Deny log on through Remote Desktop Services

Applies To: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for this policy setting.

Reference

This policy setting determines which users are prevented from logging on to the computer through a remote desktop connection through Remote Desktop Services. It is possible for a user to establish a remote desktop connection to a particular server, but not be able to log on to the console of that server.

This policy setting is supported on versions of Windows that are designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.

Constant: SeDenyRemoteInteractiveLogonRight

Possible values

  • User-defined list of accounts

  • Not defined

Best practices

  1. To control who can open a remote desktop connection and log on to the computer, add the user account to or remove user accounts from the Remote Desktop Users group.

Location

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values for the most recent supported versions of Windows. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

Server type or GPO

Default value

Default Domain Policy

Not defined

Default Domain Controller Policy

Not defined

Stand-Alone Server Default Settings

Not defined

Domain Controller Effective Default Settings

Not defined

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Not defined

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Not defined

Operating system version differences

There are no differences in the way this policy setting works between the supported versions of Windows that are designated in the Applies To list at the beginning of this topic.

Remote Desktop Services was formerly named Terminal Services. The naming difference does not impact how this policy setting works.

Note

This setting is not compatible with computers running Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 1 or earlier.

Policy management

This section describes features, tools, and guidance to help you manage this policy.

A restart of the computer is not required for this policy setting to be effective.

Any change to the user rights assignment for an account becomes effective the next time the owner of the account logs on.

The Remote System property controls settings for Remote Desktop Services (Allow or prevent remote connections to the computer) and for Remote Assistance (Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer).

Group Policy

This policy setting supersedes the Allow log on through Remote Desktop Services policy setting if a user account is subject to both policies.

Group Policy settings are applied in the following order. They overwrite settings on the local computer at the next Group Policy update.

  1. Local policy settings

  2. Site policy settings

  3. Domain policy settings

  4. Organizational unit policy settings

When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.

Security considerations

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

Vulnerability

Any account with the right to log on through Remote Desktop Services could be used to log on to the remote console of the computer. If this user right is not restricted to legitimate users who need to log on to the console of the computer, malicious users might download and run software that elevates their user rights.

Countermeasure

Assign the Deny log on through Remote Desktop Services user right to the built-in local guest account and all service accounts. If you have installed optional components, such as ASP.NET, you may want to assign this user right to additional accounts that are required by those components.

Potential impact

If you assign the Deny log on through Remote Desktop Services user right to other groups, you could limit the abilities of users who are assigned to specific administrative roles in your environment. Accounts that have this user right cannot connect to the computer through Remote Desktop Services or Remote Assistance. You should confirm that delegated tasks are not negatively affected.

See Also

User Rights Assignment