Wednesday, September 16, 2015

System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: The profile for the user is a temporary profile

Aaah, security errors, you have to love them. When deploying a new service on IIS, I got the following error:

Server Error in '/SampleService' Application.

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The profile for the user is a temporary profile.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.
Exception Details: System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException: The profile for the user is a temporary profile.
Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:

[CryptographicException: The profile for the user is a temporary profile.]

   System.Security.Cryptography.CryptographicException.ThrowCryptographicException(Int32 hr) +33

   System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Utils._LoadCertFromFile(String fileName, IntPtr password, UInt32 dwFlags, Boolean persistKeySet, SafeCertContextHandle& pCertCtx) +0

   System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Certificate.LoadCertificateFromFile(String fileName, Object password, X509KeyStorageFlags keyStorageFlags) +218

   System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Certificate..ctor(String fileName, String password, X509KeyStorageFlags keyStorageFlags) +65

   System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Certificate2..ctor(String fileName, String password, X509KeyStorageFlags keyStorageFlags) +61

   CompanyX.Security.Service.Implementation.SecurityTokenServiceConfiguration..ctor() +143

   CompanyX.Security.Service.Implementation.WSTrustServiceHostFactory.CreateServiceHost(String constructorString, Uri[] baseAddresses) +25

   System.ServiceModel.HostingManager.CreateService(String normalizedVirtualPath, EventTraceActivity eventTraceActivity) +1434

   System.ServiceModel.HostingManager.ActivateService(ServiceActivationInfo serviceActivationInfo, EventTraceActivity eventTraceActivity) +52

   System.ServiceModel.HostingManager.EnsureServiceAvailable(String normalizedVirtualPath, EventTraceActivity eventTraceActivity) +598

[ServiceActivationException: The service '/SampleService/securityservice.svc' cannot be activated due to an exception during compilation.  The exception message is: The profile for the user is a temporary profile..]

   System.Runtime.AsyncResult.End(IAsyncResult result) +489276

   System.ServiceModel.Activation.HostedHttpRequestAsyncResult.End(IAsyncResult result) +178

   System.ServiceModel.Activation.ServiceHttpModule.EndProcessRequest(IAsyncResult ar) +350382

   System.Web.AsyncEventExecutionStep.OnAsyncEventCompletion(IAsyncResult ar) +9692321

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Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:4.0.30319; ASP.NET Version:4.0.30319.34249

I was able to trace the source of the error to the following line in my code:

var certificate = new X509Certificate2(certificate, password);

This statement fails to work in IIS because the application pool user / IIS user doesn’t have the necessary permissions.  This is because the certificate that I load will be temporarily stored in a certificate store, which by default is the user store. And here rises the problem as the application pool / IIS user does not have rights to that certificate store.

To solve this issue we have to add an extra parameter to the constructor where we specify we want to (temporarily) store the certificate in the machine store:

var certificate = new X509Certificate2(certificate, password, X509KeyStorageFlags.MachineKeySet);

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