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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Any flaws in this security model for a REST web service?

I have designed a REST web service which requires authentication. It handles authentication in a manner similar to Amazon Web Services, namely: the user has an ACCESS_KEY (say, 'abcd') and a ...
18
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12answers
2k 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 ...
10
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3answers
341 views

Is it inconsistent to tell users to “not click on password links in email”, and requiring clicks on “forgot password” links?

On one hand, IT Security shops have been telling users to not click on links in email because they can do damage to your computer, or phish your personal information. Many of those issues are ...
1
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3answers
2k views

What do I need to do to secure log-in and registration for my website?

What security features do I need to have in-place to ensure that my website log-in and registration forms are secure?
26
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3answers
783 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
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1answer
546 views

Is it secure to connect to a remote Windows Server using Remote Desktop only?

I have a Windows Server that I login to from my home. I only use the pre-installed Remote Desktop. Is this a secure way to remote login or should I improve it in some way? If I should improve it, ...
15
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4answers
798 views

Biometric versus other Two Factor Authentication Mechanisms

Over the years biometrics is the go-to movie authentication mechanism, but in the real world I'm getting conflicting opinions about it. Everything I've learned shows that biometrics are flawed ...
9
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1answer
3k views

How to set up OpenSSH to use x509 PKI for authentication?

I do not mean simply putting the public RSA key of a x.509 certificate into ~/.ssh/authorized_keys - I'm looking for a way to set up a ssh such that x.509 certificates signed by a pre-defined CA will ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Is Facebook Connect or Twitter OAuth PCI Compliant?

We have a system that stores credit cards securely on file. We'd love to allow users to sign up using Facebook Connect or Twitter. Obviously this wouldn't be secure if we were trusting just any old ...
8
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1answer
316 views

Build a secure channel without SSL/TLS

I'm looking at possible options to build a secure channel between multiple embedded devices with limited cryptography capabilities and an HTTP server (It could be some sort of web service). 1. ...
6
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3answers
991 views

Is my session-less authentication system secure?

So, I've created an authentication system. Poured over it for any kind of security flaws and tested the crap out of it. I think it's fairly secure, but there is one "different" by-design aspect of it ...
6
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4answers
3k 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 ...
5
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3answers
13k views

Four-way Handshake in WPA-Personal (WPA-PSK)

Can someone explain to me in what consists the Four-way Handshake in WPA-Personal (WPA with Pre-Shared Key), which informations are being sent between AP and client, how is it possible to find the AP ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Dealing with expired or revoked signing certificates with Infopath documents

Suppose I have an Infopath form that is digitally signed today by a valid, and active user. When that user leaves the company, we disable the account and revoke the certificate. This causes a problem ...
18
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6answers
2k views

Why do we ask for a user's existing password when changing their password?

In a web applications context, when a user wants to change their current password, generally they would have to enter their current password first. However at this point, the user has already been ...
14
votes
5answers
717 views

Safe way to authenticate (multi-factor authentication?) while being monitored?

(I'm trying for a bit more precise answer, particularly with regard to multi-factor authentication, than I received for "Safe way to use a computer that has spyware/keylogger installed?" on SU.) ...
12
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5answers
2k views

How many Stack Exchange logins should I have?

On Stack Exchange's Add a login page, one can add logins with Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. How many logins should I have to provide the least chance of a hacker gaining access to my Stack Exchange ...
12
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3answers
3k views

Three-Factor Authentication for Windows

This HowToGeek article... http://www.howtogeek.com/67556/how-to-unlock-your-pc-by-being-nearby-with-a-bluetooth-phone/ ...got me thinking. Is there any software (or combination of software) that ...
12
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3answers
318 views

Verifying server software integrity?

I'm trying to brainstorm a security scheme for the problem of verifying server software integrity. The domain of this problem is Game Servers built on Valve's Source Dedicated Servers. These servers ...
10
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4answers
695 views

What is the key when facial recognition is used as a password?

I get the basics of what face recognition is and the fact that it is used to protect PC's and as a login replacement. However, if it was to be used for encryption, where the role of the key is played ...
8
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3answers
273 views

If multi factor authentication is enabled, how should that affect self-service password reset?

Given that security is only as secure as its weakest link, suppose I have website with additional authentication enabled in any of these ways: (example, multiple conditions may be required) ...
8
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2answers
8k 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 ...
8
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3answers
4k views

How can i find what hashing algorithm was used?

One of my clients has asked me to modify the login page that their board members use to access their materials. The problem here is that the person previously responsible for this has left no ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How does deauthing work in aireplay-ng?

