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In windows, there are service accounts like HOSTNAME\IUSR which are able to run certain processes (IIS in this case). Are these accounts vulnerable to being broken into and starting a remote shell (for instance)?

What is different from these accounts than your average user account? Can you login as a service account? Do you have to be able to login to create a shell?

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Yes you can start a shell with a service account . Can they login all depends on what permissions and checkboxes the admin selected when he created the account so yes again it could've be possible . In many cases I've seen service accounts poorly setup and granted extremely high amount of privileges such as Remote Desktop or local admin or domain admin thus they are highly coveted by attackers so the attacker can laterally move across your network . So protect services accounts by limiting their access and giving them crazy long secure passwords.

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