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Security Considerations for Secure Sessions

You should consider the following items that affect security when implementing secure sessions. For more information about security considerations, see Security Considerations and Best Practices for Security in WCF.

Secure Sessions and Metadata

When a secure session is established and the RequireCancellation property is set to false, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) sends an mssp:MustNotSendCancel assertion as part of the metadata in the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) document for the service endpoint. The mssp:MustNotSendCancel assertion informs clients that the service does not respond to requests to cancel the secure session. When the RequireCancellation property is set to true, then WCF does not emit an mssp:MustNotSendCancel assertion in the WSDL document. Clients are expected to send a cancel request to the service when they no longer require the secure session. When a client is generated using the ServiceModel Metadata Utility Tool (Svcutil.exe), the client code reacts appropriately to the presence or absence of the mssp:MustNotSendCancel assertion.

Secure Conversations and Custom Tokens

There are some issues with mixing custom tokens and derived keys due to the way it is defined in the WS-SecureConversation specification. The specification says that wsse:SecurityTokenReference is an optional element that references the derived token: “/wsc:DerivedKeyToken/wsse:SecurityTokenReference This optional element is used to specify security context token, security token, or shared key/secret used for the derivation. If not specified, it is assumed that the recipient can determine the shared key from the message context. If the context cannot be determined, then a fault such as wsc:UnknownDerivationSource should be raised.”

This means that if you want a custom token to be derived, you should wrap its clause type in a SecurityTokenReference element. There is an option to turn off derivation but the default is to derive keys. If you fail to wrap the key, serializing the derived key token succeeds, but attempting to deserialize it throws an exception.

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