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Confusion about Vista Features: What UAC Really Is


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Confusion about Vista Features: What UAC Really Is


As you may know I am just putting the finishing touches on a new book. Roger Grimes and I teamed up to write Windows Vista Security. In the course of doing the research for the book, and just keeping up with the popular press lately, it has become obvious that there is a lot of confusion about User Account Control (UAC) in Vista. The chapter on UAC in the book goes into detail on exactly what UAC is and what it is supposed to do, and I thought I would give a little preview here.


There seems to be a fairly consistent consensus that the purpose of UAC is to block malicious code on your system from horking your system completely. It is not entirely clear where this consensus comes from though. To see whether Microsoft had stated that this was the case I did a brief survey of some of the 1000 or so pages on Microsoft.com that mention "UAC" and one or more of "security feature" and "malware". I was looking for something that claimed that UAC will stop malware that is executing on your system from elevating to an administrator and taking over your system.



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I read it on my new Vista system and the article makes sense.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." - Albert Einstein

IE7Pro user

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