Diameter WebAuth: An AAA-Based Identity Management Framework for Web Applications

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Executive Summary

With an increasing number of personalized information and services offered on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web, effective identity management solutions are required by application providers. Instead of a web-based stand-alone approach, existing network-based AAA mechanisms can be extended to be useable for identity management by web applications. This paper proposes an AAA-based identity management framework for web applications, called Diameter WebAuth. It closes the gap between network authentication and application authentication by effectively bringing network-based access control concepts to the application layer. Since WebAuth is based on the well-established and mature Diameter protocol, it therefore, benefits from the propagation of Diameter setups. Diameter WebAuth offers authentication, authorization and billing facilities and is also able to handle identity attributes based on various schemes. The proposed approach can be used to enable any Diameter system to be part of an identity management system. Moreover, it enables web applications to be directly and seamlessly integrated into Diameter setups. A working Diameter setup provided, any website can be integrated into the AAA infrastructure with minimal effort. Furthermore, there is no need for maintaining an additional identity management infrastructure. Thus, WebAuth offers comparable features to web-based identity management solutions, benefits from the maturity and wide deployment of the Diameter protocol, and takes advantage of existing AAA setups.

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