Saturday, March 14, 2009

Secure WCF Services with Authentication Service

We can use WCF Authentication Service to authenticate users with ASP.NET membership provider. However, other WCF services are not protected by the authentication service out-of-the-box. That is, WCF services is not using ASP.NET forms authentication.

Fortunately, it is not hard to enable it. The magic point is set the HttpContext.Current.User in Global.asax
public class Global : System.Web.HttpApplication
// other methods snipped...
protected void Application_AuthenticateRequest(object sender, EventArgs e)
HttpCookie ticketCookie = Context.Request.Cookies[FormsAuthentication.FormsCookieName];
if (null == ticketCookie)

FormsAuthenticationTicket ticket = FormsAuthentication.Decrypt(ticketCookie.Value);
if (null != ticket)
HttpContext.Current.User = new GenericPrincipal(new FormsIdentity(ticket), null);
In the service you want to protect, set the requirement mode to allowed or required.
    [AspNetCompatibilityRequirements(RequirementsMode = AspNetCompatibilityRequirementsMode.Allowed)]
public class PrimeService : IPrimeService
Then, throw in the following checking at the beginning of the method.
            if (!HttpContext.Current.User.Identity.IsAuthenticated)
throw new FaultException<SecurityAccessDeniedException>(new SecurityAccessDeniedException());
That would be good enough for Silverlight client. For .Net WCF client, you need to handle the HTTP cookies by yourself (Authentication Service is using the authentication ticket in cookies). Detail discussion can be found in the article in Shane's Shelf.


Anonymous said...

wow, you pretty much ripped off this blog from Shane Shelf.

Shane said...

For the programming posts, yes. I wanted to keep the posts short and copy-and-paste friendly in the blog. So, people who wanted a solution can grab-and-go. All detail discussions are left in Shane's Shelf for those who have the time to dive into the details.