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

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2
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1answer
381 views

Authentication for a batch script

It seems amazing that there is no industry accepted best practice for this problem yet (or maybe just one I'm not aware of): What is the most secure way for a batch script, a program needing to ...
12
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7answers
24k views

Can my email account be accessed without the password? How secure is it?

Can my email account be accessed without the password, and how secure is email if I store my personal documents on it? And how come Yahoo Mail asks me to tell them my friends and folders names to ...
3
votes
4answers
962 views

Can we prevent a man-in-the-middle attack with symmetric-key cryptography?

Suppose that Alice signs the message M = "I love security" and then encrypts it with Bob's public key before sending it to Bob. As well known, Bob can decrypt this to obtain the signed message and ...
8
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
539 views

intrusion detection on own hotspot?

Is it possible to detect failed logins on the hotspots you create with your windows/linux laptops? So you can detect some dumb brute force/guessing attempts? For example, a log like this: TIME DATA - ...
5
votes
4answers
359 views

Voting System, is there a hole here?

I had this idea a few years ago and improved it today as I notice a hole or two. I believe I have the system down right but If there was a hole the first time there may be a hole this time. I believe ...
5
votes
2answers
187 views

What are the risk tradeoffs of all-in-one “smart” IDs vs. using a separate hardware authenticator?

In many organizations these days, employee IDs are very mutli-functional. They can serve as: Visual identitiy verification. (Including employee photo, name, ID number, and other details on the ...
2
votes
3answers
231 views

Emerging Standards for file transfer and integrity check?

What are the emerging standards for file transfers (including online transactions)? How about for file integrity checks?
5
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1answer
1k views

Is this admin area secure enough? V2

This is a response to my previous question, Is this admin area secure enough?. There were some very helpful answers there, for which I am very grateful. So I went back to the drawing board and here ...
4
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3answers
455 views

Is this admin area secure enough?

EDIT: Please view the revised question instead The admin area has special access to the database (modifying orders, etc). To help explain, I drew a diagram, so here is my process: Notes: I ...
2
votes
2answers
367 views

Why superuser or administrator account should never locked?

Why should administrator or superuser account never locked regardless how many incorrect login attempts are made? What should be done instead to alert the staff to the attempted instrusion?
3
votes
1answer
450 views

Cookie based session variables

I have a situation in which I cannot use a server-side session, but must allow users to log in, and for their logged in state to be persistent between queries. As with anything that involves crypto ...
1
vote
2answers
239 views

X509 mutual authentication: is there a security flaw?

On the client side, my application accepts the server's certificate in case of the client certificate being signed by this server cert. Is this correct or may it be dangerous? Is it better to ask a ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

Authentication methods without trusting 3rd parties unless explicitly indicated

The plan is to have a situation in which no third parties have to be trusted unless you explicitly indicate so. For example CA's are only used when the contact explicitly added the CA as a trusted ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Viable way to authenticate certificate without a web of trust?

For SSL certificates we have a web-of-trust principle. If we are allowed to make alterations to the certificate format, are there viable ways to automatically or semi-automatically authenticate the ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Full disk encryption and multi-factor authentication

All serious full disk encryption schemes I have looked into use a static password for authentication. For example, TrueCrypt supports two-factor authentication with keyfiles, but not for system ...
2
votes
1answer
786 views

Implementing 2-step verification via email for web apps?

I was thinking of applying 2-step verification to my web apps that will work similarly to Gmail's SMS/voice 2-step verification, except my web app will just email the verification code each time a ...
1
vote
1answer
388 views

How can a SAML Relying Party redirect to one of two IDPs?

We need to support the following Authentication flows User 1 logs into Salesforce using Salesforce Credentials User 2 logs into Salesforce using Arcot +Ping + Siteminder credentials User 2 logs into ...
6
votes
4answers
10k views

Secure use of psexec or better alternative to it

I want to remotely start VMWare virtual machines (I own VMWare Workstation) and to this end I need to execute on host something like "vmrun -T ws H:\VMWare\VM1\VM1.vmx nogui" with user desktop ...
4
votes
5answers
890 views

Do any organizations use Smart Cards other than the military?

The military's Common Access Card (CAC) seems legit. Do other companies/organizations employ their use? If not, why? UPDATE What are the pros/cons of smart cards, compared to other methods?
1
vote
1answer
228 views

Device authentication mechanism

I am doing a project that needs device authentication with a gateway. What are some of the best ways of doing that ? Whether a certificate based mechanism is feasible in this case ?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is leaving the root user enabled in Mac OS X a security risk?

To those unfamiliar, the Mac OSX has the root account disabled by default. In order to enable the root user you have to go deep into System Preferences and authenticate yourself with an administrator ...
15
votes
3answers
22k views

What is single sign on versus federated login?

What is the difference between Federated Login and Single Sign On authentication methods?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

HMAC/PBKDF2 vs Simple hashing algorithm for web service authentication?

We are in the process of creating a web service and have been investigating ways of securing it. In reality, the service is likely to get very little traffic and the data is likely to be of little use ...
1
vote
2answers
698 views

Appropriate strategy for preventing brute forcing of logins?

I am currently building security into a website. So far, I have the following rules, and am wondering if this seems sufficient. 5 failed login attempts for a particular username will cause that ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

Hybrid key management doing it wrong?

