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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Terminology: authentication vs verification

The two words have a similar meaning and I'm having difficulty adequately explaining the difference to someone. You verify a person's identity by having them show a form of identification, such as a ...
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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 ...
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3answers
5k 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 ...
5
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3answers
20k 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 ...
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2answers
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Multi-tenancy, SSL Certificates, and Subject Alternative Name

The X509 specification allows a CA to issue a single certificate for multiple hostnames, by using the "Subject Alternative Name" extension. From the spec: The subject alternative name ...
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5answers
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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
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3answers
16k views

What is single sign on versus federated login?

What is the difference between Federated Login and Single Sign On authentication methods?
12
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3answers
342 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 ...
11
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2answers
4k 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?
11
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6answers
11k views

Securing an API for mobile access

I've built a nice REST/JSON API that is used by other companies (our clients) as a B2B service. Each of our clients has a username/password pair, and we also do HTTPS and validate the source IP of ...
10
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4answers
788 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 ...
9
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3answers
5k 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 ...
7
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4answers
335 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 ...
6
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2answers
966 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 ...
5
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1answer
957 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 ...
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2answers
541 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 ...
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3answers
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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
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2answers
503 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 - ...
9
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1answer
43k 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 ...
8
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4answers
3k 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 ...
8
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2answers
437 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 ...
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4answers
1k views

How to prove Bob has received Alice message

I have read up on Digital signature and it is stated that it provides non-repudation. Assuming Alice signs the message using her private key and sends it to Bob, Bob can use Alice's public key to ...
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3answers
822 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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2answers
752 views

How to login and encrypt data with the same password/key

I've made a "vault" web app in PHP for storing passwords, credit card numbers, etc. It's mostly just for myself, but I'm practicing building it with multiple users in mind. I use two way encryption to ...
5
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2answers
171 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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3answers
423 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 ...
4
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3answers
704 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
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2answers
176 views

What's a good time period before refreshing CSRF token of the user session?

I am using a form token to prevent CSRF attacks. Those tokens are stored and tied to a user's session. Now I want to refresh the token only every N minutes or hours so that the user's don't experience ...
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2answers
344 views

Is there any way to cryptographically hash a human thumbprint?

Is there any way to cryptographically hash a human thumbprint into a form that can be consistently reproduced by thumbprint readers? Assuming that it would be possible to create a database of ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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
289 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 ...
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1answer
358 views

Is it possible to Spoof a TeamViewer ID?

I am using 2 forms of remote access to my Windows Server 2008 machine, both go to the Admin account since we only use it to host a Minecraft (MC) Server. Remote Desktop, that goes over a custom port ...
2
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5answers
252 views

Can extra loading times on login attempts be a security threat?

I have a web application built with PHP with a login page where the visitor is supposed to enter his / her account's email address and matching password. Since I'm using the PHP native (slow) hashing ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it possible to change the admin user/password remotely on a router without logging in?

Is it possible to change the admin user/password remotely on a router without logging in? If yes, how so?
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2answers
797 views

Signed request vs HTTP digest auth for API authentication?

By signed request I mean something like this (simplified example): Client creates a sig in his request: $sig = hash('sha256', $api_key.$data); which generates 7409ur0k0asidjko2j for example. He then ...
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1answer
400 views

Web application software architecture: basic security

I am a complete beginner in the security topic and I know that I should read this, but I have a small question to which I hope exists a short answer. Let's say I have three components of a ...
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2answers
392 views

Do Google 2 Factor Auth backup codes work for logging into Google or other sites?

I set up Google 2 Factor Auth to log into other sites. I see there are backup codes if you lose your device. Are these used only to log into Google, or can they be used to log into other sites?
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1answer
497 views

How do I constrain Windows Smartcards for AD Authentication so that “anyExtendedKeyUsage” is not implied?

This document describes how there are 3 ways to constrain a SmartCard certificate The Enhanced Key Usage field defines one or more purposes for which the public key may be used. RFC 5280 states ...
14
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3answers
648 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. ...
11
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5answers
727 views

Non-OEM Biometric Software?

Most of us with fingerprint readers and such devices probably use the software provided by the vendor, to enable biometric OS login or single sign-on functionality. However, I've recently wondered if ...
10
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3answers
301 views

Is there any conceivable reason to prevent a password change in an authentication system?

I connect to the VPN of another company with a company-specific username and password (they aren't giving everyone the same password to every company to access it or anything ridiculous like that.) ...
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Keeping user session alive - security considerations

We have recently developed some functionality for our web app to allow a user to remain logged in indefinitely, and are interested in knowing the security ramifications of doing so. The goal of this ...
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iPhone 5S security: Given someone's fingerprint can I use a 3D printer to create a fake finger with a real fingerprint on it?

With such a big deal being made about the iPhone 5S's fingerprint reader (and formerly the Thinkpads' fingerprint readers) I really wonder how secure it is to use fingerprints in lieu of passwords. ...