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Windows 7 less vulnerable without admin rights

Ninety percent of critical Microsoft Windows 7 vulnerabilities can be mitigated by configuring the operating system for standard user rather than administrator, according to a new report.
Written by Elinor Mills, Contributor on
Ninety percent of critical Microsoft Windows 7 vulnerabilities can be mitigated by configuring the operating system for standard user rather than administrator, according to a new report released on Monday.

Removing administrator rights would also protect against exploitation of all of the Office holes reported last year, 94 percent of Internet Explorer (IE) flaws — including 100 percent of IE8 flaws reported last year — and 64 percent of all Microsoft vulnerabilities reported in that time period, according to BeyondTrust's 2009 Microsoft Vulnerability Analysis.

There are trade-offs to removing administrator rights. For instance, standard users typically cannot install software and use applications that require elevated privileges, said Saurabh Bhatnagar, vice president of product management at BeyondTrust.


For more on this story, read Report: Windows 7 holes eased by axing admin rights on CNET News.

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