I'm currently working on a project that needs be as secure as possible key-management. My experience with encryption, decryption and key-management are none whatsoever so i did some research on the ...
3
votes
2answers
500 views

What algorithms can be used for device pairing?

I am to implement a system where android devices connect to a central server and have to register with different user accounts, so I have decided to create a pairing dance similar to what can be ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Securing communication

The problem: I have an open-source client (a Firefox add-on written in JavaScript) and a server containing somewhat sensible user information: username and user history (all from YouTube). The client ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is DIGEST-MD5 secure if done over HTTPS?

If the DIGEST-MD5 negotiation is done over an HTTPS connection instead of HTTP, does that prevent this list of disadvantages from Wikipedia?: Digest access authentication is intended as a security ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the potential vulnerabilities in a SAML-based SSO approach?

What level of access would an attacker need to obtain to compromise a SAML-based SSO system? Would stealing the private key used to sign SAML requests be enough? What if an attacker had root on the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Are Three attempts to block login a good idea?

In the company that I work there is a security rule: If you enter your password 3 times wrong, your login will be blocked! Then I have to go to mainframe program and re-register my new password. ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What are some good ways to verify user identity for password resets?

I'm wondering how others verify the identity of users they're resetting passwords for. We currently try to speak to a manager at work, but it frustrates end users and seems like we don't trust them. ...
14
votes
3answers
730 views

What can I do if my bank thinks my date of birth is “known only to me”?

My bank has recently replaced passwords with occasionally asking me information that is "known only to me". Such information includes my date of birth, postcode, and my mother’s maiden name. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How secure is TOTP key on phones?

Our company is considering several options in moving to MFA with software OATH TOTP or yubikey OATH OTP. In regards to where the secret is stored, I'm aware that a yubikey or similar hardware device ...
1
vote
1answer
542 views

Multiple security layers for SOA REST intranet services

For intranet applications that already leverage Active Directory, is there any point or benefit to adding a second layer of security such as OAuth when accessing SOA REST services? We're new to SOA ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

How to use OAuth with Active Directory

I'm creating a REST WCF service and want to use OAuth to authenticate each user's request. The user accounts are stored in Active Directory so I have access to their AD login name on the client ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any reason to show the same message for invalid username as password?

I've seen a security question/requirement that a website login return the same error message for invalid password as for non-existent user. The idea being that this it makes it impossible to discover ...
12
votes
7answers
7k views

Forgotten password or reset link, which is more secure to email?

I originally posted this as a reply here in this thread but didn't get much feedback on it, and now I'm curious as to what others think is the best approach, or if there is any difference between the ...
7
votes
5answers
609 views

Should a user have the ability to be logged in from multiple locations at the same time?

In the past, I've always used a single session per user setup, but I'm working on a project now where a user can be signed in from multiple locations/browsers at the same time. What are the security ...
2
votes
1answer
212 views

How to estimate the number of entropy bits & search space of a signature system like passtouch?

Apologies if I'm using the wrong lexicon, I'm just reading up about password systems out of interest. After seeing the xkcd strip on passphrases and coming across the passtouch system (youtube demo) ...
6
votes
2answers
479 views

What are the shortcomings of the following bank transaction authentication scheme?

Here in Germany, authentication of transactions in online banking (beyond the basic log-in password which is and has always been needed as well) has evolved from a list of one-time passwords which are ...
1
vote
0answers
317 views

Any suggestion for a good readerless smart card (security token) solution? [closed]

I'm developing a small CRM application that will have to store some sensitive data and I would like to (optionally) supply my users with the possibility to use a readerless smart card (aka "security ...
3
votes
2answers
255 views

RDP - Same login sufficient?

I just authorized remote access to my Windows 7 machine (not using NLA, since I run a mainly Linux network). I diabled Remote Assistance. My user (JoeBlow) is protected with password 123456 and ...
1
vote
2answers
232 views

Why the servers stores hashed password instead of relaying on private/public key

I understand why the SSL client certificates are not widely used (need to install them, problems with shared machines etc.). On the other hand when I log into the server the password is send to it and ...
33
votes
8answers
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

How does bidirectional authentication using SSL work?

Let's say Alice wants to use a webservice on Bob. Bob is on bob.in.wonderland.com Alice opens a connections to bob.in.wonderland.com:443. Taken by DNS magic rabbit, Alice arrives on port 443 at ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

How will security need to be changed if P=NP?

If we suppose that it is found that P=NP, how will security measures need to be changed? I'd like to know the major security measures that are affected, and how they would need to be changed. We can ...
2
votes
2answers
442 views

Is it secure to have one salt or generate and send it over the air?

To authorize user I'm sending salted hash over the air. My question it is more secure to obtain randomly generated salt (but send unencrypted), or have one salt on client (desktop application) and ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Is CIFS/SMB (Folder Sharing in Windows) secure?

I have to back up some data from windows 7 machines over the internet, and I rarely use windows so am distrustful of it in general. Specifically: Is there any sort of check that the server is the ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Does TLS-OBC only improve security of Web Browsers? Does it improve the security of SSH?

I'm studying the TLS-OBC extension and would like to know if it improves security of non Web-based protocols? Specifically, would it be of any benefit to SSH clients? (version 1 or version 2.x/secsh) ...