Some systems monitor failed Authentication attempts, and if too many attempts to sign on with a single account are detected, the Account is locked. This mechanism is intended to deter an Intruder, who may attempt to guess the password for one or more Accounts.

Intruder Lockout may also be triggered by users who persistently mistype their own passwords (e.g., with the Caps Lock or Num Lock key depressed).

Intruder Lockouts mean that Authentication to the affected Account is impossible, but the Account has not been intentionally disabled by an administrator.

Most systems differentiate between a locked and Disabled Account.

Return to IT Security Concepts