Who is this unknown user account?

Question

IN WINDOWS XP I CLICKED ON THE SYSTEM AND WENT INTO THE USER PROFILE. i AM THE ONLY ONE WHO USES THIS MACHINE. I NOTICED THAT BESIDES MY ACCOUNT THERE IS AN UNKNOWN ACCOUNT NEXT TO MINE. HOW DID THAT GET IN? DID A HACKER DO IT? DO I JUST DELETE IT AND THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO DO? IS THERE MORE THINGS I SHOULD DO. I HAVE ANTI VIRUS, FIREWALL AND SPYWARE.

Answer

This question was answered on November 18, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Whats the name of the account?? You can go into "Settings", "Control Panel", and click on "User Accounts" Try deleting the unknown account then run your Anti-Virus and make sure it's not a virus.

There is also a user account that appears on Windows XP called ASP.NET If this is your case then read the following:

What is this new user account for? What created it?

The aspnet_wp or ASP.NET Machine Account is created when the Microsoft .Net Framework 1.1 is installed onto a Windows XP computer The user is created to run the asp.net worker process used in Microsoft's Internet Information Services, which allows ASP.net to run on your local web server (This is pretty much its only use, it is not used to run normal .net managed executables) There is not a need to worry about this user's presence; it was not created in malicious way

ASP.net is a programming framework built on the common language runtime (Microsoft .net framework) which can be used on a server to build powerful Web applications For more information on ASP.net see here

Why does it need another User Account?

Another user account is created for the ASP Net Worker Process (Aspnet_wp.exe) so that it is not running with administrator privileges This helps to increase security because if there was a breach the worker process is running as a lowly restricted user rather than having administrator privileges on the local machine The big complaint with there being another user created is that when it is created it will prevent auto logon had there previously only been one user on the computer.

This can easily be corrected on the first version of the .Net Framework v1.1 by downloading the following registry file which fixes the problem by adding ASPNET to the special accounts list To do this manually rather than using my file, go to Start > Run and type in regedit Then create a new DWORD called ASPNET under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\SpecialAccounts\UserList There is also another manual method which can correct this issue by having the user specify which account should be used for automatic logon (see here for details)

In September 2004 Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for version 1.1 of the .Net Framework, the automatic logon issue was corrected along with further security enhancements, and full support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 To download Service Pack 1 for the framework click here (10.2Mb Download)

Can I delete it?

You can remove this account, but it is vital if you do asp.net development work on your machine

By removing the account you may find your ASP.net projects will no longer function correctly

It is possible to recreate the user by issuing the following command from the run dialog (changing the framework version number as appropriate)

%sytemroot%\Mcrosoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\aspnet_regiis.exe /i

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Author

Posted by Henry of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on November 18, 2004