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In a project the customer wants the images of the WMS to be secured against unauthorized access. What are the common solutions to realize that? Are they compatible with the OGC-standards?

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6 Answers 6

This OGC post from 2005 says:

There are no specific security aspects that are part of the OGC WMS/WFS/WCS Interface Specifications. Instead, security and authentication is best handled at another layer in the processing stack.

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The OGC spec only mandates the use of http. If it is compliant http it should be okay.

Some possible methods:

  • HTTP Basic Authentication (password sent as plain text, may have limited client support)
  • HTTP Digest Authentication (more secure, may have limited client support)
  • Filter IP address of client (easy to implement but not particularly secure).
  • Secret URL. Use a GUID to generate an un-guessable URL. Assumes that clients will keep URL secret. Much simpler for user to use than password entry. Guaranteed client support.
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You can require that users connect to the WMS over HTTP secured by a VPN. It puts the security layer on the level of the IP network, but certainly adds complexity.

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If security through obscurity is enough for your purposes you might configure a false extend for the layer :

Just use coordinates on the other side of the Earth. The layer will still appears in the layer list, requests will still be possible but if a user simply select it in a GIS software and choose "zoom to layer" he will not see anything and might think that this layer is simply empty or does not work. An application knowing the correct extend of the layer should still be able to access it.

I have already seen this solution applied on some WMS sites, but it is probably not completly conform to OGC-standards as the server returns an incorrect extend.

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There are also specialized frameworks like SecureOWS by CampToCamp : http://www.secureows.org/trac/secureows

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http://52north.org/communities/security/general/user_guide.html http://geoprisma.org/site/index.php

http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/geormwg

src:http://www.delicious.com/based2/bundle:comp.infosystems.gis

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