The Great UAC Debate!


UAC  

1,412 members have voted

You do not have permission to vote in this poll, or see the poll results. Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

Recommended Posts

mrp04

If you get a virus, the UAC won't help you one bit, I promise you. The UAC responds to user-started tasks. It is nothing more then to make sure and ask, "Do you really want to do that?". Do you realize how many UAC prompts you would be getting if background processes had to prompt you for every system change they made?

What everyday changes do people make that make UAC prompt them? The default configuration for Windows 7 is perfect. I don't get prompted unless I'm installing something or otherwise modifying system files.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Seizure1990

There are programs out there that require a prompt upon every run, at least in my experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Arkose

For software that was designed before Vista existed, that's a side-effect of standards enforcement and wasn't exactly intentional. UAC is generally able to detect elevation needs for legacy software, silently redirecting protected writes that don't need elevation while providing elevation prompts for those that do, but this is partly a guessing game which it doesn't always get right, resulting in cases where programs don't run correctly unless you force elevation.

For software that has been updated since the release of Vista it's either oversight or pure laziness. Oversight would be something like a program with an update checking function requiring elevation every time you launch it, in preparation for installing updates, rather than only asking for it when an update is actually found. This is partly valid (it isn't writing to protected locations without elevation), but the implementation isn't efficient (it asks for elevation when it's not actually needed). Alternately, some programs demand elevation simply because the programmers couldn't be bothered reworking it. There's nothing stopping someone taking outdated code and slapping on an elevation request, which Windows then obeys.

As more and more users leave XP there is a visible move towards programs being as silent as possible, and those that haven't kept up with this stick out more than they used to. These will eventually be updated because of this since they could lose customers based on annoyance alone if they don't do something about it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
hdood

If you get a virus, the UAC won't help you one bit, I promise you. The UAC responds to user-started tasks. It is nothing more then to make sure and ask, "Do you really want to do that?". Do you realize how many UAC prompts you would be getting if background processes had to prompt you for every system change they made?

I think you're confusing the UAC admin approval mode prompts with the Explorer warning prompts for executables from untrusted sources. UAC applies to everything no matter how it is started.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Nagisan

If you get a virus, the UAC won't help you one bit, I promise you. The UAC responds to user-started tasks. It is nothing more then to make sure and ask, "Do you really want to do that?". Do you realize how many UAC prompts you would be getting if background processes had to prompt you for every system change they made?

UAC helps prevent you from getting a virus, not stopping the virus from working once you are infected with one. So obviously UAC isn't going to help once you get a virus.

There are programs out there that require a prompt upon every run, at least in my experience.

And those are MOSTLY written before Vista and not updated. Most software should not need admin privs to run properly. In all honesty I don't think I have any software installed right now (100GB used by my system drive, consisting of my OS, a few games, and lots of other software) that requires a prompt for normal operation, sure some require a prompt to update the software, but only one program I have installed requires a prompt to run, FRAPS, which I have scheduled to start with my computer in admin mode with a scheduled task anyway, so I never see the prompt for it.

More and more software developers are understanding how to program without Admin mode, and also how to make their software not need admin mode (such as writing to user directories other than system directories), unless someone goes back and updates all the outdated software, those old programs are probably going to require admin mode, but that's a fault of the programs themselves, not Vista or 7.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Brian

When I used Windows, I'd leave it on. It never really bothered me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Glassed Silver

When I used Windows, I'd leave it on. It never really bothered me.

Normally +1, sometimes it get's annoying, though...

Prefer the Mac OS X style of user security here...

*bashing opened :rolleyes:* (psst: way to show maturity now and NOT start flamewars :shifty: protip!)

Glassed Silver:mac

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian

Normally +1, sometimes it get's annoying, though...

Prefer the Mac OS X style of user security here...

*bashing opened :rolleyes:* (psst: way to show maturity now and NOT start flamewars :shifty: protip!)

Glassed Silver:mac

Haha, well, I wasn't attempting anything. I still do use Windows on a regular basis, and UAC does more good than harm. It's the same on any system, elevating to admin priviledges... To be fair, it might be alright if UAC required a password as well (but then again, I've always had my personal account as an Administrator rather than User/Limited)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Glassed Silver

Haha, well, I wasn't attempting anything. I still do use Windows on a regular basis, and UAC does more good than harm. It's the same on any system, elevating to admin priviledges... To be fair, it might be alright if UAC required a password as well (but then again, I've always had my personal account as an Administrator rather than User/Limited)

Yea, always been admin on win as well... same for os x...

I don't see the need to castrate myself if I know what I'm doing and using some other security layers. (Y)

That wasn't pointed towards you, just a general advisory to all haters haha :D

On another note: Brian, what is this now? Forum love between you and me? we are reply-spamming like hell! :D

Be my forum-######! :rofl:

Glassed Silver:mac

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian

Yea, always been admin on win as well... same for os x...

I don't see the need to castrate myself if I know what I'm doing and using some other security layers. (Y)

That wasn't pointed towards you, just a general advisory to all haters haha :D

On another note: Brian, what is this now? Forum love between you and me? we are reply-spamming like hell! :D

Be my forum-######! :rofl:

Glassed Silver:mac

We're the only two awake.

Also. Keep it on-topic. :p

As an aside, if you try to elevate from a user/limited account, does it prompt for a password?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Glassed Silver

We're the only two awake.

