The functions performed by the person or processes responsible for security of passwords on a given system.

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272
votes
20answers
44k views

How does changing your password every 90 days increase security?

Where I work I'm forced to change my password every 90 days. This security measure has been in place in many organizations for as long as I can remember. Is there a specific security vulnerability ...
64
votes
8answers
7k views

Can anyone provide references for implementing web application self password reset mechanisms properly?

We are implementing self password reset on a web application, and I know how I want to do it (email time limited password reset URL to users pre-registered email address). My problem is that I ...
30
votes
1answer
4k views

Are there more modern password hashing methods than bcrypt and scrypt?

This question made me start thinking about password hashing again. I currently use bcrypt (specifically py-bcrypt). I've heard a lot about PBKDF2, and scrypt. What I'm wondering is if there are any ...
31
votes
6answers
3k views

How can a system enforce a minimum number of changed characters in passwords, without storing or processing old passwords in cleartext?

In some environments, it is required that users change a certain number of characters every time they create a new password. This is of course to prevent passwords from being easily-guessable, ...
30
votes
9answers
2k views

Is there a method of generating site-specific passwords which can be executed in my own head?

I was thinking recently about password security. My goal is to have mostly random passwords, that are different for each site. But you also should be able to remember them (or re-generate them) ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

What should be used as a salt?

I always hear that it is best to use salts on top of stored passwords, which then somehow gets concatenated and hashed afterwards. But I don't know what to use as a the salt. What would be a good ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Recommended policy on password complexity

Is there any research on how how a password complexity policy can increase or decrease the quality of passwords? If you don't have any requirements on the password then probably 90% of users will use ...
45
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it OK to tell your password to your company's sysadmin?

I'm working in a small company (20 employees) as a senior software engineer. After having problems with my email, our newly employed IT administrator asked me to write my user password to someone in ...
29
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
42
votes
5answers
2k views

Do security questions subvert passwords?

Do security questions subvert hard to crack passwords? For example, if a site requires passwords with a certain scheme (length + required character sets) and has a security question, why would someone ...
43
votes
11answers
7k views

What to do about websites that store plain text passwords

I recently received an email from a popular graduate job web site (prospects.ac.uk) that I haven't used in a while suggesting I use a new feature. It contained both my username and password in plain ...
32
votes
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 ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it common practice to log rejected passwords?

While selecting unique passwords for each purpose is a great idea, in practice this rarely happens. Therefore many select passwords from a personal pool of passwords that are easily remembered. When ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it possible to increase the cost of BCrypt or PBKDF2 when its already calculated and without the original password?

I just wanted to know if you can increase the cost (iterations) of those two algorithms off-line. I want to increase the cost every year of my users passwords. One solution is to recalculate them ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Prevent denial of service attacks against slow hashing functions?

I've been thinking about bcrypt recently, and what I wonder is if there's a way to deal with the inherent (D)DoS problems with slow hashing functions. Namely, if I set up bcrypt so my machine takes ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

How can I best manage root passwords for many servers?

Lets say I have two racks with about 40 nix servers in them. I don't want to set all of the root user passwords all the same do I? If not how do you manage and keep up with all of the passwords? Is ...
3
votes
3answers
789 views

How to evaluate a password manager?

How can we quantify the trade-off between password aggregation and convenience? Password managers such as lastpass are convenient, but aggregation of passwords into a common store may reduce ...
3
votes
7answers
920 views

Sharing passwords and credentials between founders and employees

What's the best way to share passwords and credentials from the business's various accounts in a secure manner? For example, email doesn't work because if someone gets into one of your employee's ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Managing website passwords for small team

I'm part of a small group of people who manage a website and the server it runs on. We have many accounts with third-party websites or services that multiple people on the team need to access. What is ...
6
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I avoid putting the database password in a perl script?

I have a cronned perl script that connects to our database and does various kinds of lookups and integrity checks. The original script was written by someone long ago. My job is to make some changes ...
33
votes
9answers
32k views

How safe are password managers like LastPass?

I use LastPass to store and use my passwords, so I do not have duplicate passwords even if I have to register four to five different accounts a day, and the passwords are long. How safe are password ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Password Management within an Organisation

Within an organisation there are many passwords such as those for root accounts on servers, hosting accounts, router logins and other such things, that need to be kept track of. I know in some ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Password manager vs remembering passwords

I have always thought that you are not supposed to use a password manager but to keep your passwords in your head, but lately I have thought about the pros and cons of having a password manager. Some ...
4
votes
11answers
4k views

Definitely safest password storage scheme?

