tldr; Windows security sucks. You as a org-admin cant do anything about it. Encrypt your device. Disable USB Live boot in the bios and protect it with a STRONG password.

First of i just want to say that i DO NOT want to start the good ol' Linux VS Windows debate. I'm just ranting about Windows Security here...
Second, here's why i did all of this. I did all of this mainly becuase i wanted to install some programs on my laptop but also to prove that you can't lock down a Windows pc. I don't recomend doing this since this is against the contract i signed.

So when i got my Laptop from my school i wanted to install some programs on it, sush as VS Code and Spotify. They were not avalible in the 'Software Center' so i had to find another way. Since this was when we still used Windows 7 it was quite easy to turn sticky keys in to a command prompt. I did it this way (https://github.com/olback/...). I decided to write a tutorial while i was at it becuase i didn't find any online using this exact method. I couldn't boot from a USB cause it's disabled in the bios wich is protected by a password. Okey, Sticky keys are now CMD. So let's spam SHIFT 5 times before i log in? Yeah, thanks for the command promt. Running 'whoami' returned 'NT SYSTEM'. Apparantly NT System has domain administator rights wich allowed me to make me an Administrator on the machine. So i installed Everything i wanted, Everything was fine untill it was time to migrate to a new domain. It failed of course. So i handed my Laptop to the IT retards (No offense to people working in IT and managing orgs) and got it back the day after, With Windows 10. Windows 10 is not really a problem, i don't mind it. The thing is, i can't use any of the usual Sticky keys to CMD methods since they're all fixed in W10. So what did i do? Moved the Laptop disk to my main PC and copied cmd.exe to sethc.exe. And there we go again. CMD running as NT System on Windows 10. Made myself admin again, installed Everything i needed. Then i wanted to change my wallpaper and lockscreen, had to turn to PowerShell for this since ALL settings are managed by my School. After some messing arround everything is as i want it now.

'Oh this isnt a problem bla bla bla'. Yes, this is a problem. If someone gets physical access your PC/Laptop they can gain access to Everything on it. They can change your password on it since the command promt is running as NT SYSTEM. So please, protect your data and other private information you have on your pc. Encypt your machine and disable USB Live boot.

Have a good wekend!

*With exceptions for spelling errors and horrible grammar.

  • 2
    I've actually utilized this exact method several times. Both convenient and unsecure.
  • 7
    The golden rule in security (regardless of OS) is that once an attacker has physical access to your device they will be able to access all your files. This isn't a Windows specific problem, this is a problem with all OS's and to my knowledge is unfixable.

    Source: Government security training on handling computers with sensitive/classified information
  • 0
    A BIOS password is as secure as putting a "please don't come in" post-it on your open door.
  • 0
    Is this trick still possible when the whole disk is encrypted with bitlocker?
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