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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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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1answer
490 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 ...
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4answers
861 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 ...
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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
317 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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526 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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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 ...
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8k 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 ...
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1answer
325 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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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. Advantages Users ...
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HMAC Based Request Signing - Storing the Salt

I'm working on a (non high security) project that currently isn't live but might go live at some point. We have a REST API (implemented using Restlet and Neo4j) running on a server and an Android ...
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1answer
5k views

Ways to sign gpg public key so it is trusted?

I have a service through SSL which gives the user a code for a specific reason. I want to sign the code with the web server's private key (gpg --clearsign) and send the signed code along so that they ...
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4answers
2k views

SSH key auth, but still need password for sudo?

SSH with public-private key authentication comes enabled by default with most Linux distributions. This is great because when I create accounts for remote users I don't have to email them sensitive ...
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2answers
761 views

Security of unencrypted wireless networks with authentication page

Some wireless networks, such as those offered by hotels and hotspots, are not encrypted (they don't require a pass phrase to connect) but have an authentication web page. For example, you connect to ...
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838 views

If I am obliged to store a password/certificate on a client side, how can i make sure that it is protected?

In certain cases we need to establish a key/password/certificate as a first timer and then as a client we need to use this key/password/certificate to get authenticated. Therefore the ...
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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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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 ...
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7answers
356 views

Aren't permanantly logged in accounts inherently insecure?

The basic premise behind a "keep me logged in until I log out" feature is a cookie is stored with some identifier that is used to log the user in again when returning to the site. While these ...
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8answers
542 views

Authencity of information displayed on an untrusted device

Suppose I have a (bluetooth/usb) device which needs to displays information on an external pc/phone. Is there a simple and effective method to garantuee that the information displayed hasn't been ...
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2answers
12k views

Creating user specific authentication methods in SSH

I have configured sshd on an Ubuntu server to use key authentication and it is working fine. I had to disable password authentication for key authentication to work. Server is always accessed via ...
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6answers
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What methods can be used to prevent mistyped usernames?

I wanted to log on to my account on my bank's website. The account is protected by a number of security checks. The first one is what really amounts to a username, a confidential one. It's an 8-digit ...
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Email instead of username

I am wondering about the security implications of using email as the main identifier via which a user logs in (with an associated password, of course). Can I treat it as I would a normal username or ...
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890 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 ...
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4answers
793 views

Is using a flash drive as a base for security a safe thing to do?

I'm developing some software for schools. I've found severe flaws with the current popular school LAN protection that I feel needs fixing so I plan on releasing my own software. One the those ...
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6answers
921 views

Is there multi-factor authentication for machines?

Most of what I have seen on mutiifactor authentication (eg wikipedia or here on se) seems human centric. Ie it is a human interacting with a machine and the factors are associated with authenticating ...
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832 views

Should user be allowed to save password in browser?

The auditing company found a bug "The Auto-complete form attribute is set in password field". They suggested to disable autocomplete for this field to prevent disclosure of it "when working on shared ...
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3answers
452 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 ...
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3answers
8k 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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4answers
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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, ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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302 views

What kind of factor is a physical signature?

I'm familiar with the basics of multi-factor authentication. Now I'm trying to understand how a physical signature, as written on, say, a check or a credit card receipt, would be classified: Is it ...
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585 views

Can an attacker “simulate” a private IP address?

I have a SSH server with a rule that does not allow password connections outside the local network. So people already on the local network, either physically or via VPN, are allowed to connect with ...
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4answers
557 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
601 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 ...
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1answer
609 views

How secure is Windows 8 email authentication?

I boot up Windows 8 and the first thing I notice is that it allows you to login with your email credentials. Let's say if my laptop is stolen then what are the advantages or disadvantages of email ...
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How does Google detect new devices for two factor authentication

When you enable two step verification for google accounts, you get sent a code by SMS to enter in addition to your username and password the first time you log in with a new device. How do they ...
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471 views

Does OpenID, SAML pose a threat to Tor's anonymity? How can I protect from a compromised .exit node?

This is a thought experiment on the interaction between Tor, OpenID and one (or more) compromised nodes in the secure path. I'm focused on how to use technology in a way that adds value to a secure ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
498 views

Are there any smartcard/hardware-tokens for certificate-based authentication which are easily destroyed?

It's all very well to use multi-factor authentication, but supposing you want to 'destroy a factor' so that in an situation where you are likely to be coerced to provide your passphrase, you can ...
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12k views

How does basic HTTP Auth work?

How does basic HTTP Auth work?
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Securing a REST api at the message level

I'd like some feedback on the following authentication idea, does it makes sense, and is there a standard way of doing this (or similar) so I can rely on a well tested implementation. I've seen many ...
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1answer
307 views

What shell binary should I use for the root account on a Linux system?

Is there a security advantage to using a different shell for the root account, either a hardened shell program, or simply a shell binary stored in a non-standard location?
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586 views

How to stop password recovery attempts on accounts?

I am using social networking services such as My Banking GMail PayPal Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn All of these services text messages me a six digit code to login from anywhere, even a ...
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389 views

Optimal variable sizes in the Secure Remote Password protocol

I am implementing the Secure Remote Password protocol: U = <username> --> <-- s = <salt from passwd file> a = random() A = g^a ...
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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 ...