To allow users to logon to your application with a different user name from the one they use for the workstation...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
you will need to use ASP.NET impersonation and create a customized impersonation solution. With ASP.NET impersonation, IIS is responsible for authenticating users against the domain and passing on to ASP.NET an authenticated token, which can then act on behalf of the client. The main purpose of ASP.NET impersonation is to allow the ASP.NET execution engine to execute code in the context of an authenticated and authorized client instead of using the same user account as the ASP.NET process, which is typically the ASP.NET account.
Your changed user solution will need to:
- Authenticate the user against your domain
- Create a new System.Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity instance that represents the user's account
- Impersonate the new Windows identity
- Stop impersonating and revert back to the user logged on to the machine
To provide users with a logon choice you can use the Win32 LogonUser API call. This will try to authenticate an account to your Windows domain using the security credentials that are passed to it. As you suggest, you can also have a button that calls this function with the rest of your code and allow users to logon to your application as a different user. If the logon is successful, LogonUser returns true and passes a token handle back to IIS that represents the authenticated user to impersonate. Now that you have a token representing your authenticated user, you need to create an instance of WindowsIdentity which implements the System.Security.Principal.IIdentity interface and is used to represent a Windows user in a .NET application. To create a WindowsIdentity instance, pass the token handle received from the LogonUser to the WindowsIdentity constructor, WindowsIdentity.Impersonate(). WindowsIdentity.Impersonate() will return a System.Security.Principal.WindowsImpersonationContext instance, which represents a Windows user. Finally, to terminate the impersonation call the WindowsImpersonationContext.Undo() method.
As you can see, this not a trivial undertaking and will require careful testing to ensure that your overall security is not weakened. Another option is to consider using Certificate Authentication, whereby client certificates are mapped to Windows accounts in either a Domain or Active Directory. By issuing users digital certificates stored on a token, such as a USB key, they can authenticate themselves by inserting the token when requested by the application. By using the Windows Authentication Provider in ASP.NET your application will run as the user to which the certificate is mapped. However, the costs of issuing and managing client certificates can be high and may not be appropriate if the data being accessed is not particularly sensitive.
Dig Deeper on Active Directory and LDAP Security
Related Q&A from Michael Cobb
C&C servers have been replaced with Twitter accounts, which spread the Android Trojan Twitoor to user devices. Expert Michael Cobb explains how to ...continue reading
Two-factor authentication systems require more than using codes sent through SMS and smart cards. Expert Michael Cobb explains how to properly and ...continue reading
A Linux vulnerability that affects 80% of Android devices allows for attacks on TCP communications and remote code execution. Expert Michael Cobb ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.