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Prevent users from bypassing screensaver policy via REGEDIT

Posted on 2011-03-09
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
We have a GPO that defines screen saver settings for our users, and prevents them from modifying those settings via the Windows GUI. However, some of our users have figured out that they can update the settings to those of their liking via REGEDIT.

We are looking for ways to prevent them from modifying these keys, or if this cannot be prevented, a mechanism to automatically revert the keys back to their original values if they are modified. We'd prefer not to use any third party software to do this. The keys in question are:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Control Panel\Desktop]
"ScreenSaverIsSecure"="1"
"ScreenSaveActive"="1"
"SCRNSAVE.EXE"="Policy.scr"
"ScreenSaveTimeOut"="900"

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Question by:TWCMIL
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5 Comments
 
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Assisted Solution

by:Stewart Beel
Stewart Beel earned 1000 total points
ID: 35089412
In a GPO set the following to enabled:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Prevent access to registry editing tools

This will prevent users from being able to start regedit
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Expert Comment

by:networkadminkjmc
ID: 35089967
also user permissions on the local machine,
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Awinish
ID: 35091608
Domain user should not be allowed to modify registry settings.
Block it using GPO.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6056513_disable-tools-per-group-policy.html
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

by:
oBdA earned 1000 total points
ID: 35097092
By default (and for the obvious reasons), users are not allowed to write in the "...\policies\..." registry keys (just chekc the permissions on HKCU\Software\Policies - only Administrators and System have write access).
That means that your users are local administrators on their machines, and that means that you can't prevent them from doing what an administrator is supposed to do on a machine: anything they want.
Yes, you can block reg.exe and regedit.exe. It'll take them about half a day to figure out that the registry can be changed with a VB script.
The GPO will by default be reset about every 90 minutes. Hopefully, after changing the settings back manually often enough, they'll just get tired of it.
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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:TWCMIL
ID: 35238284
Thanks for the help, and sorry about the delay. Blocking the reg editing tools will help, but oBdA made a good point about Admin rights -- ultimately that is the issue we need to address.
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