SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges

Barry Hudson Desktop Systems Team Lead SRNS Aiken, SC 29808 barry.hudson@srs.gov 803/725-8463
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Abstract
‡ SRS has approximately 10,000 PCs, the majority of which are centrally managed. The major project for 2008 was to ³secure´ these desktops by removing routine user of Administrator accounts. This was completed in parallel with a project to employ all applicable FDCC Group Policies. ‡ In less than 8 months, all managed desktops were converted to the ³Secure Desktop´ model. Over 9000 XP systems were converted to NTFS, administrator privileges removed, and software called BeyondTrust Privilege Manager was used to elevate privileges when needed for routine operation and software updates. ‡ This presentation will outline the challenges and solutions used to make the transition to ³Secure Desktop´ without making it ³Desktop Lockdown´. It was achieved ahead of schedule, with existing staffing levels, and with fewer than 100 visits to the desktops.

SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges

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Drivers and Background
‡ PC configuration management has been a consistent OIO audit finding since 2001 ‡ Various policies, procedures, and processes have been implemented over time but the administrative privileges have not been removed from the user ‡ Another Audit was scheduled for September 2008
SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges
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Symantec AntiVirus ± Cisco Clean Access Posture Check and Remediation ± IVIS scanning ‡ Vulnerability and Patch Management Team (VPMT) SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 4 . WinInstall updates.This Is Just 1 Piece of The Puzzle ‡ Overview of Comprehensive Desktop Management at SRS ± WSUS patching.

Automated Daily Sans Top 20 Scans via Hercules and IVIS Manual Internal Netstat (Network Statistics tool) Supplemented with Selective External NMAP (Network Mapper open source network security Audit Tool including identifying services offered) scans on a weekly basis Nikto / Web Application scans to Capture vulnerabilities on a monthly basis (Nikto is open source web server scanner performing multiple checks Oracle Oscanner Scans on a quarterly basis V&P M IVIS (Nessus Based Engine) Data Alter routine scans to incorporate port info found IVIS VPM Reports IVIS Low Hanging Fruit / Easily Exploitable Vulnerabilities Report VPMT Weekly Meeting to review. follow up scans occur daily. Secondary Secondary Network Secondary Network Network Secondary Network If IVIS scans show vulnerabilities. Cisco Ops Ware/ NAS Policy Compliance Check run by Networks And reported monthly. Every hour devices on the network are checked for record of scan in last 7 days. Secondary Network (Stand Alone) SRSNet HP Jet Admin Scanning Function run Daily for discovery. status & track High risk vuln. to closure within 45 days or exile from network Daily review by VPM Rep and remedy of LHF within 24 hrs or exile from network List of devices Requiring manual vuln. & web application scans* No Delayed scan request run within 30 days? Data Quarterly Scan Results Routine Scans Follow Up Scans Unseen Host Scans Ad Hoc Scans Yes Nessus Scans Scan lists are created from ARP Table such that the entire site is covered within 1 week. *Ad hoc scans are requested with a VPMT rep SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 5 . if not full scan commences.

standard applications (i. in time for the ³Going 4 Green´ audit SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 6 .Project Scope ‡ Remove ³routine use´ of users with Administrator privileges ± Limits Malware propagation ± Users would be limited to install approved. and security initiatives ‡ Finish quickly. ‡ Security configuration management is strictly enforced ± Users less able to install vulnerable software ± Group Policy enforcements where possible ‡ Implement FDCC policies ‡ Work in parallel with other scanning. ± Restricts implementation of local peripherals. patching. WinInstall Applications).e.

000 identified self-installed applications ‡ Will they continue to run? ‡ What happens if they need to be reinstalled or updated? ± About 2500 systems had no additional software SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 7 . others have non-Admin access ‡ Software Inventory Results ± Almost 200 Centrally-managed Applications (WinInstall) ± Over 40.What PC¶s Are Out There ? ‡ Operating Systems ± ± ± ± 7000 Windows XP 2000 Windows 2000 (Reload with XP) 1500 Controllers and specialty systems ³Owner´ is Admin.

