Information Security Officer Question:
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Tell us on a Windows network, why is it easier to break into a local account than an AD account?


Windows local accounts have a great deal of baggage tied to them, running back a long long way to keep compatibility for user accounts. If you are a user of passwords longer than 13 characters, you may have seen the message referring to this fact. However, Active Directory accounts have a great deal of security tied onto them, not the least of which is that the system actually doing the authenticating is not the one you are usually sitting at when you are a regular user. Breaking into a Windows system if you have physical access is actually not that difficult at all, as there are quite a few dedicated utilities for just such a purpose, however that is beyond the scope of what we’ll be getting into here.

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