A hash algorithm is a function which takes a variable size input and produces a fixed size output. The algorithm tries to make it difficult to predict the output for a given input, find two inputs with the same output, or reconstruct the input from the output.

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How to securely hash passwords?

If I hash passwords before storing them in my database, is that sufficient to prevent them being recovered by anyone? I should point out that this relates only to retrieval directly from the ...
374
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5answers
123k views

Do any security experts recommend bcrypt for password storage?

On the surface bcrypt, an 11 year old security algorithm designed for hashing passwords by Niels Provos and David Mazieres, which is based on the initialization function used in the NIST approved ...
268
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8answers
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How to store salt?

Nowadays, if we expect to store user password securely, we need at least do the following thing $pwd=hash(hash($password) + salt) then store $pwd in your system instead of the real password. I have ...
108
votes
6answers
42k views

Password Hashing add salt + pepper or is salt enough?

Please Note: I'm aware that the proper method for secure password storage hashing is either scrypt or bcrypt. This question isn't for implementation in actual software, it's for my own understanding. ...
321
votes
11answers
40k views

Is my developer's home-brew password security right or wrong, and why?

A developer, let's call him 'Dave', insists on using home-brew scripts for password security. See Dave's proposal below. His team spent months adopting an industry standard protocol using Bcrypt. ...
83
votes
2answers
26k views

What are rainbow tables and how are they used?

Where can I find one? Is there a pot of gold at the end? How do I protect against them? From the Area51 proposal This question was IT Security Question of the Week. Read the Sep 09, 2011 blog ...
159
votes
8answers
31k views

Why are salted hashes more secure?

I know there are many discussions on salted hashes, and I understand that the purpose is to make it impossible to build a rainbow table of all possible hashes (generally up to 7 characters). My ...
36
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11answers
2k views

Does hashing a file from an unsigned website give a false sense of security?

Consider this. Many websites with software downloads also make available MD5 or SHA1 hashes, for users to verify the integrity of the downloaded files. However, few of these sites actually use HTTPS ...
33
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5answers
13k views

https security - should password be hashed server-side or client-side?

I am building a web application which requires users to login. All communication goes through https. I am using bcrypt to hash passwords. I am facing a dilemma - I used to think it is safer to make a ...
102
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4answers
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Recommended # of iterations when using PKBDF2-SHA256?

I'm curious if anyone has any advice or points of reference when it comes to determining how many iterations is 'good enough' when using PBKDF2 (specifically with SHA-256). Certainly, 'good enough' is ...
142
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5answers
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Does Facebook store plain-text passwords?

I was about to reset my Facebook password and got this error: Your new password is too similar to your current password. Please try another password. I assumed that Facebook stores only password ...
27
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4answers
6k views

Why is using salt more secure?

Storing the hash of users' passwords, e.g. in a database, is insecure since human passwords are vulnerable to dictionary attacks. Everyone suggests that this is mitigated via the use of salts, but the ...
132
votes
11answers
49k views

Why are hash functions one way? If I know the algorithm, why can't I calculate the input from it?

Why can't a password hash be reverse engineered? I've looked into this ages ago and have read lots on it, but I can't find the explanation of why it can't be done. An example will make it easier to ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

Client side password hashing

Edit: Updated to put more emphasis on the goal - peace of mind for the user, and not beefing up the security. After reading through a few discussions here about client side hashing of passwords, I'm ...
24
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4answers
3k views

What to transfer? Password or its hash?

Let's say in my database I store passwords hashed with salt with a fairly expensive hash (scrypt, 1000 rounds of SHA2, whatever). Upon login, what should I transfer over the network and why? Password ...
69
votes
5answers
28k views

Is sending password to user email secure?

How secure is sending passwords through email to a user, since email isn't secured by HTTPS. What is the best way to secure it? Should i use encryption?
28
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7answers
24k views

Is MD5 considered insecure?

After all these articles circulating online about md5 exploits, I am considering switching to another hash algorithm. As far as I know it's always been the algorithm of choice among numerous DBAs. Is ...
30
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there any advantage to splitting a password?

