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  • Getting rid of local administrators

    Posted on June 21st, 2021 at 02:41 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Administrator rights are easy to set up but hard to remove.

    Once upon a time, we always configured Windows computers with full administrative rights. We thought nothing of it; it was an expected and a normal part of getting a computer system ready to go. We took being an administrator for granted because we needed to install software and run programs that required administrator rights.

    Then people — attackers — began to realize that user accounts with administrative rights were the keys to the kingdom, making it easier for them to gain access to a system and do their dirty deeds.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.23.0 (2021-06-21).

  • Upgrading from Win10 1803 to 1809 may break the built-in “Administrator” account, but you probably aren’t affected

    Posted on January 2nd, 2019 at 10:43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Two good reports over the weekend about a newly-acknowledged bug in the Win10 1809 upgrade sequence.

    Günter Born: Windows 10 V1809: Upgrade deactivates Build-In Administrator

    Martin Brinkmann: Windows 10 version 1809 upgrade could invalidate Administrator account

    Both articles describe a Japanese TechNet “Network & AD support team” official post that describes how upgrading from 1803 to 1809 may “invalidate” the built-in account called “Administrator.”

    Ends up, there’s very little chance that your system will get bit by the bug, unless you have  manually activated the built-in account called “Administrator.” It’s an elusive beast.

    When you set up a new PC, the installation sequence prompts you to create an administrator account — you probably have one with your name (or the name of the person who set up your machine, or the PC manufacturer’s name) on it. That account has all of the normal “administrator” level permissions.

    At the same time, the installation sequence automatically creates a second account, called “Administrator,” that has all permissions. But the installer hides that account by default.

    Few people enable the account called “Administrator.” It’s considered a security risk — for good reason. You can invoke the genie by playing with a Group Policy, modifying the Computer Management/Local Users and Groups/Users setting, or by a command line. No, I won’t show you how to do it.

    If you’ve never enabled the “Administrator” account, you don’t need to worry about the bug. If you have enabled the “Administrator” account, do yourself a favor and disable it.

    If the only account on your PC with administrator privileges is the one called “Administrator,” the upgrade should go through without killing it, according to the MS Japan post.