| By Mark Joseph Edwards |
If someone can gain physical access to your computer, they can easily “own” it by either stealing it or breaking into it to access your data.
This week, I show you how easily an intruder can reset any Windows password — and how you can protect your data if someone gets his hands on your system.
How hackers set Windows passwords with ease
There’s a maxim in the computer security world that states: If someone can physically access your computer, for all intents and purposes it’s not your computer any more. This means that it’s nearly impossible to physically secure a system if someone else can get free rein of it.
If someone can touch your computer, they can break into your computer. This reality can certainly be used against you; however, it can also be used to your advantage.
There are many cases when you might genuinely need to break into one of your own PCs. For example, you might have forgotten your administrator password, or the password become unavailable to you when a disgruntled employee left your company.
There’s a relatively simple way that anyone can quickly reset Windows’ administrator password. This technique is a much faster way to get into your data than using a password-cracking tool to try to figure out what the current password is.
Anyone can reset the administrator password
Petter Nordahl-Hagen’s Offline NT Password and Registry Editor is a handy tool to have. It lets you reset Windows passwords and edit the Registry on any system that you can boot from a CD or a floppy disk. Don’t let the “NT” part of the name fool you — the utility works on any version of Windows NT, 2000, XP, Server 2003, and Vista.