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Registry Keys and Values for Controlling Provider Security

To enhance the security of the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) shared provider host process (wmiprvse.exe), changes were made to Windows platforms that secure the provider host process with a service security identifier (SID). These changes introduce the following running modes for the WMI shared host: secure and compatible.

The following sections are covered in this topic:

Secure and Compatible Modes

Starting in Windows 7, the following two running modes for the WMI shared host process were added:

Secure mode

WMI provider host process resources are secured with a service SID. Only the service SID has permissions for these resources.

Compatible mode

The WMI shared provider host process is not secured with a service SID. The provider host process allows access to the NetworkService or LocalService accounts depending on the hosting model. For more information about hosting models, see Provider Hosting and Security.

Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008:  To access the registry keys and values for controlling secure and compatible modes for the provider host process, you must install the security update in KB 959454. For more information, see the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-012.

Registry Keys and Values

The secure and compatible mode settings are specified through registry keys. The registry keys for WMI are located in the registry at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WBEM\CIMOM\.

The following registry keys and DWORD value described in the following table were added to control the behavior of WMI providers.

Key Description

SecuredHostProviders

This key controls the behavior of individual providers. All of the providers that are listed in this key always run in secure mode. All inbox providers that are shipped with Windows are listed under this key, and are run in secure mode by default.

This key takes precedence over providers listed in the CompatibleHostProviders key.

CompatibleHostProviders

This key controls the behavior of individual providers. All providers that are listed in this key always run in compatible mode. This key is empty by default.

If a provider is listed both in the SecuredHostProviders key and in the CompatibleHostProviders key, the provider is run in secure mode.

Note  The CompatibleHostProviders key provides application compatibility for third-party applications if the DefaultSecuredHost key is set to 1 and the provider is known to not function in secure mode.

DefaultSecuredHost

A global registry DWORD value that determines whether all of the providers, which are not listed in the SecuredHostProviders or CompatibleHostProviders keys, are run in the secure or compatible mode. This DWORD value lets the administrator decide under which mode a third-party provider must run. By default, this value is set to zero and all third-party providers are run in compatible mode. Administrators can make their computer more secure by default by setting the DefaultSecuredHost value to 1.

Note  The DefaultSecuredHost value does not affect the other registry keys. The providers that are listed in the SecuredHostProviders key remain in secure mode, and the ones that are listed in the CompatibleHostProviders key remain in compatible mode.

The following settings are possible:

Value DataDescription
0Specifies that providers run in compatible mode.
1Specifies that providers run in secure mode.

 

 

The following table lists the possible registry settings and the associated running modes for a provider.

Listed under SecuredHostProviders Listed under CompatibleHostProvidersDefaultSecuredHost Setting Mode
NoNo0Compatible
NoYes0Compatible
YesNo0Secure
YesYes0Secure
NoNo1Secure
NoYes1Compatible
YesNo1Secure
YesYes1Secure

 

Configuring a Provider to Run in Secure or Compatible Mode

The registry keys can be modified using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). For more information, see Group Policy Management Console.

The following procedures illustrate how to manage secure and compatible mode settings by using group policy preferences. For more information about group policy preferences, see the Group Policy Preferences Overview.

Dd828436.wedge(en-us,VS.85).gifTo add a provider to either the secure or compatible mode by using Group Policy

  1. Open the GPMC.
  2. Create a Group Policy Object (GPO).
  3. Edit the GPO.
  4. Browse to Preferences/Windows Settings/Registry.
  5. Right-click and select New... Registry. This action presents a user interface where you can enter registry information.
  6. Select the Create command.
  7. Select the following registry key path:

    Secure Mode:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WBEM\CIMOM\SecuredHostProviders

    Compatible Mode:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WBEM\CIMOM\CompatibleHostProviders

  8. In the name field, enter the name of the provider you want to add to this key. The provider name must be in the following format: <namespace>:<__RELPATH>. For example, root\cimv2:__win32provider.name="MyProvider".
  9. In the data field, enter 0.
  10. Click OK.

Dd828436.wedge(en-us,VS.85).gifTo remove a provider from either the secure or compatible mode by using Group Policy

  1. Open the GPMC.
  2. Create a GPO.
  3. Edit the GPO.
  4. Browse to Preferences/Windows Settings/Registry.
  5. Right-click and select New... Registry. This action presents a user interface where you can enter registry information.
  6. Select the Remove command.
  7. Select the following registry key path:

    Secure Mode:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WBEM\CIMOM\SecuredHostProviders

    Compatible Mode:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WBEM\CIMOM\CompatibleHostProviders

  8. In the name field, enter the name of the provider you want to remove from this key.
  9. In the data field, enter 0.
  10. Click OK.

The following procedure provides details about how to modify the behavior of providers that are not listed in either the SecuredHostProviders or CompatibleHostProviders keys.

Dd828436.wedge(en-us,VS.85).gifTo change the default value of the DefaultSecuredHost key by using Group Policy

  1. Open the GPMC.
  2. Create a GPO.
  3. Edit the GPO.
  4. Browse to Preferences/Windows Settings/Registry.
  5. Right-click and select New... Registry. This action presents a user interface where you can enter registry information.
  6. Select the Update command.
  7. Select the following registry key path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WBEM\CIMOM.
  8. In the name field, enter DefaultSecuredHost.
  9. In the data field, enter 0 for compatible mode or 1 for secure mode.
  10. Click OK.

 

 

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