Niraj Bhatt – Architect's Blog

Ruminations on .NET, Architecture & Design

WCF Certificate Security with XBAP / IIS Issues

wsHttpBinding uses Message Security by default. But the default clientCredentialType is Windows. Now considering that your clients are going to access your application over internet, it makes sense to use Certificate / Username security. In my case I was using an XBAP in full trust and it was a more of fixed clients business scenario, so I thought of making use of the same certificates to provide secure transfer of data. Steps for doing the same are provided below:

1) Change clientCredentialType to Certificate (this would require you to customize wsHttpBinding) & specify the serviceCertificate in serviceCredentials of the web.config file. (N.B. The service can pick the certificate only from Local Machine and this can be the same certificate you are using to provide full trust to XBAP).

2) Next using Add Service Reference, generate proxy for the client. After generation you need to specify the location of the client certificate (this certificate would in Current User certificate store on client’s machine & different one from what we selected in step 1 – ideally used for authenticating client to service). This can be done by specifying new endpoint behavior on the client side.

3) As a final step in the client’s app.config file you need to change value:

<endpoint … >
      <dns value=”YourCertNameHere” />

Plus if you are using self issued certificates through (certmgr.exe), you will need enable PeerTrust in service’s web.config and client’s app.config (search for authentication certificateValidationMode and set it to PeerTrust)

<authentication certificateValidationMode=”PeerOrChainTrust” />

(N.B. If you hosting your service on IIS & running under ASPNET/NETWORKSERVICE account, you would have to grant rights to that certificate so that IIS can access it when required. This would require you to download FindPrivateKey (I found it here) and execute below commands:
1) findprivatekey My LocalMachine -n CN=localhost –a
2) Output – (C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\ApplicationData\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys\
3) cacls “C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Crypto\RSA\MachineKeys\7b90a71bfc56f2582e916a51aed” /E /G ASPNET:R
(Change ASPNET in step 3 to NETWORKSERVICE – For Windows Vista IIS7))


One response to “WCF Certificate Security with XBAP / IIS Issues

  1. Pingback: HAPPY NEW YEAR « Niraj Bhatt - Architect’s Blog

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