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Windows 7: Security Prompts for Internet Shortcuts (in Favorites Folder)

14 Sep 2016   #1
XLR8TX

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Security Prompts for Internet Shortcuts (in Favorites Folder)

Hello. When I use IE 11 (I also use chrome) I like to open the favorites folder. I find it easier to search, modify titles and access web pages from there. Today, when I clicked on any of the shortcuts, I got this prompt:

File Download - Security Warning

Do you want to open this file?

Unkown File Type

"While files from the internet can be useful, this file type can potentially harm your computer. If you do not trust the source, do not open this software."


All of the files in the folder are internet shortcuts (.url) so why does the prompt say "Unkown File Type".

I changed the default program association for .url files from Internet Browser to IE and even then I still had to change the default program to IE in the folder menu for the shortcuts to open without a security prompt. However, now all of the original web page icons have been replaced with a generic IE icon.

I just want to know what caused this. I recently installed the windows updates for September. Could that be the cause?

Thanks in advance for any help or info.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Sep 2016   #2
XLR8TX

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Anyone?

I understand that my issue is not as important compared to others but I would like to resolve this problem.

Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #3
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Moving the affected files off to a non-NTFS partition and back again tends to resolve this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Sep 2016   #4
XLR8TX

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Question

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
Moving the affected files off to a non-NTFS partition and back again tends to resolve this.
Thanks for your time.

If I moved the folder to a exFAT or FAT32 flash drive then back, would that maybe work?

Also, why do you think this happened?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #5
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by XLR8TX View Post
If I moved the folder to a exFAT or FAT32 flash drive then back, would that maybe work?
Yes, the whole folder if you must. Just move the data onto a file system that doesn’t support ADS or Integrity Labels.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by XLR8TX View Post
Also, why do you think this happened?
I haven’t personally found this as a problematic issue and so I haven’t yet put myself through the trouble of figuring out exactly why and when this occurs. Just know that this behaviour is very common and it relatives to the fact that IE runs as an untrusted program and so the files it creates will be so too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2016   #6
XLR8TX

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Thanks again for your time.

I'll try that.

I've had this computer for over 5 years and have never encountered this problem before. It just struck me as odd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2016   #7
Anak

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1
 
 

That's a good suggestion there Pyprohly, I'm not sure I would of thought of that. Strange though that IE would throw a file download warning when opening URL shortcuts.

There are two at the top of this search that offer some insight. In the first Nocturnal YL's second answer about copying not moving the favorites folder is like Pyprohly's tip but nocturnal says its only temporary. You may have to try Will Bosacker's solution in the first because I'm not sure you would want to reduce your security level by making that one setting in advance options enabled, as shown in the second link: IE would throw a file download warning when opening a URL shortcuts.

I'm not having a problem with it either, XLR, have you been keeping up with the large (for me 52MB average) monthly IE updates, have you had any problems doing any updates? IE hasn't been the same ever since the SSL security mess a couple of years ago.

Related:
Mandatory Integrity Control
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2016   #8
XLR8TX

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
Moving the affected files off to a non-NTFS partition and back again tends to resolve this.
Well I finally had some Some to tinker with my laptop. Unfortunately your suggestion did not work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2016   #9
XLR8TX

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Anak View Post
That's a good suggestion there Pyprohly, I'm not sure I would of thought of that. Strange though that IE would throw a file download warning when opening URL shortcuts.

There are two at the top of this search that offer some insight. In the first Nocturnal YL's second answer about copying not moving the favorites folder is like Pyprohly's tip but nocturnal says its only temporary. You may have to try Will Bosacker's solution in the first because I'm not sure you would want to reduce your security level by making that one setting in advance options enabled, as shown in the second link: IE would throw a file download warning when opening a URL shortcuts.

I'm not having a problem with it either, XLR, have you been keeping up with the large (for me 52MB average) monthly IE updates, have you had any problems doing any updates? IE hasn't been the same ever since the SSL security mess a couple of years ago.

Related:
Mandatory Integrity Control
Anak, thanks for the info and links. It is much appreciated.

I'll have some time to try that stuff this weekend.

I have been keeping up with updates and have not had any problems with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2016   #10
Pyprohly

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by XLR8TX View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Pyprohly View Post
Moving the affected files off to a non-NTFS partition and back again tends to resolve this.
Well I finally had some Some to tinker with my laptop. Unfortunately your suggestion did not work.
I know why. I seem to have missed a small detail. Sorry for wasting your time. I should provide more insight into what’s going on here…

We are dealing with the Integrity Label-ed case of security prompts, clearly.

When a shortcut (.lnk) or .url file has a Low Mandatory Integrity Label, Windows will prompt consent from the user when the shortcut is invoked—as already observed.

Because only NTFS supports these Integrity Labels on files, naturally, moving those files off to a non-NTFS file system will strip the file’s Integrity Label and it will not return even if the file is moved back. This was the basis of logic behind my initial suggestion.

But as it turns out, none of the shortcuts in the Favorites folder themselves actually carry a Integrity Label. What’s happening is, they are inheriting a Low Mandatory Integrity Label from the Favorites folder. Because IE runs with low integrity, the files associated with it will also be of low integrity, and therefore if IE is to write these files to the Favorites folder the Favorites folder must also bear a Low Mandatory Integrity Label.

Running the command (which applies an explicit Medium Mandatory Integrity Label to an item)
Code:
icacls "C:\path\to\file.lnk" /setintegritylevel m
on a shortcut will override any inherited Integrity Level setting, effectively ridding any security prompt from that shortcut for good. However, I usually advise against this because explicitly set Integrity Levels are difficult to remove once they are applied.

Also, changing or removing the propagating Low Mandatory Integrity Label from the Favorites folder in order to rid all of the shortcuts’ security prompts is a bad idea. In doing so, IE may have trouble writing to this location.


XLR8TX, the security prompt you see is ordinary behaviour and I recommend you don’t try and change it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Security Prompts for Internet Shortcuts (in Favorites Folder)




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