Find User Passwords in Windows2000 Server Environment

Tags:
Hardware
Microsoft Windows
Networking
Servers
I am a Systems Administrator of a Corporate Company in India. Actually i wanted to Know the Passwords of all the users in my Domain. Previously I used to Brute Force the SAM Database to find Passwords. But it takes a very long time. Is there any other tool which when given the Administrator Password of the Domain Gives all the Passwords of the Users in the Domain? I want this for Security Purposes. Note i don't want to reset the Password each time. I wnat to know the Password of the user.

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As a SA for years, I don’t see any “security” reason to reveal user’s password without permission from user. If you want to avoid user using simple password then enforce security policy from W2K.

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  • Rjournitz574
    I agree with the prior post. I myself have been a System/Network/Security Admin for over 30 years and I must question why you need to know the passwords of your users. As a Security Admin your question raises a major red-flag as to your purposes? I may be able to see your point with Windows NT but with 2000 and above there is no reason, which I can think of, to know your users passwords. As mentioned before, if your concern is the passwords your users have are to simple or not being used at all then set your domain policies to harden the requirements. RWJ
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  • Amitrajit
    My first reaction was whichever company you work for, anybody and everybody should stay miles away from it. Let me know the name of the company so that I can warn the workers. Please don't misuse the trust of the employees. If you are so concerned about password security, ask users to reset their passwords and implement password strength checkers.
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  • Howard2nd
    I will make it 3. The network / Systems Administrator does NOT need nor should you want to know all the passwords for your users. When you are logged in as network admin you have universal access (the only exception is 'profiles' on a 2k domain and you can seize ownership of those files if neccessary). If you know the passwords of your users then all their actions on the network become refutable - "The admin did it, he knows my password!" Security is a process of policies and best practices. The foremost policy is 'least' privilege to do the job. When logged in as a regular user (you do have multiple accounts?) then you are not supposed to know anybody else's password. When logged in as administrator you don't need to know anybody else's password. If you know of a legitimate reason to violate this practice and 'know' all the users passwords, please share it with us. FOR THE HACKERS READING THIS THREAD - YES BRUTE FORCE DOES TAKE A LONG TIME - IT IS SUPPOSE TO. BY DEFINITION A GOOD PASSWORD IS NOT EASILY CRACKED. By the way, you have secured access to the 'SAM' database from outside forces?
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  • DaisyPatch
    It's really easy! Just email your users and ask them to tell you what their passwords are. That way, all actions are documented, and there is a good papertrail.
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  • Donw001
    I know the question was about Windows2000, but what about PC workstations running XP-PRO. We have a machine where a user established a password to login that was different than the domain password and also different for a screen saver. User left and now we need access to some of the files on that PC. Short of reloading the OS, how do any of you handle this problem in your environments. Thanks.
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  • PGHruby
    If users leave, you have access to their files through any admin priveleged account. If you do not have the admin password of a workstation, it can be reset using open source tools or the hard drive can be removed and mounted on another system. If EFS is used, hopefully you have password recovery in place - I have not found a tool that will decrypt EFS.
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