Require SSL for an Authentication Cookie (IIS 7)

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

Authentication cookies should be secured by requiring Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections for their transfer between client and server. Otherwise, a malicious user can obtain the authenticated user's credentials.

For information about the levels at which you can perform this procedure, and the modules, handlers, and permissions that are required to perform this procedure, see Authentication Feature Requirements (IIS 7).

Exceptions to Feature Requirements

  • None


  • FormsAuthenticationModule

You can perform this procedure by using the user interface (UI), by running Appcmd.exe commands in a command-line window, by editing configuration files directly, or by writing WMI scripts.

  1. Open IIS Manager and navigate to the level you want to manage. For information about opening IIS Manager, see Open IIS Manager (IIS 7). For information about navigating to locations in the UI, see Navigation in IIS Manager (IIS 7).

  2. In Features View, double-click Authentication.

  3. On the Authentication page, select Forms Authentication.

  4. In the Actions pane, click Edit.

  5. Check Requires SSL in the Cookie settings area of the Edit Forms Authentication Settings dialog box, and then click OK.

To require SSL for an authentication cookie, use the following syntax:

appcmd set config /commit:WEBROOT /section:system.web/authentication /forms.requireSSL: True | False

The default value for forms.requireSSL is False. If you set this attribute to True, you require SSL. For example, to require SSL for an authentication cookie, type the following at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:

appcmd set config /commit:WEBROOT /section:system.web/authentication /forms.requireSSL:True

When you use Appcmd.exe to configure the authentication element at the global level in IIS 7, you must specify /commit:WEBROOT in the command so that configuration changes are made to the root Web.config file instead of ApplicationHost.config.

For more information about Appcmd.exe, see Appcmd.exe (IIS 7).

The procedure in this topic affects the following configuration element:

<forms> under <authentication> under <system.web>

For more information about IIS 7 configuration, see IIS 7.0: IIS Settings Schema on MSDN.

Use the following WMI classes, methods, or properties to perform this procedure:

  • FormsAuthenticationConfiguration.RequireSSL property

  • AnonymousIdentificationSection.CookieRequireSSL property (for non-Forms authentication)

For more information about WMI and IIS, see Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) in IIS 7. For more information about the classes, methods, or properties associated with this procedure, see the IIS WMI Provider Reference on the MSDN site.

See Also

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