I've been reading about the LANMAN (LM) hash and I'm curious about a particular part of the algorithm. The LM hash is computed as follows: The user’s ASCII password is converted to uppercase. ...
29
votes
6answers
33k views

Most secure password hash algorithm(s)?

What is/are currently the most cryptographically secure hashing algorithm(s)? (available in PHP) Speed is irrelevant, because I'm iterating the hash over a fixed time (rather than a fixed number of ...
45
votes
2answers
5k views

Pre-hash password before applying bcrypt to avoid restricting password length

Good practice is not to unnecessarily restrict password length, so that appropriately-long passphrases (perhaps 35-45 chars for 6/7 dicewords) can be used. (See e.g. Should I have a maximum password ...
19
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5answers
5k views

What is a good practical (and sane) way to manage all your passwords for online sites?

I am just a mere mortal that wants to have a somewhat secure way of managing all my passwords. This is something that I have been putting off, but since LinkedIn decided to give away one of my ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Reference implementation of C# password hashing and verification

Does anyone have a reference implementation (ideally 3rd party certified, or government approved) way one-way hash a password for C# and or Java? Ideally,I'd like to see something that includes a ...
21
votes
5answers
5k views

What's the practical limit for rainbow-table based bruteforce?

Say we have a hash of a password. The password can be considered to be made of of totally random characters and has a fixed length of N. The hash is SHA1(password+salt), where the salt is of length M. ...
22
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5answers
2k views

When hashing passwords, is it ok to use the hashed password as the salt?

I don't like this idea. But I can not come up with a technical argument against it. Can somebody explain it to me? The basic idea is: $passwd = 'foo'; $salt = hash($passwd); $finalHash = hash($passwd ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What is the purpose of a Pepper?

I've been trying to find out exactly what a pepper is. The only things I could accurately determine are that a Pepper: Is theoretically unique from site to site and hard-coded in the site's source ...
2
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5answers
383 views

Methods used to reverse a hash

I know that a hash is a one-way-function and that therefore there isn't a reversal function. By reversing a hash I just mean to find some plaintext that gives the hash. I think that I understand that ...
29
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8answers
5k views

Why would salt not have prevented LinkedIn passwords from getting cracked?

In this interview posted on Krebs on Security, this question was asked and answered: BK: I’ve heard people say, you know this probably would not have happened if LinkedIn and others had salted ...
32
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2answers
13k views

HMAC - Why not HMAC for password storage?

Nota bene: I'm aware that the good answer to secure password storage is either scrypt or bcrypt. This question isn't for implementation in actual software, it's for my own understanding. Let's say ...
13
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6answers
8k views

Is PBKDF2-based System.Cryptology.RFC2898DeriveBytes() “better” for Unicode Password hashing than traditional methods?

When is it appropriate to use RFC2898DeriveBytes versus a typical hash? Update I now understand that a KDF is typically used to create a symmetric key for possible use in encrypting a stream. I ...
6
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3answers
24k views

Windows 7 Password Hash Security

I recently came across a number of sources that suggest that cracking Windows user account passwords is easy by examining their password hashes. I understand that these hashes are stored in the SAM ...
3
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6answers
1k views

“Double hashing” with 2 different hash functions

Is doing something like this sha256(sha512(password+salt)) Less secure then just doing sha256(password+salt) I've heard it will increase collision chances. I can think of 3 reasons to do this ...
11
votes
2answers
15k views

openssl: recover key and IV by passphrase

A large amount of files were encrypted by openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -pass pass:MYPASSWORD Openssl should derive key+IV from passphrase. I'd like to know key+IV equivalent of that MYPASSWORD. Is ...
19
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1answer
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How to apply a pepper correctly to bcrypt?

Update: There is a better way to add a server side key, than using it as a pepper. With a pepper an attacker must gain additional privileges on the server to get the key. The same advantage we get ...
19
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2answers
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Why is it always `HASH( salt + password )` that we recommend?

