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 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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2answers
707 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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778 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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1k 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 ...
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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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3answers
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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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8answers
526 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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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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2answers
878 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
721 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
864 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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409 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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7k 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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3answers
10k views

Choosing a session ID algorithm for a client-server relationship

I am developing an application which has a client-server relationship, and I am having trouble deciding on the algorithm by which the session identifier is determined. My goal is to restrict ...
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4answers
5k 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, ...
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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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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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281 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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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
519 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
596 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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452 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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2answers
982 views

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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463 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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492 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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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
270 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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1answer
543 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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1answer
384 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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2answers
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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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415 views

Oldest security feature still in active use

Beyond commonsense and physical access controls, is the system password the oldest still in active use security feature? By physical access, I mean for example leaving the system within a secure ...
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345 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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Is there any SQL injection for this PHP login example?

I want to write a login form, and I got one example from the web. I want to know, if there is any SQL injection for this code? If there is, what could the exploit's web form entry look like? This is ...
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316 views

How to verify new accounts against a known persons database?

I need to (try to) solve the problem of new account creation for a patient portal for a medical records system (electronic health record). That is, a way to activate a patient online and match her ...
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3answers
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What common products use Public-key cryptography?

I want know what common use products are there that use public key/private key cryptography?
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How to protect ftp account information in the source code of a program

I wrote a game which stores high score information on an ftp server. In the the source code I need to write out the ftp link with the account name and password in it. For example: url = new ...
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Why would HTTP client only send authentication headers once an unauthenticated request was rejected?

The default usage of HttpClient and HttpWebRequest .NET classes is setting Credentials property and then asking the class instance to perform an HTTP request. If the target requres Basic authorization ...
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Why would a website allow answers to security questions to be used interchangeably?

I needed to reset my password on a website that uses security questions for the purpose, and I noticed something strange. My hypothetical security questions are (not the ones I actually use) are: ...
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2answers
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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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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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2answers
640 views

Is a rand from glibc's rand secure for a login key?

Same question as Is a rand from /dev/urandom secure for a login key, but with glibc's rand function instead of /dev/urandom. And what would be a sufficiently secure seed generator?
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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
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zero knowledge proof and its protocol

In Zero-Knowledge Proof where we take the analogy of Peggy (Prover) and Victor (Verifier): In this story, Peggy has uncovered the secret word used to open a magic door in a cave. The cave is ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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One Time Passwords. Using OTP at Windows, Ubuntu and internet sites

my question is this: Is there a way (software,hardware/token or web-ware) to use One Time Passwords in the following scenarios: Logon to my pc/laptop (windows or ubuntu) Logon to sites with OTP ...