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Windows 7: Sharing the "C" drive on a Home network


14 May 2013   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
Sharing the "C" drive on a Home network

I have always been under the impression that it is not a good idea to share the entire "C" drive of a PC on a home network. I have always understood it to be a security risk but would be pleased to hear what the security experts think. Any contribution gratefully received!

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14 May 2013   #2

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

To me, it would depend on who has access to your network & how secure it is.
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14 May 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

I'm no expert by far, but I would not share the root of a drive unless it is a detachable USB flash drive. I have chosen a few folders to share over my home network. If it's wired it should be fairly secure but with wireless you'll want to use WPA2-PSK with AES encryption. I don't know what all the letters mean, but 2xg has assured me it is the most secure way.
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14 May 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I think the very same, it's not a good idea to share the whole C drive. It's a way to follow the principle of least privilege (Principle of least privilege - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which basically states that you should ideally have and give the bare minimum permissions to run some program, and nothing else. Users rarely, if ever, need access to the whole drive (what an user does in someone's else Windows\System folder anyway?). Typically, network accesses are for data copy and maybe to run some remote program, but nothing more.

I personally have a few shares, one containing a backup of installers for people to share (read-only), the typical familiar photos and such, again read-only, and a temp folder where I and other drop things for sharing (read-write for everyone, very public). In my work, I also have a folder with older versions of the code and binaries from the program we develop. Nothing else in my computer need to be shared, and if it happens to need something else, I just copy the relevant files to my "Temp" and point people there.

It also may serve as a form of abstraction. People from outside know that I have a "temp" folder, but they don't know (or care really) if it's physically in my personal folder, in the C root, inside the recycle bin or in a pendrive. It's just shared so who needs it can easily reach it.

Security-wise, it helps too in having a strict permission control, rather than opening to anything outside. A virus in someone's else machine may use those shares to spread without my knowledge. Or someone might attempt to hack my computer too.
BTW, Windows by default has a serious security flaw, as it shares automagically, and without asking the user, every drive (whole drives) as hidden shares (C$, D$, .....) for "administrative purposes". Those can be disabled, but almost every system I came across had them enabled, letting anyone with a user/password full system access over the network.
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14 May 2013   #5

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I'm no security expert.

My first thoughts are; why would someone want to do this?
What is this someone trying to accomplish?
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16 May 2013   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Many thanks to all who have contributed. I think the general concensus can be summed up by "There is little point in doing it and there could be certain security risks in so doing. So best advice is unless you have a very specific reason for sharing the C Drive, don't!"

Thanks again!
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16 May 2013   #7

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mitchell65 View Post
Many thanks to all who have contributed. I think the general concensus can be summed up by "There is little point in doing it and there could be certain security risks in so doing. So best advice is unless you have a very specific reason for sharing the C Drive, don't!"

Thanks again!
I used to share files on my Desktop but this required it to run 24/7. I now use SkyDrive where all my files are compressed (zipped) + password protected before including them, using 7Zip.
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 Sharing the "C" drive on a Home network




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