Domino Tech School

Domino Tech School is a series of webinars concentrated around Domino V10. It has been announced on January 8th this year. Since than there were two sessions, “Domino Query Language” and “Upgrading to Domino V10: Best Practices”. If you have missed one of these two Sessions, don´t worry, you can still watch the recording, but you still have to register.

All of the Sessions were great so far, I like how fast the recording is available, minutes after the Webcast is finished. And it contains useful Information for everyone, Developers and Administrators. So make sure you check it out.

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Make sure that the “Names.nsf” cannot be accessed via Internet!

Important Notice: If you are using your Domino Server as an LDAP Directory for Connections and/or Sametime do not continue with the steps described further down.


If your Domino Server is exposed to the Internet, make sure that the Domino Directory or the “Names.nsf” database cannot be accessed via Web Browser, or at least certain fields which can be used to get the hash values of the Internet Passwords.

A while ago, we got contacted by a customer who found out that his Domino Servers are vulnerable to a certain exploit which allows an attacker to extract the hash values of HTTP Passwords, of every user in the Domino Directory. The mentioned vulnerability is documented as “CVE-2005-2428”, you can read all the details of the exploit in the article bellow:

https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/39495

EDIT: In a response to my post, Sven Hasselbach also wrote a post on his blog. It is very informative and detailed, he added Information I missed, so I would strongly urge you to read it. Furthermore the I would also like to add the comment from Christoph Stöttner:

I haven’t checked the authentication, but you can’t use LDAP any more (Softerra will present: The user has insufficient access rights!)! So even when Connections or Sametime User can authenticate (please double check), TDI will not read or update any user account, even worse with default settings in Connections TDISOL all your profiles get deactivated!

The mentioned vulnerability is from 2016! So nothing new. To get the hashes the attacker already need to have a valid login (or allowed anonymous access to your names)! Then he can grab the hashes. Afaik with “Use more secure internet passwords” and “Yes – Password verification compatible with Notes/Domino release 8.01 or greater” it’s not that easy to decrypt the hashes.

I think a way more important is proper ACL, a well-configured security tab in the server document and “Enforce server access settings: Yes” for all used protocols.

As described in the article, you could remedy this by hiding $dspHTTPPassword and HTTPPassword or, you could “block” the access to names.nsf via Web Browser completely. The only reliable way I could find, with the help of Roberto Boccadoro, to do this on Domino would be to set the following property:

I tested this in few environments, with SPNEGO and Web Federated Login enabled, and I could find no issues.

Directory Integration – IBM Domino & Microsoft Active Directory – Questionnaire

Many customers I have encountered are using tools to integrate Domino and Active Directory with each other in some form. Being that as simple as synchronizing some User Document fields using LDAP or some more problematic processes as synchronizing passwords. Some would like to have a “full” Integration with Active Directory and some would like to keep the two directories as separated as possible.

Going forward to Domino v11, IBM and HCL are thinking about a more native and subtle integration with Active Directory and the best thing about it is that everyone can express their opinion by completing the following Questionnaire:

https://epwt-www.mybluemix.net/software/support/trial/cst/forms/nomination.wss?id=5711

    So, please let the Product Management know how you feel about Directory Integration. All you need is an IBM ID, if you do not have it already, you can create one here:

https://www.ibm.com/account/reg/us-en/signup?formid=urx-19776

Domino SAML & NFL – Changing the ADFS Certificate

Recently we got contacted by a growing number of customers regarding the change of the SSL Certificate on the ADFS Server used for Domino SAML and Notes NFL. Although the process is not overly complicated, there are some “gotchas” you need to keep in mind in order for this process to go smoothly, which I will try to describe before going through the actual process of changing the certificate.

Plan ahead

Keep in mind that, as soon as you change the certificate on the ADFS Server, SAML/NFL on the Domino/Notes side will not work properly. As there is no Configuration Document in the IdP Catalog which corresponds with this certificate, thus Domino will just drop the Requests signed with the new ADFS Certificate. In this case, you will get the following errors:

SECCheckAndParseSAMLResponse> Signature verification check failed : Could not verify cryptographic signature

SECCheckAndParseSAMLResponse> Exiting : Document has been modified or corrupted since signed! (signature)

Needles to say, this will lead to the SSO Process not working and many angry users…

To remedy this, plan the certificate change so that the impact on the client machine is minimal.

For NFL to work, you need to roll-out the new ADFS Certificate (in case if you are using public CA, you need to roll out the Intermediate and the CA certificate). You would do this via Notes Client Policy, Security Settings. This is not a big deal, but keep in mind that after setting the Policy, the Users need to successfully log in, for the Notes Client to pick up the change and get the new Policy together with the new ADFS Certificate. I have seen some environments were the Notes Client needed multiple restarts to pick up the change.

