Why not to bother renaming the administrator account

Why not to bother renaming the administrator account

This tip was submitted to the searchSecurity Tip Exchange by user Ken Robson. Let other users know how useful it is by rating the tip below.

Many people in the NT domain advise changing the administrator account to some other name. This is a total waste of time. Any user can type:-

c:> NET GROUP "Domain Admins" /DOMAIN

to get the new name. The best policy for the administrator account is to use it to create individual accounts for admin users. This would usually be something like "normal account name"-admin. The password for this account should also ideally have a "book password." This means that to construct the password you take a book you will remember, turn to a page number that you will remember, and use the first sentence as your password. Whilst the entropy of such a password is not that high, the key length is high enough to ensure that it will not be easily brute-forced. Once these accounts have been created, the 'normal' administrator account should be set to inactive.

This ensures that you can trace the actions of each administrator independently. The administrators should work in their normal accounts. If they are running Windows 2000, whenever they wish to undertake an administrative task, they should select the tool they wish to run and then shift-right click on the icon, select the run-aa option and type in the administrative account details. In my case ken-admin and my book password.


This was first published in May 2001

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