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)

11
votes
2answers
3k 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
2k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
258 views

Protection of eduroam credentials

Recently my educational institution officially switched over from the their own wireless network to eduroam. If I understand correctly from the FAQ, credential authentication is performed on the ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the most credible timestamp I can create for a digital file?

Is it possible to create a timestamp that is so hard to fake, that it could be used as proof or simply strong evidence in a court of law, that something was not created after a certain point in time? ...
5
votes
3answers
325 views

How bad is exposing valid user names?

Today like many other times in the past, signed for a new service and got a common error message: Your user name or password is invalid This time I am wondering how useful it is to notify ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Disabling authentication via DSA keys in OpenSSH?

How can I disable DSA and ECDSA authentication on my server with OpenSSH 5.9? Sifting through the documentation material and doing a web search didn't yield any results - only an old bug report for ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

storing the third party credentials in the database/some secure place

This question is about storing the third party credentials in the database/some secure place so that it can not be accessed by only authorized user. Our system connect to the third party system using ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Is HTTP Digest + MD5 still an alternative to consume my own api?

I'm reading a lot about implementing security constraints to a REST API. There are a lot of methods, some better than others for 3party applications or to consume my own API. HTTP Basic + TLS (with ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

How does my bank knows my second and forth chars of my password [duplicate]

I see that the new login mechanism used by some banks in UK and also used by visa debit authentication is to ask for three random characters from your password at login (for example second, ninth and ...
1
vote
3answers
480 views

Prevent or detect key copy

This question can be classified as somewhat two interrelated questions - or two goals. Main aim is basically to authenticate client to server, but remain secure even if someone steals the key from ...
1
vote
3answers
303 views

Should I trust my bank after this [closed]

I have just discovered that I can login to my bank with passwords that is not mine. Example: My password is "1234" but I am authorized with all possible post characters. For example "12345" or ...
1
vote
3answers
278 views

Are subdomains a cure for phishing?

Seeing as phishing is getting more popular and users are becoming less concerned about security, I am trying to come up with a solution for a new site of mine that can stop phishers. For instance, any ...
1
vote
1answer
279 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
297 views

Security concern to implement a web based remote desktop

I am implementing a web based remote desktop application.Through this application client can connect to the server and can access the server using JSP/Servlet Java robot class. I can configure the ...
54
votes
2answers
46k views

JSON Web Tokens (JWT) as user identification and authentication tokens

I'm implementing a REST service that requires authentication. I cannot store any per-user state (such as a randomly-generated token) because my service does not have direct access to a database, only ...
43
votes
5answers
8k views

What are the downsides of BrowserID/Persona compared to OpenID/OAuth/Facebook?

Mozilla went live with a new service called BrowserID/Persona (announcement, background). It is intended to replace current single-sign-on solutions such as OpenID, OAuth and Facebook. One advantage ...
99
votes
17answers
23k views

Is “password knocking” a good idea?

With port knocking, you have to "knock" on specific ports in defined order to expose a port on which service is running. How about password knocking? For example you have three passwords: A, B and C. ...
58
votes
6answers
8k views

Four-factor authentication

I'm sure you've all heard of two-factor/multi-factor authentication. Basically it comes down to these factors: Knowledge - something you know (e.g. password, PIN, pattern) Possession - something you ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of webid compared to browserid?

What are the main advantages and disadvantages of webid compared to browserid? This question is inspired by this answer which got a number of upvotes despite being very vague on the topic of that ...
65
votes
12answers
9k views

Do we really need a long and complicated password for websites?

Most of websites that handle important information (Gmail, for instance) have some kind of brute force protection. Sometimes if you try more than X times it will lock the account or at least give you ...
29
votes
3answers
193k views

How do I clear cached credentials from my Windows Profile?

Windows seems to be saving my credentials for a variety of applications (terminal servers, etc) and I'd like to purge this data. How can I backup and purge this data?
38
votes
6answers
2k views

Is the concept of Authenticated Anonymity possible?

Or is authentication essentially incompatible with anonymity? If we have the idea that authentication is proving that someone is who they say they are and anonymity is essentially having an unknown ...
37
votes
9answers
2k views

Use additional “password” in Referer to hide private site?

