Friday, 1 March 2013

Certificate Services and Domain Controllers

When you create a new instance of an Enterprise Certificate server in the forest, you'll find that with a vanilla installation all of your domain controllers start to register certificates based on the Domain Controllers v1 template. This can be troublesome if you already have certificates in the local computer stores on DCs because the DCs may suddenly switch to use these new ones.
This will happen despite the fact that there are no auto-enrollment GPOs in place.

The reason for this is that it is just hard-coded into the operating system for DCs to auto-enroll using the Domain Controller certificate template, regardless of the presence of any policies instructing them to do this.
If there were a policy in place then you would likely find that the DCs would auto-enroll a Domain Controller  Authentication certificate instead as this supersedes the Domain Controller one.

To prevent it, remove that certificate template from the CA.
This can be done by either deleting it from the Certificate Templates container through the Certification Authority snap-in, or by configuring LoadDefaultTemplates=False (or LoadDefaultTemplates=0) in the CAPolicy.inf file so that the default v1 templates are never loaded on to the CA at installation time.
This is my preferred way as I never use the v1 templates (the general practice is to create your own templates). The v1 templates also cannot be auto-enrolled as this permission does not exist on a v1 template.

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