Tuesday, May 04, 2004

A Description of the Network Configuration Operators Group

One of the main Networking Functionality Enhancements in Windows Server 2003 and also in Windows XP is the ability to provide more granular level of permissions for controlling access to network configuration.

Controlling Access to Network Configuration Settings Local security, controlled through registry and file system permissions as well as rights assigned to local groups, such as Local Administrators, Power Users, or Server Operators, has been available since Windows NT and its immediate successor Windows 2000. However, the main drawback of these implementations was the lack of granularity in how some types of privileges could be granted. One common administrative complaint was the inability to allow users or first-level support staff to modify the networking configuration of a workstation or a laptop (including forcing a refresh of DHCP assigned settings), without placing them in one of the privileged groups, such as Administrators or Server Operators (which, in turn, was giving them additional rights, thus increasing the probability of system misconfiguration or a security compromise).

Windows XP and Windows 2003 resolved this problem with the introduction of a local group called Network Configuration Operators. Members of this group are allowed to

1.Modify the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) properties for a local area network (LAN) connection, which includes the IP address, the subnet mask, the default gateway, and the name servers.
2.Rename the LAN connections or remote access connections that are available to all of the users.
3.Enable or disable a LAN connection.
4.Modify the properties of all of the remote access connections of the user.
5.Delete all of the remote access connections of the user.
6.Rename all of the remote access connections of the user.
6.Issue ipconfig, release, or renew commands.



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