18.8.7.2 Ensure 'Prevent device metadata retrieval from the Internet' is set to 'Enabled'

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Information

This policy setting allows you to prevent Windows from retrieving device metadata from the Internet.

The recommended state for this setting is: Enabled.

Note: This will not prevent the installation of basic hardware drivers, but does prevent associated 3rd-party utility software from automatically being installed under the context of the SYSTEM account.

Rationale:

Installation of software should be conducted by an authorized system administrator and not a standard user. Allowing automatic 3rd-party software installations under the context of the SYSTEM account has potential for allowing unauthorized access via backdoors or installation software bugs.

Impact:

Standard users without administrator privileges will not be able to install associated 3rd-party utility software for peripheral devices. This may limit the use of advanced features of those devices unless/until an administrator installs the associated utility software for the device.

Solution

To establish the recommended configuration via GP, set the following UI path to Enabled:

Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Device Installation\Prevent device metadata retrieval from the Internet

Note: This Group Policy path is provided by the Group Policy template DeviceInstallation.admx/adml that is included with the Microsoft Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2 Administrative Templates, or with the Group Policy template DeviceSetup.admx/adml that is included with the Microsoft Windows 8.0 & Server 2012 (non-R2) Administrative Templates (or newer).

Default Value:

Disabled. (The setting in the Device Installation Settings dialog box controls whether Windows retrieves device metadata from the Internet.)