|Written by||Imar Spaanjaars|
|Listened to||Sleeping Beauty by A Perfect Circle (Track 19 from the album: Thirteenth Step)|
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There is a big difference between classic ASP and ASP.NET applications when it comes to determining the user's context that IIS is running under, so this FAQ is divided in two sub sections that explain how to determine the account that IIS uses:
By default, for a Web site that allows anonymous access, this account is called IUSR_MachineName where MachineName is the name of your computer. However, when you are using a security mechanism in IIS other than Anonymous Access, you manually changed the account that IIS uses or you're running your Web site " Out Of Process", you're likely to encounter another user account. The following table lists the possible user accounts that IIS is using in various scenario's:
|The Web site or Virtual Directory / Application is configured for Anonymous Access
|The Web site or Virtual Directory / Application is configured for Anonymous Access, but runs out of process (The Application Protection is set to High in the Home Directory or Virtual Directory tab of your Web application)
|The Web site or Virtual Directory / Application is configured for Basic Authentication or Integrated Windows Authentication
||The account you used to log on to your Web application|
|The Web site or Virtual Directory / Application is configured for Anonymous Access, but you manually changed the account used for anonymous access
||The account you specified|
To find out how your system is configured, follow these steps:
For ASP.NET, things are a bit different. By default, ASP.NET will run under a special account called ASPNET. This account is a "least privileged" account which means it's pretty restricted in the things it can do on your system. To make things a bit more confusing, on Windows Server 2003, an account called "Network Service" is used by default instead of the ASPNET account.
So, whether you are using Anonymous Access or Basic / Integrated security, the account is always the ASPNET or Network Service account. However, you can change this by modifying the Web.Config file for the application. To make the change, you can add an <identity impersonate="true" /> to the <system.web> section. If you add the element, IIS will impersonate the current user and use that account instead of the ASPNET account. This means that with Anonymous Access enabled, this account is the anonymous account. Usually, this will be the IUSR_MachineName account, but check out step 4 of the instructions for classic ASP to find out whether that is true or not in your situation.
If you're not using Anonymous Access, but Basic or Integrated Security instead, the account that is used is the one that the current user is logged on with. You can also explicitly specify an account that you want to use by setting the userName and password attributes of the <identity> element.
The following table lists the various possibilities. The first column determines whether or not impersonation has been enabled in the Web.Config file. The second and third column list the options for Anonymous Access and no Anonymous Access respectively:
|ASP.NET Impersonation||Anonymous Access||No Anonymous Access (Basic, Integrated etc)|
|Disabled||ASPNET or Network Service account||ASPNET or Network Service account|
|Enabled||IUSR_MachineName||The authenticated user|
|Enabled with a specified user account||The specified account||The specified account|
The following articles provide more and detailed information about configuring security in ASP.NET:
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