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I'm currently using Windows 8.1 - 64 bits. In my computer, I have 2 accounts, 1 with admin power (used to install programs), and another without admin power (for everyday usage).

There's a certain game called "Ragnarok 2 Online", that to be played properly, I must start Steam and the program with admin rights (tried anything else, but no success).

I already played this game in the past (at that time, I always used an admin account, but now I learned the lesson), so the game is probably safe.

I tested running Steam and the game inside of a Sandbox with admin rights (Sandboxie, because Avast! Sandbox didn't worked out), and it worked out well.

But, I still have some sense of false security because of the "admin rights", so what should I do to prevent any problems caused by running a program with high privileges?

Thank you.

PS: When I said that I'm running something with high privileges, I mean that I'm logged in the normal user (without admin), and just running the necessary programs as an administrator.

  • Steam using networking activity, your concern seems legit to me, however you should definitively check this with Steam support team. Sadly there is not so much we can do for you here (however your question is on his way to be migrated to Super User, maybe there are some other Steam users over there which are also facing the same issue)... – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 20 '16 at 10:43
  • I think this is a legit Security.StackExchange question about the implementation of Windows sandboxing. I'm actually curious about the integrity level at which the program runs. – Steve Dodier-Lazaro Jan 21 '16 at 8:35
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Since you are already running it with Sandboxie, no need to be concerned about "admin rights", that shouldn't be an issue. The program won't write any changes to your hard drive or the windows registry directly, so it is "sandboxed" regardless of having administrator access.

If you'd like to be in greater control of what's going on when you run programs, I recommend trying a HIPS (host intrusion prevention system) plus a good firewall which will ask for your permission before any outgoing internet access and critical behavior (direct access to the disk or keyboard, changes to the registry etc).

  • Well, my fear is that a program may be able to do something really bad in my system, since it have admin rights, even if I'm using a sandbox. Also, Avast! came with HIPS in one of it shields and it also comes with a firewall (it doesn't have that level of critical behavior, but it automatically choose the permissions). – ThatOldPencil Jan 20 '16 at 10:35
  • The test with Sandboxie only shows a subset of the program behavior under normal circumstances. It does not show different behaviors which may be triggered in specific situations, nor does shows what an attacker could do if he finds a way to exploit Steam software and, by this way, directly gains Administrative privilege on your machine. – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 20 '16 at 10:42
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    @WhiteWinterWolf Hmmm, but if in the worst case scenario, that the Steam or the game is exploited to do something with admin privileges, since it's sandboxed, there shouldn't be any problem, right? – ThatOldPencil Jan 20 '16 at 10:47
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    @ThatOldPencil: Indeed, I understood the Sandboxie part as a test to check actual activity of the Steam software on your machine. If you plan to really use it that way, it would require the attacker to escape Sandboxie to access the rest of your system which is quite unlikely unless you are some high value target ;). So it should indeed be pretty safe. – WhiteWinterWolf Jan 20 '16 at 10:52

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