Also. Keep it on-topic. :p

As an aside, if you try to elevate from a user/limited account, does it prompt for a password?

Scared of truth, much? :p

What exactly do you mean?

Like if I were logged in as a non-admin account in os x and try to change settings / sudo in terminal?

I guess yes, if it will let me definately, but I'm not that experienced with limited accounts, so ... idk for sure whether it's possible in first place.

It will always ask on admin accounts. (Y)

Glassed Silver:mac

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian

Scared of truth, much? :p

What exactly do you mean?

Like if I were logged in as a non-admin account in os x and try to change settings / sudo in terminal?

I guess yes, if it will let me definately, but I'm not that experienced with limited accounts, so ... idk for sure whether it's possible in first place.

It will always ask on admin accounts. (Y)

Glassed Silver:mac

I meant on Windows Vista/7... If you're logged in as a User does it prompt for an administrator logon or does it just tell you that you don't have permission?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Glassed Silver

I meant on Windows Vista/7... If you're logged in as a User does it prompt for an administrator logon or does it just tell you that you don't have permission?

NO idea, I guess it will ask for a password, or at least it will work on a "execute as user -> select an admin" base I guess...

Glassed Silver:mac

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian

NO idea, I guess it will ask for a password, or at least it will work on a "execute as user -> select an admin" base I guess...

Glassed Silver:mac

Anyone with a bit more knowledge care to chime in? I'd be interested to know.

Link to post
Share on other sites
HawkMan

yes, if you are a regular user it will prompt for the admin password, which was the general idea behind UAC anyway, but they left the prompt in for admins to because people are idiots :p

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brian

yes, if you are a regular user it will prompt for the admin password, which was the general idea behind UAC anyway, but they left the prompt in for admins to because people are idiots :p

On OS X/Unix it'll still prompt for a password, but then again, it elevates to root account. I'm logged in as my root account (well admin) but it still asks for a password. I wonder why UAC didn't go down that path? I guess with the number of UAC prompts though it would get tired, fast.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Glassed Silver

On OS X/Unix it'll still prompt for a password, but then again, it elevates to root account. I'm logged in as my root account (well admin) but it still asks for a password. I wonder why UAC didn't go down that path? I guess with the number of UAC prompts though it would get tired, fast.

You can bet good money on that! (Y)

Glassed Silver:mac

Link to post
Share on other sites
hdood

On OS X/Unix it'll still prompt for a password, but then again, it elevates to root account. I'm logged in as my root account (well admin) but it still asks for a password. I wonder why UAC didn't go down that path? I guess with the number of UAC prompts though it would get tired, fast.

You can configure the admin approval mode prompt (the prompt given to administrator users) to always ask for credentials if you really want to, but what's the point.

When you say "Unix," I'm going to assume you only mean OS X and the handful of popular Linux distros that come preconfigured with a sudo setup since it's otherwise a meaningless umbrella term for a whole host of OSes which can't be grouped as one.

Anyway, I would speculate that the reason it's configured to prompt for your password there is for security reasons. I suspect the sudo prompts (and whatever frontends exist for them) are not secure and could easily be bypassed. Windows deals with this by prompting on a separate desktop running in a separate session so it can't be manipulated, while OS X and the Linux distros deal with it by prompting for a password. There is also a subtle technical difference in what sudo and Windows do. Sudo substitutes users, in other words runs a program as a separate user. Windows runs the program as the same user but with a different security token.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Shadrack

I actually prefer UAC and want it turned on to its default settings. The IT here at work recently upgraded my laptop and gave me full Admin access with UAC turned off :blink: .

I turned the UAC back on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Thom Vee

There are programs out there that require a prompt upon every run, at least in my experience.

All you have to do is install to a folder other than Program Files, which is protected. No more prompts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest xiphi

All you have to do is install to a folder other than Program Files, which is protected. No more prompts.

Uh, it's not that simple. By that logic, if I were to install CCleaner outside of PF, I'd get no prompts. Which I know would not be true since the program itself specifically asks for elevation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
etempest

With Vista, I shut it off. It's way too intrusive.

Try installing 3 gb of user created content for Morrowind / Oblivion on Vista with UAC on :)

With Windows 7, I think it's the right balance.

I've had no issue's with using UAC like features with Linux/Ubuntu or OS X, they also have the right balance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
HawkMan

With Vista, I shut it off. It's way too intrusive.

Try installing 3 gb of user created content for Morrowind / Oblivion on Vista with UAC on :)

easy, give yoruself full privs to the morrowind mod folder.

Link to post
Share on other sites
De.Bug

If you get a virus, the UAC won't help you one bit, I promise you. The UAC responds to user-started tasks. It is nothing more then to make sure and ask, "Do you really want to do that?". Do you realize how many UAC prompts you would be getting if background processes had to prompt you for every system change they made?

Wrong. If you get a virus and you have UAC on your computer will be safe. The virus won't be able to touch your system files or the other accounts on your system. Your account will be attacked by the virus, but any other accounts on the machine will be safe. If you turn UAC off and you get a virus your f*****.
Link to post
Share on other sites
neo158

Wrong. If you get a virus and you have UAC on your computer will be safe. The virus won't be able to touch your system files or the other accounts on your system. Your account will be attacked by the virus, but any other accounts on the machine will be safe. If you turn UAC off and you get a virus your f*****.

UAC still doesn't remove the need for AV software though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.