Example of Remote Logon with Windows NT Server

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Article ID: 122422
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Summary

This article provides an example and explanation of the processes involved with a remote logon.

More information

This example uses the following scenario:

A network has three workstations, all on the same domain:

  • Workstation A is the primary domain controller (PDC) of a domain called "Oz."
  • Workstation B is a Windows NT Server backup domain controller (BDC).
  • Workstation C is a Windows NT Workstation.

A User on Workstation C Does an Interactive Logon to the Oz Domain

  1. When the user logs on interactively, Winlogon on Workstation C passes the user credentials entered in the Winlogon dialog box (Name, Password, and in this case, the domain name "Oz") to the Local Security Authority (LSA) on Workstation C and asks for an access token in return.
  2. LSA forwards the credentials to the MSV1_0 authentication package on Workstation C and asks for the user's account security ID (SID) and global SIDs in return.

    NOTE: When Winlogon called LSA, it specified the MSV1_0 authentication package (MSV1_0.DLL) as the authentication package to use to authenticate the user and obtain SIDs for the user's access token. This is because MSV1_0 understands and can process the type of user credentials passed by Winlogon. Some other logon application might accept some other form of user credentials (data read by a pass-card reader, retina-scan image, and so on) and might therefore specify an authentication package other than MSV1_0 that understands and knows how to process that form of credentials. For more information about the MSV1_0 authentication package, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    102716 NTLM user authentication in Windows
  3. If the From box in the Winlogon dialog box had indicated the local user account database (for example, if the user had selected the workstation's computer name in the From box), MSV1_0 would proceed to call the Security Account Manager (SAM) on the local station (Workstation C) to retrieve the account SID and global group SIDs.

    Because this example indicates that the user selected the domain name ("Oz") in the From box on a Windows NT Workstation, this indicates to MSV1_0 that the user accounts database from which to obtain the account and global group SIDs is not located on the local station. Consequently, MSV1_0 calls (and passes the credentials to) the Netlogon service on Workstation C.
  4. The Netlogon service on Workstation C considers the domain name "Oz" and already knows (from earlier discovery) the computer name of a domain controller on the "Oz" domain. With this computer name, Netlogon uses Remote Procedure Call (RPC) to forward the credentials to the Netlogon service on a domain controller, Workstation B in this example.
  5. The Netlogon service on Workstation B calls MSV1_0 on Workstation B, passing the credentials and asking for account and global group SIDs.
  6. MSV1_0 on Workstation B calls (and passes the credentials to) the SAM on Workstation B, asking it to use the local (Workstation B) user accounts database (data contained in a secured Registry key) to:

    • Look up the specified user account name, and retrieve the associated account SID.
    • Compare the specified password with that stored in the database.
    • Retrieve the SIDs of all global groups of which this user is a member.


    SAM returns the account SID and global group SIDs to MSV1_0.
  7. MSV1_0 on Workstation B returns the account and global group SIDs to the Netlogon service on Workstation B, which returns these SIDs, via RPC return, to Netlogon service on Workstation C, which returns them to MSV1_0 on Workstation C. Note that no token is created on Workstation B at this time.
  8. MSV1_0 on Workstation C returns the account and global group SIDs to the LSA on Workstation C.
  9. LSA on Workstation C uses the local (Workstation C) LSA policy database and data contained in a secured Registry key to retrieve local group SIDs and User Rights:

    • LSA searches the local LSA policy database for all local groups that contain the account SID and/or one or more of the global group SIDs (these are the account and global group SIDs obtained from the user account database on the "Oz" domain controller).
    • LSA has now collected the account SID, all global group SIDs, and all local group SIDs that apply to the specified user name. With all of these SIDs, LSA now searches the local LSA policy database for all User Rights that have one ore more of these SIDs associated (remember that when you use User Manager to assign rights to accounts or groups, you first select the User Right, and then associate user accounts or groups with this User Right).
  10. LSA (on Workstation C) places all that it has collected thus far--the user account SID, all associated Global and local group SIDs, and a mask of applicable User Rights (along with a few other things), into the structure that we call the "token" or "access token." LSA returns the token to Winlogon.
  11. Winlogon creates a new process in which it runs Program Manager (unless another shell has been specified in the Registry) and attaches the token to that process. Any process that is created by Program Manager (that is, any program that the user runs from Program Manager) inherits the same token.
  12. Whenever the user opens a resource (such as a file, directory, or a network resource connection), the file system that manages that resource will be given the token attached to the process that initiated the request to open the resource. A local file system, such as NTFS, can compare the SIDs in the token to the SIDs in the access control list (ACL) of the specified file to determine if the user has the right to open the file in the manner indicated (such as opening for Read privileges, or for Write privileges, or for Read/Write privileges).

    NOTE: When an open resource connection request (such as "net use" or "File Manager Connect") comes down to the network redirector file system, it does not use the token to check ACLs. The redirector (with help from components such as the Security Reference Monitor and LSA) resolves the token back to the user credentials that were originally passed to Winlogon when the local user logged on (when this token was generated).
  13. The redirector uses a Server Message Block (SMB) request (SessionSetup...) to pass these credentials (name, password, and domain name "Oz") to the user-specified server; in this example, Workstation A.
  14. The server service on Workstation A does just what Winlogon did on Workstation C when the user originally logged on. It calls the LSA (of Workstation A), passes the credentials, and requests a token.
  15. The LSA (of Workstation A) builds the token as already described. Because Workstation A is a domain controller on the specified domain ("Oz"), the account SID, global group SIDs, local group SIDs, and User Rights all come from the local user account database and the LSA policy database of the server. Note that the user account and LSA policy databases are the "domain" user account and LSA policy databases that are dynamically replicated--by the Netlogon service, among all domain controllers.
  16. LSA returns the token to the server service.
  17. The server service saves the token in its internal "user session" list, and passes an index into that list--a "User ID" or "UID" in the [SessionSetup] SMB response back to the Workstation C redirector.
  18. The Workstation C redirector saves the UID in its internal list, with reference to the drive letter (or UNC share name) that was just redirected.
  19. When the user on Workstation C opens a file on the redirected drive, the file system that gets the request is, again, the redirector. The redirector forwards the Open request(through an "Open" SMB request) and the drive letter-associated UID to the Workstation A server.
  20. The Workstation A server service uses the Open SMB-indicated UID to find the associated "user session" list entry so that it can retrieve the appropriate token. When the server opens the file locally (on Workstation A), this token passes to the local file system that manages the file being opened (such as NTFS) and the file system can compare the token SIDs to the SIDs contained in the ACL of the specified file to determine if the (remote workstation) user has the right to open the file in the manner specified.

Workstation C User Does a NET USE to Workstation B

If the workstation user does a NET USE command to Workstation B, steps 13 through 18 above happen again, and Workstation B creates a new token.

Workstation C Does Another NET USE to Another Resource on Workstation B

If the Workstation C user does another NET USE command to another resource on the Workstation B server, when the resource connection request and the token reach the local (Workstation C) redirector, the redirector notes that there is already a secured user session (with a UID) established to the specified server on behalf of the token-indicated user, and therefore uses the already-obtained UID in subsequent SMBs used to create the resource connection and open/access files on that (redirected drive letter) resource.

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Article ID: 122422 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 5.0
Keywords: 
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