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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How secure are these password schemes?

On One liner to create passwords in linux?, I see advice generally of the form head -c16 /dev/urandom | md5sum. They're all random combinations of text manipulation commands, sha1, base64 and md5sum ...
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3answers
579 views

Password strength metrics

In the question Source code as password I suggested using a combination of entropy and as @Lawtonfogle put it 'meatspace difficulty'. As suggested in the xkcd comic correct staple horse battery is a ...
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11answers
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One liner to create passwords in linux?

How do you create a readable password using bash with one line? What if i'm looking for 128 bits of entropy? EDIT By readable I mean the 94 printable ascii characters (without space). It can use ...
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23answers
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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 ...
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2answers
1k views

philosophical: restricting the password space increases security

This is more of a philosophical question. Suppose that you are trying to choose a good password for a particular online service, say your bank's e-banking service. Now the bank has some restrictions ...
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2answers
118 views

How fast is it to bruteforce a 48-bit key with current technology?

Say you have a truly random hexadecimal key formatted as 1234.5678.ABCD, with 48-bit entropy. Assuming the key is stored with no hashing/salting, how fast/easy would it be to brute force it with ...
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0answers
12 views

Entropy in Address Randomization

I am trying to understand the concept behind address randomization (ASLR). I'm reading the related wikipedia article which states: Security is increased by increasing the search space. Thus, ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Can I generate a random 32 bit key by using the Java hashCode and random English words?

I want to generate and communicate a 32 bit key to Bob over a phone conversation. I know he happens to have the same Java and OS installed as I have. Suppose I have a dictionary of 100,000 (English) ...
7
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3answers
133 views

Why do Google 2-factor authentication SMS codes never start with a 0? [closed]

When you use 2-step authentication to log to your Google Account, you can get an SMS on your mobile-phone with a G-123456 style code. I think that I never got a code with a leading zero. Is there a ...
2
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2answers
49 views

Would a multilingual Diceware password be more secure than a monolingual one? [duplicate]

I've been reading up on Diceware recently, and I'm wondering if using a mix of languages would make it even more secure. On the face of it, it would force a potential attacker to consider an even ...
16
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5answers
5k views

Is an 80 bit password good enough for all practical purposes?

I know that asking how many bits of entropy comprise a strong password is rather like asking the length of a piece of string. But assuming the NSA is not on to you, and that it is hardly worthwhile ...
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3answers
5k views

Calculating password entropy?

Whenever I look at password entropy, the only equation I ever see is E = log2(RL) = log2(R) * L, where E is password entropy, R is the range of available characters, and L is the password length. I ...
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2answers
103 views

Is there a threshold of bits of entropy below which hashing becomes meaningless?

I just read a help page by a mail provider in which they state that all mobile phone numbers will be stored as a salted hash. This strikes me as interesting, since phone numbers don't contain a lot ...
16
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5answers
5k views

Java SecureRandom doesn't block? How?

I know from experience that reading from /dev/random blocks when the Linux kernel entropy pool runs out of entropy. Also, I've seen many articles and blog entries stating that when running on Linux, ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

Does eliminating the possibility of repeat words make Diceware passwords significantly less secure?

I read about Diceware passphrases and whipped up a little program to generate passwords in that style. I do this by taking the list of dictionary words to create passwords and "ordering them" by a ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

With openssl des3, what are the passphrase parameters?

I'm using OpenSSL's des3 tool to encrypt a file, e.g. openssl des3 -salt -k SUPER_SECURE_PASSPHRASE < inputFile > outputFile Everything's working, but now I have to choose a final, fixed ...
3
votes
2answers
54 views

Is there any practical weakness to using MT19937 to generate passphrases?

Suppose I use MT19937 to choose random words out of (say) the Diceware word list. I know MT19937 is not considered a cryptographically secure PRNG, but Wikipedia suggests the weakness is rather ...
22
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
20
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2answers
1k views

How do I ensure there is sufficient entropy on an embedded system at first boot?

I'm working on an embedded system that will generate an SSL key the first time the system boots. I would like to avoid the problems discovered by Heninger et al. and Lenstra et al. where embedded ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

VM production server and low entropy

I'm monitoring a VM functioning as our production server. I noticed it has at many times, quite low entropy (/proc/sys/kernel/random/entropy_avail). On average our server(which among other stuff does ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Strength of variable-length generated password

I am contributing to the Word Sequencer plugin for KeePass password manager, which can generate diceware-style passwords using a high-quality PRNG. Something in particular I'm working on is estimating ...
5
votes
1answer
111 views

Resetting the Windows RNG

According to this research, Windows seems to produce the same sequence of random numbers indefinitely when a process is kicked off before a VM snapshot is taken. This is a huge issue obviously when ...
0
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2answers
83 views

How much entropy should passphrases for encrypting ssh keys have?

When one generates keys using ssh-keygen one gets prompted for a passphrase to encrypt the generated key with. How strong should such a passphrase be, entropywise, to withstand a full-blown ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Securing a Secure Entropy Service

Many moons ago, I answered a question about Java blocking due to a lack of entropy in /dev/random. (http://security.stackexchange.com/a/53025/41709) My main suggestion was to use /dev/urandom, but I ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
141 views

Does using NATO's phonetic alphabet increase password strength?

