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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What real life scenarios require separate end user certificates for Signing and Identity?

Based on this question, I'm interested in any rational argument that would support the idea of maintaining separate signing and authentication certificates. Conventional logic & wisdom says there ...
8
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3answers
3k 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 ...
8
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3answers
11k views

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 ...
6
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
18
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6answers
3k 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 ...
11
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4answers
718 views

How should I tell an organisation that they are vulnerable when I wasn't given permission to check?

I was recently at a village hall (in the UK), some distance from where I live, for a party. I noticed that they had unsecured wi-fi with an SSID of NETGEAR. I assumed it was free wi-fi for users of ...
11
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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 ...
10
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3answers
931 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) SMS/...
9
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2answers
919 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k 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 (...
8
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1answer
2k 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
2k views

How can salted, hashed password storage be combined with a plaintext, nonce and hash based authentication?

My understanding is as follows: To securely store a password (e.g. in a database), you use a hashing algorithm designed for this purpose (designed to be slow, e.g. bcrypt), and you use a unique salt ...
6
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3answers
10k 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 ...
5
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2answers
3k 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 ...
5
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1answer
2k 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 ...
22
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2answers
4k views

How do Travel Sentry locks work? (supposedly openable only by security agencies)

Apparently Travel Sentry locks can only be opened: by their owner, by the TSA, CATSA and "other security agencies". How do they work technically? Is there some electronics embedded with ...
16
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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 ...
16
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Fell for phishing scam. Is my gmail account with 2-step verification vulnerable?

I can't believe it happened to me but I entered Gmail account's user-name and password into a website as part of a phishing scam. I use Gmail's 2-step verification and have changed my password. Is ...
14
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5answers
1k 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.) Let'...
12
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3answers
438 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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4answers
2k views

Is having the username and password fields on different pages more secure?

An online bank I use requires inputting your username, navigating to a second page and then entering the password to login. What actual security advantage does this provide, if any?
9
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3answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
577 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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4answers
452 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

Preventing online voter fraud

As part of a promotional campaign, my company wants to launch a site where users (and potential users) of our product will be required to register and vote for certain choices. Depending on how ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Do we still need to encrypt/decrypt data in Application Layer, despite using TLS/SSL?

Actually I got some projects from my ex-colleagues. These are App-Server TCP socket based applications. I noticed that some of auth/login interactions are using RSA/AES encrypt/decrypt as I know, if ...
5
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4answers
858 views

How can I verify the identity of a US | UK -based person and prevent *fake identities* from being accepted?

Given that it's possible to fake ID cards and fake social security numbers are created, I need to ensure that all users of my site are US or UK based citizens, and don't have more than one account. A ...
5
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1answer
1k views

Securing server to server http communication

We are trying to come up with a scheme to secure http communication between our internal servers. Are there any good established schemes out there? The requirements we have are: The clients and ...
5
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2answers
663 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 - ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Is OATH TOTP and / or Google Authenticator vulnerable if an attacker has (N) previous codes?

I'm not much of a ipsec initiate, so this is a bit over my head ... but I'm always willing to learn more. Are there any known attacks against OATH TOTP (Google Authenticator's / Authy's algorithm) if ...
4
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3answers
540 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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2answers
1k views

How to use TPM to perform platform authentication?

I am currently looking at TPM (Trusted Platform Module) and wondering how does TPM offer platform authentication. Suppose a legal host is deployed on the cloud. How do I use TPM to assure that the ...
4
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2answers
932 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
votes
1answer
3k views

Certificate validation with 802.1x PEAP

I recently learned about how WPA-PSK works. If I understand correctly, the 4-way handshake enables the protocol to ensure mutual possession of the PMK (and therefor, the PSK) without sending the PMK/...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

Why is a CA certificate required for EAP-TLS clients?

When setting up clients with WPA2 EAP-TLS, most clients (ie: my phone, my computer) require both a client public/private keypair (for obvious reasons) and a certificate authority certificate. It's ...
3
votes
2answers
671 views

Security measures for “Forgot password” link

I noticed that Facebook sends out a "Forgot password" code of six digits, which is very short for a validation code, so I assume they are doing the following: Set a session variable which is linked ...
3
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2answers
387 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 ...
2
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2answers
1k views

mutual authentication between two clients

I understand how mutual authentication works between a client and a server, however I am unsure how I would be able to get mutual authentication between two clients A and B? What would be the best ...
2
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2answers
2k 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 ...
11
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3answers
671 views

Security of pronounceable passwords

Some random password generators support the generation of pronounceable words of any given length n. Assuming that words are derived using 26 lowercase letters, the number of possible words of length ...
10
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1answer
89k 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 password?...
9
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3answers
315 views

What advantage does the Bloomberg authentication system have over traditional 2 factor?

Bloomberg clients have an interesting way to authenticate to the server. This seems involve some of the following: Logging into a secure website, that displays a flashing square Swiping your finger ...
8
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6answers
3k views

How do RSA fingerprints protect from MITM attacks?

I understand that RSA fingerprints are used to verify that you are really connecting directly to who you want to connect to, and not someone else posing as that site. Like when you do a git push, it ...
8
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3answers
857 views

Which authentication at the end of the Secure Remote Password protocol?

For the the client and server to prove to each other that they have the same premaster shared key, the original author suggests this: M = H(A | B | K) --> <-- H(A | M | K) ...
7
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3answers
495 views

What is the most secure way to lock a Linux Distros Desktop?

So it's an everyday thing... people don't want to turn off their computer while their going out to the toilet..., etc. So they hit "ALT+CTRL+L", and the GNOME-screensaver locks their Desktop. After ...
7
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4answers
314 views

Must a system be insecure against physical access? If so, why?

Inspired by: Why don't OSes protect against untrusted USB keyboards? Related: What can a hacker do when he has physical access to a system? (I address the points of its main answers below.) There ...
7
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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 ...
6
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1answer
868 views

What's keeping a malicious man in the middle server from forging a valid certificate

According to process of authenticating a server certificate: What's keeping a malicious server to fill up a valid server certificate since it knows all the things: Forged Server public key (man ...