By default, RSA Cleartrust provides options to lock accounts after five consecutive failed authentication attempts within one day. Likewise, the system can unlock users after a specified amount of time or provides an option to have the administrator of the system unlock the users.

The above configuration setting seems to be a foolproof one and one wouldn’t see anything wrong here. This was until I stumbled upon a specific configuration setting in one application. There, the development team had done the below configuration for account lock out.

“Lock accounts after 3 consecutive failed attempts within 2 minutes”. => This I didn’t even know was possible. At a glance it looks even more promising that this setting can catch a robot early. But wait, if I am a malicious insider or a person known to victim, I can use this feature to abuse the system every 3 minutes and finally capture the password. I don’t have to be a robot to get this out.

I told the AD team my thoughts and they removed this interval option from their setting. What are your thoughts?