Act as part of the operating system
- Windows 11
- Windows 10
Describes the best practices, location, values, policy management, and security considerations for the Act as part of the operating system security policy setting.
The Act as part of the operating system policy setting determines whether a process can assume the identity of any user and thereby gain access to the resources that the user is authorized to access. Typically, only low-level authentication services require this user right. Potential access isn't limited to what is associated with the user by default. The calling process may request that arbitrary extra privileges be added to the access token. The calling process may also build an access token that doesn't provide a primary identity for auditing in the system event logs.
- User-defined list of accounts
- Not defined
- Don't assign this right to any user accounts. Only assign this user right to trusted users.
- If a service requires this user right, configure the service to sign in by using the local System account, which inherently includes this user right. Don't create a separate account and assign this user right to it.
Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment
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|
A restart of the device isn't 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.
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:
- Local policy settings
- Site policy settings
- Domain policy settings
- OU policy settings
When a local setting is greyed out, it indicates that a GPO currently controls that setting.
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.
The Act as part of the operating system user right is powerful. Users with this user right can take complete control of the device and erase evidence of their activities.
Restrict the Act as part of the operating system user right to as few accounts as possible—it shouldn't even be assigned to the Administrators group under typical circumstances. When a service requires this user right, configure the service to sign in with the Local System account, which inherently includes this privilege. Don't create a separate account and assign this user right to it.
There should be little or no impact because the Act as part of the operating system user right is rarely needed by any accounts other than the Local System account.