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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Session Authentication vs Token Authentication

I am trying to get a handle on some terms and mechanisms and find out how they relate to each other or how they overlap. Authenticating a theoretical web application and mobile application is the ...
12
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2answers
6k views

Compromised JSON Web Token (JWT) Bearer Token

We are implementing a REST service that requires authentication and authorization. Because of the stateless nature of REST API's, we want to use JWT to make authenticated calls to the API through a ...
12
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3answers
568 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 ...
12
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1answer
145 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 ...
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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 ...
11
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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 ...
11
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4answers
12k views

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.
11
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
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 ...
11
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4answers
1k 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 ...
11
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5answers
3k views

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 ...
11
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1answer
1k 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 ...
11
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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 ...
11
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
11
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6answers
13k views

Difference between authentication and identification [Crypto and Security perspective]

I am always confused by the way the word authentication is used in security literature (i.e., outside the crypto realm). Most of the time I understand that they are actually implying identification. ...
11
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5answers
7k 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 ...
11
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6answers
5k 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 ...
11
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6answers
446 views

How to protect against adversaries snatching booted laptops to defeat full disk encryption?

I read an article describing how FBI agents snatched Ross Ulbricht's laptop while it was running to defeat full-disk encryption: Two plainclothes FBI agents, one male and one female, walked up ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
11
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3answers
1k 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 ...
11
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4answers
2k 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 ...
11
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3answers
5k views

OAuth2 - Resource Owner Password Credentials grant

The OAuth2 spec describes the Resource Owner Password Credentials grant type and authorisation flow here. I understand that only 'trusted' client applications would be allowed to use this grant, for ...
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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 ...
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3answers
2k views

Length of CSRF Token

Is there any standard length of the token which should be used while generating the random tokens? Should we use the same standard which we use for generating Session IDs?
11
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3answers
443 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 ...
11
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1answer
390 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 ...
11
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3answers
2k views

API message verification without storing private key?

I'm in the process of implementing a public API for my web service. Security is a key concern as money is involved. It seems the current common practice for "authenticating" users in API requests is ...
11
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5answers
977 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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1answer
1k 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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5answers
3k views

Using Google Search results to determine password strength

Google is a repository of Internet data, as it indexes tremendous amount of data. It uses a prediction service to determine the rest of the search query. With such a huge repository in place, can we ...
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3answers
5k views

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
3k views

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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5answers
2k views

Are case-insensitive passwords a bad idea?

I recently discovered a service where the password was not case sensitive. I understand basic principles of encryption and hashing so I am a bit worried, is this service storing my password in plain ...
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1answer
7k views

Why use an authentication token instead of the username/password per request?

The author of http://stackoverflow.com/a/477578/14731 recommends: DO NOT STORE THE PERSISTENT LOGIN COOKIE (TOKEN) IN YOUR DATABASE, ONLY A HASH OF IT! [...] use strong salted hashing (bcrypt / ...
10
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2answers
987 views

My bank makes me enter my password using the mouse. What's up with that?

Internet banking login process for Westpac requires user to enter the password using the mouse. It's annoying, what's up with that? Is it just to try and stop keyloggers on public computers or is ...
10
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4answers
7k views

HTTP Basic auth password storage more secure than Digest auth

If you are using SSL already, it appears Basic auth is the way to go since you can perform bcrypt with the password when you store it in the database, where as Digest auth only allows md5. As we know, ...
10
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3answers
779 views

Steam and two-factor authentication

The Steam platform is designed to encourage users to use two-factor authentication. One of the community tasks (achievement-like objectives) on Steam is "Use the Steam Mobile App for two-factor ...
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3answers
10k 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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
923 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
1k views

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 ...
10
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3answers
576 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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3answers
365 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.) ...
10
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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?
10
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3answers
769 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) ...
10
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4answers
4k 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 ...
10
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1answer
3k views

How will security need to be changed if P=NP?

If we suppose that it is found that P=NP, how will security measures need to be changed? I'd like to know the major security measures that are affected, and how they would need to be changed. We can ...
10
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1answer
736 views

Should I use a Certificate Revocation List?

I've been trying to provide security to my API. I will issue certificates to my clients to access my API through a TLS channel. So it'll be a SSL-Client Authentication. I'm wondering, should I use ...
10
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1answer
408 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 ...
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3answers
9k views

What are the disadvantages of single sign-on authentication?

We were discussing to implement single on in our web application,right now after analyzing we came to know that the following were the advantages of single sign on authentication. In the words of ...