NetworkService Account

The NetworkService account is a predefined local account used by the service control manager. This account is not recognized by the security subsystem, so you cannot specify its name in a call to the LookupAccountName function. It has minimum privileges on the local computer and acts as the computer on the network.

This account can be specified in a call to the CreateService and ChangeServiceConfig functions. Note that this account does not have a password, so any password information that you provide in this call is ignored. While the security subsystem localizes this account name, the SCM does not support localized names. Therefore, you will receive a localized name for this account from the LookupAccountSid function, but the name of the account must be NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService when you call CreateService or ChangeServiceConfig, regardless of the locale, or unexpected results can occur.

A service that runs in the context of the NetworkService account presents the computer's credentials to remote servers. By default, the remote token contains SIDs for the Everyone and Authenticated Users groups. The user SID is created from the SECURITY_NETWORK_SERVICE_RID value.

The NetworkService account has its own subkey under the HKEY_USERS registry key. Therefore, the HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry key is associated with the NetworkService account.

The NetworkService account has the following privileges:

  • SE_AUDIT_NAME (disabled)
  • SE_SHUTDOWN_NAME (disabled)
  • SE_UNDOCK_NAME (disabled)
  • Any privileges assigned to users and authenticated users

For more information, see Service Security and Access Rights.