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v3.0.0 Public

FW/1 Secure Authentication Example

This project is an example fw/1 application with secure single and two-factor (2FA) authentication and session management functions as follows:

  • Based on basic example fw/1 application
  • Uses subsystems for separation of concerns, securing only the admin subsystem
  • Includes a SecurityService component that has encryption, decryption, hashing, password generation and session management code
  • Includes a security controller for managing session and request scope session management within the admin subsystem
  • Uses cookies and object cache for session management
  • Includes HMAC protection for session cookies to help prevent tampering
  • Rotates the session id on each request and utilizes form tokenization to help prevent CSRF
  • Federates the login with a cookie and referrer requirement
  • Protects the users password from disclosure with SHA-384 hashing during login
  • Stores user data in encrypted format in the database
  • Default CBC/PKCS5Padding defined for encryption algorithms
  • Includes HTTP security headers designed to reduce attack surface
  • Uses keyring stored on disk to load encryption keys instead of hard-coded in the Application.cfc
  • Includes functions for reading, writing and generating a random keyring file
  • Includes functions for checking for, adding, removing and importing blocked IP's
  • Includes functions for checking for, adding, removing and importing watched IP's
  • Includes functions for managing watched/blocked IPs by catching common parameter tampering/sql injection attacks
  • Includes optional addDate true/false parameter to uberHash function to append the current date to the input value on hash
  • Includes 'dummy' cookies for the purpose of further obfuscating which cookie is used for session management
  • Includes repeatable form encryption for ajax populated and javascript selected form fields
  • Includes BaseBean with convenience functions for populating primary key data and CSRF fields in urls and forms (respectively)
  • Includes page caching and flushing capabilities added for static views (for NVCFUG Preso) - use url param flushCache to flush
  • Includes fw1 environment control and check for the prod (production) environment before running IP watching or blocking routines
  • Includes configurable block mode - one of abort or redirect. Abort simply aborts further processing for blocked IP's. Redirect works as it did before this release, redirecting to the ipBlocked.html file.
  • Migrated to new Application.cfc FW/1 initialization model
  • Improved HMAC key management to prevent development reloads from forcing the user to re-login (for non-production environments)
  • BREAKING CHANGE The two factor (2FA) authentication code from our two-factor example has been rolled into this code as of 7/24/2017. You can turn on 2FA in the Application.cfc (off by default to maintain backwards compatibility). Code prior to this release has been moved to the legacy branch.
  • NEW! BREAKING CHANGE As of 9/12/2017 the keyring master key now uses a PBKDF key on Lucee 5+ and ACF 11+ engines by default instead of legacy hashing to further enhance the security of the keyring. A new function rekeyKeyRing() has been added to the SecurityService to aid in rekeying your keyring for this change (and rekeying it in general) if upgrading from a previous release. You may alternatively uncomment a line in Application.cfc to force legacy master key usage. Please see additional notes in the Application.cfc for further details. Lucee 4.5 will continue to use the legacy hashing of the master key.
  • NEW! BREAKING CHANGE The keyring path and the master key are now defined in their own variables in the application scope instead of being hard-coded in the initialization of the security service. These are now BASE64 encoded to aid in obfuscating the key and filename in case of code disclosure. If upgrading from a previous release you will need to BASE64 encode your master keyphrase and filename and replace the new default one in Application.cfc. Please see additional notes in the Application.cfc for further details.
  • NEW! BREAKING CHANGE The dashboard controller has removed the rc.product and rc.version variables definitions and the dashboard view now uses the engine and engine version information derived from the application scope

This code was put together for the ColdFusion: Code Security Best Practices presentation by Denard Springle at NCDevCon 2015 and has since been transformed into a concise starting point for developers who need to create a secure application using the fw/1 CFML MVC framework.

This code has been expanded multiple times to include additional functionality not shown during the initial presentation. More details on how (and why) these security functions work and are important can be gleaned from reading the ColdFusion Security documents on CFDocs and from reviewing the SecurityService.cfc in /model/services/ which has been expanded for content. The code is ripe with comments to help aid in understanding how and why security features have been implemented and should be easy to pick up and run with for anyone with a passing familiarity of fw/1.


  • Adobe ColdFusion 11+
  • Lucee 4.5+


  1. Drop the code into your favorite CFML engine's webroot OR install using CommandBox using the command box install fw1-sa
  2. Create a database and generate the users and smsProviders database tables (MSSQL SQL and Excel data provided in the 'database' folder)
  3. Create a datasource called twofactorauth for your database in your CFML engine's admin (or change in Application.cfc)
  4. Configure an object cache, if one is not already defined (or, optionally, add it to Application.cfc if running Lucee 5.x+)
  5. Configure a mail server in your CFML engine's admin
  6. Move the keyrings folder to a location outside your webroot
  7. Modify the default developmentHmacKey value in Application.cfc (use generateSecretKey( 'HMACSHA512' ))
  8. Change the keyRingPath location to where you moved the keyrings folder to in Application.cfc
  9. Change the hash iterations for the hashed keyring file name from the default value of 173 to some other integer number of iterations in Application.cfc
  10. Provide a unique BASE64 encoded value for the application password in Application.cfc (instead of c2VjdXJlX2F1dGhfbWFzdGVyX2tleQ==)
  11. Provide a unique BASE64 encoded value for the application sale in Application.cfc (instead of UnRUcFBBS1hOQmgwem9XYg==)
  12. Provide a unique BASE64 encoded value for the keyring filename in Application.cfc (instead of c2VjdXJlX2F1dGhfa2V5cmluZw==)
  13. Change the hash iterations for the hashed master key from the default value of 512 to some other integer number of iterations in Application.cfc
  14. Change the starting location for the mid() function of the hashed master key to start at a position other than 38 in a range from 1 to 106
  15. Provide unique values for the cookieName and dummyCookieOne, dummyCookieTwo and dummyCookieThree values in Application.cfc
  16. Modify remaining application variables in Application.cfc as needed (see notes in Application.cfc)
  17. Browse to webroot to launch the application and generate a unique set of encryption keys in your keyring
  18. Modify the check if the keyring is a valid array of keys statement in Application.cfc to prevent regeneration of a new keyring file after initial launch. See notes in Application.cfc.
  19. Register an account, login and enjoy!


NOTE If you are currently running a version of fw1-sa without the 2FA integration, then you'll need to complete the following steps before updating to the latest master branch:

If not using 2FA:

  1. Preserve a copy of your existing Application.cfc (or MyApplication.cfc if included in your distribution) so you can copy values for keyring and other application variables as needed.
  2. Modify your users table to include providerId and phone as additional fields before updating

If using 2FA:

  1. Preserve a copy of your existing Application.cfc (or MyApplication.cfc if included in your distribution) so you can copy values for keyring and other application variables as needed.
  2. Modify your users table as above
  3. Add the smsProviders table and import the included data
  4. Assign sms provider id's and phone numbers to existing users (this must be done before switching 2FA on else users will not be able to authenticate)


You can view single factor authentication using this code live at

You can view two-factor authentication using this code live at

Bugs and Feature Requests

If you find any bugs or have a feature you'd like to see implemented in this code, please use the issues area here on GitHub to log them.


This project is actively being maintained and monitored by Denard Springle. If you would like to contribute to this example please feel free to fork, modify and send a pull request!


This project utilizes the free open source MVC CFML (ColdFusion) framework Framework One (fw/1) by Sean Corfield.


The use and distribution terms for this software are covered by the Apache Software License 2.0 (

Dependencies (0)

Dev Dependencies (0)

$ box install fw1-sa

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