Authentication - establishing the authenticity of a person or other entity. Not to be confused with authorization - defining access rights to resources.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
2answers
426 views

Is there a way to negotiate a secret between 2 parties with no prior knowledge?

Is there a way for 2 parties to negotiate a shared secret (for example, a session key) without having a pre-shared knowledge? SSL does this by using asymmetric encryption. Is there any other way to ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Preventing online voter fraud

As part of a promotional campaign, my company wants to launch a site where users (and potential users) of our product will be required to register and vote for certain choices. Depending on how ...
6
votes
3answers
977 views

Is there a way to accept signed requests without storing client's password in plaintext?

We are developing REST Web service. We will give Identifier and Secret string to each of our REST clients. When doing requests, clients will authenticate themselves using HMAC algorithm (they will ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I best manage root passwords for many servers?

Lets say I have two racks with about 40 nix servers in them. I don't want to set all of the root user passwords all the same do I? If not how do you manage and keep up with all of the passwords? Is ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

Sharing passwords and credentials between founders and employees

What's the best way to share passwords and credentials from the business's various accounts in a secure manner? For example, email doesn't work because if someone gets into one of your employee's ...
-3
votes
3answers
577 views

Two-factor authentication Without Mobile Phone

Two-factor authentication is based on the notion of “something you know” and “something you have”. Is it absolutely necessary for having your mobile phone involved in two-factor authentication, which ...
10
votes
9answers
1k views

Why do we authenticate by prompting a user to enter both username and password? Does prompting the password only suffice?

I don't know why do we authenticate by prompting the user to enter both username and password. In my mental model, prompting password only suffices. The reason is as follows: Assume there are x ...
4
votes
1answer
486 views

How many authentication factors are there?

The three classes that we all know and love: Something you know. Something you have. Something you are. I've also seen references to "somewhere you are". Is this really a fourth factor? How many ...
41
votes
3answers
43k views

Token-based authentication - Securing the token

I have developed a backend REST API for a mobile app and I am now looking to implement token-based authentication for it to avoid having to prompt the user to login on every run of the app. What I ...
67
votes
5answers
7k views

How can my employer be a man-in-the-middle when I connect to Gmail? [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand SSL/TLS. What follows are a description of a scenario and a few assumptions which I hope you can confirm or refute. Question How can my employer be a man-in-the-middle when ...
63
votes
3answers
18k views

How does Google Authenticator work?

Google Authenticator is an alternative to SMS for 2Step verification, installing an app on Android where the codes will be sent. It works without any connectivity; it even works on plane mode. This ...
28
votes
4answers
25k views

How do I secure my REST API?

In Detail here's the problem: I'm building an Android app, which consumes my REST API on the back-end. I need to build a Registration and Login API to begin with. After googling for a while, I feel ...
50
votes
7answers
6k views

Are passwordless SSH logins more secure?

I had a long discussion with my co-workers whether key-based SSH authentication (particularly for OpenSSH) is more secure than authentication using passwords. My co-workers always connect to servers ...
41
votes
9answers
3k views

Isn't OAuth, OpenID, Facebook Connect, and others crazy from a security standpoint?

I work with APIs all the time and I work with web developers who insist that OAuth, OpenID, etc are far superior than a home-brew method. Every site seems to be using these as well now for ease of use ...
22
votes
4answers
11k views

Demystifying Web Authentication (Stateless Session Cookies)

I'm currently researching user authentication protocols for a website I'm developing. I would like to create an authentication cookie so users can stay logged in between pages. Here is my first ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

If I include a Forgot Password service, then what's the point of using a password?

I've implemented a Forgot Password service in the following way: User goes to login page, clicks on "Forgot password?" User is presented with a form that asks for their email address. Email is sent ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

How to prevent cheating (extra votes) in online contests?

Mitigating Cheating & Voter Fraud in Online Contests… We run online contests of various sorts that involve users voting on entries (usually one vote per user per day). The prizes range from ...
22
votes
4answers
586 views

How does using OpenID affect webapp security?

Using OpenID for authenticating users grows in popularity and, in fact, makes a webapp easier to use. But what are the security considerations one should bear in mind when deciding whether to ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

How to secure a WiFi network?

What do I have to do to secure a WiFi network? Is there any best practices? I have been recommended to use WPA2 encryption on the router, is that enough? What can I do to improve the security even ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Difference between authentication and identification [Crypto and Security perspective]

I am always confused by the way the word authentication is used in security literature (i.e., outside the crypto realm). Most of the time I understand that they are actually implying identification. ...
22
votes
4answers
6k views

How secure is Windows 8's Picture Password login?

The final Windows 8 build has been released to manufacturing. One of the new features of Windows 8 is "Picture Password", where the end user logs on to Windows by clicking a specific pattern on the ...
19
votes
12answers
3k views

Why do we even use passwords / passphrases next to biometrics?

In the last couple of days there were a lot of talking about passwords and passphrases, not only here, but on several blogs and forums I follow (especially after XKCD #936 saw the light of this ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

How to verify that someone is who they say they are online?

I am working on an online job application web app and the question has come up about how we will verify that someone submitting an application is who they say they are. For example, we don't want ...
17
votes
9answers
3k views

Can IP address be a component of 2-factor authentication?

I have a bunch of Linux machines that I wish to administer over the Internet. I currently use SSH keys, but have been advised to use 2-factor authentication. SSH Keys are something you know. Is an IP ...
11
votes
2answers
14k views

How does ssh public key authentication work?

