My wife just told me that earlier today she received a prompt on her laptop to change her password, and complied with the request. Her laptop is running a vanilla install of Windows 7, 64-bit. All of the system settings should be at defaults.

I've used several Windows 7 machines, and do not recall ever being prompted by the OS to change my password. So my first thought is that it sounds like a virus or malware app has scammed her out of her password (both her old one, and the new one that she changed it to). However, it seemed prudent to ask; is this something that Windows 7 actually does? Legitimately?

The prompt to change passwords supposedly originated from the system tray, although whatever icon requested the change no longer appears there. And apparently what happened is that after the prompt was acknowledged, the laptop went to the standard Windows 7 login screen, and prompted for the old account password and a new one.

If this isn't a legitimate feature of Windows 7, is there a known virus/malware app that attempts to steal passwords by triggering a bogus prompt in the system tray?

  • This sure sounds like a virus to me. Do a virus check. – Xavierjazz Feb 16 '15 at 15:31

This is a thing on Windows Servers, but i've never heard of it on a client machine.

Probably do a virus scan, change your passwords, etc.

  • This isn't really an answer to the question. Helpful suggestions that are not a definitive solution should be posted as a comment, which requires a little more rep. – fixer1234 Mar 14 '15 at 1:00
  • Yeah, I had to post as an answer because my rep is too low D: – Mitch Mar 17 '15 at 2:30

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