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Local admins of domain computers can access ANY machine in domain

potworny asked
Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hi there,

There is an interesting discovery we have made...
A local administrator on a domain computer can access the C$ share on ANY domain computer in our domain.

The simple question is... How do we prevent this from happening?

The Terrible Johnny
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weird.... is that local admin account administrator?

with all machines having the same local administrator password?

you grant a standard domain user local admin, and all of a sudden they can access everything, maybe your Domain Admins group has local admins as a member.... try removing it and see if they can still...

PberSolutions Architect

This is pass through authentication.  As long as the local username and password match, this will occur.  This is by design.

thus if you have the same administrator password on all machines, they will inherit admin rights via pass-through authentication.  

To prevent this, change the password on the machines.

Also make sure your domain's Administrator password is different.
PberSolutions Architect



Does this mean that the only solution is to change the passwords?
The same password on all machines is the best way to access computers that for any reason cannot access the domain controller, for example.

Maybe there is a GPO? :)

The question is.... is this ONLY happening when you log in as ADMINISTRATOR locally?

if so, you can keep that all the same.... I would advise you do not log your users in as local administrator.....

Set them up with a different username.... and if you need to give them local admin access.... on the machine they are using.... then they will not be able to access other machines C$
This one is on us!
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a better practice is to place Groups in the local admins.

Say your have a sales group that needs admins on 5 computers.  Only put the sales group in local admins on those 5 computers.  They will not be able to connect to the admin shares of computers they are not a local admin on.


Thanks a million :)

Placing the admins in the local admins group may not be correct in our domain.

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