[gptalk] Re: Difficulty applying policies

  • From: "Jakob H. Heidelberg" <jakob@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 11:34:45 +0100



Executives typically have more permissions and rights than other users -
access to the most important company data - so what should you do with them?
Require them to use longer (complex) passwords than everybody else (except
maybe the admins who should have even longer passwords in most cases IMHO)!


I don't think that Granular Password Policies are that tough to handle or
audit - once it's setup it's actually pretty straight forward, but needs
some thought and "initial adjustment" (because of the group thing):



A new article is on the way describing how to implement this "the easy way"
(which could be free third party tools). But, you'll still need the WS2008
native mode as said before.


If you really want multiple password policies in a W2000/2003 domain - I can
recommend SpecOps Password Policy


Side note:  A fingerprint is an ID, not a password. It's too easy to
circumvent a fingerprint these days (Myth Busters?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA4Xx5Noxyo) - I do like the idea of
biometrics, but most of those "solutions" should be in combination with a
good old password. And put a token on top of that. Well, maybe I'm just
getting old and grumpy;-)


Best regards

/Jakob H. Heidelberg


From: gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of Omar Droubi
Sent: 12. januar 2008 02:40
To: gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gptalk] Re: Difficulty applying policies


This is a major issue many companies face:


1st thing I would ask is:


Is your company bound by any regulatory compliance specifications? If so
less complex passwords may violate that.


2nd- your execs need to secure their data and less complex passwords put
that more at risk- but so does a very difficult password that they end up
writing down.


I would work with your execs and the exec assistants to understand how to
meet a strong password that is easy to remember- here are a few examples:


3Golfpro$ -- this has the length- the number, special characters and upper
and lower case.


As far as Fine-Grained password policies- it is very important to note that
this is only available when the domain is running in W2k8 native mode so all
w2k w2k3 domain controllers have to be removed before you can enable that-
2nd- this is something that should be kept under wraps right now as it is
hard to audit and can be a pain to setup.


In the real world what I would recommend for your execs - new laptops with
fingerprint readers built in- this works great for their own PC- also- if a
new machine is not in the budget or they have a desktop or a 2nd machine at
home- the usb connected USB fingerprint readers work great.


And- for all you admins working with vista and user account control- finger
print readers are great as your user account can be your index finger and
your administrator account can be your middle finger- it works like a champ-
if you haven't tried it-pay the 40 bucks and get one to try it out.


My 2 cents hope it helps some,




From: gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gptalk-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of mike kline
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2008 4:58 PM
To: gptalk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gptalk] Re: Difficulty applying policies


Password policies for domain accounts can't be set at the OU level.  That
policy is set at the domain level so your domain level policy is still being


There are some third party tools that may help you out if you want a
different policy.    


Windows 2008 will allow you to use fine-grained passwords so Microsoft did
listen that we wanted this feature.   More info on that here:




On Jan 11, 2008 7:37 PM, Paul Manley <paul.manley@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Simplified Scenario:  Executives can't remember their difficult passwords.
So we are going to let them use smaller non-complex passwords. 

Let us assume that this morning I setup Active Directory on a Windows 2003
server with SP1, but no other updates and created a few users. 
I've installed the Group Policy Management snap-in and created a new Group
Policy Object ( under the Group Policy Objects folder of our domain ) called
"Exec Password Policy". 
I've set the [Computer Configuration]->[Windows Settings]->[Security
Settings]->[Account Policies]->[Password Policies] to be less restrictive in
"Exec Password Policy". 
I create a new Organizational Unit called "Executives" and place the users
in there. 
Now I "Link an Existing GPO..." on my "Executives" OU selecting the
"Executive Password Policy". 

I try to reset one of the Executives passwords, but I am not allowed:
"Windows cannot complete the password change for Fred Executive because:
The password does not meet the password policy requirements.  Check the
minimum password length, password complexity and password history

Those are exactly what I have just turned off.  Perhaps you could point out
the error of my configuration.  I have setup a VM domain this morning to do

 - Paul - 


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