Relation between Guests and Users groups

July 30, 2010 at 06:46:53
Specs: Windows XP Professional SP3
Hello,

I may have a trivial question.

The Guests group should be much more restricted then the Users group, according to documentation. However, I tested this on my computer (WinXP SP3) with a user that is in the Guests group but not simultaneously in the Users group. The user seems to have the same privileges as if he were in the Users group. (I.e. I can see and modify files, execute any programs including internet browser etc.)

In particular, on my hard disks I never have privileges specified explicitely for the Guests group. But the user obtains the rights that are specified for the Users group. As if the Guests group was a member of the Users group (but it is not).

So, what is the relation between the Guests and Users groups?

My system is WinXP Pro SP3 with default security settings (i.e. I have not modified the privileges on disk folders nor the hierarchy in user groups).

Thank you,
Martin.


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#1
July 30, 2010 at 08:53:11
There is no relationship between groups. They are standalone entities.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300489
will give you the limits on guest which are not limits on user.


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#2
July 30, 2010 at 12:44:51
to wanderer: Your link points to a description of Guest account. The Windows description of the Guests group says:
"Guests have the same access as members of the Users group by default, except for the Guest account which is further restricted".

What is strange to me is that even though no privileges are given to Guests, they have the same access to files and folders as Users. If Users and Guests were totally independent groups, Guests would have no access to files and folders.

Martin.


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#3
July 30, 2010 at 13:34:24
"What is strange to me is that even though no privileges are given to Guests"

They are given privledges or they couldn't logon or run anything. Last part of this statement is a false premise.

"If Users and Guests were totally independent groups Guests would have no access to files and folders."

You have Ford and GM. They both are car manufacturers but they are both totally independant. Are they the same? No. But this is what you are saying with the above statement. You then go back to the false premise guests should have no privledges.

So how is this affecting you in the real world?


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#4
July 30, 2010 at 23:04:03
When you right-click on, say, "C:\Windows" and choose Properties - Security - Advanced, there you'll see permissions for Administrators, System, Owner, Users and PowerUsers, all non-inherited. No privilege for Guests, though users in Guests group see the folder and file content. That's what I'm talking about.

So, where the privileges for Guests come from?


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