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Windows 11: Account Lockout Policy Set Against Brute Force Attacks

The effectiveness of brute force attacks is considerably reduced by restricting the amount of password entry tries.
Brute force exploits are injected into ransomware and other sorts of unauthorized access since they typically rely on automated methods to test a massive amount of passwords for one or more user accounts. 

Beginning with Insider Preview version 22528.1000, Windows 11 automatically mitigates such exploits by capping the number of unsuccessful sign-in attempts at 10, for a period of 10 minutes.

"In order to reduce RDP and other brute force password vectors, DEFAULT account lockout policy is now enabled in Win11 builds. The command will make brute forcing more tricky, which is decent. This technique is frequently used in Human Operated Ransomware and other attacks," stated David Weston, vice president of OS and enterprise security at Microsoft.

Setting Lockout Policy

By establishing a threshold of between 1 and 999 failed sign-in attempts that would cause a user account to be locked, IT security professionals already had the option of preventing brute force attacks using the account lockout policy.

The Account lockout threshold policy enables configuring the maximum number of unsuccessful sign-in attempts before a user account is locked. Once locked, an account cannot be used again until the administrator unlocks it or until the time period provided by the Account lockout duration policy setting has passed. 

It suggested restricting the account lockout time to no more than 15 minutes and setting the account lockout threshold to a high enough number to cater to users mistakenly mistyping their passwords.

However, the reset account lockout countdown will eventually run out, giving the user three more opportunities if they wait and try to log in again the following day, effectively making it appear as though there have been no failed logins.

The effectiveness of brute force attacks is considerably reduced by restricting the amount of password entry tries, but Microsoft warns that threat actors could abuse this security feature to perform denial-of-service (DoS) attacks by locking multiple user accounts in an enterprise.


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