Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Windows account locked when working from a MAC

Your Enterprise Domain Controller is for sure expiring passwords but your MAC is not integrated with it and yet you access several network resources like Exchange and the Shared File System (AKA Common Internet File System or CIFS)

I thought I had found all the entries related to my account from the KeyChain.app and so I told the sysadmin. However today I had a second thought, what about if the KeyChain search is actually not that smart? And indeed. The search will always look at key entries but never inside them.

In my case the sysadmin was seeing the account being locked from "\\workstation" which is not a name defined in any place after all.

Running the below command I was able to find several old entries for Remote Desktop Connections, File System, Exchange, iCal, Address Book and more.
$ security dump-keychain | grep $username
Then I realized I really had too many entries so I started going through them using:
$ security dump-keychain | more
I ended up then verifying I had a lot of old entries with expired passwords (I went back to KeyChain.app and searched for the specific key named "srvr" in the CLI output). Some of those key/attribute/srvr names I found were having interesting Access Control names like "localhost/Address Book", "https/exchange", "IISupport/Mail,Mail,iSync" (note the multiple access control values).

Deleting and later recreating keys on demand sounds like a good option especially if you have migrated from a previous major version of the Operating system. We all know software is ultimately buggy so you never know how the old garbage can actually impact in your newly installed OS. In my case I upgraded from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion. BTW to avoid confusion I am not stating though the upgrade is responsible for the locking as this was happening when I was in Snow Leopard as well.

Other causes

I have found manually created entries in /etc/fstab to a be cause for this issue as well.

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