Remove computer from docking station - security policy setting

Applies to

  • Windows 10

Describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for the Remove computer from docking station security policy setting.

Reference

This security setting determines whether a user can undock a portable device from its docking station without logging on. This policy setting only affects scenarios that involve a portable computer and its docking station.

If this user right is assigned to the user’s account (or if the user is a member of the assigned group), the user must log on before removing the portable device from its docking station. Otherwise, as a security measure, the user will not be able to log on after the device is removed from the docking station. If this policy is not assigned, the user may remove the portable device from its docking station without logging on, and then have the ability to start and log on to the device afterwards in its undocked state.

Constant: SeUndockPrivilege

Possible values

  • User-defined list of accounts
  • Not Defined

Best practices

  • Assign this user right to only those accounts that are permitted to use the portable device.

Location

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

Default values

Although this portable device scenario does not normally apply to servers, by default this setting is Administrators on domain controllers and on stand-alone servers.

The following table lists the actual and effective default policy values. 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 Administrators
Stand-Alone Server Default Settings Administrators
Domain Controller Effective Default Settings Administrators
Member Server Effective Default Settings Administrators
Client Computer Effective Default Settings Administrators

Policy management

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

A restart of the device 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 who has the Remove computer from docking station user right can log on and then remove a portable device from its docking station. If this setting is not defined, it has the same effect as if everyone was granted this right. However, the value of implementing this countermeasure is reduced by the following factors:

  • If attackers can restart the device, they could remove it from the docking station after the BIOS starts but before the operating system starts.
  • This setting does not affect servers because they typically are not installed in docking stations.
  • An attacker could steal the device and the docking station together.
  • Devices that can be mechanically undocked can be physically removed by the user whether or not they use the Windows undocking functionality.

Countermeasure

Ensure that only the local Administrators group and the user account to which the device is allocated are assigned the Remove computer from docking station user right.

Potential impact

By default, only members of the local Administrators group are granted this right. Other user accounts must be explicitly granted this user right as necessary. If your organization's users are not members of the local Administrators groups on their portable devices, they cannot remove their portable devices from their docking stations if they do not first shut down the device. Therefore, you may want to assign the Remove computer from docking station privilege to the local Users group for portable devices.