‡ Why not whitelist all approved applications ‡ And scan more often ‡ And it will cost $500.000 or more to implement ‡ Our time would be better spent doing more of what works SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 8 .But Wait! Removing Administrator Rights Doesn¶t Buy You Much ‡ Programs can be installed in the user space ‡ Current User registry is not protected from Run. etc. RunOnce.

But Wait! Removing Administrator Rights Doesn¶t Buy You Much ‡ Programs can be installed in the user space ‡ Current User registry is not protected from Run. ‡ Why not whitelist all approved applications ‡ And scan more often ‡ And it will cost $500.000 or more to implement ‡ Our time would be better spent doing more of what works SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 9 . RunOnce. etc.

Orders From Headquarters SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 10 .

± ± ± ± Installing software from CD¶s Creating file shares Adding software drivers such as scanners and printers Certain other system modifications ‡ Activities requiring administrative privileges must be performed by IT support personnel or special accounts for the users ‡ Existing supported applications will be assessed and modified to install and run in this environment ‡ User supplied applications will be accommodated or converted to managed applications SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 11 .Impacts to the Business & Status Quo ‡ Users will not be able to perform activities that require administrative access.

you are in the security business ‡ Things will break ‡ Processes will fail. you¶re no longer in the customer service business.XP Only ± ± ± ± Review of WinInstall applications Review of local applications Pick the ³least likely to fail´ systems first Pilot migration of some ³tough´ systems ‡ Then tackle controllers and shared systems (1000) ‡ And finally specialty systems (500) ‡ And hope everything runs at FY year-end closure SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 12 .Planning Assumptions ‡ Barry. but not always immediately ‡ We will learn as we go ‡ Some systems will be easier to migrate than others ‡ Focus on Managed Desktops first (8500) .

Design Assumptions ‡ The site needs to do business in the manner they are accustomed to ‡ Proactive planning will establish working footprint but likely anticipate only <80% of the issues ‡ Costs: Software. We will learn as we go ± 40. Lost Productivity ± $500. Staffing.000 + 10 FTE + TBD > $1. Processes will fail.000 apps that we have not idea how to test ‡ We will allow deferrals (the thorn in my side) ‡ Doing FDCC and Secure Desktop at the same time ± Makes it hard to determine ³what broke it´ SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 13 . new processes ‡ Not enough time to test all standard apps will load and run ‡ Things will break. apps review.5 million ‡ Increased support staff.

000 systems = 20.000 hours = 10 FTE¶s ‡ What we got: ± 2 Help Desk Agents ± Desktop Team delayed priorities for 6 months ± An accelerated schedule (Get the pain over quicker) 14 SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges .Staffing requirements ‡ What we asked for: ± Desktop Team: 2 people fulltime for 1 year ± Field Support: 2 visits per year x 1 hour x 10.

and how ‡ Pick a non-threatening name ± Secure Desktop vs. Desktop Lockdown ‡ Publicity campaign. that means I have not done my job right. SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 15 .Selling It ‡ Tell them why. Processes will fail. Sitewide Emails. when. We will learn as we go I made a Promise ± If you can¶t still do your job with Secure Desktop. and management ± Weekly meetings of 20+ stakeholders ± 100+ issues and concerns ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ IT and DOE Security goes first (walk the talk) Provide a safety-valve (add the user back as Administrator) Things will break. IT. Computer Security. Roadshows to Customers ‡ Involve customers.

Publicity Campaign SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 16 .

software installs ± Can¶t setup scheduled tasks ‡ Life as Non-Admin with NTFS (life gets really interesting) ± NTFS Restricts access to files and folders (eg c:\Windows. default profiles. c:\Program Files. and more) ± Can¶t read other users¶ or All Users profiles ‡ Some apps might need to be modified or sections of PC opened up for them to run SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 17 .Early Discoveries ‡ Life as Non-Admin (life changes) ± Restricts access to registry. printer installs. Local Apps.

