How to do authentication in UIWebView properly?

I would like to support HTTP Basic Authentication in my UIWebView.

At the moment, I am canceling requests in

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  • webView:shouldStartLoadWithRequest:navigationType: then handle them in my own NSURLConnectionDelegate to check for and provide credentials if needed. I then use loadData:MIMEType:textEncodingName:baseURL: to present HTML in the web view. That works fine for any URLs that are passed to the delegate.

    My problem is that the delegate is never called for embedded elements, like images, JavaScript or CSS files. So if I have an HTML page which references an image which is protected with basic authentication, that image cannot be loaded properly. Additionally, webView:didFinishLoad: is never called, because the web view could not fully load the page.

    I have checked that case with Terra, a third-party browser available on the App Store, and it can fully cope with that situation. I think it would be possible to solve this by providing my own NSURLProtocol, but that seems too complicated. What am I missing?

    5 Solutions Collect From Internet About “How to do authentication in UIWebView properly?”

    Try to use sharedCredentialStorage for all domains you need to authenticate.

    Here is working sample for UIWebView it was tested against Windows IIS having only BasicAuthentication enabled

    This is how to add your site credentials:

            NSString* login = @"MYDOMAIN\\myname";
            NSURLCredential *credential = [NSURLCredential credentialWithUser:login
                                                                     password:@"mypassword"
                                                                  persistence:NSURLCredentialPersistenceForSession];
    
            NSURLProtectionSpace *protectionSpace = [[NSURLProtectionSpace alloc]
                                                     initWithHost:@"myhost"
                                                     port:80
                                                     protocol:@"http"
                                                     realm:@"myhost" // check your web site settigns or log messages of didReceiveAuthenticationChallenge
                                                     authenticationMethod:NSURLAuthenticationMethodDefault];
    
    
            [[NSURLCredentialStorage sharedCredentialStorage] setDefaultCredential:credential forProtectionSpace:protectionSpace];
            [protectionSpace release];    
    

    Your webView is supposed to work now, if it does not work use next code to debug, especially check log messages of didReceiveAuthenticationChallenge.

        #import "TheSplitAppDelegate.h"
        #import "RootViewController.h"
    
        @implementation TheSplitAppDelegate
    
        @synthesize window = _window;
        @synthesize splitViewController = _splitViewController;
        @synthesize rootViewController = _rootViewController;
        @synthesize detailViewController = _detailViewController;
    
        - (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)application didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:(NSDictionary *)launchOptions
        {
            // Override point for customization after application launch.
            // Add the split view controller's view to the window and display.
            self.window.rootViewController = self.splitViewController;
            [self.window makeKeyAndVisible];
    
            NSLog(@"CONNECTION: Add credentials");
    
            NSString* login = @"MYDOMAIN\\myname";
            NSURLCredential *credential = [NSURLCredential credentialWithUser:login
                                                                     password:@"mypassword"
                                                                  persistence:NSURLCredentialPersistenceForSession];
    
            NSURLProtectionSpace *protectionSpace = [[NSURLProtectionSpace alloc]
                                                     initWithHost:@"myhost"
                                                     port:80
                                                     protocol:@"http"
                                                     realm:@"myhost" // check your web site settigns or log messages of didReceiveAuthenticationChallenge
                                                     authenticationMethod:NSURLAuthenticationMethodDefault];
    
    
            [[NSURLCredentialStorage sharedCredentialStorage] setDefaultCredential:credential forProtectionSpace:protectionSpace];
            [protectionSpace release];    
    
            NSMutableURLRequest *request = [NSMutableURLRequest requestWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"http://myhost/index.html"]
                                                                   cachePolicy:NSURLRequestReloadIgnoringCacheData
                                                               timeoutInterval:12
                                            ];
    
            NSLog(@"CONNECTION: Run request");
            [[NSURLConnection alloc] initWithRequest:request delegate:self];
    
            return YES;
        }
    
        - (void)applicationWillResignActive:(UIApplication *)application
        {
    
        }
    
        - (void)applicationDidEnterBackground:(UIApplication *)application
        {
    
        }
    
        - (void)applicationWillEnterForeground:(UIApplication *)application
        {
    
        }
    
        - (void)applicationDidBecomeActive:(UIApplication *)application
        {
    
        }
    
        - (void)applicationWillTerminate:(UIApplication *)application
        {
    
        }
    
        - (void)dealloc
        {
            [_window release];
            [_splitViewController release];
            [_rootViewController release];
            [_detailViewController release];
            [super dealloc];
        }
    
        - (void)connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didReceiveAuthenticationChallenge:(NSURLAuthenticationChallenge *)challenge;
        {
            NSLog(@"CONNECTION: got auth challange");
            NSString* message = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"CONNECTION: cred cout = %i", [[[NSURLCredentialStorage sharedCredentialStorage] allCredentials] count]];
            NSLog(message);
            NSLog([connection description]);
    
            NSLog([NSString stringWithFormat:@"CONNECTION: host = %@", [[challenge protectionSpace] host]]);
            NSLog([NSString stringWithFormat:@"CONNECTION: port = %i", [[challenge protectionSpace] port]]);
            NSLog([NSString stringWithFormat:@"CONNECTION: protocol = %@", [[challenge protectionSpace] protocol]]);
            NSLog([NSString stringWithFormat:@"CONNECTION: realm = %@", [[challenge protectionSpace] realm]]);
            NSLog([NSString stringWithFormat:@"CONNECTION: authenticationMethod = %@", [[challenge protectionSpace] authenticationMethod]]);
        }
    
