Security descriptors are data structures of security information for securable Windows objects, that is objects that can be identified by a unique name. Security descriptors can be associated with any named objects, including files, folders, shares, registry keys, processes, threads, named pipes, services, job objects and other resources.
Security descriptors contain discretionary access control lists (DACLs) that contain access control entries (ACEs) that grant and deny access to trustees such as users or groups. They also contain a system access control list (SACLs) that control auditing of object access. ACEs may be explicitly applied to an object or inherited from a parent object. The order of ACEs in an ACL is important, with access denied ACEs appearing higher in the order than ACEs that grant access. Security descriptors also contain the object owner.
Files and folder permissions can be edited by various tools including Windows Explorer, WMI, command line tools like Cacls, XCacls, ICacls, SubInACL, the freeware Win32 console FILEACL, the free software utility SetACL, and other utilities. To edit a security descriptor, a user needs WRITE_DAC permissions to the object, a permission that is usually delegated by default to administrators and the object's owner.
Permissions in NTFS
NTFS uses a set of 14 (12 in older systems) permissions for files and folders that are in the form of ACL stored in security descriptors. The following table summarizes the system of permissions (in individual rows), which is obscured by using different names and abbreviations in various programs (see the icacls and cacls columns) as well as a number of levels of permission mappings, like generic access rights (columns GR, GE, GW, and GA in the table are for GENERIC_READ, GENERIC_EXECUTE, GENERIC_WRITE, and GENERIC_ALL, respectively), standard access rights and special permissions that all are mapped to the permissions for files and folders.
|0x01||Read Data||List Folder||+||+||+||+||RD||FILE_READ_DATA|
|0x08||Read Extended Attributes||+||+||+||+||REA||FILE_READ_EA|
|0x20||Execute File||Traverse Folder||+||+||+||X||FILE_EXECUTE|
|0x02||Write Data||Create Files||+||+||+||WD||FILE_WRITE_DATA|
|0x04||Append Data||Create Folders||+||+||+||AD||FILE_APPEND_D|
|0x10||Write Extended Attributes||+||+||+||WEA||FILE_WRITE_EA|
|0x40||Delete Subfolders and Files||+||DC||FILE_DELETE_CHILD|
- Access control § Computer security
- Information technology security audit
- Computer security
- Information security
- Token (Windows NT architecture)
- Windows SID
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- "DACLs and ACEs". Microsoft. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
- https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb625957.aspx What is the Windows Integrity Mechanism?
- SubInACL home page
- FILEACL home page Archived 2012-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
- "FILEACL v18.104.22.168". Microsoft. 2004-03-23. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
- "ACCESS_MASK Data Type". Microsoft. 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
- "How Permissions Work". Microsoft. 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
- Richard Civil. "How IT works NTFS Permissions, Part 2". Microsoft. Retrieved 2017-11-24.
- Richard Civil. "How IT works NTFS Permissions". Microsoft. Retrieved 2017-11-24.