Protecting Your AS/400 Information


When configuring your Web Server, you should think about the kinds of information on your AS/400 and to whom you want to make it available. There are three basic categories, defined by their availability:
Unavailable through the Web Server
This is information that you don't want anyone to view through the Web Server. It may be personal or valuable information that is on the same AS/400 as the Web Server, but you don't want users to be able to access it through the Web Server.

The two methods you have for protecting this information are OS/400 authority and Web Server/400 scope control. OS/400 authority is very strong, but may be hard to configure and maintain. Web Server/400 scope control should be easier to maintain and is already set up when you install the server.

Note that a third method, access control can also be used for this information. Access control will be further described later.

Available to all users who have access to the Web Server
This is information that you want generally available. It may include press releases and other announcements or marketing material. If your Web Server is only available through an internal network, you might include other information here, such as company-wide announcements.

The same two methods as above are used to make information available (OS/400 authority and Web Server/400 scope control). The difference is that you would use the methods to make this information available, rather than unavailable.

Available to a subset of users who have access to the Web Server
This is information that should be available to some users who have access to the Web Server, but not all. It might include information only available to customers, or information only available internally, even though the Web Server itself if available to the public (e.g. through the Internet).

The method for protecting this information is access control. Using access control, you can specify (on a per-directory basis if you like) who can access information, either based on the on the machine they are using or based on a user name and password they enter, or a combination of the two.

Note that this document only describes protecting your AS/400 information in regards to Web Server/400. Other software such as Telnet and FTP pose additional concerns which are not addressed here.


OS/400 Authority

This is familiar to AS/400 system administrators and is very strong (it can be configured to meet the requirements for C2 security, as defined by the United States Department of Defense).

For OS/400 authority to be effective, your system's security level (system value QSECURITY) should be set to at least 30. Web Server/400 has been developed and tested at security level 40.

The server jobs (daemon and request processors) that serve content run under the configured server user profile. The server user profile should have the following authorities:

To protect information from being accessed through Web Server/400 using OS/400 authority, you must ensure that the server user profile does not have access to it. You can do this by either specifically excluding the server user profile, or by excluding *PUBLIC.


Web Server/400 Scope Control

Web Server scope control refers to configuration values that affect the scope of the information the server will attempt to retrieve. Following are references to more information related to those configuration values:

Web Server/400 Access Control

While OS/400 authority is very strong, it is inflexible because it is based on the user profile of the person starting the server and on the server user profile. The server user profile either has access to an object or not. Access control takes into account information about the person requesting the information, such as the workstation they are using and the user name and password they enter. You can find more information about access control in the tutorial, an access control example and a detailed description of how limit sections are evaluated.

Modes For Evaluating Access

Access control is evaluated in one of two modes: normal mode or administration mode. Normal access control is governed by the directory based configuration file. Administrative access control is governed by the administrative access configuration file.

By default, all hosts and users have normal access to all documents (that OS/400 authority allows), and no hosts and users have administrative access to any documents.

Ways Of Controlling Access

Web Server/400 allows access to be restricted in two ways, which may be used separately or combined. For greatest security, both should be used together.
Host filtering
Allows restriction of access to information based on the IP address or domain name of the machine (host) requesting the information.
User authentication
Allows restriction of access to information based on a user ID and password the user enters.

Evaluating Web Server/400 access involves a two step process:

  1. Host filtering will be checked first. If host filtering is not configured or allows access, the server goes on to the next step. If host filtering does not allow access, the server will forbid access.
  2. User authentication is checked. If user authentication is not configured or allows access, then access is granted. If user authentication does not allow access, the server will forbid access.

Note that Web Server/400 access control is based entirely on files and their relationship within IFS. Because Web Server/400 does not take into account symbolic links, you must protect any symbolic links leading to a file in the same way you protect the file itself.

Remember, even if Web Server/400 access control allows access, OS/400 authority must allow the server user profile access to information before it can be sent back to a browser.


Further Information About Protecting Your AS/400

The following topics are related to protecting your AS/400: