Windows 7 / Networking

Understanding Windows Service Hardening

Windows Service Hardening (WSH) is a feature of Windows Vista and later versions that is designed to protect critical network services running on a system. If a service is compromised, WSH reduces the potential damage that can occur by reducing the attack surface that could be potentially exploited by some forms of malicious code. Because network services (both those built into the operating system and those installed by third-party applications) are by their nature exposed to the network (which itself is usually connected to the Internet), they provide a vector by which attackers can try to compromise a system. WSH implements the following protection improvements over previous versions of Windows:

  • Configuring services to run whenever possible within the lower-privileged LocalService or NetworkService context instead of the LocalSystem context favored by many services in previous versions of Windows.
  • Implementing a new type of per-service security identifier (service SID) that extends the Windows access control model to services and the system resources they access. When a service is started by the Service Control Manager (SCM), the SID is added to the secondary SIDs list of the process token if the service opted for doing this.
  • Applying a write-restricted access token to the process for each service so that any attempt to access a system resource that does not have an explicit allow access control entry (ACE) for the service SID will fail.
  • Tightening control over the generic SvcHost.exe grouping and distribution of services.
  • Reducing the number of privileges assigned to services to only those needed by the service.
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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Windows Firewall and IPsec
  2. Understanding Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  3. Improvements to Windows Firewall Introduced Previously in Windows Vista
  4. Additional Improvements to Windows Firewall in Windows 7
  5. Understanding the Windows Filtering Platform
  6. Windows Firewall and the Startup Process
  7. Understanding Windows Service Hardening
  8. Understanding Service SIDs
  9. Windows Firewall and WSH
  10. Windows Firewall and Service Triggers
  11. Understanding Multiple Active Firewall Profiles
  12. Understanding Rules
  13. Understanding Firewall Rules
  14. Inbound vs . Outbound Rules
  15. Allow vs . Block Rules
  16. Allow If Secure Rules
  17. Authenticated Bypass Rules
  18. Filtering Conditions FOR Firewall RULES
  19. Understanding Connection Security Rules
  20. Types of Connection Security Rules
  21. Supported IPsec Settings for Connection Security Rules
  22. Default IPsec Settings for Connection Security Rules
  23. Windows Firewall and Windows PE
  24. Understanding Default Rules
  25. Understanding WSH Rules
  26. Understanding Rules Processing
  27. Managing Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  28. Tools for Managing Windows Firewall with Advanced Security
  29. Managing Windows Firewall Using Control Panel
  30. Managing Windows Firewall Using the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Snap-in
  31. Managing Windows Firewall Using Group Policy
  32. Considerations When Managing Windows Firewall Using Group Policy
  33. Managing Windows Firewall Using the Netsh Command
  34. Common Management Tasks
  35. Enabling or Disabling Windows Firewall
  36. Configuring Firewall Profiles and IPsec Settings by Using Group Policy
  37. Creating and Configuring Firewall Rules
  38. Creating and Configuring Connection Security Rules
  39. Monitoring Windows Firewall
  40. Troubleshooting Windows Firewall
  41. Troubleshooting Windows Firewall Using Firewall Logs
  42. Troubleshooting Windows Firewall Using Event Logs
  43. Troubleshooting Windows Firewall Using Auditing
  44. Troubleshooting IPsec Issues Using Netsh Wfp
  45. Troubleshooting Windows Filtering Platform and IPsec Issues Using Netsh Trace