Tagged Questions

In computing, entropy is the randomness collected by an operating system or application for use in cryptography or other uses that require random data. This randomness is often collected from hardware sources, either pre-existing ones such as mouse movements or specially provided randomness ...

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2
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4answers
323 views

If the attacker knows part of the password but not the length, does that help him in any way?

The idea behind this is that if knowing part of the password and not the length is useless, "passwords" can be easily stored in cleartext or paper since you would just add your own n characters ...
11
votes
3answers
745 views

Does the salt need to be unique or not predictable?

I always thought that salts is simply used to prevent rainbow tables to be used. Other have suggest they should be unique on a per account basis. Currently i have been using a config file to use as ...
6
votes
3answers
799 views

password complexity policy for non “English” passwords

In an internationalized application, what is the best practice for a policy on complexity of passwords? I am not having luck searching for the answer. Wikipedia lists these items for password ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Recompute Rainbow table with salt?

So, as I understand it, you prepend a password with salt before you hash it so that the resulting hash can't be used with a rainbow table to find the original password, as you could if the password ...
-4
votes
7answers
820 views

Are passwords made up from concatenating a few foreign words better than shorter random characters? [duplicate]

Does it make sense to insert a foreign word into a paraphrase to mitigate against brute force? For example: "pussiMeansCatInEskimo" "caballoMeansHorse" "CatIsGatto" "SalopeMeansBitch" ...
0
votes
6answers
507 views

Using passwords made of words

People say don't use passwords in the dictionary but if you use two words isn't it alright? Dictionaries have at least 10,000 entries so just two words will be 100,000,000 possibilities (and that's ...
35
votes
9answers
3k views

Why do password strength requirements exist?

Password strength is now everything, and they force you to come up with passwords with digits, special characters, upper-case letters and whatnot. Apart from being a usability nightmare (even I as a ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

In hashing, does it matter how random a salt is?

I recently had a comment made to me in an online discussion after I'd stated that randomness in a salt doesn't matter -- and I got the following response: Salts may not have to be "secure," but ...
9
votes
2answers
562 views

Can I use hardware random number generation on my computer? Am I already using it?

A lot of computer security depends on encryption: SSL connections, TCP packet sequencing, encrypted files, etc. These depend on random number generation to ensure that attackers can't guess the ...
4
votes
3answers
248 views

What would the cryptographic impact be of knowing the output of /dev/urandom?

Another noob question, I know, but something I'm unsure about. If I somehow magically knew the output of /dev/urandom at any given time, how much would that weaken a given encryption system? Or, ...
15
votes
3answers
609 views

If I have two identical linux virtual machine images, will they generate identical random numbers?

A really noob question, I know, but something I was wondering about this morning. If this were the case, would they encrypt things identically? Or maybe someone could direct me to a helpful research ...
4
votes
3answers
862 views

Pseudo Random Generator is not initialized from the (entropy pool)?

The RHEL5 manuals state that /dev/urandom will use the entropy pool until it's exhausted, and then it will resort to a fall-back pseudo-random algorithm, so that it will never block. But when ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

How to estimate the number of entropy bits & search space of a signature system like passtouch?

Apologies if I'm using the wrong lexicon, I'm just reading up about password systems out of interest. After seeing the xkcd strip on passphrases and coming across the passtouch system (youtube demo) ...
2
votes
1answer
467 views

Does client certificate authentication demand more server-side entropy?

We have a secure web service running Apache that requires client certificates for access. This service has a problem with running out of entropy. We have several other sites that use TLS that get ...
8
votes
1answer
356 views

General purpose slow/unique hash routine for dup checking of private data, without storing the data itself?

I am wondering if there is a percentage of uniqueness known to be lost with every repeat of various hash routines, like MD5, SHA1, and how that might compare with other algorithms. If theoretically I ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Can a dictionary attack crack a Diceware passphrase?

Everyone knows the words used in Diceware passwords (all 6^5 = 7776 words are published) -- they're all common words. Everyone seems to know that we're not supposed to use dictionary words for ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

/dev/random security holes

I'm doing some reading into the security issues surrounding /dev/random but it's proving to be hard to find good sources of information. Can anybody help? I've asked Google and got a bunch of articles ...
6
votes
2answers
799 views

How should I make diceware passphrases more memorable?

I find that truly random diceware passphrase, more often than not, either contain a word that is easily misspelled or has an order that is illogical. I think there are three ways to make a diceware ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Password entropy in layman's terms

Entropy is a term used often in relation to password security and brute-force attacks, but it is a topic that can get complicated quickly. What is the best way to describe password entropy (what it is ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there some good papers (or discussions) on using Markov chains or Hidden Markov Models for password auditing/cracking?

As a programmer and language enthusiast I've been very interested in Markov chains for some time. Considering the influence of natural language on password and passphrase selection (by humans of ...
564
votes
21answers
111k views

XKCD #936: Short complex password, or long dictionary passphrase?

How accurate is this XKCD comic from August 10, 2011? I've always been an advocate of long rather than complex passwords, but most security people (at least the ones that I've talked to) are ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

How can we accurately measure a password entropy range?

I've given myself the task of writing code that determines the strength of a password, and really want to break out of a lot of already established ways we do that, as they're often lacking, not ...
15
votes
2answers
832 views

How does varying character type increase strength of password?

When creating a new password, people often recommend you use both uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols. How does adding any of these increase the strength of a password? There ...
57
votes
12answers
9k views

How reliable is a password strength checker?

I've tested the tool from Microsoft available here which tests password strength and rates them. For a password such as "i am going to have lunch tonight", the tool rates it's strength as "BEST" and ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Evaluating the entropy gathering in a PRNG

I'm reviewing the random number generator (expected to be of cryptographic quality) on an embedded device. My point of view here is the operating system and crypto library implementer. I'm ...
42
votes
38answers
8k views

What is your way to create good passwords that can actually be remembered?

What are the methodologies which can be used to generate "human" good quality password? They have to ensure a good strength and also easy to remember for a human being.
34
votes
9answers
9k views

How long should the password be?

The minimum password length recommended is about 8 characters, so is there any standard/recommended maximum length of the password?