Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Microsoft tightens Windows security

Microsoft has added a new additional locking system that will benefit all versions of Windows. The Redmond company has set itself the goal of minimizing the attack surface used by malicious actors to breach Windows systems.

Windows Security: Automatically Block Brute Force Attacks

Microsoft has added a new locking system which allows administrators to Automatically block brute force attacks. This new Windows security policy blocks attacks targeting local administrator accounts via Group Policy. This one is enabled by default on the latest versions of Windows 11.

The same applies to all Windows systems that have the October 2022 cumulative updates installed. To complete locking the administrator account, Microsoft now requires complex passwords for local administrator accounts.

Earlier this year, Microsoft already automatically blocked Office macros in downloaded documents. The company also implemented multi-factor authentication (MFA) in Azure AD. All this for that purpose gradually reduce the attack surface.

Understanding Brute Force Attacks

The basic premise of a brute force attack is quite simple. A hacker uses trial and error to guess the target’s password and gain unauthorized access to a system.

To perform a brute force attack, hackers have a username and a list containing millions of passwords. They have to go through them one by one until they find the right one.

A successful brute force attack opens the door to all kinds of criminal activity. If the attack targets a website, hackers can deploy malicious ads, collect activity data, or redirect users to malicious pages.

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Assuming hackers gain access to a personal computer, they can install malware on it or steal files. They can also hijack the system for other malicious activities, e.g. use it for DDoS attacks.

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