Modify an object label

Applies to

  • Windows 10

Describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for the Modify an object label security policy setting.

Reference

This privilege determines which user accounts can modify the integrity label of objects, such as files, registry keys, or processes owned by other users. Processes running under a user account can modify the label of an object owned by that user to a lower level without this privilege.

The integrity label is used by the Windows Integrity Controls (WIC) feature, which was introduced in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista. WIC keeps lower integrity processes from modifying higher integrity processes by assigning one of six possible labels to objects on the system. Although similar to NTFS file and folder permissions, which are discretionary controls on objects, the WIC integrity levels are mandatory controls that are put in place and enforced by the operating system. The following list describes the integrity levels from lowest to highest:

  • Untrusted   Default assignment for processes that are logged on anonymously.
  • Low   Default assignment for processes that interact with the Internet.
  • Medium   Default assignment for standard user accounts and any object that is not explicitly designated with a lower or higher integrity level.
  • High  Default assignment for administrator accounts and processes that request to run using administrative rights.
  • System   Default assignment for Windows kernel and core services.
  • Installer   Used by setup programs to install software. It is important that only trusted software is installed on computers because objects that are assigned the Installer integrity level can install, modify, and uninstall all other objects.

Constant: SeRelabelPrivilege

Possible values

  • User-defined list of accounts
  • Not Defined

Best practices

  • Do not give any group this user right.

Location

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

Default values

By default this setting is Not defined on domain controllers and on stand-alone servers.

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

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.

Group Policy

Settings are applied in the following order through a Group Policy Object (GPO), which will 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. OU 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

Anyone with the Modify an object label user right can change the integrity level of a file or process so that it becomes elevated or decreased to a point where it can be deleted by lower integrity processes. Either of these states effectively circumvents the protection that is offered by Windows Integrity Controls and makes your system vulnerable to attacks by malicious software.

If malicious software is set with an elevated integrity level such as Trusted Installer or System, administrator accounts do not have sufficient integrity levels to delete the program from the system. In that case, use of the Modify an object label right is mandated so that the object can be re-labeled. However, the re-labeling must occur by using a process that is at the same or a higher level of integrity than the object that you are attempting to re-label.

Countermeasure

Do not give any group this right. If necessary, implement it for a constrained period of time to a trusted individual to respond to a specific organizational need.

Potential impact

None. Not defined is the default configuration.