Wallet setup for https

In the last blogpost I wrote about how to access an HTTP-resource and the ACL needed for it. That works great for HTTP, but as the world is turning to HTTPS it is not enough in most cases.

In this post I will look at how to set up the trust store in a database to allow access to an HTTPS-based access. I will use the same simple select grabbing the html for a webpage to show how it works.

Where we left off

The last blog post ended with showing how access on HTTPS to the same website we got to work with HTTP gave us a certificate error. You may want to review that post to see the ACL-setup for HTTP.

This is the error we get now.

select utl_http.request('https://example.com') from dual;

ORA-29273: HTTP request failed
ORA-06512: at "SYS.UTL_HTTP", line 1530
ORA-29024: Certificate validation failure
ORA-06512: at "SYS.UTL_HTTP", line 380
ORA-06512: at "SYS.UTL_HTTP", line 1470
ORA-06512: at line 1
29273. 00000 - "HTTP request failed"
*Cause: The UTL_HTTP package failed to execute the HTTP request.
*Action: Use get_detailed_sqlerrm to check the detailed error message.
 Fix the error and retry the HTTP request.

Thus, we have the ACL to allow a call to be made, but the certificate of that website cannot be trusted.

What is a trust store

What we need is to set up our trust store. This is a mechanism showing that you want to trust certain certificates. The ones we want to trust are the ones used by the vendors giving out certificates.

We do not need the certificate for a certain website, but the ones that is in the chain of certificates used to create it. There will be at least one more than the certificate for the site you are accessing.

We see this work every day when we browse the internet. Almost every site you visit these days is redirected to https. My blog is served over both. I just noticed that the function for forwarding HTTP to HTTPS is not active so either works right now. I will have to look at that, but I only noticed due to writing this post.

Back to web browsers, they come with a trust store filled with the most common ones so you get to every site without warnings. Occasionally you get to one that is not there or where the certificate has expired. The database comes with an empty trust store, forcing you to explicitly trust every certificate you want to use.

How to download a certificate

When you look around at all the blogs that talks about HTTPS for Oracle DB the instructions I found were all focused on how you click down a certificate via a web browser. Most showing it in IE. The problem is that those instructions are pretty much out of date as soon as the web browser releases a new version. I know of few things that moves around so much in the user interface. It seems no vendor has yet found a place in their GUI where they are happy with it.

While I like a GUI to do adhoc things, I am not at al happy with a reliance on it to download things needed for an installation. If there is a new certificate, I want to just grab it via script rather than clicking down it in a GUI.

After a lot of reading, testing and playing around I have found this to work for all cases I’ve tried.

openssl s_client -connect example.com:443 -showcerts

Basic explanation follows, for full understanding, dive head first into the world of openssl.

s_client is running this as a client connecting to a remote server using SSL/TLS. Meaning, connecting as a web browser or any other (such as a database) client program would.

-connect identifies the host:port to connect to.

-showcerts displays the whole certificate chain.

For example.com it will return something like this:

