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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554
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21answers
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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 ...
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 ...
-4
votes
7answers
743 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" ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Can the human brain generate cryptographically secure random numbers?

A security conscious friend of mine was attempting to generate entropy using random dice rolls to generate a random password, and I became curious about the security of random number generators and ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

What multiplier to use when calculating the average time to crack passwords with a given entropy?

Suppose that we have a process that generates passwords with entropy E. I'd like to compute the average time it would take for a brute-force attack to crack an MD5-hashed instance of such a password. ...
18
votes
4answers
6k views

Google Account: implications of using application-specific passwords

In the wake of the recent Mat Honan story I decided to try out two-factor authentication on my Google account. But in order to keep using it with Exchange, the Android OS, Google Talk and Google ...
41
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.
3
votes
2answers
250 views

Is it really “Time to add a word” if there are no tools to crack passphrases of 3 words and up?

It's "time to add a word" says Arnold Reinhold, the creator of Diceware, in his blog (3/2014). He advices to use 6 word sentences (or 5 words with one extra character chosen and placed at random) from ...
35
votes
10answers
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Usefulness of bcrypt(UUIDv4())

One of my colleagues is working on securing OAuth 2 client IDs and secrets for our OAuth server and he has come up with this scheme where he would not only use UUID v4 to generate random values, but ...
8
votes
1answer
341 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

How can a passphrase with 256 bits of entropy practically be constructed & memorized?

Quoting Wikipedia: A password with, say, 42 bits of strength calculated in this way would be as strong as a string of 42 bits chosen randomly[.] Assuming that interpretation is correct, combined ...
1
vote
3answers
182 views

How much time / “entropy collected” should generating a RSA 2048bit keypair take?

The purpose of my question is get an better idea about reasonable amout of time the generation of the RSA public/private keypair should take? To be less vague let me specify the question and define I ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Minimum SHA256'd UTF8 encoded passphrase length not stored anywhere

For a passphrase that is UTF8 encoded and then SHA256'd, what is the minimum length to achieve a practically collision free result? The implementation is for a 32 byte cryptocurrency ed25519 seed ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

How many bits of entropy does an identifier contain?

According to https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Insufficient_Session-ID_Length: Assuming that the session identifiers are being generated using a good source of random numbers, we will estimate the ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Reliable random seed for RNG

I want to create my computer passwords with a RNG, but I am thinking about one thing: I would use python to write that script and the RNG is controlled by one seed, most likely the time. If I would ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why OpenSSL can't use /dev/random directly?

I couldn't find the answer for the reason anywhere, even the wiki page doesn't explain it. This seems like using a PRNG for seeding an another PRNG. The first one (/dev/random) may itself be seeded by ...
54
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
613 views

How many bits of entropy should I aim at for my password? [closed]

I mainly use 2 passwords: 1 is a 4 word full lowercase passphrase of 18 letters long which I use wherever possible. The other is basically 3 words and a digit with the first word in full uppercase and ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

How can you securely generate keys on AWS?

Our application needs to generate secure keys for long term storage on AWS using openssl. But I've seen some instance where entropy falls dangerously low on AWS machines and this doesn't appear to be ...
10
votes
1answer
188 views

Where does a Hyper-V guest get its entropy when generating a certificate authority key pair?

According to findings by the EFF's SSL observatory, there are "tens of thousands of keys that offer effectively no security due to weak random number generation algorithm." My understanding of that ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
252 views

How secure is to seed PRNGs with the sequences from CSPRNG?

Background: Implementing online casino, I would like to use a number of PRNGs with high throughput, like MersenneTwisterFast. I know it is not cryptographically strong, but quite unpredictable when ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Credit card number entropy?

I want to confirm that this understanding is correct: A card has 16 digits plus a CV2 The first 6 digits are an issuer identification number The last digit of the 16 is a Luhn mod 10 check digit. ...
14
votes
4answers
6k views

Confused about (password) entropy

There seem to be many different 'kinds' of entropy. I've come across two different concepts: A) The XKCD example of 'correcthorsebatterystaple". It has 44 bits of entropy because four words randomly ...
34
votes
9answers
8k 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?
20
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3answers
4k views

Is it appropriate to use haveged as a source of entropy on virtual machines?

