Disable form based auth?

When it comes to security there’s not many issues running this internally & on-prem, but as I’m now hosting in a web app for my current org, I’ve enabled OIDC, I’d like to be able to disable form based auth since currently this could potentially be brute forced - there’s no auto lockout/ban mechanism and unlimited retries without any delays either.
I’m controlling OIDC via env vars on my web app, I dont currently have an authentication.ps1 file since I didnt want to put any clientid/secret in plain text.
If I did have any issues trying to login as a backup, I can get to the fileshare to re-enable forms login (if there’s also a way to disable it).

Failing this, if it cannot be acheived the next step woudl be to sit this behind app gateway or front door and then whitelist all the traffic coming in which is fine in a corporate environment.

Howver I’m also starting a personal project for a homebrew website, and I’ll need something similar in terms of security to make sure it cannot be brute forced as it will be an externally facing public site but this one I won’t be able to restrict traffic via whitelist.

Any ideas what mechanisms I can implement here?


1 Like

I’ve tried creating authentication.ps1 and adding:

Set-PSUAuthenticationMethod -Type Form -Disabled -Integrated

But this doesnt seem to take any effect, the login form page still loads.
Looking at some of the previous forum threads around this in prior versions I think this was able to be disabled in v3.
From the UI at least in v4 it’s telling me that it cannot be disabled.

Also tried:

Set-PSUAuthenticationMethod -Type Form -Disabled -Integrated -ScriptBlock {

It seems I can still login with the admin pw,
Looks like it’s picking up my authentication.ps1 but forces it to be enabled and doesnt apply the script to the local admin account.

Commenting out lines 11-19 in the example below should do the trick:

I tried that:

Set-PSUAuthenticationMethod -Type "Form" -ScriptBlock {


And it still lets me login with local admin.

I even tried:

Set-PSUAuthenticationMethod -Type "Form" -ScriptBlock {
    New-PSUAuthenticationResult -ErrorMessage 'Not Allowed'

But I can still get in using the login form.
It’s like it’s completely ignoring the authentication.ps1 code despite it being listed in the GUI that the config is reading from that file for form auth, and if I edit the authentication in PSU rather directly in file it even shows the correct code in the GUI/code editor.

For your homebrew project, do you need multiple admins? If not and if you’re using a layer 7 traffic manager like App Gateway, you should be able to send a 404 response to anyone else trying to hit /admin.

Only need one PSU admin, but will have a login area in the app itself for other users to manage their recipes and submitting new ones, voting etc

I did write a bunch in this comment but realised that now I’ve figured out how to get the login script working (see below) I can just check the $RemoteIpAddress and disallow anyone from a non local ip address to login to the admin console, with the admin account, which i’ll be the only one using.

I just need to work out the mechanism of login for users now, so that I can get at a username/email address and provide components relevant to them. Ideally facebook since thats where our group is hosted currently so I know all the members have logins, I’ll do my research on azure app registrations and using facebook but i have a feeling it might not be possible with PSU currently unless i use another layer on top (see the following comment), in which case I might not be able to get to the username/email of users.

Actually think I may have found a potential solution here:

It can be run in docker and integrated with the facebook identity provider I want to use + support the syno reverse proxy / nginx, and it’s free for individuals :slight_smile:

It’s interesting how when you removed the code and it still worked. Once you reboot there should be nothing to load.

One option would be to use characters ot on the keyboard (all those wierd wingdings, foreign characters etc) and see if that works

Ahhhhh what you just said made me realise I was doing something stupid!

Once I disabled the ‘local account’ on the admin user it didn’t take the password from the database, it’s now running the authentication script code:

Thanks for that :slight_smile:

1 Like

Yep same here… i’ve just queried the ltedb5 db and done the exact same thing on a burner contianer noticeing it does not generate a file anymore.

May be worth taking a backup of database.db before turning that off just in case.

I suspect the only way to get back in will be to remove the database.db file and let it regenerate the file on startup.

Saying that… That may be a workaround to the entire password authentication mechanism

I’ll shut up now.

