SASL Authentication

To enable mTLS to SASL Authentication, you must set ssl.client.auth to true, confluent.rest.auth.propagate.method to SSL, and client.security.protocol to either SASL_PLAINTEXT or SASL_SSL.

The incoming X500 principal from the client is used as the principal while interacting with the Kafka broker. You can use confluent.rest.auth.ssl.principal.mapping.rules to map the DN from the client certificate to a name that can be used for principal propagation. For example, a rule like RULE:^CN=(.*?)$/$1/, would strip off the CN= portion of the DN.

Requires JAAS config file with KafkaClient section containing all principals along with its login module and options; configured via -Djava.security.auth.login.config.

Configuration Options

confluent.rest.auth.propagate.method

The mechanism used to authenticate REST Proxy requests. When broker security is enabled, the principal from this authentication mechanism is propagated to Kafka broker requests.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “SSL”
  • Importance: low
confluent.rest.auth.ssl.principal.mapping.rules

A list of rules for mapping distinguished name (DN) from the client certificate to short name. The rules are evaluated in order and the first rule that matches a principal name is used to map it to a short name. Any later rules in the list are ignored. By default, DN of the X.500 certificate is the principal. Each rule starts with “RULE:” and contains an expression using the formats below. The default rule returns string representation of the X.500 certificate DN. If the DN matches the pattern, then the replacement command is run over the name. This also supports lowercase/uppercase options, to force the translated result to be all lower/uppercase case. This is done by adding a “/L” or “/U’ to the end of the rule:

  • Type: list
  • Default: DEFAULT
  • Importance: low

SSL Authentication to SSL Authentication

To enable mTLS to mTLS, you must set ssl.client.auth to true, and confluent.rest.auth.propagate.method to SSL.

For SSL propagation to work, it is required to load all the certificates corresponding to the required principals in a single client keystore file. Once this is done, the plugin would pick the appropriate certificate alias based on the logged on principal while making requests to Kafka. Currently, the logged on principal must exactly match the X.509 Principal of the certificate.

For example, if there were two clients integrated to REST Proxy the setup could be as simple as below:

  • Client A authenticates to REST Proxy using its keystore which contains Certificate-A
  • Client B authenticates to REST Proxy using its keystore which contains Certificate-B
  • REST Proxy’s keystore client.ssl.keystore.location is loaded with Certificate-A and Certificate-B. The certificate is then chosen by the plugin based on who the client is.

Configuration Options

confluent.rest.auth.propagate.method

The mechanism used to authenticate REST Proxy requests. When broker security is enabled, the principal from this authentication mechanism is propagated to Kafka broker requests.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “SSL”
  • Importance: low

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

This is a commercial component of Confluent Platform.

Prerequisites:

Confluent REST Proxy supports the cross-component, proprietary role-based access control (RBAC) solution to enforce access controls across Confluent Platform. The REST Proxy security plugin supports a bearer token-based authentication mechanism. With token authentication, REST Proxy can impersonate the user requests when communicating with Kafka brokers and Schema Registry clusters.

RBAC REST Proxy security resolves a number of usability challenges, including:

  • Local configuration of principals. With RBAC REST Proxy security, principals are no longer configured locally; instead, principals are handled by the Metadata Service (MDS).
  • Existing REST Proxy security capabilities do not scale for very large deployments without significant manual operations; in RBAC REST Proxy security, the MDS binds and enforces an Kafka cluster configuration across different resources (Topics, Connectors, Schema Registry, etc.), thereby saving users the time and challenge associated with reconfiguring ACLs and roles separately for each Kafka cluster resource.

RBAC REST Proxy workflow

Here is a summary of the RBAC REST Proxy security workflow:

  1. A user makes REST API call to REST Proxy using LDAP credentials for HTTP Basic Authentication.
  2. REST Proxy authenticates the user with the MDS by acquiring a token for the authenticated user.
  3. The generated token is used to impersonate the user request and authenticate between Kafka clients and the Kafka cluster. For Kafka clients, the SASL_PLAINTEXT/SASL_SSL security protocol is used and the proprietary callback handler passes the token to the Kafka cluster. Similarly, when communicating with Schema Registry, the authentication token is passed to the Schema Registry client using a proprietary implementation of the BearerAuthCredentialProvider interface.
  4. If the user does not have the requisite role or ACL permission for the requested resource (for example, topic, group, or cluster), then the REST API call fails and returns an error with the HTTP 403 status code.
../../../_images/rbac-rest-proxy-security.png

RBAC REST Proxy security workflow

Configuring RBAC REST Proxy security

To use RBAC with REST Proxy, the REST Proxy Security Plugins are required.

To enable token authentication (in the kafka-rest.properties file) set rest.servlet.initializor.classes to io.confluent.common.security.jetty.initializer.InstallBearerOrBasicSecurityHandler and kafka.rest.resource.extension.class to io.confluent.kafkarest.security.KafkaRestSecurityResourceExtension.

rest.servlet.initializor.classes=io.confluent.common.security.jetty.initializer.InstallBearerOrBasicSecurityHandler
kafka.rest.resource.extension.class=io.confluent.kafkarest.security.KafkaRestSecurityResourceExtension

When token authentication is enabled, the generated token is used to impersonate the API requests. REST Proxy Kafka clients use the SASL_PLAINTEXT or SASL_SSL authentication mechanism to authenticate with Kafka brokers.

License Client Authentication

If you are using principal propagation, you must configure license client authentication for SASL OAUTHBEARER (RBAC), SASL PLAIN, SASL SCRAM, and mTLS. For more information, see the following documentation:

License Client Authorization

If you are using principal propagation, you must configure authorization for RBAC and ACLs.

  • RBAC authorization Run this command to add ResourceOwner for the component user for the Confluent license topic resource (default name is _confluent-license).

    confluent iam rolebinding create \
    --role ResourceOwner \
    --principal User:<service-account-id> \
    --resource Topic:_confluent-license \
    --kafka-cluster-id <kafka-cluster-id>
    
  • ACL authorization Run this command to configure Kafka authorization, where bootstrap server, client configuration, service account ID is specified. This grants create, read, and write on the _confluent-license topic.

    kafka-acls --bootstrap-server <broker-listener> --command-config <client conf> \
    --add --allow-principal User:<service-account-id>  --operations Create,Read,Write \
    --topic _confluent-license
    

Configuration Options

rest.servlet.initializor.classes

List of custom initialization classes for REST Proxy. To use RBAC, set it to io.confluent.common.security.jetty.initializer.InstallBearerOrBasicSecurityHandler.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
kafka.rest.resource.extension.class

List of custom extension classes for REST Proxy. To use RBAC, set it to io.confluent.kafkarest.security.KafkaRestSecurityResourceExtension.

  • Type: string
  • Default: PLAINTEXT
  • Importance: high
client.security.protocol

Protocol used to communicate with brokers. Valid values are: PLAINTEXT, SSL, SASL_PLAINTEXT, SASL_SSL. To use RBAC, set it to either SASL_PLAINTEXT or SASL_SSL`.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
public.key.path

Location of the PEM encoded public key file to be used for verifying tokens.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
confluent.metadata.bootstrap.server.urls

Comma-separated list of bootstrap metadata server URLs to which this REST Proxy connects. For example: http://localhost:8080,http://localhost:8081

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high
confluent.metadata.basic.auth.user.info

Service user credentials information in the format: user:password.

  • Type: string
  • Default: “”
  • Importance: high