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I am developing an application for a customer in WPF. I need a 3rd party software to run next to my application, that locks down windows, so that users can't exit the program using any key combinations such as Alt-F4, Ctrl-Shift-Esc, Ctrl-Alt-Del, etc. Except the admin who knows (probably a key combination as well as) a password to do so.

Any suggestions what that 3rd party software could be?

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You can't install any software in Windows that messes with Windows commands like that. –  user3463 Jun 3 '11 at 3:22
    
You can block pretty much everything except Ctrl-Alt-Delete, which for security reasons you can't block. –  Mehrdad Jun 3 '11 at 3:26

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since you say you are developing software, perhaps check out dWinlock.

dWinlock is an easy to use toolkit which allows software developers to limit the access to Windows 32 bit systems like: 7, Vista, XP, 2k, NT, Me, 98 by disabling a variety of key combinations (e.g. Ctrl+Alt+Del) and by hiding or replacing elements of the Windows desktop (check table below with a short function overview).

Programming languages that can be used with dWinlock include: Delphi, C/C++, .Net (C#, VB#, ...), Visual Basic, ...

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This is an amazing piece of software, thanks. –  David Weng Jun 3 '11 at 8:34

You could implement your own handling of requests to close the program so that it ignores them, this is not terribly complicated. It's important to understand, though, that ctrl+alt+del is incontrovertible by design. It is a security feature of the operating system that this key sequence (sometimes referred to as the break sequence, as it is the modern equivalent of the now largely ignored Break key) is intercepted by the operating system before it reaches applications.

This prevents a malicious application taking complete control of your computer or pretending to be your operating system. For example, Windows can be (and should be) configured to require that you press the break sequence before logging in. A malicious program pretending to be the login prompt in order to get your password could not respond to this sequence, so it would become clear to a vigilant user that the login prompt is not real when the task manager appears.

I have seen a computerized testing system (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge System, looks like an in-house job) that implements a novel solution to preventing users accessing a web browser - when it reads that ctrl and alt have been pressed together, it suspends testing and requires that a proctor "verify" the workstation. By only monitoring for the modifier keys, it doesn't need to detect the whole combination. You might be able to implement a similar system that prevents a breach of security via escaping without actually preventing escaping. Keep in mind that this could have unintentional consequences, though - for example, some users use ctrl+alt+(number) to change keyboard layouts.

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Disclaimer: I have ZERO financial or personal interest in this software. I just love it for this purpose.

I swear by a product called Fortres 101. Read some of the other testimonials here: http://www.fortresgrand.com/testimonials.htm

Read what these high school students say about getting around it: http://fileforum.betanews.com/review.php/977586459/1/view?sortby=rating

While you cannot stop them from hitting CTRL+ALT+DEL, if you turn off logging off, shutting down, and restarting, the only option available that is not grayed out is the Task Manager, but it doesn't work...it just brings them back to the desktop. In other words, with your application running, they can get to one thing, but there is no where to go from there...the only option brings them back to your program.

Try downloading it as a 30-day full demo. It is very easy to set up. Just install it, and then go to the "Log-off and Shutdown Options" and decide if you want to disable: Log off, Shutdown Computer, and Restart Computer (I don't know why these are not included in the base install lock down). From there, any non-administrative user is locked down tight (also consider disabling floppies and USB's under "File & Registry Settings"). You can also lock down administrators by "Apply Security Restrictions to Administrators" in the "Basic Settings". Click File>Save on the way out to save your settings.

It is relatively cheap too.

http://www.fortresgrand.com/products/f101/f101.htm

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We use a third party app called Inteset Secure Lockdown. It works on all versions of Windows 7. Basically, it lets you run a single instance of an application when Windows starts and does not give any other access to Windows functionality.

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