My basic understanding is this: The (connected to) server's sshd uses the public key to encrypt some message The client's ssh or ssh-agent decrypts it and sends something back (the message's ...
14
votes
2answers
786 views

Password and Generated number - How does it work?

In my company, they don't allow accessing the company email or servers from outside the company network. To access the email from outside the network, you have to use: Username, password and a number ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the most common password salting methods?

I learned that the Sun guys used the login name as salt for password hashing. Is this a common approach? What are the most common salt values?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Verify Login and Encrypt with PBKDF2

I'm writing a desktop application where I'm using PBKDF2 to generate an encryption key to AES-128 encrypt the config file. The config file contains a crypo-random key that's been used to encrypt the ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Is denying login after incorrect attempts ineffective?

Generally denying login attempts after X amounts of incorrect attempts for Y amount of tries is a very basic way to prevent bruteforce attempts or malicious login attempts. Yet, surely doing this is ...
27
votes
3answers
871 views

What is this authentication method/approach called?

Background: I want to implement something like this in our websites, and I'm looking for advice and possibly APIs that allow this out of the box rather than re-inventing the wheel, but I can't even ...
17
votes
5answers
69k views

Can someone steal money from my bank account if they know my IBAN and personal details?

To deposit money into your account, some websites require that you provide them with a lot of details about your bank account: name, complete address and IBAN which includes your account number and ...
4
votes
1answer
846 views

Blackberry + RIM Bluetooth-based Smart Card Reader

Has anyone used this Bluetooth based smartcard reader? (scroll to bottom) If so, what are your experiences with it? Can you tell me if it's possible to require only the presence of the card + card ...
37
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the risk if I accidently type my password into a username field (Windows logon)?

I'm used to logging into my personal Mac which is a password-only field (like waking from sleep mode). Sometimes I have to use a Windows network on which I have an account, but of course I have to ...
11
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the difference between authenticity and non-repudiation

I'm new to infosec and doing some reading. Not surprisingly one starting point was wikipedia. In this article, authenticity and non-repudiation are listed as 2 separate 'Basic concepts'. My ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How does an SSL server prove its identity?

This document says that a challenge response authentication proves the servers identity. But is a man in the middle attack still possible if the client does not verify domain name ? Please help me ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Is tokenless (specifically SMS) 2FA a security compromise over OTP tokens?

I've been looking into the various pros/cons of tokenless (particularly SMS based) and traditional token based two-factor authentication (think RSA SecurID). After doing some research, I think I have ...
7
votes
1answer
565 views

Inconsistencies found in OpenID Provider's HTTP Headers. Which one is the most secure that I should imitate in my STS, and Relying Party?

I'm comparing the HTTP headers of the various providers (LiveID, Google, Yahoo, etc) and notice a broad inconsistency in implementation on the sign in page, sign out page, and subsequent pages. ...
3
votes
2answers
672 views

User authentication + database encryption with same password

I'm working on a private project where I need to store a users financial data in a database. I'll encrypt this data using AES, and I'll be using scrypt to generate a AES ecnryption key from a more ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Taking password letters not whole one, is this secure? [duplicate]

I found a site which is taking password letters from their users not the whole password. Is this secure? Or do they have saved password as salted hash (MD5)?
10
votes
1answer
283 views

Is this cross-site password model secure?

I'm looking for a way of securely having passwords for different pages. Say I generate this password: ild23rfsfdfg%*#fArg34t34657%537@asd7oak2094^*q2k2k@Kk3j4tn453Q5# Then, for each site, I change ...
7
votes
3answers
465 views

Does Gmail 2-factor auth increase security on smartphones?

So I have enabled 2-factor authentication on Gmail, which means that if I log in on a new machine, it sends a token to my phone. Now, if I access Gmail from my phone, it seems like I have only one ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

ssh public/private key pair

I am having problems understanding how ssh really works. I know it uses a public key cryptography to encrypt messages. However, I can ssh to a server without first generating a public/private key pair ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Does NIST really recommend PBKDF2 for password hashing?

We hesitated between BCrypt and PBKDF2 for password hashing. In many forums and blogs people say something like "In their Special Publication SP 800-132 NIST basically recommends using PBKDF2 for ...
6
votes
5answers
654 views

Should a closed source website keep a secret key in its source?

Various APIs (such as Facebook or Amazon S3) require a secret key to authenticate access to the service. Obviously, if source code is public, the key should not be in the source! What about for a ...
3
votes
2answers
371 views

Should the Keygen element be used to create a certificate for mutual auth TLS? What alternatives are there?

I'm interested in using mutual auth TLS to improve the security of my javascript based webservices . I've looked at the Keygen element and given all its issues, not sure if this can even be used for ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Why recommend “letters, numbers, and special characters” in a User ID?

Why do some sites recommend "letters, numbers, and special characters" in a username or User ID? When creating a User ID at the www.discovercard.com website, the "User ID Strength" indicator meter ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Dealing with untrusted administrators in a Windows domain

I'm providing consultation to a company, where they have domain-joined Windows workstations. One basic requirement is that they don't want anyone (including the an administrator) to be able to login ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the disadvantages of single sign-on authentication?

We were discussing to implement single on in our web application,right now after analyzing we came to know that the following were the advantages of single sign on authentication. Advantages Users ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Benefits and drawbacks of giving an Administrator two accounts for elevated rights and another for daily use, such as email

Microsoft has long promoted the need to separate administrative accounts from regular use accounts, as shown with this guidance MSFT even went to far as create ADMINSDUser rights to put ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How to protect ftp account information in the source code of a program

I wrote a game which stores high score information on an ftp server. In the the source code I need to write out the ftp link with the account name and password in it. For example: url = new ...