I dont really use the db for anything to be honest, everything is in the .universal ps1 files, the admin password was the only configurable.
I register an azure keyvault for my secrets and I’ve got an azure sql database for everything else.
My app is running in azure, and I’ve got OIDC configured with a app registration & env vars so shouldnt have an issue getting in even if I rebuild (it’s all terraformed too), that can easily be switched off and storage account file updated to remove the code block for the local admin account access again.

1 Like

hmm, coming back to this actually, I have noticed every time I ‘switch off’ the admin account from being database configured, it just reverts back, and I’ve subsequently been able to login via the form auth again, bypassing the script/code block I put in place. I ended up just deleting the admin account entirely and that seems to have done the job.

Seems like this is a no go too, when the web app reboots, admin is recreated with default and lets any password in.

@adam - I’m stuck on this one, any ideas?
The TL;DR version is: I just cant figure out a way of blocking local admin user login or disabling form login all together, the reason is due to this being a publicly accessible cloud hosted site and form + admin auth is brute forceable and therefore insecure. Ideally it should be OIDC/MFA only.

For now I’ve just set the admin pw to a absurdly long string but it would be nice to disable it or form auth all together.

Just as a quick update on some of the things mentioned in this thread if anyone was following.
I was still battling with facebook oidc/ .well-known config, and in the end gave up trying to get it to work, I’ve read a lot of articles saying that it’s in a non standard proprietary structure so maybe that’s why altho most of the articles are pretty old.

I switched instead to a google oidc app, and while I initially had some struggles, I did end up managing to get it working with the following env settings:

Authentication__OIDC__Authority https://accounts.google.com
Authentication__OIDC__CallbackPath /auth/signin-oidc
Authentication__OIDC__ClientID <clientid>
Authentication__OIDC__ClientSecret <clientsecret>
Authentication__OIDC__ResponseType code
Authentication__OIDC__Enabled true
Authentication__OIDC__Scope openid

I’m happy with that for now but would still like to be able to disable local admin/form based auth, as there’s been no updates on this thread from the team I’ll log a feature request in github for it.
Happy that I’ve got a path forwards tho!

I’ve added a comment to: Block /login from external locations · Issue #2617 · ironmansoftware/issues · GitHub
It’s not exactly the same feature request, but in a similar vein and would be suitable in this instance either way.

One issue I have been experiencing with google OIDC is the logout functionality doesn’t seem to do anything

This is one of the issues we’re currently facing, too. The PSU admin portal is publicly accessible, so with local authentication still being enabled, and with seemingly no real way to turn it off, we’re left with 2 options:

Option 1: Put the PSU server behind a load-balancer and perform header inspections to simply block the /login sub-path.

Option 2: Abandon PSU in lieu of something similarly capable, such as Pipedream, in which there is no such concern with local authentication.

Not sure if this has always been the case or not, but you can actually remove the administrator role from the local admin account - thus rendering it useless (even if you can’t remove it entirely).
This was my approach (along with a very long/secure pw), all other accounts we have are OIDC based with MFA. If I needed a break glass I can just interact with the filesystem/config, re-add the role and restart the service.

That could potentially work, as long as the role doesn’t get added back after the service restarts, or anything like that. Taking into account some of the other issues with PSU, such as the random service crashes due to coreclr.dll having an “unhandled exception”, the somewhat instability of the Git functionality, and a couple of other things, the other services (such as Pipedream) are looking better and better the more time I spend with PSU, but we already paid for PSU so we’ll probably give some leniency for a bit.

I’ve never had a single service crash since I started using PSU years back, I’ve used it for 5 orgs now and personal projects, in very different environments (on-prem, webapps, linux, windows etc). I would say if you are having issues there, it’s likley something that could be troubleshooted and resolved because it doesnt sound normal (I did a quick lookup for corectl.dll on both the forum and github issues and found nothing so I’d recommend raising an issue for it with plenty of detail)
Same with git - I’ve had trouble only when dealing with a proxy server and outbound connectivity but I found that since you can configure git in many different ways, including using internal or external git clients, I’ve found it to be very stable.
For me, there’s simply no substitue to PSU - I think a lot of people misunderstand what it is, what it can do and its limitations - there’s challenges in scaling, but using it within it’s means it’s great. using a service like pipedream wouldnt be a replacement for me, I do find that recommendation interesting but if anything it would be more of an addition that could work in tandem and save on development cost of custom integrations if those already exist in that platform.