Want to win a PS4? Go Premium and enter to win our High-Tech Treats giveaway. Enter to Win


Reset user account to zero length password

Posted on 2011-03-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-08-13

We had an audit done on our AD infrastructure and the report has come back and has found some users that state that a few users can reset their password to a zero length password. So I had a look on the report and the users are not in the same OU. The domain policy is applying to all OU’s and is set to a minimal of 8 characters.  But somehow these 26 users password can be reset to a blank password. I have double checked the security on two different account and all checks out. Other account in the same OU’s cannot be changed to a blank password. as the domain policy states it has to be 8 and more I am out of answers and the auditors now would like some answers of which I have run out of.

Please advise
Question by:ablsysadmin
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 3
  • 3
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 35199574
It's possible the users in question don't have read permissions on teh GPO that sets the password requirement.  That's worth looking into.

It's also possible the auditors tool is wrong.  Have you tried having one of the users in question actually set their password to nothing?

Author Comment

ID: 35204850
i will have a quick look into the read permissions but all authenticated users have read set?
i set the password on the dc to zero or blank. so the audit tool is picking it up correctly
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 35205636
As an administrator, you're immune (by default) to most GPOs.  So the question isn't "can an administrator assign a zero-length password?" - an administrator can do anything he or she wants.  The question is "can a user create a zero-length password for themselves?"
Has Powershell sent you back into the Stone Age?

If managing Active Directory using Windows Powershell® is making you feel like you stepped back in time, you are not alone.  For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why.


Author Comment

ID: 35205798
The GPO covers the users accounts. i have tested a few and i can not reset the password them to less then 8 as spec in the GPO. but these accounts i can
LVL 34

Accepted Solution

Paul MacDonald earned 2000 total points
ID: 35206286
You might be able to garner some insight by going to a machine where one of these users is logged in and running an RSOP to determine how group policies are being applied.  

Again, it's possible for a user (or group of users or an OU) to be denied read permission to a policy, thereby excluding that policy from applying to them.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35382393

Featured Post

Enroll in October's Free Course of the Month

Do you work with and analyze data? Enroll in October's Course of the Month for 7+ hours of SQL training, allowing you to quickly and efficiently store or retrieve data. It's free for Premium Members, Team Accounts, and Qualified Experts!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Always backup Domain, SYSVOL etc.using processes according to Microsoft Best Practices. This is meant as a disaster recovery process for small environments that did not implement backup processes and did not run a secondary domain controller that ne…
A hard and fast method for reducing Active Directory Administrators members.
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of configuring their Windows Server 2012 domain controller to synchronize its time with a trusted, external resource. Use Google, Bing, or other preferred search engine to locate trusted NTP …
Are you ready to implement Active Directory best practices without reading 300+ pages? You're in luck. In this webinar hosted by Skyport Systems, you gain insight into Microsoft's latest comprehensive guide, with tips on the best and easiest way…
Suggested Courses

597 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question