Create Encrypted, UAC-Independent Desktop Shortcuts With EnSC
Just a few days ago, I covered a handy Windows application called ElevatedShortcut that is designed to get rid of UAC prompts for trusted apps while keeping them enabled for all other apps. UAC or User Account Control is a security measure integrated into Windows that keeps untrusted apps from running on your computer without your express permission. Today, we’ve yet another similar app at your disposal called EnSC. You might be wondering what EnSC offers over ElevatedShortcut that makes it worth recommending. The tool’s flagship feature is its ability to also encrypt the shortcut created for running the app with elevated privileges, meaning even if elevation is granted by a user, the selected shortcut still remains safe from prying eyes. Moreover, the tool allows to create such shortcuts from network drives as well.
Although it’s a free app, a Response code is required to make EnSC work. To get this code, copy the alphanumeric Request Code and click the URL next to ‘Free Response Code’ snippet.
The URL will take you to the registration page, where you just have to paste the request code that you previously copied, enter your email and the captcha text, and click ‘Get Response Code’ button.
You will receive the response code via email, which you can then copy and paste into the app. You will also notice a Master Code box in there. This code is basically used to encrypt your shortcuts with 128 bit double protection. Even though users can specify this code according to their liking, the stronger it is, the harder it makes for a hacker to crack, so make sure you choose a strong alphanumerical master code.
Registering the app will present you with EnSC’s main window. Specifying the program path and creating new shortcuts is also fairly simple, once you get the hang of it. All you have to do is manually input the Program Path (the destination directory pointing to your desired application), and click ‘Create Encrypted Shortcut’. You can also click the Test button to check whether the shortcut works as it’s supposed to. The Arguments and RunAs parameters can be employed in case of mapping shortcuts from a network drive. For instance, you can use the following parameters to create the shortcut:
Path: C:\Windows\system32\net.exe Arguments: use x: \\server\share /USER:”username” “password”
You will, of course, require to specify the correct user name and password of your administrator account. Additional examples including complete how-to instructions are also available on the author’s page.
The first shortcut you create using EnSC associates the .ensc extension to the item. To open this file, you need to point EnSC as the target filetype, which can be easily done by selecting the ‘Open With’ action from the context menu.
EnSC is a portable application that works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems are supported.