CONNECTED(00000008)
depth=2 C = US, O = DigiCert Inc, OU = www.digicert.com, CN = DigiCert Global Root CA
verify return:1
depth=1 C = US, O = DigiCert Inc, CN = DigiCert SHA2 Secure Server CA
verify return:1
depth=0 C = US, ST = California, L = Los Angeles, O = Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, OU = Technology, CN = www.example.org
verify return:1
---
Certificate chain
 0 s:/C=US/ST=California/L=Los Angeles/O=Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers/OU=Technology/CN=www.example.org
 i:/C=US/O=DigiCert Inc/CN=DigiCert SHA2 Secure Server CA
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIIHQDCCBiigAwIBAgIQD9B43Ujxor1NDyupa2A4/jANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQsFADBN
MQswCQYDVQQGEwJVUzEVMBMGA1UEChMMRGlnaUNlcnQgSW5jMScwJQYDVQQDEx5E
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0Gs4+eH6F9h3SojmPTYkT+8KuZ9w84Mn+M8qBXUQoYoKgIjN
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
 1 s:/C=US/O=DigiCert Inc/CN=DigiCert SHA2 Secure Server CA
 i:/C=US/O=DigiCert Inc/OU=www.digicert.com/CN=DigiCert Global Root CA
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIIElDCCA3ygAwIBAgIQAf2j627KdciIQ4tyS8+8kTANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQsFADBh
MQswCQYDVQQGEwJVUzEVMBMGA1UEChMMRGlnaUNlcnQgSW5jMRkwFwYDVQQLExB3
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j6tJLp07kzQoH3jOlOrHvdPJbRzeXDLz
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
 2 s:/C=US/O=DigiCert Inc/OU=www.digicert.com/CN=DigiCert Global Root CA
 i:/C=US/O=DigiCert Inc/OU=www.digicert.com/CN=DigiCert Global Root CA
-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIIDrzCCApegAwIBAgIQCDvgVpBCRrGhdWrJWZHHSjANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFADBh
MQswCQYDVQQGEwJVUzEVMBMGA1UEChMMRGlnaUNlcnQgSW5jMRkwFwYDVQQLExB3
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YSEY1QSteDwsOoBrp+uvFRTp2InBuThs4pFsiv9kuXclVzDAGySj4dzp30d8tbQk
CAUw7C29C79Fv1C5qfPrmAESrciIxpg0X40KPMbp1ZWVbd4=
-----END CERTIFICATE-----
---
Server certificate
subject=/C=US/ST=California/L=Los Angeles/O=Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers/OU=Technology/CN=www.example.org
issuer=/C=US/O=DigiCert Inc/CN=DigiCert SHA2 Secure Server CA
---
No client certificate CA names sent
Server Temp Key: ECDH, P-256, 256 bits
---
SSL handshake has read 4643 bytes and written 322 bytes
---
New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256
Server public key is 2048 bit
Secure Renegotiation IS supported
Compression: NONE
Expansion: NONE
No ALPN negotiated
SSL-Session:
 Protocol : TLSv1.2
 Cipher : ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256
 Session-ID: 9EABB694EB9920D06E661977AB2BA1C57C5E6BF8EAEE7D3CD96A5A853956E63F
 Session-ID-ctx: 
 Master-Key: 42BDA71815735B41A0BBD512D84DB1B71B092C896CA498098D523B3A618809DD8926AFAD86F819003562ACFB12E5ECA1
 TLS session ticket lifetime hint: 7200 (seconds)
 TLS session ticket:
 0000 - 57 22 f3 96 0c 39 7a 40-ec 8d ce a4 1b 04 67 f1 W"...9z@......g.
 0010 - 54 bd 5e ce 77 69 5e 46-b0 b1 d7 9a 1f f8 db d7 T.^.wi^F........
 0020 - c9 c7 ce a6 97 5a 6f 0f-50 32 b6 6b d5 1c c2 12 .....Zo.P2.k....
 0030 - 4f b3 41 00 1e a2 2a 57-b2 f8 a5 b7 cc d0 fa 86 O.A...*W........
 0040 - a8 66 78 c4 bb 0d ce fd-ca 6a 94 c8 cf c2 e0 44 .fx......j.....D
 0050 - f3 2f 13 7b 81 52 ef 8f-64 22 1e 81 24 3f fc 50 ./.{.R..d"..$?.P
 0060 - 02 56 a2 11 9f 20 cb bf-5b ee ed 8b 0b e0 0d 28 .V... ..[......(
 0070 - 7a de 49 c0 c9 99 10 12-1b ea b5 38 da 57 42 6c z.I........8.WBl
 0080 - f4 df ae 0f f2 65 0e d0-72 29 af 11 61 af 8e c0 .....e..r)..a...
 0090 - 20 be 28 c9 4f 9a cf 5f-be 48 13 fd d7 e8 69 69 .(.O.._.H....ii

Start Time: 1587290660
 Timeout : 7200 (sec)
 Verify return code: 0 (ok)
---
closed

That is a quite a file to read and interpret, fortunately we only need to grab some parts and save to a file or two.

The sections we want are the ones like this:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
<... snip ... >
-----END CERTIFICATE-----

You will find three such sections, only copy the last two to new files. I’ll use the names cert1.txt and cert2.txt in the examples below.

Creating the Wallet

We’re now ready to set up the wallet for example.com http-access.

For all of this we will use the “orapki” program installed together with the database.

Let’s first create an empty wallet we can add the certificates to.

orapki wallet create -wallet blogwallet -auto_login -pwd BlogWallet1

This creates a wallet with the name “blogwallet”, using it is logged in automatically while modifications requires providing the password “BlogWallet”. The name of the file can be provided using a path if needed.

Now that we have the wallet we can add our two certificates from the certificate chain we found for example.com.

orapki wallet add -wallet blogwallet -trusted_cert -pwd BlogWallet1 -cert cert1.txt

orapki wallet add -wallet blogwallet -trusted_cert -pwd BlogWallet1 -cert cert2.txt

Take a look at the wallet, it is actually a directory with files in it.

Testing that it works

With that we now have a wallet that should allow us to pass the certificate validation for example.com. Make sure the wallet file is readable by the user running the database, typically “oracle”.

select utl_http.request('https://example.com', null, 'file:/opt/oracle/oradata/XE/XEPDB1/blogwallet/') from dual;

"<!doctype html>
<html>
<head>
 <title>Example Domain</title>

Again the rest of the output was cut off for brevity.

There it is, we now have https connectivity set up. A little bit of ACL and a little bit of adding certificates to a trust store served by a wallet in Oracle.

With that any kind of URI using HTTPS can be set up, such as REST-calls or authentication using to cloud services. But that is something for another time and another blog post.

April 21st, 2020 by