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Automated password change in Netware 4.11

Posted on 1998-10-29
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Last Modified: 2008-03-03
Since a few weeks I am a network administrator.
I would like to enhance security by automatically changing the user passwords twice a year.
Since we have over 100 users, I don't have the time to manually change each user's password.
So what I need is a simple way to change passwords (maybe a simple program that uses a
database file with user account and new password ?)
I tried to use the Winbatch language from WilsonWare, but
I have to supply the old password before I can issue a new one !

I know that , when logged in as supervisor or admin, you don't need to use the old password to enter
a new one, but I don't want to change all passwords manually. I want  this done automatically !!!
Storing the passwords in a file is not a hole in security, because the file is protected by netware
security !!

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Question by:ErwinGeeroms
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8 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:ErwinGeeroms
ID: 1593956
Edited text of question
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:joe_h
ID: 1593957
First, having new passwords in a file is a HUGE security hole. I would suggest setting a password expiration time together with a minimum length allowed. Don't forget to add intruder lockout (good idea is to lock out the account for 1 minute after one or two bad attempts - makes brute force crackers unusable), packet signing, and don't allow unencrypted passwords.

If you still want to set passwords your way, I would suggest writing a small application using the Netware API that will do the job for you.

I don't know anything about WilsonWare; however, you can change users' passwords WITHOUT typing in the old ones, IF you are logged in as admin or supervisor.

HTH, joe

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Author Comment

by:ErwinGeeroms
ID: 1593958
Edited text of question
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Author Comment

by:ErwinGeeroms
ID: 1593959
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:htam
ID: 1593960
In my network all people have to change her password each month. In the NDS you can chek a case how said Force Periodic Change Password and you can choice each year or each month ...
For a lot of people, create a group, assign all people at the group and change this parameter in the group


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Expert Comment

by:joe_h
ID: 1593961
First, having passwords in a file IS a security hole, since the Netware security is not bulletproof - you can accidentally leave your workstation or server unattended, or perhaps there is one unhonest person on your box who knows a little more about Netware. And, it is a ten times bigger disaster if someone has all the passwords, instead of having just one or two.

Second, to your question - as I said above, it should not be too hard to write a utility that would change passwords. Details about Netware calls can be found e.g. in the Ralph Brown's Interrupt List, another good idea might be getting the Netware SDK (available from Novell free of charge.) - further details depend on which version of netware are you using, what compilers do you have available (Pascal? C, C++?), etc.

Joe

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Expert Comment

by:brosenb0
ID: 1593962
It's a fairly strange requirement you have, which is most likely the reason why no one has suggested a commercial/shareware utility that will do the job.  If you really must go ahead with it, you may find it easier to use Novell's ActiveX components with VB.  The learning curve for the NetWare C/C++ SDK is fairly steep and it will take you a while to come up to speed.  Just learning all the Novell typedefs is a huge task.  If you're not fluent in C then forget it.  It might be an idea to encrypt your password database.  ActiveX components available from developer.novell.com.
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Accepted Solution

by:
saar2 earned 100 total points
ID: 1593963
Nobody didn't tell you, so in case you need some help...

First, I assume you have 4.11 Netware (3.12 is a security hole - it has no security)

To make all users change their passwords immidiatly (filename pass.ctl):
Run NWADMIN
Select all the users (or select a group)
Select Details on multipal users
Then make the changes you need (password  expiration time together with a mnimum length allowed).

To change all the users passwords  automaticly:

Create a text file which contains these lines (filename pass.dat):

Import Control
  Import Mode = U
Fields
  Name,Password


Then create another text file contains these lines:

<Login_Name#1>,<New_Password#1>
<Login_Name#2>,<New_Password#2>
<Login_Name#3>,<New_Password$3>
<Login_Name#4>,<New_Password$4>

ETC.


*You may use unlimited number of users.

Then log as ADMIN and run the command:

Uimport Pass.ctl Pass.dat


Now each user has a new password.


It would take no time to create a program which create random new passoword.

HTH,
Saar Carmi

saar@bigfoot.com
ICQ#: 3233305
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