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how do you put authentication credentials in http headers

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I've searched the web and here on experts exchange but I can't seem to find this. We are setting up taking credit cards online. Our clearing house is sending back there data stream, but say they can't put a user name and password in the response url. So this is our next step. We are data base guys with very little experience in this area. Any help you guys can provide is much appreciated.
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Question by:jeffr1970
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Expert Comment

by:brb6708
ID: 34103277
why do you need username and password in header?

Is this an assynchronour process (you submit data not waiting for the answer - clearing house sends back information later and jou have to identify this information against your submit)?

Please provide more information about your data flow.
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Author Comment

by:jeffr1970
ID: 34103391
The clearing house does send the response url a few minutes after the submit. The problem we are having is that all the files are secured. We were thinking if we could put the user name and password in the http header then we could authenticate with our server and get at the programs and data we need.
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Expert Comment

by:brb6708
ID: 34103680
I supposed that. Which information dou you pass to the clearing house or is it possible, to pass an identifier that you get back from the clearing house?
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Author Comment

by:jeffr1970
ID: 34104135
We can pass an echo command with anything we want attached to it, for example echo_x=XXXXX.
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Expert Comment

by:brb6708
ID: 34104549
so generate an encrypted key containing some unguessable information using a two way encryption method and use this as key

example

Key containing     userid=4711;accountid=ABCDE
encrypt it so it looks like      epWbVJeaoFOfoZaboQ%3D%3D

and transmit it like echo_x=epWbVJeaoFOfoZaboQ%3D%3D

when clearing house returns key

decrypt it again, check structure (userid=«value», accountid=«value»)
compare if information fits to the remaining parameters and then you can be sure, that returned info is authentic. Even if somebody knows about the structure, propper encryption ensures that values cannot be read out from the datastring.

And so you are able to process in a normal way in yout authentication process.

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Author Comment

by:jeffr1970
ID: 34104756
The respone that we get back is a url that is on an unsecuried site. We will then go to a secured web folder and access ntfs secured folders. At this point we then need to send through http that this is an authenticated user.  
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Accepted Solution

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brb6708 earned 500 total points
ID: 34105498
ok, seems to fit to my proposal. The echo_string can contain all information needed for that.
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