While looking for solutions to entropy pool depletion on virtual machines, I came across an interesting project called haveged, which is based on the HAVEGE algorithm (HArdware Volatile Entropy ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

How strong is this encryption? [closed]

Given Dictionary containing 1000 three-letter words: dictionary=abc,def,ghi,jkl,mno,pqr... Randomly chosen words from the dictionary: 10-bits-passwords=abc,def,ghi Randomly chosen three words from ...
9
votes
2answers
555 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
102 views

physical access proof smart card for disk encryption [closed]

Current full disk encryption on mobile devices rely on low entropy passwords like PIN numbers or pattern locks. Being able to use a smartcard with such mobile devices is a tempting idea. I know that ...
2
votes
2answers
496 views

How to generate cryptographically strong pseudorandom data very rapidly?

What's the best way to go about generating a fast stream of cryptographically strong pseudorandom data without installing uncommon packages? Drawing from /dev/urandom is far too slow. I had an idea ...
2
votes
0answers
117 views

Passphrase generator and strength & recovery time estimator. Right strength and randomness?

Questions about the strength of pass phrases frequently popup, as does: how to generate a strong passphrase? I tried to combine both in a tool. The free tool also includes recovery time estimations ...
2
votes
1answer
401 views

Open-source alternative for CryptGenRandom?

Let's say that for some reason I don't trust CryptGenRandom. Are there any open source software Windows entropy collectors to get cryptographically secure random numbers from for seeding purposes? ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is /dev/random so slow on Linux? [duplicate]

If it's true you only need about 128 bits of entropy to fuel enough data forever, why is it that /dev/random is so slow? My system has uptime of 214 days! Is it really only gathering .000000001 bits ...
2
votes
2answers
875 views

How can I measure (and increase) entropy on Mac OS X?

I'd like to generate a bunch of keys for long term storage on my MacBook. What's a good way to: measure the amount of entropy and ensure it is sufficient before each key is generated, and ...
20
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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a length beyond which increasing password length provides no additional security?

Assuming that the password is stored hashed and salted, and that it is a string of random characters, is there a point where adding to password length doesn't add security? Since the hash will have a ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any guidelines for passwords that need to be read out loud?

I recently saw the movie Olympus Has Fallen. Like in many action movies, at the end a missile is launched, and the hero (Mike Banning, played by Gerard Butler) has 60 seconds to recall the launch in ...
4
votes
2answers
155 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Does adding an extra, non-entropic keyfile lower security? [duplicate]

Suppose I create two TrueCrypt volumes using keyfiles. The first volume uses a keyfile generated by TrueCrypt, whereas the second one uses the same keyfile in addition to a second, non-entropic ...
17
votes
2answers
524 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
242 views

How can I create a secure password?

I know the standard tricks, create a long password, numbers, symbols, capital letters, etc. My questions is how do I judge password security. I heard different tricks to make secure passwords. For ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are passwords limited to 16 characters?

What is the reason that most websites limit to 16 characters? I would have thought the longer the password the more difficult it makes it for someone to crack it? Is it something to do with hash ...
3
votes
2answers
285 views

Computing entropy for a passphrase ( minimal word length … )

Edit: 2013-05-17 . 2013-05-27 After reading first answer from Tom Leek and some docs around the web, I've begin to write some options to my tool genpassphrase.pl: $ ./genpassphrase.pl -h Usage: ...
4
votes
3answers
824 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

PHP - Serializing user inputs

My entropy gathering system works by serializing user inputs: $entropy=sha1(microtime().$pepper.$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'].$_SERVER['REMOTE_PORT']. ...
14
votes
6answers
676 views

Is there additional security value in using passwords with words or phrases in non-English languages?

I was thinking about correct horse battery staple. I am not a native English speaker. In my language, the above could be written as: vqrno kon bateriq telbod OR вярно кон батерия телбод. Keep in ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

For how much time should I randomly move the mouse for generating encryption keys?

When creating a Truecrypt volume, there is the wizard page in which the user is told to randomly move the mouse (the longer the better) to generate entropy, and that it will significantly increase the ...
16
votes
2answers
465 views

What statistics can be used to identify pseudorandom data?

I'm working on some code that attempts to identify files whose contents appear to be "random". As such, I'm looking for statistical measures that can be used to identify such randomness. I've ...
3
votes
1answer
317 views

How genuine are password entropy calculations?

I apologise for perhaps the confusing title, I'll try and elaborate a little better. Many discussions I see surrounding password entropy focus on the specific context of the range of choices ...