Security Authentication <authentication>

Overview

Authentication is the mechanism you use to verify the identity of visitors to your Web site or Web application. Typically, you do this by assigning a user name and password to a visitor or allowing a visitor to anonymously access public content on your site.

Although you use authentication to confirm the identity of a visitor, you use authorization to control the visitor's access to the different areas of your site or application.

IIS 7 supports Anonymous authentication, Basic authentication, Client Certificate Mapping authentication, Digest authentication, IIS Client Certificate Mapping authentication, and Windows authentication. Additional authentication modes can be provided by third-party authentication modules.

After you install one of the authentication modules, you must enable the selected authentication module for the Web site, Web application, or Web service on which you want to use it.

Also by default, IIS 7 enables kernel-mode authentication for the Windows (which use either Kerberos or NTLM), authentication scheme. Kernel-mode authentication provides the following advantages:

  • Your Web applications can run using lower-privileged accounts.
  • If you use Kerberos authentication, you can use a different account than the default account associated with the Service Principle Name (SPN) of the server.
  • If you use kernel-mode authentication, you can use the Windows authentication Kerberos provider without performing explicit SPN configuration.

Compatibility

Version Notes
IIS 7.5 The <authentication> element was not modified in IIS 7.5.
IIS 7.0 The <authentication> element was introduced in IIS 7.0.
IIS 6.0 N/A

Setup

The <authentication> element is included in the default installation of IIS 7.

How To

How to disable anonymous authentication

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager:
    • If you are using Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
    • If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
      • Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Connections pane, expand the server name, expand Sites, and go to the level in the hierarchy pane that you want to configure, and then click the Web site or Web application.
  3. Scroll to the Security section in the Home pane, and then double-click Authentication.
  4. In the Authentication pane, select Anonymous Authentication, and then click Disable in the Actions pane.

How to change anonymous authentication credentials from the IUSR account

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager:
    • If you are using Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
    • If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
      • Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Connections pane, expand the server name, expand Sites, and navigate to the level in the hierarchy pane that you want to configure, and then click the Web site or Web application.
  3. Scroll to the Security section in the Home pane, and then double-click Authentication.
  4. In the Authentication pane, select Anonymous Authentication, and then click Edit... in the Actions pane.
  5. In the Edit Anonymous Authentication Credentials dialog box, do one of the following:
    • Select Application pool identity to use the identity set for the application pool, and then click OK.
    • Click Set..., and then in the Set Credentials dialog box, enter the user name for the account in the User name box, enter the password for the account in the Password and Confirm password boxes, click OK, and then click OK again.
    Note: If you use this procedure, only grant the new account minimal privileges on the IIS server computer.

How to enable Windows authentication for a Web site, Web application, or Web service

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager:
    • If you are using Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
    • If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7:
      • On the taskbar, click Start, and then click Control Panel.
      • Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Connections pane, expand the server name, expand Sites, and then the site, application, or Web service for which you want to enable Windows authentication.
  3. Scroll to the Security section in the Home pane, and then double-click Authentication.
  4. In the Authentication pane, select Windows Authentication, and then click Enable in the Actions pane.

Configuration

The <authentication> section group is defined in the <system.webServer> configuration section. This section group defines configuration sections for all user authentication types that you can install and enable on your server. You can configure it at the server level in the ApplicationHost.config file and at the application level in the Web.config file.

Attributes

None.

Child Elements

Element Description
anonymousAuthentication Optional element.

Specifies the settings for Anonymous authentication.
basicAuthentication Optional element.

Specifies the settings for Basic authentication.
clientCertificateMappingAuthentication Optional element.

Specifies the settings Client Certificate Mapping authentication using Active Directory.
digestAuthentication Optional element.

Specifies the settings for Digest authentication.
iisClientCertificateMappingAuthentication Optional element.

Specifies the settings Client Certificate Mapping authentication using IIS.
windowsAuthentication Optional element.

Specifies the settings for Windows authentication.

