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WindowsIdentity.Impersonate Method

Impersonates the user represented by the WindowsIdentity object.

Namespace:  System.Security.Principal
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public virtual WindowsImpersonationContext Impersonate()

Return Value

Type: System.Security.Principal.WindowsImpersonationContext
An object that represents the Windows user prior to impersonation; this can be used to revert to the original user's context.

ExceptionCondition
InvalidOperationException

An anonymous identity attempted to perform an impersonation.

SecurityException

A Win32 error occurred.

On Windows NT platforms, the current user must have sufficient rights to allow impersonation.

Notes to Implementers

Because Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) platforms do not have user tokens, impersonation cannot take place on those platforms.

Notes to Callers

After using Impersonate, it is important to call the Undo method to end the impersonation.

The following example demonstrates how to obtain a Windows account token by calling the unmanaged Win32 LogonUser function, and how to use that token to impersonate another user and then revert to the original identity.

// This sample demonstrates the use of the WindowsIdentity class to impersonate a user. 
// IMPORTANT NOTES: 
// This sample requests the user to enter a password on the console screen. 
// Because the console window does not support methods allowing the password to be masked, 
// it will be visible to anyone viewing the screen. 
// On Windows Vista and later this sample must be run as an administrator.  


using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Security.Principal;
using System.Security.Permissions;
using Microsoft.Win32.SafeHandles;
using System.Runtime.ConstrainedExecution;
using System.Security;


public class ImpersonationDemo
{
    [DllImport("advapi32.dll", SetLastError = true, CharSet = CharSet.Unicode)]
    public static extern bool LogonUser(String lpszUsername, String lpszDomain, String lpszPassword,
        int dwLogonType, int dwLogonProvider, out SafeTokenHandle phToken);

    [DllImport("kernel32.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Auto)]
    public extern static bool CloseHandle(IntPtr handle);

    // Test harness. 
    // If you incorporate this code into a DLL, be sure to demand FullTrust.
    [PermissionSetAttribute(SecurityAction.Demand, Name = "FullTrust")]
    public static void Main(string[] args)
    {
        SafeTokenHandle safeTokenHandle;
        try
        {
            string userName, domainName;
            // Get the user token for the specified user, domain, and password using the 
            // unmanaged LogonUser method. 
            // The local machine name can be used for the domain name to impersonate a user on this machine.
            Console.Write("Enter the name of the domain on which to log on: ");
            domainName = Console.ReadLine();

            Console.Write("Enter the login of a user on {0} that you wish to impersonate: ", domainName);
            userName = Console.ReadLine();

            Console.Write("Enter the password for {0}: ", userName);

            const int LOGON32_PROVIDER_DEFAULT = 0;
            //This parameter causes LogonUser to create a primary token. 
            const int LOGON32_LOGON_INTERACTIVE = 2;

            // Call LogonUser to obtain a handle to an access token. 
            bool returnValue = LogonUser(userName, domainName, Console.ReadLine(),
                LOGON32_LOGON_INTERACTIVE, LOGON32_PROVIDER_DEFAULT,
                out safeTokenHandle);

            Console.WriteLine("LogonUser called.");

            if (false == returnValue)
            {
                int ret = Marshal.GetLastWin32Error();
                Console.WriteLine("LogonUser failed with error code : {0}", ret);
                throw new System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception(ret);
            }
            using (safeTokenHandle)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("Did LogonUser Succeed? " + (returnValue ? "Yes" : "No"));
                Console.WriteLine("Value of Windows NT token: " + safeTokenHandle);

                // Check the identity.
                Console.WriteLine("Before impersonation: "
                    + WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent().Name);
                // Use the token handle returned by LogonUser. 
                using (WindowsIdentity newId = new WindowsIdentity(safeTokenHandle.DangerousGetHandle()))
                {
                    using (WindowsImpersonationContext impersonatedUser = newId.Impersonate())
                    {

                        // Check the identity.
                        Console.WriteLine("After impersonation: "
                            + WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent().Name);
                    }
                }
                // Releasing the context object stops the impersonation 
                // Check the identity.
                Console.WriteLine("After closing the context: " + WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent().Name);
            }
        }
        catch (Exception ex)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Exception occurred. " + ex.Message);
        }

    }
}
public sealed class SafeTokenHandle : SafeHandleZeroOrMinusOneIsInvalid
{
    private SafeTokenHandle()
        : base(true)
    {
    }

    [DllImport("kernel32.dll")]
    [ReliabilityContract(Consistency.WillNotCorruptState, Cer.Success)]
    [SuppressUnmanagedCodeSecurity]
    [return: MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.Bool)]
    private static extern bool CloseHandle(IntPtr handle);

    protected override bool ReleaseHandle()
    {
        return CloseHandle(handle);
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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