Browsing over this site, many forums, online articles, there's always one specific way we're suggesting to store a password hash: function (salt, pass) { return ( StrongHash(salt + pass) ) } But ...
36
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3answers
2k views

Am I wrong to believe that passwords should never be recoverable (one way hash)?

I recently forgot my password for our cable provider online account, only to discover that they sent it to us via plain text in an email. I quickly sent an email to customer support asking them if ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Authenticated Encryption vs. contained and encrypted checksum/hash?

So I read through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authenticated_encryption and http://www.cryptopp.com/wiki/Authenticated_Encryption and I don't seem to be following the concept. From the simple ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Are different hash algorithms ever used together?

I was wondering if different hashes (e.g. md5(sha1($data)) ) are ever used together for data security and if there was any reason for it (either positive or negative answer).
7
votes
2answers
372 views

Is cascading cryptographic algorithm better than using a single one?

Am I wrong to think that scrypt(bcrypt(password)) would be better than using sole (s|b)crypt? Especially when considering two different key for the two algorithms. I am also interested in some ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the mathematical model behind the security claims of symmetric ciphers and digest algorithms?

Why can SHA-1 be considered a secure hash function? That's something I still wonder about. I understand the concepts of why modern asymmetric algorithms are deemed to be secure. They are founded on ...
1
vote
2answers
279 views

Is it a good idea to use the user's username as a salt when hashing a password like hash(username_str + password_str)?

I'm helping my friend with hashing his passwords, and I've a question - Should he use one secret string as salt for hashing or is it better to have each user its own salt for hashing? Consider these ...
9
votes
1answer
989 views

Would it make sense to use Bcrypt and PBKDF2 together?

I've read various opinions about whether Bcrypt or PDBKF2 is a better key derivation hashing method. The answer seems to depend on a lot of complicated factors that are not easy to analyze. Would ...
152
votes
18answers
16k views

What is a good analogy to explain to a layman why passwords should be hashed?

Note: This is not an actual situation I'm currently in. Assume your boss is one of those old-fashioned computer-illiterate managers and wants to store the passwords in plaintext to simplify ...
35
votes
7answers
8k views

Hashing a credit card number for use as a fingerprint

What's the best way to hash a credit card number so that it can be used for fingerprinting (i.e. so that comparing two hashes will let you know if the card numbers match or not)? Ideally, I'm ...
35
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15answers
6k views

Why do people think that this is bad way to hash passwords?

Well, please tell me, what's wrong with this code: $password = "hello"; $password = md5($password); for($i=1;$i<20;$i++){ $password = md5($password); } It's exactly the same as this one: ...
41
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8answers
4k views

Why improvising your own Hash function out of existing hash functions is so bad

I'm afraid I'll have tomatoes thrown at me for asking this old question, but here goes. After reading that cooking up your own password hash out of existing hashing functions is dangerous over and ...
18
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3answers
5k views

MySQL OLD_PASSWORD cryptanalysis?

The password hash used for MySQL passwords prior to version 4.1 (now called OLD_PASSWORD()) seems like a very simple ad-hoc hash, without salts or iteration counts. See e.g an implementation in ...
27
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Which SSL/TLS ciphers can be considered secure?

The OpenSSL website provides a long list of different ciphers available for SSL and TLS. My question is, which of those ciphers can be considered secure nowadays. I am especially interested in HTTPS, ...
21
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1answer
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Timing attacks on password hashes

Timing attacks can have a devastating impact in scenarios where the secret is involved, often in cases where byte-wise array comparison is used. Now there are those that advertise using constant ...
20
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6answers
2k views

Is it fundamentally possible to validate that an unmodified version of your client connects to your server?

I'm cross posting this question from Programmers.SE because I think it's equally on-topic here and would like to pose the question to this community as well. This seems like a programming question ...
20
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6answers
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Hash function change

I have user account passwords stored in a database using an unsafe (old) cryptographic hash function. What is the best/usual approach to changing password hash function? Only two ideas come to my ...