What does 'Log on as a service' mean?


I'd be grateful if someone could explain to me what 'Log on as a service' means and what the granting of this right brings to the accounbt that gets it - as compared to an account that does not have this right.

All the articles I find talk about how to set it up - but not what it exactly means and the impact it has.

Thank you for your help
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By default most services run as the LSA (local security authority aka SYSTEM account) or as a Network service (if they need remote access).
user account's aren't defined this way, by default, but can be modified in that manner if you have a service that requires elevated credentials beyond what is provided by the former.
Granting this permission to a user account gives that account the ability to register the corresponding service(s) and thus control starting/pausing/stopping said service.
Anytime, provided you have the correct permissions to modify it, you define a service to run under a user's credentials, that account is automatically granted the ability to "log on as a service".

If you bring up local security settings (or domain policies), you will see the 'explanation' as simply:  "This security setting determines which service accounts can register a process as a service."

Hope that helps.

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DavidHannenAuthor Commented:
Thanks that is very useful.

I am trying to get a deeper ground up understanding of securtity in Windows - can you point me the direction of any good beginner and up type recources that will help me get to grips? The windows documentation always seems to expect a certain knowledge level.


Not sure there is an easy answer for that one.  I've been working in IT for > 20 years, and I still don't have what I'd call a 'firm' grasp on security - it's an ever-moving target.  Best route would probably be to learn it from Microsoft.  If you're not in for the full mcse route approach, try their security course, or for a more generic approach - comptia's security + - they have a good 7-disc DVD series on it.  Good luck!
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