Given an alphanumeric password intended to be strong yet easy to remember, we change each alphabetic character by its NATO alphabet counterpart (e.g. 'cat' becomes 'charliealphatango'). I understand ...
84
votes
11answers
15k views

Password rules: Should I disallow “leetspeak” dictionary passwords like XKCD's Tr0ub4dor&3

TLDR: We already require two-factor authentication for some users. I'm hashing, salting, and doing things to encourage long passphrases. I'm not interested in the merits of password complexity rules ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Password security and entropy - degeneracy question

I have written a short password generator which uses a mixture of words from a dictionary and randomly generated passwords, and I'm wondering if I did the entropy calculations correctly. Usually I use ...
1
vote
2answers
91 views

What would typically be considered an acceptable string entropy for passwords?

I have gained interest in creating a way to check password strength (think password strength meters - yes - another one). I've found many ways to award a score on a policy driven approach (one ...
0
votes
2answers
212 views

Do you need more then 128bit entropy

UUID use 128 bit numbers. Currently it is not feasible to randomly produce two UUIDs that are the same. Does that means 128 bits of entropy is suitable for all cryptographic operations? I would ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the entropy of a password made with pwgen?

pwgen is a unix utility that generates "memorable" passwords randomly. The man page says the entropy is lower than truly random passwords with the same specification. What is the actual entropy of a ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Entropy on payload

How can I guess if a payload is obfuscated or encrypted? in other words can I apply Shannon Entropy algorithm to a binary payload? any advice will be appreciated, thanks in advance
5
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1answer
153 views

Random padding in hash functions

In this answer, it was recommended that you add random padding when hashing messages for a trusted timestamp, such as for predictions, in order to avoid dictionary and brute force attacks (at least ...
0
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2answers
108 views

How much stronger does a paragraph/sentence based password becomes with random characters added?

I was reading some questions on here regarding the correct horse battery staple method, and the conclusion was that, assuming any words in the list of most common English words, every word adds about ...
5
votes
4answers
179 views

Does manipulating a random password significantly reduce its entropy?

Suppose I generate a password using a secure random number generator and all the available character classes. For example, c.hK=~}~$Nc!]vFp9CgE. Consider that this password may need to be used in an ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Add a file as entropy source for /dev/random

What I have: A large file containing lots of secret, true-random bytes (yes, I'm sure they're not merely pseudo-random). I'll call it F. What I want to do: Tell Linux that it can use this file as an ...
7
votes
2answers
300 views

Password: ham,ham,ham,bacon,bacon,ham

Why do we bother with dice ware? Is rolling dice and looking up in a printed book (or using a digital analogue) a string of N random words any more secure than simply repeating a word or two N times? ...
0
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1answer
59 views

A simple question about entropy and random data

Let's say I roll a 6-sided die 100 times and record the results into a 100 character string, for example: //this is obviously an example (and very unlikely) outcome ...
11
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3answers
994 views

Calculating how secure my password is

I generally use GnuPG for encrypting my files and as far as I know its strength ultimately depends on the passphrase I use. So, I would like to know: how can I mathematically calculate how secure my ...
7
votes
0answers
110 views

Which format of secret would be the most efficient for human memory? [closed]

I am talking about something-you-know identification factor. Examples of those formats are passwords, passphrases, pin-s, picture passwords ( ...
6
votes
2answers
357 views

How much entropy is good enough for seeding a CSPRNG?

I have some fundamental questions on using Cryptographically Secure Pseudorandom Number Generators (CSPRNGs). What should be the size of the seed that I initialize a CSPRNG with? How often should I ...
5
votes
2answers
248 views

Does adding a non-entropic part to a password makes it less secure?

Suppose I'm encrypting a file via AES using a password of my choice, or creating a TrueCrypt volume using a password and no keyfiles. Which of the following two passwords would be more secure: ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

How secure is Snowden's MargaretThatcheris110%SEXY password?

In an extra from Edward Snowden's interview with John Oliver, Snowdon advises that a good password to use is one such as MargaretThatcheris110%SEXY.. Also, on the Errata Security blog, Robert Graham ...
5
votes
5answers
656 views

How much is the entropy of a randomly generated password reduced if I regenerate until I get a password I like? [duplicate]

In many of the answers and comments on the well-known XKCD #936: Short complex password, or long dictionary passphrase? question, the importance was stressed of generating the password randomly, and ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

output from CryptGenRandom [closed]

Can we capture the output of Windows CryptGenRandom function. Suppose an application is utilizing CryptGenRandom, as a user can we know what is the Random Number generated and given to the ...
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0answers
20 views

Evaluating a noise source for a RNG - defining a one-paramter family for RNG [closed]

I am trying to evaluate a noise-source as a means of providing entropy to a random number generator. I am running into trouble when it comes to determining the probability distribution that has the ...
2
votes
3answers
230 views

How secure are “pattern” passwords?

I was watching a TED Talk about password security recently which covers quite a few different types of passwords and compares how secure they are and how easy they can be remembered. One type of ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

How to check randomness of a hash?

I have a REST api in which the server allots a unique token each time a user is logged in. Its a hash containing numbers,letters and a one or two special chars. I want to check the entropy of these ...
4
votes
1answer
455 views

/dev/random in EC2 cloud

is /dev/random any good in AWS EC2 for use in making a shared key that will be passed over a secure channel? i am concerned that a launched instance would have not much entropy to begin with. what ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

General Entropy as opposed to Password Entropy [duplicate]

I know that the formula for the entropy of a message is: (I believe b can be set to 2) but when calculating the entropy of a password websites usually only compute log2(p-1), ignoring the first ...