Best Practices for Remoting Security in VS .NET

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Best Practices for Remoting Security
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When creating remoting servers that should not be publicly accessible, follow these security best practices:
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If you are hosting a remote object in ASP.NET by using HttpChannel, configure IIS and ASP.NET to require authentication. Use URL authorization to restrict access to specific users.
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The Forms and Passport authentication methods are not supported by remoting.
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If you are hosting a remote object in a service or other executable by using TcpChannel, build a custom authentication mechanism to validate a user s identity. Use encryption and hashing to protect user credentials when they are transmitted between the remoting client and server. Recommend that administrators use HTTPS (for HttpChannel-hosted servers) and IPSec (for TcpChannel- or HttpChannel-hosted servers) to encrypt remoting sessions.
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Lesson 3: Maximizing Security for Remoting
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For more information about HTTPS, see Lesson 3 of 9, Hardening ASP .NET Applications.
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If you are using Windows user accounts for authentication, use impersonation in your remoting server to reduce the likelihood that a user will gain elevated privi leges by calling your remoting server. If you are not using Windows user accounts for authentication, build a custom authorization mechanism to restrict user access. Use CAS to restrict your application s privileges.
See Also
For more information about creating custom authentication mechanisms, see 5, Lesson 4. For more information about impersonation, see 9, Lesson 2.
Validate all input from clients as if it is malicious.
For more information about validating input, see 2, Lesson 1.
See Also
How to Authenticate Remoting Clients
If your remoting object requires authentication and authorization, host it in ASP.NET. You can then leverage many ASP.NET authentication and authorization techniques by configuring the ASP.NET application s Web.config file. Specifically, you can use Win dows authentication (but not Forms or Passport authentication), and all authorization techniques.
For more information about ASP .NET authentication, authorization, and impersonation, see 9, Lesson 1 and Lesson 2.
See Also
If the remoting server is hosted in ASP.NET, you can configure authentication and authorization using IIS and ASP.NET without writing any code. However, you do have to write code to enable the client to present user credentials. Your remoting client can gather user credentials in two different ways: automatically, by using the currently logged-on user s credentials; and manually, by prompting the user for credentials. The following sections discuss these two techniques.
How to Automatically Provide the Current User s Credentials
As you might recall from 9, Microsoft Internet Explorer can automatically send the current user s logon credentials to a Web server on the local intranet. Using the
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Improving Security When Using External Components and Services
default credentials provides single sign on to the user by not requiring her to manually type her user name and password. The .NET Framework remoting client provides sim ilar functionality when the useDefaultCredentials property of the remoting client is set to true. To automatically authenticate to a remoting server, configure the following settings:
On the server, configure IIS to require authentication. On the server, configure the ASP.NET Web.config file to require Windows authen tication.
See 9 for instructions on configuring IIS and ASP .NET to require authenti-
See Also
cation.
Configure the remoting client s .Config file to set the useDefaultCredentials prop erty of the <channel> element to true. Write code in the remoting client to gather the current user s credentials from the current session and add them to the remoting channel.
To configure the remoting client s .config file, define the <channel> element as:
<channel ref="http client useDefaultCredentials="true />
Then, call ChannelServices.GetChannelSinkProperties to obtain the collection contain ing the remoting channel s properties. Update the credentials element of the collec tion with the user s credentials. Assuming the server accepts the user s credentials, you can then use the remoting channel as you normally would. The following sample con sole application sets the default credentials programmatically when useDefaultCredentials in the .config file is set to true:
using using using using using using using using
System; System.Collections; System.Diagnostics; System.Net; System.Reflection; System.Runtime.Remoting; System.Runtime.Remoting.Channels; System.Security.Principal;
class Class1 { [STAThread] static void Main(string[] args) { // Load the remote configuration file
RemotingConfiguration.Configure( RemClient.exe.config );
Lesson 3: Maximizing Security for Remoting
// Create the proxy class. This class must
// have been referenced based on the remote server s assembly
ServiceClass server = new ServiceClass();
// Create the collection by calling GetChannelSinkProperties IDictionary channelProperties = ChannelServices.GetChannelSinkProperties(server); // Add the credentials channelProperties["credentials"] = CredentialCache.DefaultCredentials; // Authenticated remoting channel established } }
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