Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Password issues

  1. #1

    Password issues


    Windows 8 installed very nicely for me (triple boot: Windows 7; Ubuntu 11.10; Windows 8). Since this is a home computer, I used a simple six-character password. Things seemed to be going well. I installed Office, got mail working, etc.

    Then I left the machine unattended for a couple of hours. It apparently went into a sleep mode. My password stopped working. I rebooted with no luck. Finally, I changed the password, but the system would not allow me to use a simple password. After several trials, I found one that works.

    What are the restrictions on passwords? (These should be prominently stated somewhere.)

    Why did the installer accept a simple one, but the installed system will not? Why did the system "kill" my password?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,851
    8250 x86 + 7 SP1 x86 + Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86


    Are you networked with the other computers in your home by Domain? There are group policy settings that affect this.

    Anyhow, simple six figure character no matter where you are is not good. You're talking seconds, if that, to hack that password and gain root access to first your pc, and then all the others on your network. (You're much better off actually blanking the password out and not using it, if you're not sharing on your network.)

    Then if you're lucky, the hackers just wanted your bandwidth for ftp/xdcc warez serving galore lol. And the event logs will be clean.
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  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by GMan View Post
    Are you networked with the other computers in your home by Domain? There are group policy settings that affect this.
    But it's strange that the simple password worked until my Windows 8 (apparently) went into sleep mode.

    Anyhow, simple six figure character no matter where you are is not good. You're talking seconds, if that, to hack that password and gain root access to first your pc, and then all the others on your network. (You're much better off actually blanking the password out and not using it, if you're not sharing on your network.)
    My router's firewall rules block access from outside. I just tried ShieldsUP! (don't know how good this is) and they reported that my computer is unknown to the outside world. So I don't understand why a simple password on my local machines would be a problem, since people cannot get through my router.

    BTW, I'm not trying to argue here. If I'm missing something, I would very much like to learn about it.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 1,851
    8250 x86 + 7 SP1 x86 + Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86


    Quote Originally Posted by GMan View Post
    Are you networked with the other computers in your home by Domain? There are group policy settings that affect this.
    Quote Originally Posted by rplantz View Post
    But it's strange that the simple password worked until my Windows 8 (apparently) went into sleep mode.
    Not sure why you didn't answer heh heh, but if there's a domain, it could have changed settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by GMan View Post
    Anyhow, simple six figure character no matter where you are is not good. You're talking seconds, if that, to hack that password and gain root access to first your pc, and then all the others on your network. (You're much better off actually blanking the password out and not using it, if you're not sharing on your network.)
    Quote Originally Posted by rplantz View Post
    My router's firewall rules block access from outside. I just tried ShieldsUP! (don't know how good this is) and they reported that my computer is unknown to the outside world. So I don't understand why a simple password on my local machines would be a problem, since people cannot get through my router.


    BTW, I'm not trying to argue here. If I'm missing something, I would very much like to learn about it.
    In security with computers, there is a concept known as layering. No need to have a weak link in an otherwise strong chain. If someone is crafty enough, does enough research on your particular router, is skilled enough to do a man-in-the-middle (a.k.a. monkey-in-the-middle) attack on it and a list of things as long as my arm, cause a buffer overflow attack, or social engineer you, and that's not counting malware that could do all sorts of things like open ports - there exists possibility of success in gaining access.

    Now I'm not trying to make you paranoid because the risk is low to be specifically targeted (but broad scanners do a hell of a job too, on the other hand), especially if you're just the average home user, but setting an excellent Windows password negates a large portion of any risk.

    What seems to be your personal issue with doing so? If it's actually typing it: Instead, type netplwiz in the start menu then press enter. You can set it so you don't have to type the password when Windows boots to desktop.
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  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by GMan View Post
    Now I'm not trying to make you paranoid because the risk is low to be specifically targeted (but broad scanners do a hell of a job too, on the other hand), especially if you're just the average home user, but setting an excellent Windows password negates a large portion of any risk.
    I usually attend the CS Colloquia at the university where I used to teach. Many of the talks are on computer security. I have plenty of paranoia. After some of the talks I'm about ready to become a hermit.

    What seems to be your personal issue with doing so? If it's actually typing it: Instead, type netplwiz in the start menu then press enter. You can set it so you don't have to type the password when Windows boots to desktop.
    Thanks for telling me about netplwiz. I'm relatively new at Windows, so I don't know many of these things.

    My personal issue is that I would like to know why Windows 8 made this change on me. My simple password has been working for years on Mac OSX, several distros of Linux, Vista, and Windows 7. It also worked on Windows 8, until I let the system go into (apparently) sleep mode one day. So I'm not complaining, just trying to learn about Windows 8.

    I also think it would be better if Windows 8 would tell me the restrictions on passwords when it forces me to choose a new one, especially since it forced me to change in the first place. It's a little like a spouse/partner giving you the silent treatment but not telling you the reason.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 1,851
    8250 x86 + 7 SP1 x86 + Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86


    Is there a domain controller on your network at all?
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  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by GMan View Post
    Is there a domain controller on your network at all?
    I'm not a networking expert, but I do not have a central server on my network. All my machines are connected through my router. My ISP gave me a fixed IP address, and my router uses NAT to provide local IP addresses to each of my computers. Several connections are wired. I have secured my wireless with WPA2 and a 16-charcter passphrase. Also, I'm about 100 yards from the nearest road, so it's not very likely that someone sitting in a car on my road would be able to connect to my wireless. I also shut everything down overnight and when I'm not at home.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 993
    Windows 8 pro Retail


    Just curious. DID you CHANGE the DEFAULT password of the router, or leave it the way it came?
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  9. #9


    Posts : 828
    Windows 7 x64 Ultimate/Windows 8.1/Linux


    I think it's highly unlikely Windows changed your password, unless it was forced by a malware agent or it was via some corruption when entering/leaving 'sleep'. It's also strange that you've had problems with setting passwords with minimal complexity. This latter you can check:

    1. Open Control panel
    2. Select Administrative Tools
    3. Select Local Security Policy
    4. In the left pane, under Security Settings, select Account Policies/Password Policy
    5. In the right pane look at 'Password must meet complexity requirements' it should be disabled by default.

    One question, when you created your account, did you use a local account or a Live ID?
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  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lonewolf View Post
    Just curious. DID you CHANGE the DEFAULT password of the router, or leave it the way it came?
    Changing the password was my first action on the router.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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