Don't Turn off UAC, makes everything High Integrity

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lunarlander

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Sep 21, 2007
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In Vista and Windows 7, there is the option of turning off User Access Control (UAC). That is the prompt that asks for confirmation whenever you do an administrative task.

Don't turn it off. It results in every process running at High Integrity. Windows has integrity levels for applications, marking them as trusted or not. Internet Explorer, by default, runs as Low Integrity. Because it is exposed to all manners of attacks when browsing the internet. A Low Integrity process cannot modify a higher integrity file or process. Thus setting IE as Low Integrity protects your system. The other name for this is Protected Mode.

However, when you turn UAC off, IE runs at High Integrity. And any malicious web page that hits IE will have full access to your system.

You can see this for yourself if you download MS SysInternal's Process Explorer. Go to View > Set Columns, and checkmark Integrity. You will now see an integrity column. Turn UAC on and off and see the difference.
 

lunarlander

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I clicked on the UAC link above, but I don't know how to edit the page.
 

Ent

Josiah
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Apr 11, 2009
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You have to log in with your TSG username and password, clicking Log in/Create account. Once you're logged in go back to the page and there should be a few more buttons at the top, including one labelled "edit".
 
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