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Recovery console: Allow floppy copy and access to all drives and folders

Published: November 15, 2012

Updated: November 15, 2012

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP



This security policy reference topic for the IT professional describes the best practices, location, values, policy management and security considerations for this policy setting.

This policy setting enables or disables the Recovery Console SET command, which allows you to set the following Recovery Console environment variables.

  • AllowWildCards. Enables wildcard support for some commands, such as the DEL command.

  • AllowAllPaths. Allows access to all files and folders on the computer.

  • AllowRemovableMedia. Allows files to be copied to removable media, such as a floppy disk.

  • NoCopyPrompt. Suppresses the prompt that typically displays before an existing file is overwritten.

An authorized administrator might forget to remove removable media, such as CD or floppy disk, with sensitive data or applications that a malicious user could then steal. Or an authorized administrator could accidentally leave a startup disk in the computer after using the Recovery Console. If the computer is restarted for any reason and the BIOS has been configured to boot from the removable media before the hard disk drive, the server will start from the removable disk. This causes the server's network services to be unavailable.

  • Enabled

  • Disabled

  • Not defined

  1. Set Recovery Console: Allow floppy copy and access to drives and folders to Disabled. Users who have started a server by using the Recovery Console and logged in with the built-in Administrator account will not be able to copy files and folders to a floppy disk.

GPO_name\Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options

The following table lists the actual and effective default values for this policy. Default values are also listed on the policy’s property page.

 

Server type or GPO Default value

Default Domain Policy

Not defined

Default Domain Controller Policy

Not defined

Stand-Alone Server Default Settings

Disabled

DC Effective Default Settings

Disabled

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Disabled

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Disabled

There are no differences in this policy between operating systems beginning with Windows Server 2003.

This section describes features and tools that are available to help you manage this policy.

None. Changes to this policy become effective without a computer restart when they are saved locally or distributed through Group Policy.

Setting and deploying this policy using Group Policy takes precedence over the setting on the local computer.

Enabling this security option makes the Recovery Console SET command available, which allows you to set the following Recovery Console environment variables:

  • AllowWildCards: Enable wildcard support for some commands (such as the DEL command).

  • AllowAllPaths: Allow access to all files and folders on the computer.

  • AllowRemovableMedia: Allow files to be copied to removable media, such as a floppy disk.

  • NoCopyPrompt: Do not prompt when overwriting an existing file.

For more information about this command, see Set.

This section describes how an attacker might exploit a feature or its configuration, how to implement the countermeasure, and the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

An attacker who can cause the system to restart into the Recovery Console could steal sensitive data and leave no audit or access trail.

Disable the Recovery console: Allow floppy copy and access to drives and folders setting.

Users who have started a server through the Recovery Console and logged in with the built-in Administrator account cannot copy files and folders to a floppy disk.

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