Low-Rights in Internet Explorer 7

One of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to Windows Vista (at least from a technical/security standpoint) will be the Low-Rights feature for Internet Explorer 7.

So, what is "Low-Rights"? Low-Rights is a modification to the security infrastructure of Windows Vista that gives Internet Explorer enough security privileges to browse the web but not enough to make critical system changes such as install applications, copy files to startup folder, modify the registry or hijack the browser’s homepage, tricks that are exploited by malicious code and websites to cause damage or to steal information. So, to put it simply, the goal of Low Rights in Internet Explorer 7 on Vista is to restrict the impact of any security vulnerabilities the browser might have because Vista will shield the user from changes.

A few points to note about Low-Rights:

  • Low-Rights will be for Windows Vista users only - it relies on core changes to the security infrastructure in the operating system not present on earlier operating systems.
  • Low-Rights is not an antivirus or antispyware tool - it will not prevent the user from downloading and installing software that might contain malicious code.
  • Low-Rights does not change the browser security settings for ActiveX and script.

Expect much more information on Low-Rights when Longhorn/Vista Beta 2 is released because this is when Low-Rights, along with many other security features, will be enabled.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Last updated: August 27th 2005
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