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Domain password hashes in SAM

Posted on 2012-09-04
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How can/why do domain hashes end up in the SAM file on 2-3 server domain controllers? I thought they were supposed to only be in  NTDS.DIT database? Our security admins have a responsibility to audit power user (domain admins/enterprise admins) password strength once per every 6 months, and afaik they use a password hash dump utility on the SAM file, but how do you know how up to date the SAM file is? I.e. could they be auditing passwords that are 2 years old - I suppose understanding the reason why the domain hashes end up in the SAM file would be a good start.
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Question by:pma111
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Krzysztof Pytko earned 2000 total points
ID: 38362963
This is by default enabled (cache user profile). When users logs on its profile is cached. When no network connection is available, user is able to logon in offline mode with cached profile.

If you wish, you may change that in group policy to disallow caching profiles
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755473%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

Regards,
Krzysztof
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by:pma111
ID: 38362971
So all in all the hashes they use in SAM will be the most recent?
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by:Krzysztof Pytko
ID: 38362982
Yes, that's mostly available the latest user password which was used during logon

Krzysztof
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