Sometime back, our friend Fred told us about his experiences with homegrown PK/FK relationships. Today, he regales us with a tale of trying to get users to use their new-and-improved sso mechanism, even if they don't want to.

His company currently runs a legacy reporting portal service that has an old-school sso which is used by several third party systems. This mechanism stores user names and passwords as clear text in the DB. It also passes them in clear text in a hidden HTML form. The third party code would create the hidden form with the user name and password in clear text and JavaScript-submit it to the login page - without HTTPS. OK, it was the way things were set up way back then.

A computer screen showing the prompt 'My name is *****. My voice is my passport. Verify me.

Nowadays, his employer knows better and has created a new and improved system with slightly more sophisticated security. They encourage their end users to make the switch and use the shiny new platform. Unfortunately, the third party systems still have hard-coded embedded links to the old system, and although switching to use the new system would improve security, the users are in no rush to make changes to their software.

When you have lemons, make lemonade.

Fred was unwilling to succumb to the laissez-faire attitude of lazy customers, and so wrote a URL-rewrite rule for the IIS server that was running their old VB6-era system. It redirected posts to login.asp to /hijack/login.aspx. The new page contains logic to check if the user is configured on the new platform. This magic was accomplished by using the 307 Temporary Redirect, which maintains the POSTed payload; something which is not done by a standard 302 (perhaps this is a Dark Secretâ„¢ of IIS - who can say?) If the user was found in the new application, an access token was fetched from IdentityServer3 and the incoming user was redirected to the new platform. Otherwise, /hijack/login.aspx output the same old fool-proof hidden HTML form with clear text user name and password and JavaScript-submitted it - without SSL - to the renamed login2.asp page of the old system.

Upon pondering his creation, Fred winced at the plethora of Biblical-Level WTF in this set up, but in some curious way the solution is kind of cool and he thought the world should know about it.

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