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Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 1 by David A. Solomon Mark E. Russinovich and Alex Ionescu

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The AuthZ API

The AuthZ Windows API provides authorization functions and implement the same security model as the security reference monitor, but it implements the model totally in user mode in the %SystemRoot%\System32\Authz.dll library. This gives applications that want to protect their own private objects, such as database tables, the ability to leverage the Windows security model without incurring the cost of user mode to kernel mode transitions that they would make if they relied on the security reference monitor.

The AuthZ API uses standard security descriptor data structures, SIDs, and privileges. Instead of using tokens to represent clients, AuthZ uses AUTHZ_CLIENT_CONTEXT. AuthZ includes user-mode equivalents of all access-check and Windows ...

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