Tip series

Cracking passwords: Eight tips in eight minutes

The ability to crack passwords is a useful skill for any network admin, whether it's to test the strength of their own passwords or to circumvent security when an end user forgets their code. Learn some valuable password cracking skills with these eight tips.

Security expert Kevin Beaver stresses the importance of acquiring this skill. "Although there are serious accountabilities and responsibilities associated with password cracking," says Beaver, "network admins who take their jobs seriously will understand the importance of knowing why, when, and how to do it."

How to Bypass BIOS Passwords
BIOS passwords can be a liability if a user forgets his password. Here are a few tips and tricks that can help to bypass or reset the BIOS password on most systems.

Cracking network passwords
Like it or not, passwords are a big part of your security and weak passwords can be a gapping security hole. Weed out these weaknesses by cracking your own network passwords.

How to crack a password
Brien Posey describes two techniques used to crack your Windows passwords and offers several defenses against attack.

Building better password policies
Learn ways to tweak your Windows password policy to make passwords more user-friendly and more secure.

Windows password management myths
If you ask a roomful of people what they think it takes to create and enforce strong passwords, you're likely to get a roomful of answers. Be aware of these common misconceptions.

Checklist: Key control settings to harden password authentication
In part two of her password hardening series, Roberta Bragg details configuration changes to make in Windows Server 2003, 2000 and legacy systems to harden password authentication.

Create secure passwords you don't have to remember
Most strong passwords are impossible to remember. A new online application generates secure passwords that do not have to be committed to memory.

Password hardening journal
One oft-forgotten element of a secure organization is password security. Check out our Windows security journal to find out how to secure your organization at this level.

This was first published in February 2007

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