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Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts

Published: November 15, 2012

Updated: November 15, 2012

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

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

This policy setting determines which additional permissions will be assigned for anonymous connections to the computer. Windows allows anonymous users to perform certain activities, such as enumerating the names of domain accounts and network shares. This is convenient, for example, when an administrator wants to give access to users in a trusted domain that does not maintain a reciprocal trust.

This policy setting has no impact on domain controllers.

Misuse of this policy setting is a common error that can cause data loss or problems with data access or security.

  • Enabled

    It will be impossible to establish trusts with Windows NT 4.0–based domains. This value will also cause problems with earlier-version client computers (such as those running Windows NT 3.51 and Windows 95) that are trying to use resources on the server.

  • Disabled

    No additional permissions can be assigned by the administrator for anonymous connections to the computer. Anonymous connections will rely on default permissions.

  • Not defined

  1. Best practices are dependent on your security goals and policies.

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

Enabled

DC Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Member Server Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Client Computer Effective Default Settings

Enabled

Windows 2000 Server has a similar policy setting named Additional Restrictions for Anonymous Connections managed a registry entry RestrictAnonymous, located in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\LSA key. In Windows Server 2003, the policy settings Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and shares replace the Windows 2000 policy setting. They manage the registry entries RestrictAnonymousSAM and RestrictAnonymous, respectively, both located in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa\ key.

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.

Even with this policy setting enabled, anonymous users will have access to resources with permissions that explicitly include the built-in group, ANONYMOUS LOGON (on systems earlier than Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista).

This policy has no impact on domain controllers.

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 unauthorized user could anonymously list account names and use the information to perform social engineering attacks or attempt to guess passwords. Social engineering attackers try to deceive users in some way to obtain passwords or some form of security information.

Enable the Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts setting.

It is impossible to establish trusts with Windows NT 4.0–based domains. Also, client computers that run earlier versions of the Windows operating system, such as Windows NT 3.51 and Windows 95, experience problems when they try to use resources on the server.

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