I have a private (= I'm the only user) site at example.com/private/. Nothing else is published at this host (it's my domain). I don't want anyone to know that there is anything at example.com, ...
56
votes
12answers
3k views

How do you log in from an unsecured computer?

Suppose that you are on a cybercafe, at a friend's home or at your work office, and you need to log in on a site, but you feel that the the computer can not be trusted (e.g. your friend isn't ...
27
votes
4answers
13k views

Are there technical disadvantages in using free ssl certificates?

Note this question is related, except this one is about free SSL certs. There are providers who are offering totally free entry-level SSL certs (like StartSSL). I was wondering if they are ...
24
votes
4answers
21k views

why a client authentication is not commonly performed in the TLS protocol?

Is there any reason for this other than key/certificate management on the client-side?
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Good session practices

What are some good practices for ensuring logins, session IDs and session content are secure for a website?
29
votes
6answers
40k views

What is single sign on versus federated login?

What is the difference between Federated Login and Single Sign On authentication methods?
18
votes
2answers
12k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Is this login security enough?

I'm coming up with my next login system for admins of an e-commerce website, which will have this: login form is SSL secured password is converted to SHA-256 before being transmitted (bcrypt is too ...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

help understanding client certificate verification

I am creating an API that only certain computers should have access to. Communication will be via SSL between the server and the clients. In order to verify that a client has access, I would like to ...
3
votes
3answers
9k 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?
28
votes
2answers
32k views

Why does HTTP Basic authentication encode the username and password with base64?

RFC 2617 requires that in HTTP Basic authentication, the username and password must be encoded with base64. To receive authorization, the client sends the userid and password, separated by a ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do some websites and programs restrict password characteristics?

There are some websites and even programs that I use that have rediculous password restrictions. Lots of forums for instance restrict passwords to ~32 characters. Others enforce a restricted charset. ...
20
votes
4answers
10k views

Password resets - what practices should web services follow?

Many of you may have seen How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking, where a Wired reporter's Amazon, Apple, Gmail, and Twitter accounts were successfully hacked. The hacker followed ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Location to store an encryption key

I'm building a secure system which stores messages on a server in a Postgresql database. The messages are stored encrypted with PHP's openssl_encrypt() function with the AES-256-CBC method. At the ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

Why did Richard Stallman recommend not to use passwords for wireless networks? [closed]

In a short interview, Richard Stallman recommends not to put passwords on your wireless network. In the OS Revolution documentary he also mentions how he's disliked passwords ever since his job at MIT ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

How do I secure my login page?

The login page is the starting point to any web site and the most important thing to authenticate the user. When I begin to build any web application, I take a lot of time to think about how to ...
25
votes
5answers
7k views

Why is “something you know” the weakest factor of authentication?

Quoting from CompTIA Security+ guide The first factor of authentication (something you know, such as password or PIN) is the weakest factor. Why? it makes sense when we say that humans/users ...
19
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
156 views

How can mobile sign-on be secured from imposter authentication screens?

History seems to have come almost full circle where old issues are shown in new/emerging technologies. Background If you trust the operating system, Windows originally had the Control - Alt - Delete ...
10
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Easy explanation of SSL client certificates for a developer

I've been thinking about using client certificates for my web apps, desperately hoping for security-conscious users to put their private key on HSMs so they don't get stolen even if the machine is ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

Help understanding basic user authentication with salts and hashing

I for some reason am not understanding how to execute a secure authentication between client and server for a user. I've read many resources, and I understand how to use the hashing and salting tools, ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

How does a CSRF token prevent an attack, and how can I safely use/avoid it for my JSON API?

I'm trying to make an iOS app communicate with a Ruby on Rails website using JSON. While trying to post a login to create a user session, I discovered I was missing a CSRF token. I had no idea what ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

How to distribute client certificates without exposing private key?

I'm desgining a B2B web service based on WCF. As the number of clients is relatively small and security is a priority, i have chosen to go with X509 client certificates for client authentication. I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
798 views

Can a zero knowledge proof of voting be made using a trusted auth server (without client side crypto)?

Questions: Can one implement a secure voting system having all the features described below? e.g. without disclosing any individual's vote to the government server (or the third party), preserving ...
24
votes
2answers
10k 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?