November 16 2022 by Marek Posolda
We are glad to announce that latest Keycloak 20 release contains experimental support for FIPS 140-2!
The FIPS 140-2 standard is a set of requirements for cryptography modules, which needs to be met for the software used by U.S. governments and related parties. The FIPS compliant software should use only secure cryptography algorithms allowed by the FIPS specification and must use them in a secured way. Keycloak does not directly implement any cryptography algorithms, however it internally needs to use lots of cryptography functionalities. For this purpose, Keycloak mostly relies on the Java cryptography SPI and 3rd party libraries for implementing cryptography related functionality - especially the BouncyCastle library.
FIPS support is usually enabled at the OS level. For example, during installation of RHEL 8.6
, you can enable kernel flag during OS installation to make sure that your OS is FIPS compliant. When FIPS is enabled at the OS level, it means that various
packages including OpenJDK are also set to be FIPS compliant and are pre-configured to rely on FIPS approved functions. For example
java.security configuration file is pre-configured to contain
only FIPS compliant security providers.
The FIPS support in Keycloak means that the Keycloak server can run on the FIPS compliant OS with FIPS compliant Java. It also means that the Keycloak server is FIPS compliant and can be used
by parties, which strictly require FIPS 140-2 support. Even if you do not use the FIPS enabled OS, you can still try the FIPS enabled Keycloak server by using custom
java.security file with only
BouncyCastle-FIPS security providers configured as described in the instructions below in the step 4.
Instructions for how to try FIPS support in Keycloak are here.
The known limitation in the BCFIPS non-approved mode include:
Possible issues when using SAML clients and SAML Identity providers
Kerberos/SPNEGO authenticator does not work
X.509 client certificate authentication may not work for both users and clients
In BCFIPS approved mode (more strict mode), more limitations exist such as:
User passwords must be at least 14 characters long. You should set a password policy for your realm to be 14 characters to avoid issues during registration/authentication of users
Keystore/truststore must be of type
bcfks because neither
jks and `pkcs12`work. This is a restriction of BCFIPS approved mode
Some warnings in the server.log at startup