Apr242013

Resolve "Access is Denied" using PSExec with a Local Admin Account

Upon trying to enable remote command execution using PSExec, I ran into an issue trying to login with a local administrator account on my remote server: Access is denied.

Access is denied. Not what I wanted to see...

Apparently, if you have an account that's a local Administrator, Remote UAC will block them from being able to do things like remote execution.

A quick way to test if this might be your issue:

  1. Access the server via filesharing (\\YOURSERVER\C$); you should be able to login with your credentials.
  2. Access the server via filesharing, but this time go to the admin share (\\YOURSERVERNAME\ADMIN$); this should fail. This is what we need to fix.

To get around this, you can make a registry change:

  1. Open RegEdit on your remote server
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  3. Add a new DWORD value called LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
  4. Set its value to 1
  5. Reboot your remove server
  6. Try running PSExec again from your local server

You should be able to execute remote commands.

Solution found via Admin Arsenal Support: Can't access the ADMIN$ using a local user account.