Microsoft has been touting Windows Vista as the most secure Windows ever. Backing up that claim, Microsoft has included a number of new security features in the operating system. These new features are designed to address some of the common vectors by which previous versions of Windows have fallen to anonymous miscreants and other criminals.
One such new feature in Windows Vista is known as Windows Service Hardening. In older versions of Windows, services did not necessarily run with the least possible privileges. In fact, Windows services often ran under accounts with very high level of access, such as the LocalSystem account. Further, users are often not aware of the services running on their systems, and do not realize that there are services that are safe to disable. Finally, services and user applications ran in the same space, which could result in inappropriate access. As a result of services running with privileges that did not match necessity and services running that users did not require, Windows desktops were left more vulnerable to attack.