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Why you shouldn’t turn off UAP in Windows Vista 5270

December 27th, 2005 by Patrick S

Lately in the newsgroups for the Windows Vista beta and a number of different online forums people are disabling one of the key pillars of Windows Vista’s increased security, UAC (User Account Control) formerly UAP (User Account Protection).

This is really rubbing me the wrong way as it is ultimately going to hurt this technology succeed. Plus, it will undermine the effectiveness of much of the testing these individuals are doing on Windows Vista. Not only is how to do this making its way around the beta audience, but now even the main stream tech sites are advertising how to do this.

Without this technology you are losing a large part of the security value adds for Windows Vista. You instantly lose the ability to do Protected Mode Internet Explorer which one could argue is the major attack vector for today’s malware. You lose Protected Admin which, it seems many admin’s are not too fond of but it helps protect us from ourselves. You can say you don’t need this, you’re too good to make a mistake like some common user, but you are fooling yourself.

The sad truth is that Malware is getting far more sophisticated and soon even the well intentioned and educated admin will end up with malware on his system and probably from an unlikely place. Take Mark Russinovich’s recent experience with a rootkit on a Sony CD, I can’t think of anyone I know, that knows more about Windows and he still got a rootkit on his machine, that just scares me.

[Counter-Argument]: Alternatively, Microsoft should see this as feedback to the effect that they need to make UAC less obtrusive. If people are looking for a way to turn it off, you’ve got to ask the question ‘why?’, and try and rectify the source of the problem, not just moan at the resultant. – Andrew.

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Posted in Windows Vista | 1 Comment »

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 27th, 2005 at 9:35 pm and is filed under Windows Vista. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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