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Dec 18, 2018
Dec 18, 2018

Overview

AaronLocker is designed to make the creation and maintenance of robust, strict, application control for AppLocker and Windows Defender Application Control (WDAC) as easy and practical as possible. The entire solution involves a small number of PowerShell scripts. You can easily customize rules for your specific requirements with simple text-file edits. AaronLocker includes scripts that document AppLocker and WDAC policies and capture event data into Excel workbooks that facilitate analysis and policy maintenance.

AaronLocker is designed to restrict program and script execution by non-administrative users. Note that AaronLocker does not try to stop administrative users from running anything they want – and application control solutions cannot meaningfully restrict administrative actions anyway. A determined user with administrative rights can bypass any application control solution.

AaronLocker’s strategy can be summed up as: if a non-admin could have put a program or script onto the computer – i.e., it is in a user-writable directory – don’t allow it to execute unless it has already been specifically allowed by an administrator. This will stop execution if a user is tricked into downloading malware, if an exploitable vulnerability in a program the user is running tries to put malware on the computer, or if a user intentionally tries to download and run unauthorized programs.

AaronLocker works on all supported versions of Windows that can provide AppLocker and is built to support WDAC on Windows 10 version 1903 and above.

Part I of this document is a high-level description of application control concepts, AppLocker, WDAC, and the AaronLocker approach. Part II is the “operations guide” that digs into the details of implementing AaronLocker for your environment.

A personal note from Aaron Margosis (the original creator of AaronLocker): the name “AaronLocker” was Chris (@appcompatguy) Jackson’s idea – not mine – and I resisted it for a long time. I finally gave in because I couldn’t come up with a better name.

Demos

7 minute "Intro to 'AaronLocker'" (circa Feb. 2019): https://youtu.be/nQyODwPR5qo

13 minute "AaronLocker Quick Start" - how to build, customize, and deploy robust and practical AppLocker rules quickly using AaronLocker (circa Feb. 2019): https://youtu.be/E-IrqFtJOKU

Contributing

This project welcomes contributions and suggestions. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit https://cla.microsoft.com.

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact opencode@microsoft.com with any additional questions or comments.

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Robust and practical application control for Windows

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