mysql connect error

i faced a strange connect error today when trying to connect to my db from a remote host. The remote host was unable to connect to the db to which it was previously able to connect. The Abort_connects variable kept increasing in count and the only strange thing I could notice is that I am able to make connections from remote host if I empty the password for the user in the mysql.user table, When any kind of password is set mysql just won’t connect. the version i am using is pretty old 4.1.14 so I am not sure if any of you can offer help. If someone can throw some light on this that would be good )

What is error message exactly?