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Secure AEM


Secure AEM is a tool which can be used to find the most popular security problems in your AEM instance. It tests both instances (author, publish) and also the dispatcher, as some resources should be restricted in the cache configuration. It checks:

  • if the default passwords are changed,
  • if there are no unnecessary protocols enabled after being published,
  • if the the administrator console access is disabled,
  • if content-grabbing selectors are restricted on the dispatcher,
  • etc.

Each test contains a description and the More info link which references the external site to additional information about a given security flaw.

You may also be interested in the blog post on Secure AEM.


  • AEM 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 SP1


You'll need Maven 3.x. If your author instance is running on localhost:4502 and credentials to it are admin:admin then run:

    mvn clean package crx:install

Otherwise you may enter address and credentials explicitly:

    mvn clean package crx:install -Dinstance.url=http://localhost:4502 -Dinstance.username=YOUR_USERNAME -Dinstance.password=YOUR_PASSWORD


After installation, go to the AEM Tools page and choose Secure AEM from the list on the left. The application tries to find author, publish and dispatcher URLs automatically, but you may want to confirm that they have been recognized correctly. In order to do that click Edit on the Settings bar and optionally correct addresses. That's it. Wait for a moment until the tests are done and check the results.

CLI version

Sometimes you may want to check remote AEM instance. Secure AEM may be compiled in the standalone mode and used from the CLI, without any additional dependencies. In order to build application this way, enter:

    mvn clean package -Pcli

JAR package will be available as target/secure-aem-VERSION-cli.jar.


Usage is simple:


Enter at least one URL to test given instance, eg.:

java -jar secure-aem-VERSION.jar -a http://localhost:4502 -aCredentials admin:admin

to invoke author tests on the localhost or

java -jar secure-aem-VERSION.jar -a -aCredentials admin:admin -p  -pCredentials admin:admin-d

to invoke author, publish and dispatcher-related tests. You may skip the starting http://, SecureAEM uses HTTP protocol by default.

By default SecureAEM runs full test set defined in:


to override it use maven -suite parameter

java -jar secure-aem-VERSION.jar -a http://localhost:4502 -aCredentials admin:admin -suite /home/myComputer/

Writing own tests

Test page

Test case is a standard AEM page under /etc/secureaem parent. It contains some test metadata as title, severity, info URL, which can be edited using test page template. Click on the test name to show the page. Besides that, test page contains one testComponent. It's sling:resourceType defines the test type (eg. cognifide/secureaem/components/pageContent will check if some page contains some string) and the rest of attributes is the test configuration. Example:


Test types

Each test type consists of AEM component and Java class.


Test types are standard AEM components, inherited from cognifide/secureaem/components/abstractTest. Components are linked to Java test class (extending AbstractClass) with testClass property. Sample test component:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<jcr:root xmlns:sling="" xmlns:cq="" xmlns:jcr=""

You may as also override dialog.xml (to provide some user configuration for the component) and metadata.jsp (to display these settings on the test page).

Java classes

Each test class extends AbstractTest and implements some of the interfaces: AuthorTest, PublishTest, DispatcherTest to mark for which URLs it should be invoked. There is only one method to implement:

 * Perform test.
 * @param url URL of the instance to test.
 * @param instanceName Name of the instance (eg. author, publish or dispatcher).
 * @return true if the test succeeded
 * @throws Exception If you throw an exception, test result will be set to "Exception". You may throw
 * special {@link InvalidConfigurationException} with message if the test configuration isn't set
 * correctly.
protected abstract boolean doTest(String url, String instanceName) throws Exception;

In the test implementation you may invoke two methods:

protected void addInfoMessage(String message, Object... params)

protected void addErrorMessage(String message, Object... params)

to add more detailed info about the result.


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