MFA using metadata

Lipscomb, Gary glipscomb at
Sun Mar 8 18:49:57 EDT 2020

Hi list,

I’ve managed to get MFA/Duo working by adding the following into the SP’s metadata

    <!-- <mdattr:EntityAttributes> -->
       <!-- <saml:Attribute Name=""
        </saml:Attribute> -->
        <!-- The disallowedFeatures setting is a bitmask, and 0x1 blocks SPs requesting authentication types. -->
        <!-- <saml:Attribute Name=""
        </saml:Attribute> -->
    <!-- </mdattr:EntityAttributes> -->

Our mfa-authn-config.xml contains

   <util:map id="shibboleth.authn.MFA.TransitionMap">
  <!-- First rule runs the Password login flow. -->
    <entry key="">
      <bean parent="shibboleth.authn.MFA.Transition" p:nextFlow="authn/Password" />

  <!-- Second rule runs a function to determine whether an additional factor is required. -->
   <entry key="authn/Password">
     <bean parent="shibboleth.authn.MFA.Transition" p:nextFlowStrategy-ref="checkSecondFactor" />

   <!-- An implicit final rule will return whatever the final flow returns. -->

When the flow transitions from authn/Password to checkSecondFactor mfaCtx.isAcceptable() returns false for all users when accessing this SP.
If the user access another SP where this attribute doesn't exist in the metadata mfaCtx.isAcceptable() returns true for all users when transitioning from the authn/Password flow.

With this SP we want to apply the secondFactor “DUO”  to only “Staff” not “Students”.
If I test to see if the user is  “Staff”  I then set nextFlow to “authn/Duo”, the user completes Duo process and gains access to the SP.

If the user is a “Student”  mfaCtx.isAcceptable() remains set to “false” and access to the SP is denied and an error is generated by the SP.

Is there a way to be selective if you use the above metadata settings, or should I be using another metadata attribute to control access. Our preferred option is to use metadata to control whether MFA is required.

Or is there a way to programmatically set mfaCtx.isAcceptable() “true” for  “Students” in the mfa-authn-config.xml flow.



Gary Lipscomb
Technical Officer, Systems(Infrastructure) | Infrastructure & Client Services | Division of Information Technology
Charles Sturt University
Email: glipscomb at |


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