Changing Your AD Password Through Cisco ACS

Carole Warner Reece

I thought I would share a quick tip: When you have Cisco Access Control Server (ACS) integrated with Microsoft Active Directory (AD), you can use an SSH session to a Cisco device to update your AD password.

ACS Configuration

You need to set the End User Authentication Settings for AD in ACS to Enable Password Change.

Changing Your AD Password Through ACS

Simple Process to Use

When you are first prompted for your AD password by a Cisco device, press the Return key. You will see a prompt for your old password, and then two prompts for your new password.

If you enter a new password twice, the session should look something like this:

~ cwr$ ssh -l creece
Enter old password:
Enter new password:
Enter new password confirmation:


This process also seems to work with Telnet, if your device allows Telnet access:

~ cwr$ telnet
Connected to sw-01-dist
Escape character is '^]'.

username: Kerberos: No default realm defined for Kerberos!

Enter old password:

Enter new password:

Enter new password confirmation:


Note: I typically recommend that you do not allow Telnet access.

Compliant Passwords Required

Note that ACS is really tied in with the AD rules – if you try a non-compliant password (such as too short or too recent previous password or other AD password issue), the password change attempt will fail. If you look on ACS, you will see why:

24411 Change password against Active Directory failed since user has a non-compliant password


I sometimes find this process helpful so I can update my AD password without logging into an AD domain device.

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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


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Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


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