Credential Helper

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John S. worked with a customer who still owned several Windows 2008/R2 servers. Occassionally during automated management and deployments, these machines threw exceptions because they weren’t configured for remote management. One day, John caught an exception on a SQL box and remoted in to address the problem.

The RDP login process always felt like accessing a portal into the distant past. This time, just after the ancient Windows interface appeared, a Notepad document popped open. John skimmed the so-called Readme.txt file—then read through it again (grammatical errors preserved):

After reboot, please check the sql service is started.

If need the password for sql service account:

$svc.username [theActualEffingPassword]

If need the password for sql agent account:

$svc.agtusername [theActualEffingPassword]

If need the password for dba account:

dbaAcct [theActualEffingPassword]

Someone had set up this helpful logon task to open the file to anyone, absolutely anyone, who logged into the server.

Agape, John quickly regained his composure, finished his work on the remote machine, then killed the logon task. Afterward, he went home to see, in his words, "if [his] toaster wanted to take a bath."

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