Configuration Sample

The following configuration example disables Anonymous authentication for a site named Contoso, then enables both Basic authentication and Windows authentication for the site.

<location path="Contoso">
   <system.webServer>
      <security>
         <authentication>
            <anonymousAuthentication enabled="false" />
            <basicAuthentication enabled="true" defaultLogonDomain="Contoso" />
            <windowsAuthentication enabled="true" />
          </authentication>
      </security>
   </system.webServer>
</location>

Sample Code

The following examples disable Anonymous authentication for a site named Contoso, then enable both Basic authentication and Windows authentication for the site.

AppCmd.exe

appcmd.exe set config "Contoso" -section:system.webServer/security/authentication/anonymousAuthentication /enabled:"False" /commit:apphost

appcmd.exe set config "Contoso" -section:system.webServer/security/authentication/basicAuthentication /enabled:"True" /commit:apphost

appcmd.exe set config "Contoso" -section:system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication /enabled:"True" /commit:apphost

Note: You must be sure to set the commit parameter to apphost when you use AppCmd.exe to configure these settings. This commits the configuration settings to the appropriate location section in the ApplicationHost.config file.

C#

using System;
using System.Text;
using Microsoft.Web.Administration;

internal static class Sample {

   private static void Main() {

      using(ServerManager serverManager = new ServerManager()) { 
         Configuration config = serverManager.GetApplicationHostConfiguration();

         ConfigurationSection anonymousAuthenticationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/anonymousAuthentication", "Contoso");
         anonymousAuthenticationSection["enabled"] = false;

         ConfigurationSection basicAuthenticationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/basicAuthentication", "Contoso");
         basicAuthenticationSection["enabled"] = true;

         ConfigurationSection windowsAuthenticationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication", "Contoso");
         windowsAuthenticationSection["enabled"] = true;

         serverManager.CommitChanges();
      }
   }
}

VB.NET

Imports System
Imports System.Text
Imports Microsoft.Web.Administration

Module Sample
   Sub Main()
      Dim serverManager As ServerManager = New ServerManager
      Dim config As Configuration = serverManager.GetApplicationHostConfiguration

      Dim anonymousAuthenticationSection As ConfigurationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/anonymousAuthentication", "Contoso")
      anonymousAuthenticationSection("enabled") = False

      Dim basicAuthenticationSection As ConfigurationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/basicAuthentication", "Contoso")
      basicAuthenticationSection("enabled") = True

      Dim windowsAuthenticationSection As ConfigurationSection = config.GetSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication", "Contoso")
      windowsAuthenticationSection("enabled") = True

      serverManager.CommitChanges()
   End Sub
End Module

JavaScript

var adminManager = new ActiveXObject('Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager');
adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST";

var anonymousAuthenticationSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/anonymousAuthentication", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST/Contoso");
anonymousAuthenticationSection.Properties.Item("enabled").Value = false;

var basicAuthenticationSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/basicAuthentication", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST/Contoso");
basicAuthenticationSection.Properties.Item("enabled").Value = true;

var windowsAuthenticationSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST/Contoso");
windowsAuthenticationSection.Properties.Item("enabled").Value = true;

adminManager.CommitChanges();

VBScript

Set adminManager = CreateObject("Microsoft.ApplicationHost.WritableAdminManager")
adminManager.CommitPath = "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST"

Set anonymousAuthenticationSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/anonymousAuthentication", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST/Contoso")
anonymousAuthenticationSection.Properties.Item("enabled").Value = False

Set basicAuthenticationSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/basicAuthentication", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST/Contoso")
basicAuthenticationSection.Properties.Item("enabled").Value = True

Set windowsAuthenticationSection = adminManager.GetAdminSection("system.webServer/security/authentication/windowsAuthentication", "MACHINE/WEBROOT/APPHOST/Contoso")
windowsAuthenticationSection.Properties.Item("enabled").Value = True

adminManager.CommitChanges()
Deprecated Elements