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

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User Account Control and Virtualization

UAC is meant to enable users to run with standard user rights, as opposed to administrative rights. Without administrative rights, users cannot accidentally (or deliberately) modify system settings, malware can’t normally alter system security settings or disable antivirus software, and users can’t compromise the sensitive information of other users on shared computers. Running with standard user rights can thus mitigate the impact of malware and protect sensitive data on shared computers.

UAC had to address several problems to make it practical for a user to run with a standard user account. First, because the Windows usage model has been one of assumed administrative rights, software developers assumed ...

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