CRV2 FrameworkSpecIssuesASPNet

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ASP.NET Security

Securing web applications in ASP.NET requires an integration of configurations between the .NET framework and IIS. ASP.NET applications contains a web.config file where you can define many access and privileges for example, but they alone are not sufficient to protect the resources of your application. IIS plays a major role in protecting the website’s assets contained in it too. It is important to understand the interaction between these components in order to implement proper security

Integrating Authentication with IIS


Enable and configure the necessary type of authentication based on the security level required by your application. ASP.NET membership and ASP.NET login controls implicitly work with forms authentication.

The authentication methods used in IIS 7 are the following:

  • Anonymous
  • ASP.NET impersonation
  • Basic
  • Client certificate mapping,
  • Digest
  • Forms
  • Windows Integrated Security (NTLM or Kerberos)

ASP.NET configuration works only for its resources. Keep in mind that if you need to configure access to resources of files contained in your application such as .txt, .gif, .jpg, these are done through the IIS permissions. For example, even though the ASP.NET resources in a directory might be forbidden by a Web.config file, users can still seethe files located in that directory if directory browsing is turned on and no other restrictions are in place.

Input validation

Anything coming from external sources can be consider as input in a web application. Not only the user inserting data through a web form, but also data retrieved from a web service or database, also headers sent from the browsers fall under this concept. A way of defining when input is safe can be done through outlining a trust boundary.

Defining what is known as trust boundary can help us to visualize all possible untrusted inputs. One of those are user input.ASP.NET has different types of validations depending on the level of control to be applied. By default, web pages code is validated against malicious users. The following is a list types of validations used (MSDN, 2013):

Type of validation Control to use Description
Required entry RequiredFieldValidator Ensures that the user does not skip an entry.
Comparison to a value CompareValidator Compares a user's entry against a constant value, against the value of another control (using a comparison operator such as less than, equal, or greater than), or for a specific data type.
Range checking RangeValidator Checks that a user's entry is between specified lower and upper boundaries. You can check ranges within pairs of numbers, alphabetic characters, and dates.
Pattern matching RegularExpressionValidator Checks that the entry matches a pattern defined by a regular expression. This type of validation enables you to check for predictable sequences of characters, such as those in e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, postal codes, and so on.
User-defined CustomValidator Checks the user's entry using validation logic that you write yourself. This type of validation enables you to check for values derived at run time.