I have a question of how aireplay-ng works when it deauths. I mean, it is really easy to disconnect another client from an AP: you just need to run the deauth command (in aireplay-ng) once, specifying ...
7
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4answers
301 views

Candidate authentication in large scale assessment

First of all, I'd like to apologize beforehand if the questions I am about to ask are not really suitable for this site. I could not think of any other category to post under. Right, here goes. We're ...
7
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3answers
4k views

Choosing a session ID algorithm for a client-server relationship

I am developing an application which has a client-server relationship, and I am having trouble deciding on the algorithm by which the session identifier is determined. My goal is to restrict ...
7
votes
6answers
2k 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
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3answers
8k views

What is single sign on versus federated login?

What is the difference between Federated Login and Single Sign On authentication methods?
6
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2answers
680 views

How do I log everything a certain program is doing?

i have a program which is pretty simple. Its just a simple login form. Is there any possibility to log what this program is doing (maybe which file he is accessing and which website he is visiting ...
4
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2answers
367 views

user authentication by decrypting a random blob

Normal user authentication is done by comparing "hash"-values. A simple example of this: The user password is hashed with PBKDF2 on the client using a salt (the salt is the hash of the user password ...
4
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3answers
3k views

Do you need to encrypt session data?

I came across a session management class in PHP which encrypts session data in the session storage folder (i.e., /tmp) and can be decrypted later in your script using a key. I was wondering if it's ...
4
votes
1answer
673 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 ...
12
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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 ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Role Based Authorization vs. Claim Based Authorization

What is the difference between "role based authorization" and "claim based authorization"? Under which circumstances would it be appropriate to implement each of these authorization models?
8
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2answers
377 views

How do you Secure VOIP in a large organization

As part of a large organization looking to implement VoIP, to get on the bandwagon of savings and converged network focus, I'm being asked to look at the security concerns to develop a policy to help ...
7
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2answers
896 views

Kerberos authentication over the public internet

What are the threats to having the KDC accessible via the internet for remote clients? It's my understanding that the authentication is a challenge/response protocol and that the password is never ...
6
votes
1answer
23k views

Can the Gmail password be recovered from the Android Gmail app?

I have an Android device with the Gmail app installed. This app can access the mailbox so there must be some kind of authentication data stored on the device (possibly an application specific ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Is it okay for API secret to be stored in plain text or decrypt-able?

Aren't API keys considered usernames and API secrets considered passwords? Why is it that API servers like Amazon Web Services allow you to view your API secret in plain text? It makes me think they ...
6
votes
3answers
771 views

Attack vectors for brute-forcing website passwords

When talking about password security, a lot of discussion centers on the risk of a password being guessed in a brute-force attack. For websites where a user has registered an account, what are the ...
5
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1answer
1k views

WCF - Is this a good security Architecture?

I am building an information recording system (WCF based) for a business that is accessible by staff over the internet. This software will not be distributed and there will only be a handful of users ...
5
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2answers
306 views

How is an HTTPS login secure when pages use HTTP?

When someone go to eBay's website, they use an unencrypted connection between their PC and eBay's server. If they sign in, they are redirected to a secure site identified by its certificate and may ...
5
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2answers
157 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
791 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What authentication system (OpenID, Facebook, etc) permits Javascript-free and/or Cookie-Free operation?

I'm looking for an authentication system that relies on 3rd parties (ADFS, OpenID, SAML) but doesn't rely on cookies or Javascript... or at least can make them optional. My intent is to gracefully ...
4
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3answers
365 views

Is it possible to have authentication without state

In order to login to most websites you need a username and password which is often stored in a SQL database. You are storing per-user information that can change, this is state. Can you prove that ...
3
votes
2answers
437 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 - ...
3
votes
3answers
369 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 ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Please explain Time-step in Time-Based One-Time Password Algorithm

I am studying about OTPs (One Time Passwords). I have gone through all the methods: HOTP (HMAC-based One Time Password), TOTP (Time-based One Time Password) I have no issues with HOTP. But according ...
3
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4answers
913 views

Can SMS text messages be used to verify a person's unique identity through a short code system?

We run online contests and want to eradicate cheating (yeah right), or at least mitigate it. I've asked the question regarding user experience here: ...
3
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1answer
267 views

How do I use Windows 7 virtualization features to prevent transitive trust of admin credentials?

I am exploring using VMs to separate my administrative actions from standard user actions in Windows 7. The goal is to limit my risk and exposure when using "RunAs" to open an application or file ...