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This is a strange, yet possibly easy question for many of you to answer but it's driving me crazy that I can't figure it out.

I have two machines on a local LAN on a workgroup. I recently learned that you can use the shutdown command to remotely shutdown a computer if you have the administrator credentials. Being curious I tried to remotely shutdown the PC in the next room over and contrary of what I thought, I was able to shutdown the PC.

Now this confuses me because I should only be allowed to do this if I have administrator credentials of that remote PC; or in the case of a domain, domain admin. At first I thought maybe that if guest account is enabled and is able to shutdown it could facilitate the need of administrator credentials. I checked computer management and local group policy but everything related to guest account is disabled, except for what file sharing enables.

I am also not a member of the Administrator group on that computer so besides the file sharing thing I don't know what could be allowing me this access.

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Note that it is unusual, but entirely possible, to grant the "force shutdown from a remote system" right to non-administrators. –  Harry Johnston Apr 30 '12 at 3:08

1 Answer 1

You might be experiencing Windows Pass-Through Authentication. If your username and password are the same between two local PCs, passthrough authentication logs you right in and performs whatever action you tried without any prompts.

If you are not a local admin on the PC that you are sitting at, however the username and password exists on a remote PC, but that remote user account is a local admin on the remote machine, you will be logged in with the local context on the remote PC and be an administrator on that remote PC.

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