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Windows Access Control Demystified.
From: sudhakar+fulldisclosure () CS Princeton EDU
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 16:33:46 -0500 (EST)

Hello everybody,

We have constructed a logical model of Windows XP access control, in a
declarative but executable (Datalog) format.  We have built a scanner
that reads access-control configuration information from the Windows
registry, file system, and service control manager database, and feeds
raw configuration data to the model.  Therefore we can reason about
such things as the existence of privilege-escalation attacks, and
indeed we have found several user-to-administrator vulnerabilities
caused by misconfigurations of the access-control lists of commercial
software from several major vendors.  We propose tools such as ours as
a vehicle for software developers and system administrators to model
and debug the complex interactions of access control on installations
under Windows.

The full version of the paper can be found at:


All the vendors and CERT are aware of this paper. The bugs are *not* remotely exploitable. The CERT id is VU#953860.

Sudhakar Govindavajhala and Andrew Appel.


Sudhakar Govindavajhala is a finishing PhD student at Computer Science department, Princeton University. His interests are computer security, operating systems and networks. Sudhakar is looking for employment opportunities.

Andrew Appel is a Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University. He is currently on sabbatcal at INRIA Rocquencourt. His interests are computer security, compilers, programming languages, type theory, and functional programming.

Sudhakar Govindavajhala                   Department of Computer Science
Graduate Student,                         Princeton University
Ph : +1 609 258 1763
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