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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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 ...
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5answers
1k views

Is there a digital “safety deposit box” equivalent?

Digital safety deposit boxes: do they exist? if yes, are (any|they) trustworthy? There are many bricks and mortar financial institutions where one can rent a locked box in a locked room and be ...
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5answers
435 views

I need ideas for blocking a single malevolent user

Let me throw out this problem I'm having to some of my technical peeps and see if you guys have any new suggestions: We have a website that sends text messages and voice mails for our clients. ...
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4answers
2k views

How to protect against login CSRF?

http://seclab.stanford.edu/websec/csrf/csrf.pdf points out that most CSRF protection mechanisms fail to protect login forms. As http://stackoverflow.com/a/15350123/14731 explains: The ...
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2answers
3k views

Encryption strategies for multi users access in production systems

I am pretty unknown to encryption strategies in production environments. So my concern is to find a solution how to strongly encrypt data, but make it available to multiple users with different keys. ...
13
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2answers
457 views

Why should one avoid chains of SSH sessions?

In this document on Security on NSC computing resources, there are several obvious pieces of advice (use a strong password, don't repeat passwords, etc.). One piece of advice I have not seen before, ...
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5answers
2k views

What is the best way to transmit password hash over unreliable TLS?

I have TLS connection between my server and client. I have no certificate, so the connection is susceptible to the Man-in-the-middle attack. I fear that attacker could intercept the password hash ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
12
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2answers
18k 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 ...
12
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6answers
14k 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 ...
12
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1answer
635 views

Why is the truncate function for HMAC one time passwords so complicated?

I've been reading through RFC4226 as part of some research and I was wondering why the function to truncate the HMAC was so complicated. As far as I understand it, the last 4 bits of the HMAC define ...
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3answers
361 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

When authenticating ciphertexts, what should be HMACed?

Some have argued for using AES-256-CTR with HMAC-SHA-256 for authenticated encryption over AEAD-specific modes like EAX and GCM. However, when doing, this, what should be HMAC'd? And how? ...
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3answers
6k 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 ...
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3answers
477 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 ...
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4answers
3k views

Authenticating without a database

I've been inspired by a question over on Code Review, which boils down to: What is the proper way to authenticate a user without a database? Would it be the exact same process if you stored ...
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9answers
2k 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 ...
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7answers
2k views

Prevent denial of service attacks against slow hashing functions?

I've been thinking about bcrypt recently, and what I wonder is if there's a way to deal with the inherent (D)DoS problems with slow hashing functions. Namely, if I set up bcrypt so my machine takes ...
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4answers
5k views

avoid hitting DB to authenticate a user on EVERY request in stateless web app architecture?

Summary Once a user logs into a web site and his username/password credentials are verified and an active session is established, is it possible to avoid hitting the DB for each and every request ...
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4answers
16k 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 ...
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3answers
5k views

Is HTTPS and Basic Authentication secure enough for banking webservices (RESTful)?

I have been reading about SSL/TLS for the last few days and looks like it has never been practically cracked. Given SSL/TLS is used for all communications between client application and the server, ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the risk and mitigation of accidentally typing a YubiKey password in an open forum?

I have a YubiKey in my laptop (for testing) and accidentally broadcast my YubiKey password out to the Internet. Since this is only a test key, and has no access to anything of value, here are some ...
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2answers
1k views

BCrypt's 72-character limit and using it as a general digest algorithm

Goal: have token/cookie-based authentication that doesn't require keeping sessions on the server TL;DR: What, if any, is the accepted mechanism to work around the 72-character limitation of BCrypt? ...
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3answers
11k views

How secure is Android's facial recognition?

Android supports using facial recognition for unlocking your phone. How secure is that mechanism? For instance, if someone has a good quality picture of your face, can they defeat the facial ...
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2answers
279 views

Preventing Voter Fraud on a Social Media Contest

I'm creating a contest that will allow users to login using their Facebook & Twitter accounts and submit votes on videos. My clients concern is that users will game the system by logging into ...
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3answers
871 views

How much information about the reason for an unsuccessful login should a web application give?

After an unsuccessful login attempt, should I inform the user about its reason? Or more generally, how much information about the reason for an unsuccessful login attempt should a web application ...
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2answers
1k views

Does having 2-factor authentication help with HeartBleed?

I was talking with a friend about HeartBleed, and he mentioned that he had 2-factor authentication enabled on all the sites that supported it, so even with his username and passwords, nobody would be ...
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4answers
1k views

Multiple CAs signing a single Cert/CSR?

Just saw this suggested on Slashdot So I've seen quite a few people wanting a switch to self-signed certs (who IMO mostly don't understand what making that secure actually involves), and an idea ...
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3answers
308 views

What email addresses are treated as trusted?

Windows Live recently suffered a security incident because they didn't realize that email addresses like administrator@live.fi are considered "trusted": some certificate authorities will consider ...
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2answers
539 views

“Pulled from public record” security questions

Several times in the past months, I have been asked security questions that are "pulled from public record" to verify my identity, either over the phone or on a website (Chase Bank, Walgreens ...
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4answers
447 views

NFC contactless payment security

This is really bugging me. Up until recently debit cards with an electronic chip were the most popular electronic form of payment available in Poland (I'd wager that in other European countries as ...
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1answer
231 views

Is TLS in Tor useless?

I am trying to optimize the Orchid Tor client library for my needs and noticed that every connection with every node uses TLS with turned off certificate verification. Actually there are no TLS ...
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798 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 ...
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779 views

MPPE-Send and Receive key derivation from MS-CHAPv2

I am trying to get the MS-MPPE-Send-key and MS-MPPE-Recv-key from the MS-CHAPv2 challenge material. I am able to follow the RFCs 2548 3078 and 3079 to the step of getting the GetNewKeyFromSHA() it is ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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5answers
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CSRF protection with Session Id

To protect against CSRF, couldn't my page javascript just dynamically insert the session id from the cookie into the body of each HTTP request right before it's sent? The server would then just ...
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4answers
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Security measures against packet sniffing

I work in a environment where packet sniffing can be easily done . I was worried about my confidential data . Please suggest how is it done and precaution which i can take at client level.
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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How can an access point spoof me into connecting?

I was reading through the answers of the question "How can I ensure that I connect to the right wireless Access Point?" and was wondering how it is possible for an access point to imitate another wifi ...
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4answers
862 views

What is the use of the “secret” displayed when setting up 2 Factor Authentication?

What is the purpose of the "secret" that is displayed when you take the picture of the QR code to set up 2 Factor Authentication on a non-Google site? Why would you need it? If you save it, doesn't ...
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5answers
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How can I securely authenticate the client application sending me data?

We have a web service logging/recording user data sent over https by our client application. Is there a way to securely ensure that the data is getting sent by the client application and not by a fake ...
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3answers
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Is SiteKey a valid defense against Phishing?

As described here, some banks use a SiteKey mechanism in an attempt to provide a defense against phishing. (This is a scheme where the user is shown a personalized image (each user has their own ...
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4answers
834 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 ...
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4answers
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Can .htaccess and .htpasswd really protect me?

I want to set up a kind of personal wiki where I can store various sensitive information. However to make it 100% portable and and just plain convineant, I want to put it on the Internet. I'm sure at ...
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2answers
2k views

LastPass Grid Authentication vs Google Authenticator which one is more secure?

[Being a LastPass user] recently I moved to Google Authenticator instead of using Grid Authentication as a 2-factor security. For me, finding and filling letters from such a dense matrix is a rather ...
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3answers
312 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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480 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) ...
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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 ...
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1answer
311 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 ...