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TUCoPS :: Windows :: v7-2572.htm

Windows Access Control Demystified

Windows Access Control Demystified
Windows Access Control Demystified

Hello everybody,

We have constructed a logical model of Windows XP access control, in a declarative but executable (Datalog) format.  We have built a scanner that reads access-control configuration information from the Windows registry, file system, and service control manager database, and feeds raw configuration data to the model.  Therefore we can reason about such things as the existence of privilege-escalation attacks, and indeed we have found several user-to-administrator  vulnerabilities caused by misconfigurations of the access-control lists of commercial software from several major vendors.  We propose tools such as  ours as a vehicle for software developers and system administrators to model and debug the complex interactions of access control on  installations under Windows.

The full version of the paper can be found at: 

All the vendors and CERT are aware of this paper. The bugs are *not* 
remotely exploitable. The CERT id is VU#953860.

Sudhakar Govindavajhala and Andrew Appel.


Sudhakar Govindavajhala is a finishing PhD student at Computer Science department, Princeton  university. His interests are computer security, operating systems and networks. Sudhakar is looking for employment  opportunities.

Andrew Appel is a Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University.  He is currently on sabbatcal at INRIA Rocquencourt. His interests are computer security, compilers, programming  languages, type theory, and  functional programming.

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