Important Feature Change: Password change with GPO’s no longer possible KB2962486/KB2928120/KB2961899 – Part 1

The security bulletin MS14-025 describes that the functionality to store passwords is removed from Group Policy Objects. This is important, if you have installed this update on the machines where you edit your group policy objects. This will be only the first blog about this topic, because various customers of us are currently searching for solutions.

Part 1 – Background Information (This Post)

Part 2 – Solution Overview and installing netECM:MiniWebservice

Part 3 – Creating ConfigMgr Settings Item

Part 4 – Retrieve the passwords with PowerShell

Background

The following Group Policy Preferences will no longer allow user names and passwords to be saved:

  • Drive Maps
  • Local Users and Groups
  • Scheduled Tasks
  • Services
  • Data Sources

This will affect the behavior of any existing Group Policy Objects (GPOs) in your environment that rely on passwords that are contained in these preferences. It will also prevent creating new Group Policy Preferences by using this functionality.

Important are these changes:

  • Password fields in all affected preferences are disabled. Administrators cannot create new preferences by using these password fields.
  • The username field is disabled in some preferences.
  • Existing preferences that contain a password cannot be updated. They can only be deleted or disabled, as appropriate for the specific preference.
  • The behavior for Delete and Disable actions have not changed for the preferences.
  • When an administrator opens any preference that contains the CPassword attribute, the administrator receives the following warning dialog box to inform him or her of the recent deprecation. Attempts to save changes to new or existing preferences that require the CPassword attribute will trigger the same dialog box. Only Delete and Disable actions will not trigger warning dialog boxes.

(Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2962486/en-us)

This means you should search for a new way to set passwords on computers for various objects.

Solutions

worst-passwordsMicrosoft provides some basic scripts to set passwords with remote PowerShell, but these approaches always need the clients to be online. I will try to figure out some better solutions the next few weeks.

There are also various tools available on the market, but I like to do it with free resources and/or built-in functions of ConfigMgr and Windows.

If you already have solutions to manage local user passwords without GPO’s, share your solution on Twitter with @netECM. Thank you!!!

Thomas Kurth

Thomas Kurth

I’m a consultant, trainer and architect formodern workplace and enterprise mobility projects with Microsoft Technologies in the past eight years. I love to push and design the modern workplace based on Windows 10, EM&S and O365 for my customers which is the only answer for the current security threats, agile world and the fast-changing business requirements of my customers. Important for me is to simplify and automate the operational processes, because there are the highest costs.
Enterprise Adminstrator ExpertMCTCMCE

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