        - (void)connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didFailWithError:(NSError *)error{
            // release the connection, and the data object
            [connection release];
    
            // inform the user
            NSLog(@"CONNECTION: failed! Error - %@ %@",
                  [error localizedDescription],
                  [[error userInfo] objectForKey:NSURLErrorFailingURLStringErrorKey]);
        } 
    
        - (void)connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didReceiveResponse:(NSURLResponse *)response;
        {
            NSLog(@"CONNECTION: received response via nsurlconnection");
        }
    
        - (BOOL)connectionShouldUseCredentialStorage:(NSURLConnection *)connection;
        {
            NSLog(@"CONNECTION: USE!");
            return YES;
        }
    
    
        @end
    

    The final solution for WebView authentication was based on custom protocol implementation. All protocols registered as a stack, so if you redefine HTTP protocol it would intercept all requests coming from webView, so you have to check attributes assotiated with incoming request and repack it into new request and send it again via your own connection. Since you are in stack, your request immidiatly comes to you again and you have to ignore it. So it goes down protocol stack to real HTTP protocol implementation, since your request is not athenticated you’ll get authenticaiton request. And after authenticaiton you’ll get a real response from server, so you repack response and reply to original request received from webView and that’s it.

    Don;t try to create new requests or responses bodies, you have to just resend them. The final code would be aproximetly 30-40 lines of code and it is quite simple, but requires a lot of debuging and tetsing.

    Unfortunatlly I cannot provide code here, since I am assigned to different project already, I just wanted to say that my post is wrong way, it stucks when user changes password.

    The secret to HTTP basic authentication using cocoa is knowing NSURL and the related classes.

    • NSURL
    • NSURLRequest/NSMutableURLRequest
    • NSURLConnection
    • NSURLCredential
    • NSURLCredentialStorage
    • NSURLProtectionSpace
    • UIWebView/WebView/NIWebController etc.

    The real magic comes from NSURLConnection. In the words of the devDocs, “An NSURLConnection object provides support to perform the loading of a URL request.” If you want to load some a URL in the background without displaying it you would use NSURLConnection. The real power of the NSURLConnection is in the method

    + (NSURLConnection *)connectionWithRequest:(NSURLRequest *)request delegate:(id < NSURLConnectionDelegate >)delegate
    

    The NSURLConnectionDelegate protocol has methods for responding to successful connections, fatal errors, and authentication challenges. If you are trying to access data Protected by HTTP basic authentication this is how Cocoa does it. At this point an example should bring some clarity.

    //basic HTTP authentication
    NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString: urlString];
    NSMutableURLRequest *request;
    request = [NSMutableURLRequest requestWithURL:url
                                  cachePolicy:NSURLRequestReloadIgnoringCacheData
                              timeoutInterval:12];
    [self.webView openRequest:request];
    (void)[NSURLConnection connectionWithRequest:request delegate:self];
    

    This creates a URL. From the URL a URLRequest is created. The URLRequest is then loaded in the web view. The Request is also used to make a URLConnection. We don’t really use the connection, but we need to receive notifications about authentication so we set the delegate. There are only two methods we need from the delegate.

    - (void)connection:(NSURLConnection *)connection didReceiveAuthenticationChallenge:(NSURLAuthenticationChallenge *)challenge;
    {  
        NSURLCredential * cred = [NSURLCredential credentialWithUser:@"username"
                                                        password:@"password"
                                                     persistence:NSURLCredentialPersistenceForSession];
    [[NSURLCredentialStorage sharedCredentialStorage]setCredential:cred forProtectionSpace:[challenge protectionSpace]];
    
    }
    
    - (BOOL)connectionShouldUseCredentialStorage:(NSURLConnection *)connection;
    {
        return YES;
    }
    

    Whenever there is an authentication challenge a credential is added to the credential storage. You also tell the connection to use the credential storage.

    I’ve just implemented this by setting basic auth credentials using an NSMutableURLRequest for the UIWebView. This also avoids the round trip incurred when implementing sharedCredentialStorage (of course there are tradeoffs involved).

    Solution:

        NSString *url = @"http://www.my-url-which-requires-basic-auth.io"
        NSString *authStr = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@:%@", username, password];
        NSData *authData = [authStr dataUsingEncoding:NSASCIIStringEncoding];
        NSString *authValue = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"Basic %@", [authData base64EncodedString]];
        NSMutableURLRequest *mutableRequest = [[NSMutableURLRequest alloc] initWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:url]];
        [mutableRequest setValue:authValue forHTTPHeaderField:@"Authorization"];
        NSURLRequest *request = [mutableRequest copy];
        NSURLRequest *request = [NSURLRequest basicAuthHTTPURLRequestForUrl:url];
        [self.webView loadRequest:request];
    

    You can grab the NSData+Base64 category which implements the base64EncodedString for NSData from Matt Gallagher’s page (it was at the bottom of the blog post when I downloaded it)

    For TKAURLProtocolPro [http://kadao.dir.bg/cocoa.htm]
    For SVWebViewController [https://github.com/samvermette/SVWebViewController]

    Make sure to remember that logging out is not so easy with sessions and UIWebView credentials. See answer here: https://stackoverflow.com/a/18143902/2116338.