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No Service Password Recovery - It is not the end of the world


Having a chat with some people and this came up in conversation, "no service password recovery" and people seemed to be taking it quite literally. e.g. if you forget your password the devices it is dead and needs to go back to Cisco, not being a security guy I though ok, but it was bothering me. So a quick lookup on cisco


In fact what this feature does is prevent you from getting access to the startup configuration, you can recover the device to FACTORY DEFAULT - the config has gone. Of course will have a backup of the config so it should be no big deal to switch this feature on every device, assuming the device supports it.


Take Note of the comments : "

Before deploying this feature, TEST the password recovery. Some platforms (based on ROMMON version) are EXTREMELY hard to recover.


Thanks Ivan



  1. Before deploying this feature, TEST the password recovery. Some platforms (based on ROMMON version) are EXTREMELY hard to recover.

  2. Yep, we like to use this feature when deploying equipment into semi-trusted or untrusted environments. Gear residing at a vendor/partner's site, small ASAs/routers deployed to employee's homes for EasyVPN, etc. If someone wants to get clever and crack the device for fun, or it gets stolen, they will get nothing useful.

    Good post to clarify the feature!


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