AM 7.5.0

Account lockout

Account lockout is a security mechanism that locks a user account after repeated failed login attempts. Use it to slow down brute-force attacks and compensate for weak password policies.

Most deployments use the identity store’s password policy to control account lockout. If this isn’t an option in your deployment, configure account lockout as explained in this section.

ForgeRock recommends using a persistent lockout. If that’s not compatible with your company’s preferences, ForgeRock recommends using a duration lockout of at least 15 minutes.

You can configure account lockout in one of the following ways:

Persistent lockout

Persistent (physical) lockout locks the user’s account indefinitely until unlocked by an administrator.

This is the default type of account lockout and ForgeRock recommends it as the best way to mitigate brute-force attacks.

For persistent lockout, AM sets the user account status to inactive in the user profile, and tracks failed authentication attempts by writing to the user repository. The inactive status makes it easier for an administrator to search for user accounts with persistent lockout.

Persistent lockout works independently of account lockout mechanisms in the underlying directory server that serves as the user data store.

Duration lockout

Duration lockout locks the user account for a specified duration, keeping track of the locked state either in memory or in the data store.

The default configuration is to record invalid authentication attempts in the data store. This avoids the need for sticky load balancing. If you choose to store the count of invalid attempts in memory, the counter applies to the current AM instance only. Also, if you restart AM and lockout is stored in memory, duration lockouts on all accounts are released; otherwise, the lock is released automatically after the specified duration.

Unlike persistent lockout, the user account status remains active for duration lockout.

Failed login attempts during the transactional authorization flow don’t increment account lockout counters.

If login failures are stored in AM’s memory, this may result in user accounts not being locked out, even after multiple login failures. To avoid this issue, implement persistent lockout instead.

Configure account lockout

  1. Configure account lockout:

    • In the AM admin UI, go to Realms > Realm Name > Authentication > Settings > Account Lockout.

    • Enable lockout by checking Login Failure Lockout Mode, then set the number of attempts and the lockout interval.

      You can also opt to warn users after several consecutive failures.

    • Enable Store Invalid Attempts in Data Store to save account login failures to the data store. This setting is necessary when using server-side or client-side authentication sessions. If you don’t set this, users may not be locked out even after multiple login failures.

      When you store the count of failed attempts in the data store, other AM servers accessing the user data store can also see that count.

    • If AM is configured to send mail, you can set up email notification of lockouts to an administrator.

  2. Configure persistent lockout:

    • Set Login Failure Lockout Duration to 0.

    • Optionally, set Lockout Attribute Name and Lockout Attribute Value to specify an additional attribute to update on lockout.

      By default, AM sets the value of the user’s inetuserstatus attribute to inactive.

    • Optionally, set Invalid Attempts Data Attribute Name to specify a custom attribute to store the number of failed authentication attempts.

  3. Configure duration lockout:

    • Set Login Failure Lockout Duration to a positive value representing the duration in minutes.

      ForgeRock recommends a value of at least 15.

    • Optionally, set Lockout Duration Multiplier to increase the lockout duration on each successive lockout.

    • Enable Store Invalid Attempts in Data Store so that lockout attempts aren’t stored in memory, but persisted in the repository, and applied across all AM instances.

    • Set Invalid Attempts Data Attribute Name to the default attribute sunAMAuthInvalidAttemptsData to prevent invalid attempts from being stored only in memory.

    For more information, refer to the account lockout configuration.

To unlock a user’s account:

  • Locate the user under Realms > Realm Name > Identities.

  • Choose the user you want to unlock.

  • Set their User Status property to Active.

  • Click Save.

For specific information on how authentication trees handle account lockout, see Account lockout for trees.

Customize account lockout messages

To customize the messages shown to end users when their accounts are locked, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the openam-core-7.5.0.jar file in the WEB-INF/lib/ folder where AM is deployed.

  2. Extract the file.

  3. Change the value of the field that controls the lockout message:

    1. If you are using an authentication tree, change the value of the lockOut field, for example:

      lockOut=Your account has been locked. Please contact your support agent.|user_inactive.jsp
    2. If you are using an authentication chain, change the value of the 112 field, for example:

      112=Your account has been locked. Please contact your support agent.|user_inactive.jsp
  4. Copy the amended file to the WEB-INF/classes/ folder where AM is deployed.

  5. When a user whose account is locked attempts to authenticate, the custom lockout message is displayed:

    Custom account lockout message
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