WithSecure Elements DataGuard blocks Anaconda Python writing to certain folders

Hello everyone

My University uses WithSecure Elements as part of the security software installed on all computers. This has led to a rather tricky problem: Python installed using Anaconda or Miniconda could not write to e.g. the user Document folder. Python installed from the Microsoft Store did not have this limitation, but processes running in WSL2 did.

Some investigation has revealed that WithSecure Elements had a feature called DataGuard that stops “suspicious applications” from writing to a certain blocklist of folders. The user Documents folder was part of that blocklist and removing it from the blocklist allowed Anaconda Python to write to the Documents folder.

I have no idea why WithSecure Elements classifies Anaconda Python as “suspicious” and have reported the problem to their support portal, but also wanted to let the Anaconda community know about this.

Peter