Adjusting Token Privileges in PowerShell

Fri, Sep 24, 2010 3-minute read

One thing you sometimes run into when it comes to some management tasks is the concept of ‘Token Privileges’. Now these aren’t just privileges that Windows gives you to make you feel better - those are Token Compliments. Token Privileges are aspects of the things your user account can do, but you often don’t need that power enabled by default. For example, anybody can restart a computer, but windows doesn’t enable that privilege by default:

PS:112 > whoami /priv


Privilege Name                Description                          State
============================= ==================================== ========
SeShutdownPrivilege           Shut down the system                 Disabled
SeChangeNotifyPrivilege       Bypass traverse checking             Enabled
SeUndockPrivilege             Remove computer from docking station Disabled
SeIncreaseWorkingSetPrivilege Increase a process working set       Disabled

When you try to run a command without a privilege enabled, you’ll usually get an ‘Access is Denied’ error. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do it – just that you need to enable the privilege before doing it. However, if you’ve found this post, you probably know all of this :) PowerShell doesn’t ship a cmdlet to adjust token privileges by default, but Add-Type makes it very reasonable. Here is Set-TokenPrivilege.ps1 in all its glory:

param(    ## The privilege to adjust. This set is taken from

        "SeAssignPrimaryTokenPrivilege", "SeAuditPrivilege", "SeBackupPrivilege",
        "SeChangeNotifyPrivilege", "SeCreateGlobalPrivilege", "SeCreatePagefilePrivilege",
        "SeCreatePermanentPrivilege", "SeCreateSymbolicLinkPrivilege", "SeCreateTokenPrivilege",
        "SeDebugPrivilege", "SeEnableDelegationPrivilege", "SeImpersonatePrivilege", "SeIncreaseBasePriorityPrivilege",
        "SeIncreaseQuotaPrivilege", "SeIncreaseWorkingSetPrivilege", "SeLoadDriverPrivilege",
        "SeLockMemoryPrivilege", "SeMachineAccountPrivilege", "SeManageVolumePrivilege",
        "SeProfileSingleProcessPrivilege", "SeRelabelPrivilege", "SeRemoteShutdownPrivilege",
        "SeRestorePrivilege", "SeSecurityPrivilege", "SeShutdownPrivilege", "SeSyncAgentPrivilege",
        "SeSystemEnvironmentPrivilege", "SeSystemProfilePrivilege", "SeSystemtimePrivilege",
        "SeTakeOwnershipPrivilege", "SeTcbPrivilege", "SeTimeZonePrivilege", "SeTrustedCredManAccessPrivilege",
        "SeUndockPrivilege", "SeUnsolicitedInputPrivilege")]

    ## The process on which to adjust the privilege. Defaults to the current process.
    $ProcessId = $pid,

    ## Switch to disable the privilege, rather than enable it.
    [Switch] $Disable

## Taken from P/Invoke.NET with minor adjustments.
$definition = @'
using System;

using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
public class AdjPriv
    [DllImport("advapi32.dll", ExactSpelling = true, SetLastError = true)]
    internal static extern bool AdjustTokenPrivileges(IntPtr htok, bool disall,
        ref TokPriv1Luid newst, int len, IntPtr prev, IntPtr relen);

    [DllImport("advapi32.dll", ExactSpelling = true, SetLastError = true)]
    internal static extern bool OpenProcessToken(IntPtr h, int acc, ref IntPtr phtok);

    [DllImport("advapi32.dll", SetLastError = true)]
    internal static extern bool LookupPrivilegeValue(string host, string name, ref long pluid);

    [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Sequential, Pack = 1)]
    internal struct TokPriv1Luid
        public int Count;
        public long Luid;
        public int Attr;

    internal const int SE_PRIVILEGE_ENABLED = 0x00000002;
    internal const int SE_PRIVILEGE_DISABLED = 0x00000000;
    internal const int TOKEN_QUERY = 0x00000008;
    internal const int TOKEN_ADJUST_PRIVILEGES = 0x00000020;

    public static bool EnablePrivilege(long processHandle, string privilege, bool disable)
        bool retVal;
        TokPriv1Luid tp;
        IntPtr hproc = new IntPtr(processHandle);
        IntPtr htok = IntPtr.Zero;
        retVal = OpenProcessToken(hproc, TOKEN_ADJUST_PRIVILEGES | TOKEN_QUERY, ref htok);
        tp.Count = 1;
        tp.Luid = 0;

            tp.Attr = SE_PRIVILEGE_DISABLED;
            tp.Attr = SE_PRIVILEGE_ENABLED;

        retVal = LookupPrivilegeValue(null, privilege, ref tp.Luid);
        retVal = AdjustTokenPrivileges(htok, false, ref tp, 0, IntPtr.Zero, IntPtr.Zero);
        return retVal;

$processHandle = (Get-Process -id $ProcessId).Handle
$type = Add-Type $definition -PassThru
$type[0]::EnablePrivilege($processHandle, $Privilege, $Disable)