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Changing Passwords En Masse -- December 7, 2005

Changing Passwords En Masse -- December 7, 2005
Changing Passwords En Masse -- December 7, 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
   - FAQ
   - 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  

in which  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, 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, 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 
administrator passwords."" 

==== Sponsor: Postini ===
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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 
discoveries at 

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. 

==== Resources and Events ===
Web Seminar--Plan and Implement Highly Available Exchange Systems
   Register today: 

Web Seminar--Manage and Reduce Planned Downtime
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SOXCon 2005--December 7, 2005--12:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST
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Microsoft Exchange & Windows Connections 2006
   April 9-12, 2006, Orlando, Florida. Microsoft and Windows IT Pro 
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administrators and IT managers in Windows and Exchange technology. 
Register by January 9 and receive one FREE hotel night at the Walt 
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Web Seminar--Get the Tools, Tips, and Training That You Need to Avoid a 
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==== 3. Security Toolkit ==== 

Security Matters Blog: Chain Reactions of Bad Advice
by Mark Joseph Edwards, 

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, 

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 
plus eight remote sites. All the remote locations connect to the main 
site via T1 circuits and route through the main site's network out to 
the Internet for Web and email. The company doesn't have an in-house 
email server. The forum participant wonders whether anyone can 
recommend an antivirus solution to protect the entire enterprise, which 
includes about 107 employees. Join the discussion at: 

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==== 4. New and Improved === by Renee Munshi, 

Intrusion Detection for 100Mbps Networks
   Arxceo announced a new addition to its line of network security 
appliances, Ally ip100, which provides antireconnaissance and anomaly- 
and behavior-based attack detection and prevention for 100Mbps 
networks. It's designed for perimeter protection and enterprise 
100BaseT segments, such as 802.11a/b/g wireless networks or T1/DS1 
remote offices. Ally ip100 runs on embedded Linux 2.6.11 and provides a 
Web-based interface for administrative tasks. Pop-up alerts are 
provided via SNMP and a Windows-based client application. Ally ip100's 
retail price is $895. For more information, go to 

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you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and 
we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future 
Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with 
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Editor's note: Share Your Security Discoveries and Get $100
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solutions in the Windows IT Security print newsletter's Reader to 
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