Now, think about this, the certificate is expiring, and you have to change it in the middle of Christmas holidays, meaning most of the Users are on vacation, so you go ahead, do everything perfectly. But as soon as your users get back from the vacation, they try to login and they get the beautiful error message stating that NFL is not possible at this time and their Notes ID Password is requested. Resulting in Helpdesk calls… Only after they enter the ID Password and successfully login, the Client will get the new certificate and in the future the login will be possible.

In order to get around this, I would recommend rolling out the new certificate as soon as possible, before actually changing it on ADFS.

Check the Certificate Requirements

The worst scenario is using the wrong certificate, so make sure that the Certificate you are using meets the Requirements. If you are using a Self-Signed Certificate, then it must have the “keyCertSign” (also know as “Certificate Signer”) and “cRLSign” (also known as “CRL Signer”) in the “Certificate key usage” field. To check this just open the certificate and inspect that field. If the certificate does not contain these fields, than you will get the following error when you try to create a Cross Certificate from it in the Domino Directory:

“A cross certificate will not be made due to key usage restrictions in the input certificate.”

It also needs to be a “SHA2” or higher. For the full list of Certificate Requirements and more, please read the following article:

https://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=ibm10718435

If you are using a certificate from the public Authority, then the purchased personal certificate will not contain these values, but this is not a problem, because you can just import the CA and all Intermediate Certificates in the Domino Directory and cross-certify them. After that you can roll-out the the Cross-Certificates via Notes Policy Document.

One customer is planning to use their own internal Windows Certificate Services or Windows PKI, I opened a Support Case regarding this, and got a confirmation that in this case you can also use the CA Certificate of that Authority. We still have not tried that and I didn´t have time to test it out in my Test Environment, but as soon as I have done so, I will post the results.

If the CA and Intermediate Certificates do not change, then you can skip the step of importing and cross-certifying these, as the mentioned certificates do not change.

Steps needed to change the ADFS Certificate

  • Check that the new Certificate meets the requirements.
  • Import the Certificate (self-signed), or CA and Intermediate Certificates if you are using a Certificate from a public Authority.
  • Cross-Certify the Certificate(s).
  • Push the newly created Cross Internet Certificates via Notes Policy (Security Settings).
  • Change the ADFS Certificate
    • As mentioned, as soon as you do this, the SAML Assertions will fail until you create a new IdP Configuration Document and restart the participating Domino Servers.
  • Export the new “FederationMetadata.xml” file from the ADFS Server.
  • Deactivate old Configuration Documents in the IdP Catalog Database.
  • Create new IdP Configuration Documents using the new “FederationMetadata.xml” file.
    • After you import the XML File, it will be deleted from the filesystem, so if you need it for another Configuration Document, make a copy of it.
  • Replicate the IdP Catalog Database if needed.
  • Restart all Domino Servers participating in SAML Authentication.
  • Delete the deactivated IdP Configuration Documents after you have made sure that the new Configuration works.

We were Jamming Again! A recap from Vienna!

I am honored for being invited to one more Domino Jam in Vienna, this time, for the V11 Version. After a brief session of what the future has in stores for us and the rules by which the “brainstorming” sessions are going to take place, we all got a few block of “PostIt” paper, from Thomas Hampel who was leading the Event, and started “cracking”.

Great atmosphere among the friends!

Here are some photos of the result:

It was nice to see that IBM & HCL are putting, once again, so much effort in the these sessions, you could clearly see that they care what the users think. At the end we had a chance to talk with Richard JeftsThomas Hampel and Uffe Sorensen about the plans that HCL has for the Domino & Notes Platform, and what we got to hear, didn’t differ much from the main Ideas that came out of the event. This is what I liked the most, the chance to talk with people who are responsible for the platform, and they also didn’t shy away telling what is not the focus of the next release and which features won’t be implemented in the V11 Release, what possibly was the best thing, showing where the focus lies, getting everybody on the same page and not rising any false hopes.

At the end of the event we got the Information that we should expect the V11 in the November of the 2019! I surely can’t wait to drink V11 Beer in Vienna! 😉 This event was definitely a nice experience, and I can only recommend it to everyone, if you you are interested, than please make sure to register for the Domino Jam V11 event near you: 

Like always the Organisation in the IBM Client Center Vienna was great, a special thanks and big thumbs up to the Austrian IBM Team, as to Richard Jefts, Thomas Hampel and Uffe Sorensen for coming to Vienna personally. 

Next Week is going to be interesting – Spoiler Alert!

For everybody working in ICS, next week is going to be pretty interesting,

Domino 10.0.1 together with Notes Client 10.0.1 (including the Mac Version) is going to be published next week, on December 18th, to be precise.

Verse on-Premises 1.0.6 is also coming out, I just can´t wait to start using it, because if I remember the feature list correctly…ics….support….. 😀 Fireworks! 🙂

The new Domino Community and Notes Community 10.0.1 Server will also be released, so the developers can develop their applications on Domino without any licensing costs. There was also a rumor to change the license so it can be used in production (FOR FREE) for a certain number of users, also for MAIL. I think this is a great idea. Create a few Docker Containers for Mail and Development, no Licensing Costs, imagine that!