Plug and Play) ± Provides Inheritance so that auto-installers can retain rights ± ± ± ± ‡ Use CACLs to tighten or loosen file and folder permissions ± Approx 100 exceptions needed ± Some apps write INI files to c:\program files ‡ Refine Registry permissions (CACL or BeyondTrust) ± Some apps change HKLocalMachine or HKClassesRoot ‡ Add and manage Non-person domain account with privs ± For hands-on support ± For system updates and automated processes SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 18 . Add Local Printer. VPN Firewall.Technical Tools to Make It Work ‡ BeyondTrust Privilege Manager to elevate privileges when needed Approx 160 rules in place To install software To run some software Elevate System processes (eg TCP/IP Configure.

Domain license ± Computer object limit and user limit SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 19 .000 plus 15%) ± Container license vs.More About BeyondTrust ‡ Attach permission levels to Windows applications and processes ‡ Integrated with Active Directory and applied through Group Policy ‡ Policy is applied by creating rules in the Group Policy Object Editor (using their GUI) ‡ Operates transparently to the end-user ‡ Permits ³least privilege´ elevation ‡ Costs about $30 per seat ($300.

Residence in a particular Folder 3. Other attributes Recommendations: 1. MSI that is being installed 5. Look for inadvertent inheritance to downward processes An elevated DOS box can be a big hole SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 20 .Examples of Rules Rules can permit or elevate based on 1. Specific Path of the file 6. Hash of the file 4. Avoid Path and Folder rules if you do not control the fileshare Don¶t open a path or share where anyone can drop an installer or EXE 3. Use a Hash when possible Multiple versions (eg Flash4 and Flash5) are allowed 2. GUID or URL-specific ActiveX controls 2.

BeyondTrust Configuration Screen SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 21 .

Process Tools to Make It Work ‡ How to permit users and field support to regain Administrator rights when needed ± Locally written tool to add Admin back to PC and log the reason ‡ Temporary Restoration of Administrator Rights (TRAP) ± 20-30 per day added by Help Desk ± TRAP process should be followed by a scan after user does install ± 200+ ³Admin Restores´ exist at any point in time ‡ The PA process and PC-SPPT-xx groups ± PA ± Personal Admin account allows selected users to support their PC ± PC-SPPT-xx groups added to specific Workgroup PCs (shadow support) ‡ The CS/DA process ± Computer Support accounts for installers and Field Support ± Desktop Admin accounts for my staff ‡ RunAs and Remote Administration ‡ Non-secured machines that are offline are identified and secured within 2 days of connection ‡ Daily inventory to check settings. lost sheep returning SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 22 . TRAP abuse.

VPN. SRNL did it and is still running! ‡ Allow Deferrals only for Good Reason (preferably classes of systems. acknowledge your weaknesses SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 23 . Controllers) ‡ Publicize your success. Not everyone is ³special´ ± Look. eg Doc Mgt. Maintenance.Who Gets to Go First? ‡ Management champions ± IT and DOE Security goes first (walk the talk) ± SRNL gets a gold star (150 of the 1st volunteers) ‡ Ask for volunteers (motivate them with ³get better help before the storm´) ‡ Verify laptop. and off-line operations ‡ Email campaign with ³magic button´ to migrate now ± Sent to users with no known extra applications (Dear User:) ‡ Convincing users to participate.

The Schedule ‡ The Planned Schedule ‡ 10-12/07 proof of concept ‡ 1/08-3/08 100 user pilot ‡ 30 days to regroup ‡ 4/08-5/08 1000 ³easy´ systems ‡ 6/08-12/08 6000 total migrated ‡ The Forced Schedule ‡ 10-12/07 proof of concept ‡ 1/08-2/20/08 50 user pilot ‡ 2/25/08 500 users added ‡ 2/26-3/5/08 1500 ³easy´ systems ‡ 3/08-5/08 6000 total migrated ‡ 6/08-12/08 deferrals ‡ 1/09-2/09 who is hiding? 24 SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges .

Sure.Migration Rate Secure Desktop Rate 10000 9000 8000 Total Numb er S ecured 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 350 300 250 500 450 400 10.134 Desktop Secured in 2008 Number Secured Per Day Don¶t run out of licenses! ³Push it till it breaks´ Planned Actual ³Push it till it breaks´ Deferrals released Month The 2000 ³jump-start´ provides confidence. they are still running but what about at the end of the month? 200 150 100 50 0 4/7/2008 5/5/2008 6/2/2008 2/11/2008 2/25/2008 3/10/2008 3/24/2008 4/21/2008 5/19/2008 6/16/2008 6/30/2008 7/14/2008 7/28/2008 8/11/2008 8/25/2008 9/8/2008 9/22/2008 10/6/2008 11/3/2008 10/20/ 2008 11/17/ 2008 12/1/2008 12/15/ 2008 SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 25 12/29/ 2008 .

