[ISN] Changing Passwords En Masse -- December 7, 2005
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Thu Dec 8 10:04:43 EST 2005
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1. In Focus: Changing Passwords En Masse
2. Security News and Features
- Recent Security Vulnerabilities
- Microsoft Restructures Security Solutions Competency
- HP Boosts OpenView with Federated Identities
- Sunbelt Shines New Light into Kerio Personal Firewall
3. Security Toolkit
- Security Matters Blog
- Security Forum Featured Thread
4. New and Improved
- Intrusion Detection for 100Mbps Networks
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==== 1. In Focus: Changing Passwords En Masse
by Mark Joseph Edwards, News Editor, mark at ntsecurity / net
A few weeks ago, I wrote about tools you can use to test password
strength and to recover unknown passwords. If you missed "Password
Cracking Made Easy," you can read it on our Web site.
I want to follow up with a discussion of how to change passwords across
all systems on your network. The most common instance of a password
that you might want to change on any number of systems is the local
Administrator account password. Changing this password regularly is
probably a wise idea because doing so helps prevent unwanted access to
Some administrators don't care what the local Administrator account
password is as long as nonadministrative employees don't know it. These
admins prefer to generate a random password for each system. Other
admins do want to know what the passwords are in case they need them
for whatever reason. In either case, there are plenty of ways to change
passwords across the board.
If you have Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) you could use a
simple, one-line installer program code such as
Execute %SYS32%\net.exe user administrator <password>
in which <password> is the actual password. Another solution is to use
a script, probably written in Visual Basic (VB). Several sample scripts
are available on the Internet.
If you have relatively few systems and can readily create a list of
those systems, you could try using the script posted at Spoogenet, at
the first URL below. Or try the script posted at Sadikhov.com, at the
second URL below. Or use Chwinpw (at the third URL below), a command-
line tool from ITeF!x that can be integrated into a batch file or
If you have Active Directory (AD), you can use AD objects and a script
to gain access to a list of all computers. Such a script can also be
used to change the local Administrator password for all your computers.
Check out the sample script posted at ScriptingAnswers.com, at the URL
below. It's short, simple, and relatively easy to understand if you're
familiar with VB or other programming languages.
If you don't want to use a script and prefer a regular desktop
application to do the work for you, there are probably a large number
of choices, especially for enterprise networks. But if you manage a
relatively small network and want a solution that doesn't carry an
enterprise-class price, you could try Hyena from AMTSoftware
International at the first URL below, which starts at $199. Or you
might try DC PasswordChanger (DCPC), at the second URL below, which is
free from Danish Company.
If none of these solutions fit your needs, you can scour the Internet
for something different. Try using your favorite search engine to look
for phrases such as "change admin passwords," "change local admin
passwords," "admin passwords" + "Active directory," and you'll find
numerous discussions in which people have shared their insights.
But before you do that, you might want to check the Windows IT Pro
Magazine Web site to see what we've published about this topic. Use our
search engine with the above phrases. The link below will take you
directly to the search results for the phrase "change local
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==== 2. Security News and Features ====
Recent Security Vulnerabilities
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you also receive Security
Alerts, which inform you about recently discovered security
vulnerabilities. You can also find information about these
Microsoft Restructures Security Solutions Competency
Microsoft made changes to its Microsoft Partner Program to include
third-party validation of security credentials for Security Solutions
Competency compliance. The company also added two new specializations
to the program.
HP Boosts OpenView with Federated Identities
HP announced that it will buy Trustgenix, maker of identity
federation solutions. Terms of the acquisition weren't announced,
however HP said it will integrate Trustgenix federated identity
solutions into its OpenView management software.
Sunbelt Shines New Light into Kerio Personal Firewall
Kerio Personal Firewall was scheduled for mothballs on December 31.
Then Sunbelt Software stepped in to buy the solution from Kerio
Technologies. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ====
Security Matters Blog: Chain Reactions of Bad Advice
by Mark Joseph Edwards, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=1B514:4FB69
One person creates a script to help secure Windows. Another person
thinks it's a replacement for personal firewalls. Then another person
agrees with him and a chain reaction of very bad advice ensues. Read
all about it in this blog article.
by John Savill, http://list.windowsitpro.com/t?ctl=1B513:4FB69
Q: How can I check the health of my Group Policy Objects (GPOs) in
Windows Server 2003?
Find the answer at
Security Forum: Antivirus Solutions
A forum participant runs a network that consists of the main site
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by Renee Munshi, products at windowsitpro.com
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