Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Password (account) Locks out several times a day

In my many years of working in IT, I have had my fair share of complaints about "my password keeps locking" or "Why does this keep happening?". Various programs cache passwords- and when the users password changes on the domain the applications continue to make (old) bad password attempts.

Please remember just how many things are NT authenticated and you can see how easy it is to forget that something has been left open. Common examples:

  • Any program that automatically reaches out over the Internet on a periodic basis (e.g., Webshots screen saver, Gator, Napster, Morpheus, ICQ, Instant Messaging clients, Offer Companion, Bearshare, GoZilla)
  • Logged onto multiple PC's
  • Logged onto a server and forget to log off
  • Citrix sessions
  • pcAnywhere sessions
  • Terminal Server sessions
  • Outlook sessions
  • VPN'ed into the network or dialed into the network from another location
  • Somebody else was given the password (e.g., secretary) to "help" an important user process his or her email
  • Active OWA (Outlook Web Access) session on someone's desk
  • Scheduled tasks. Look in Control Panel for the "Scheduled Tasks" applet. Scheduled tasks require userid and password.
  • User created scripts to automate tasks.


The IT Group cannot "fix" the user's account from the backend. Somebody (user) needs to locate all systems that the user has logged into and reset those sessions by logging out or restarting the computer. In some cases, a script or scheduled task will have to be modified by the user to account for the user's new password.

1 comment:

JeffM said...

Don't forget Services that are set up to log on as you.