Session timeout, has to be top priority!!!

Thomas Bruederli roundcube at
Fri Sep 8 10:50:36 CEST 2006


What's this discussion all about? RoundCube has a session timeout for
security reasons, which can be turned off by configuration. Please, no
more discussion about advantages and disadvantages of session timeouts
or about intelligent and stupid users!

Fact is, RoundCube has an ugly bug which needs to be fixed. I also spent
some time to find out how this can happen (even if I can't reproduce any
session failures here).

As far as I can see, the session timeout (the time that can be
configured) isn't the reason for this RoundCube bug. Even if you set the
session timeout to 10 minutes, it should not really time out because the
client sends a keep alive signal every minute.

In 0.1-beta2 I removed the _auth hash from every URL and introduced a
second cookie which changes it's value every five minutes. The problem
of the session authorization failures could be related to this. This
second cookie is here to prevent from stealing somebody's session by
reading the session cookie.

A session failure could occur if a request (like draft saving [btw. yes,
we already have an automatic draft saving mechanism!]) takes a lot of
time. In that case, the cookie could be switched to a new value but the
HTTP header has not been sent to the client yet. If the keep-alive
request is sent in the meantime, it arrives with the "old" cookie value
which will cause RoundCube to deny the request and send a redirect to
the login screen.

With revision 338 I added some fall back for checking this changing
session cookie. There's also a log file (log/timeouts) that will be
filled with $_REQUEST and $_SESSION values if the session authorization
(not session timeout) fails.

Please get the latest trunk and test it.


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