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Windows 7: Execute program as another user remotely?

22 Jun 2015   #1

CentOS 6.6
Execute program as another user remotely?


I am starting to believe this isn't possible, but I figured I would ask.

I got a standard user, Alice. She is logged in and she is using Thunderbird. Great.

I log in to her system remotely with PSEXEC with my admin user, STEVE.

As Steve, I can kill Alice's Thunderbird with: TASKKILL /F /IM Thunderbird.exe


How do I go about starting it again on Alice's screen using my STEVE user? I don't want to add any startup scripts. I don't want to add any "next time you log on it, this will happen" stuff. I just want to be able to execute it remotely and poof like magic it appears on Alice's screen just as easily as I killed it.

This needs to happen without knowledge of Alice's password. I've tried RUNAS which has got to be the most useless tool ever created as it requires the admin to know the account of the other user. I also don't believe RUNAS will make the program run in another users session.

Thanks for any help/suggestions

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #2

Windows 7 32 bit

It seems like a security breach to run a program as another user without knowing the user's password. Otherwise Jill could run a browser to porn sites on Jack's account and get Jack fired.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #3

CentOS 6.6

Not attacking your comment, but if that was the thought process behind it, then that makes no sense.

What's stopping Jill from just resetting/removing Jacks password (since he is an Admin) and just doing the same thing?

An Admin should have complete rights on the system. Shouldn't be burdened by passwords when he has the ability to remove/reset passwords.

Anyway, yeah the more I read up on this the more I realize it's not possible.

Funny you can terminate something on someones desktop (with no password), but you can't relaunch something to someone elses desktop.


Thanks, see ya.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Jun 2015   #4

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

A missing/reset/changed password should not go unnoticed by the user.

As to your question: there should be no way to start a process as another user without knowing that user's credentials. That is pretty much the point of credentials. Of course there is a way to kill a process without the credentials that started it (e.g TASKKILL). Doing that does not cause the same security issue (e.g. the process is not doing unauthorized stuff). Pulling the power cord on a computer terminates every processes without knowing the credentials that started them.

Alice should be made aware that apps were terminated.

STEVE should be concerned about data loss when using the "/F" switch.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

I don't believe what you want is possible, and that being by design. An administrator can access the files of another user because there is a real need for this. But running a program as another user requires that you know their login credentials, even if you are an admin. An administrator can change the password of any account but as there is no way to see the existing password there is no way to change it back. This action cannot be hidden from the other user.

There are some things such as this that may seem like a good idea and might occasionally be useful but due to the security implications are not permitted.

Process Hacker can I believe run a program in a different users session but it will run under your account and profile. I have not done this.

Edit: Process Hacker can only do this on the local machine, not remotely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2015   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

You can perhaps use a software like Dameware (Remote Access Software ? Remote Desktop Tools | DameWare).

I used it many years ago when it was called Dameware Tools (iirc). You will have to see if it will do what you want though. It used to be able to remote control clients transparent to the user. I remember having to confront one other admin who was spying some users. So please use with moderation.

Well there is the 15day free trial, should be enough to experiment. Pricing is a bit steep though (210Euros+).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Execute program as another user remotely?

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