User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows XP, 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 the behavior of application installation detection for the entire system.

Some software might attempt to install itself after being given permission to run. The user may give permission for the program to run because the program is trusted. Then the user is prompted to install an unknown component. This security policy provides another way to identify and stop these attempted software installations before they can do damage.

Possible values

  • Enabled

    Application installation packages that require an elevation of privilege to install are detected and the user is prompted for administrative credentials.

  • Disabled

    Application installation packages that require an elevation of privilege to install are not detected and the user is not prompted for administrative credentials.

Best practices

  1. Installer detection is unnecessary when enterprises run standard user desktops that capitalize on delegated installation technologies like Group Policy Software Install (GPSI) or SMS. Therefore you can set this security policy to Disabled.

  2. Enable the User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation setting so standard users must provide administrative credentials before software is installed.

Location

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

Default values

The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. 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

Enabled

DC Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Operating system version differences

There are no differences in this policy between operating systems beginning with Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Policy management

This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.

Restart requirement

None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

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

Some malicious software might attempt to install itself after being given permission to run, for example, malicious software with a trusted application shell. The user may give permission for the program to run because the program is trusted. Then the user is prompted to install an unknown component. This policy provides another way to trap the software before it can do damage.

Countermeasure

Enable the User Account Control: Detect application installations and prompt for elevation setting.

Potential impact

Users must provide administrative passwords to install programs.