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How To Determine Whether a Thread Is Running in User Context of Local Administrator Account

This article was previously published under Q118626
To determine whether a thread is running under a local administrator account, you have to examine the access token that is associated with the thread. This article describes how to do this.

With Windows 2000 and later versions, you can use the CheckTokenMembership() API instead of the steps described in this article. For additional information, see the Microsoft Platform SDK documentation.
By default, the token that is associated with a thread is that of its containing process. This "user context" is superceded by any token that is attached directly to the thread. Therefore, to determine a thread's user context, you should first attempt to obtain a token for the thread with the OpenThreadToken function. If this method fails and the GetLastError function reports ERROR_NO_TOKEN, then you can obtain the token for the process with the OpenProcessToken function.

After you obtain the token of the current user, you can use the AccessCheck function to detect whether the user is an administrator. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Create a security identifier (SID) for the local administrator group by using the AllocateAndInitializeSid function.
  2. Construct a new security descriptor (SD) with a Discretionary Access Control List (DACL) that contains an Access Control Entry (ACE) for the administrator group's SID.
  3. Call AccessCheck with the token of the current user and the newly constructed SD to detect whether the user is an administrator.
The following sample code uses the functions that are mentioned earlier in this article to test whether the current thread is running as a user who is an administrator on the local computer.

Sample code

#include <windows.h>#include <stdio.h>#include <lmcons.h>BOOL IsCurrentUserLocalAdministrator(void);void main(int argc, char **argv){   if (IsCurrentUserLocalAdministrator())      printf("You are an administrator\n");   else      printf("You are not an administrator\n");}/*--------------------------------------------------------------------------IsCurrentUserLocalAdministrator ()This function checks the token of the calling thread to see if the callerbelongs to the Administrators group.Return Value:   TRUE if the caller is an administrator on the local machine.   Otherwise, FALSE.--------------------------------------------------------------------------*/BOOL IsCurrentUserLocalAdministrator(void){   BOOL   fReturn         = FALSE;   DWORD  dwStatus;   DWORD  dwAccessMask;   DWORD  dwAccessDesired;   DWORD  dwACLSize;   DWORD  dwStructureSize = sizeof(PRIVILEGE_SET);   PACL   pACL            = NULL;   PSID   psidAdmin       = NULL;   HANDLE hToken              = NULL;   HANDLE hImpersonationToken = NULL;   PRIVILEGE_SET   ps;   GENERIC_MAPPING GenericMapping;   PSECURITY_DESCRIPTOR     psdAdmin           = NULL;   SID_IDENTIFIER_AUTHORITY SystemSidAuthority = SECURITY_NT_AUTHORITY;   /*      Determine if the current thread is running as a user that is a member of      the local admins group.  To do this, create a security descriptor that      has a DACL which has an ACE that allows only local aministrators access.      Then, call AccessCheck with the current thread's token and the security      descriptor.  It will say whether the user could access an object if it      had that security descriptor.  Note: you do not need to actually create      the object.  Just checking access against the security descriptor alone      will be sufficient.   */   const DWORD ACCESS_READ  = 1;   const DWORD ACCESS_WRITE = 2;   __try   {      /*         AccessCheck() requires an impersonation token.  We first get a primary         token and then create a duplicate impersonation token.  The         impersonation token is not actually assigned to the thread, but is         used in the call to AccessCheck.  Thus, this function itself never         impersonates, but does use the identity of the thread.  If the thread         was impersonating already, this function uses that impersonation context.      */      if (!OpenThreadToken(GetCurrentThread(), TOKEN_DUPLICATE|TOKEN_QUERY, TRUE, &hToken))      {         if (GetLastError() != ERROR_NO_TOKEN)            __leave;         if (!OpenProcessToken(GetCurrentProcess(), TOKEN_DUPLICATE|TOKEN_QUERY, &hToken))            __leave;      }      if (!DuplicateToken (hToken, SecurityImpersonation, &hImpersonationToken))          __leave;      /*        Create the binary representation of the well-known SID that        represents the local administrators group.  Then create the security        descriptor and DACL with an ACE that allows only local admins access.        After that, perform the access check.  This will determine whether        the current user is a local admin.      */      if (!AllocateAndInitializeSid(&SystemSidAuthority, 2,                                    SECURITY_BUILTIN_DOMAIN_RID,                                    DOMAIN_ALIAS_RID_ADMINS,                                    0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, &psidAdmin))         __leave;      psdAdmin = LocalAlloc(LPTR, SECURITY_DESCRIPTOR_MIN_LENGTH);      if (psdAdmin == NULL)         __leave;      if (!InitializeSecurityDescriptor(psdAdmin, SECURITY_DESCRIPTOR_REVISION))         __leave;      // Compute size needed for the ACL.      dwACLSize = sizeof(ACL) + sizeof(ACCESS_ALLOWED_ACE) +                  GetLengthSid(psidAdmin) - sizeof(DWORD);      pACL = (PACL)LocalAlloc(LPTR, dwACLSize);      if (pACL == NULL)         __leave;      if (!InitializeAcl(pACL, dwACLSize, ACL_REVISION2))         __leave;      dwAccessMask= ACCESS_READ | ACCESS_WRITE;      if (!AddAccessAllowedAce(pACL, ACL_REVISION2, dwAccessMask, psidAdmin))         __leave;      if (!SetSecurityDescriptorDacl(psdAdmin, TRUE, pACL, FALSE))         __leave;      /*         AccessCheck validates a security descriptor somewhat; set the group         and owner so that enough of the security descriptor is filled out to         make AccessCheck happy.      */      SetSecurityDescriptorGroup(psdAdmin, psidAdmin, FALSE);      SetSecurityDescriptorOwner(psdAdmin, psidAdmin, FALSE);      if (!IsValidSecurityDescriptor(psdAdmin))         __leave;      dwAccessDesired = ACCESS_READ;      /*         Initialize GenericMapping structure even though you         do not use generic rights.      */      GenericMapping.GenericRead    = ACCESS_READ;      GenericMapping.GenericWrite   = ACCESS_WRITE;      GenericMapping.GenericExecute = 0;      GenericMapping.GenericAll     = ACCESS_READ | ACCESS_WRITE;      if (!AccessCheck(psdAdmin, hImpersonationToken, dwAccessDesired,                       &GenericMapping, &ps, &dwStructureSize, &dwStatus,                       &fReturn))      {         fReturn = FALSE;         __leave;      }   }   __finally   {      // Clean up.      if (pACL) LocalFree(pACL);      if (psdAdmin) LocalFree(psdAdmin);      if (psidAdmin) FreeSid(psidAdmin);      if (hImpersonationToken) CloseHandle (hImpersonationToken);      if (hToken) CloseHandle (hToken);   }   return fReturn;}

Article ID: 118626 - Last Review: 11/21/2006 15:30:00 - Revision: 4.3

Microsoft Win32 Application Programming Interface

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