NTFS.Automating the Migration Process ‡ ‡ ‡ Make all of WinInstall ³BeyondTrust Aware´ NTFS Conversion via email Magic Button invitations and forced WinInstall ± Pre-req before getting added to the Scheduler list The Secure Desktop Scheduler ± Triggers at login if you are on the list. and an Administrator ± Launches the upgrade process in WinInstall One giant WinInstall ± Install BeyondTrust Privilege Manager ± Install Basic CACLS to secure additional selected folders (approx 10) ± Add Local Printer shortcut ± Temporary folder for 16 bit applications in location not under c:\windows ± Remove Administrators from Computer and randomize local password ± Move Computer to BeyondTrust Container ± Apply Common CACLS to open additional selected subfolders (approx 100) Write ³all done´ logfile About 100 systems did not migrate and required reload 26 ‡ ‡ ‡ SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges .

etc) ± Look for activity in the Registry ± Triage to identify commonalities ± ± ± ± ‡ Repair ± Elevate the program (hash vs. System32. path) ± Liberalize rights on sub-folders or files (CACLS) ± Change program configuration (set INI file or prefs files to write elsewhere) 27 SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges . Windows.³What Broke It´ and How to Remedy It ‡ Secure Desktop gets blamed for everything! ‡ Diagnosis App won¶t install or won¶t run? Is everything broken or something specific? Is BeyondTrust running? Do you have the current rules? Add user back as Admin and see if it fixes it ‡ This is your safety net ‡ Keeps the business running while you figure it out ± Look for activity in the NTFS-protected folders (Program Files.

Phase-in of New Secure Desktops ‡ Unfair to put installers on the front lines ± ± ± ± Deliver and add user as Admin Permit users or installer to add software Scan the system for vulnerabilities Add to the SD migration list after 3 days ‡ All Windows 2000 were re-built on-site as Secured ‡ Deliver ³As-Secure´ at the end of the project ± Local Admin used only to add to domain ± Then remove all Admins SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 28 .

Clock. RunOnce after installs ‡ Issues with multi-user systems ± No unrestricted place to put ³turnover´ files ± Screensaver locked at shift change SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 29 .Unexpected Issues ‡ Chicken and Egg situations ± Have to be an Admin to become secured ± But our goal is to eliminate Admin users ‡ How to pre-build a secured machine ‡ Dealing with the absence of a universal Administrator account ± There is no local administrator to ³break in´ with ± 90 day lost of trust issues ± Cached login with last good user ‡ Set Owner Issues ± Some files are owned by the installer and cannot be accessed by others or have provided unwanted access to install folders ‡ Essential things did not work and need elevation ± Defrag. Ipconfig.

Ongoing Maintenance ‡ Daily Un-TRAP of Admin Restores ± Look for abuse ± Propagate PA and PC-SPPT-xx accounts ‡ Verify new installs are secured ‡ All scanning and remdiation activities must be Secure-Desktop aware ‡ Add rules as issues arise (about 4 per month) ± New products ± Stuff breaks ± Updates to existing rules ‡ BeyondTrust product enhancements SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 30 .

Summary ‡ Project success despite objections from users and reluctance of IT staff ± Early 500/day was a crazy idea but provided valuable insight and confidence ± Almost finished before we had planned to get started ‡ Critical success factors ± ± ± ± ± Publicity campaign Top level management support Acknowledgement that things would break Availability of a relief valve (Restore Admin user) Ability to select and throttle the update list SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 31 .

gov 803/725-8463 SRS Secure Desktop Project ± Running Without Administrator Privileges 32 .hudson@srs.Questions Barry Hudson Desktop Systems Team Lead SRNS Bldg 773-51A Aiken. SC 29808 barry.