Sign in

    The Threats and Countermeasures Guide

    The Threats and Countermeasures guide provides you with a reference to all security settings that provide countermeasures for specific threats against current versions of the Microsoft® Windows® operating systems.
    • Version:


      File Name:

      Date Published:


      File Size:

      563 KB

        The Threats and Countermeasures guide provides you with a reference to all security settings that provide countermeasures for specific threats against current versions of the Microsoft Windows operating systems. This guide is a companion to two other Microsoft publications: the Windows Server 2003 Security Guide which is available at, and the Windows XP Security Guide, which is available at Many of the countermeasures that are described in this guide are not intended for specific computer roles in the companion guides, or in some cases for any roles at all.

        The chapters of this guide are structured in a way that approximates how the major sections of settings are displayed in the user interface of the Group Policy Object Editor. Each chapter begins with a brief explanation of what is in the chapter, followed by a list of subsection headers, each of which corresponds to a setting or group of settings. (These settings are listed in the Microsoft Excel workbook that is available in the downloadable version of this guide.) Each subsection provides a brief explanation of what the countermeasure does, and includes the following information:

        • Vulnerability. How an attacker might exploit a feature's configuration.
        • Countermeasure. Explains how to implement the countermeasure.
        • Potential Impact. Explains the possible negative consequences of countermeasure implementation.

        Note: On February 18, 2009, an updated versions of the Windows Server 2003 Securty Guide and the Windows XP Security Guide were released as part of the Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series. Please go to the Security Compliance Management Toolkit Series location on the Microsoft Download Center.

    • Supported Operating System

      Windows Server 2003, Windows XP

        1. Click the Download button at the top of the page to start the download.

        2. Do one of the following:

          • To start the .zip file extraction immediately, click Open or Run this program from its current location. Then specify a location on your computer and extract the files.

          • To save the download to a preferred location on your computer for .zip file extraction at a later time, click Save or Save this program to disk.

          • To cancel the installation, click Cancel.

        3. To install the tools and templates .msi package:

          • Navigate to the extracted folder on your hard drive.

          • To launch the installer, double-click the Tools and Templates .msi file.

          • Review the Microsoft Software License Terms. To accept them and continue, select 'I Agree' and then click Next.

          • Complete the remaining steps to finish the installation.

        4. Find the installed files in your My Documents/Program Files folder or by looking in the Start menu for a shortcut.

    • Additional Information
        Solution Accelerators are free, scenario-based guides and automations designed to help IT Professionals who are proactively planning, deploying, and operating IT systems using Microsoft products and technologies. Solution Accelerator scenarios focus on security and compliance, management and infrastructure, and communication and collaboration.

        Get the Solution Accelerator Notifications Newsletter

        Subscribe to the Solution Accelerator Notifications newsletter so that you can stay informed about new Solution Accelerator releases and updates. The newsletter covers such areas of interest as

        • Communication & Collaboration
        • Security, Data Protection, & Recovery
        • Deployment
        • Operations & Management

        You may also receive invitations to participate in accelerator development via beta programs and customer surveys. Solution Accelerator Notifications is currently available in English only.

        If you’ve used a Solution Accelerator within your organization, please share your experience with us by completing this short survey (less than ten minutes long).