I already asked this on StackOverflow but I was suggested this would be a better suited place and I found no way to "move" the question so I have to copy it. Believe, I know, there are hundreds ...
32
votes
10answers
4k views

Is there any point in using 'strong' passwords?

Let's say I'm setting up a new account on a website. Should I bother using a strong password? My reasoning is this: Password strength is a rough measure of how long it would take to brute-force my ...
25
votes
8answers
8k views

Why Disallow Special Characters In a Password?

The culprit in this case is a particular (and particularly large) bank that does not allow special characters (of any sort) in their passwords: Just [a-Z 1-9]. Is their any valid reason for doing ...
15
votes
8answers
960 views

Password management/synchronization?

Is there a good enough service I could run on my own home (Linux) server that I could use for storing/accessing/synchronizing passwords so they could be available for me from multiple ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Passwords - any statistics on user behavior?

I'm looking for analyses of how users choose and use passwords. I'm sure there are many resources out there that analyze user passwords. For instance, I've seen many people analyze dumps of password ...
7
votes
3answers
562 views

Can cloud based password managing services be trusted?

I'm a big time user of cloud based password managing services like LastPass. But in the light of recent revelations like various government backdoors in popular sites, programs like prism, etc. I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

How to help users manage password portfolios based on risks of compromise?

A framework for modeling password management risks and costs, and the beginnings of a good strategy for users to help them manage passwords for their often large portfolios of accounts is outlined in ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

The registration confirmation email contains my password: do they keep it in plaintext?

I was kind of shocked when I just received my confirmation mail from the shop where I just registered myself: they sent my username (which is my email address) and the password I typed in. The ...
9
votes
1answer
495 views

Reversible, recoverable user data encryption scheme

From this earlier question, I have a general need to obfuscate a set of third-party credentials stored in a user account, which are then used in an internal Winforms software client. The scheme from ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Does NIST really recommend PBKDF2 for password hashing?

We hesitated between BCrypt and PBKDF2 for password hashing. In many forums and blogs people say something like "In their Special Publication SP 800-132 NIST basically recommends using PBKDF2 for ...
5
votes
3answers
787 views

Does LastPass' multi-device functionality significantly compromise its security?

I think LastPass is a great consumer product because it allows users to conveniently utilize unique strong passwords for each site they use it with. It does encryption locally, but the fact that I can ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Benefits and drawbacks of giving an Administrator two accounts for elevated rights and another for daily use, such as email

Microsoft has long promoted the need to separate administrative accounts from regular use accounts, as shown with this guidance MSFT even went to far as create ADMINSDUser rights to put ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

How to securely store my passwords?

Regarding this: Are passwords in memory? So does someone have a good idea on how to securely store my passwords? The: "passwords.txt" -> ctrl+c; ctrl+v a passw is not very secure. I have passwords ...
7
votes
2answers
597 views

How can IA-5(1)(b) be enforced on Windows systems?

Note: I've also posted a question for this issue on non-Windows systems. In NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 3, IA-5 is the control addressing "Authenticator Management". The requirements in this control include ...
4
votes
2answers
184 views

How can IA-5(1)(b) be enforced on non-Windows systems?

I have a question posted already for this issue in Windows systems, and thought that non-Windows systems should perhaps be covered separately. In NIST SP 800-53 Rev. 3, IA-5 is the control addressing ...
153
votes
7answers
25k views

What's the rationale behind Ctrl-Alt-Del for login

Why is Ctrl+Alt+Del required at login on certain Windows systems (I have not seen it elsewhere, but contradict me if I'm wrong) before the password can be typed in? From a usability point of view, ...
53
votes
12answers
3k views

How do you log in from an unsecured computer?

Suppose that you are on a cybercafe, at a friend's home or at your work office, and you need to log in on a site, but you feel that the the computer can not be trusted (e.g. your friend isn't ...
39
votes
3answers
39k views

How difficult to crack keepass master password?

How easily could someone crack my keepass .kdbx file if that person steals the file but never obtains the Master Password? Is this a serious threat, or would a brute force attack require massive ...
36
votes
7answers
3k views

“Real” Salt and “Fake” Salt

During a Q&A period at DEFCON this year, one member of the audience mentioned that we're using "fake salt" when concatenating a random value and a password before hashing. He defined "real salt" ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

How can I be sure Lastpass really can't access my passwords?

The recent, widely publicized security incident where millions of Linkedin were exposed reminded me to tighten up my password practices. I'm looking at several password managers now and I'm especially ...
13
votes
5answers
8k views

Is saving passwords in Chrome as safe as using LastPass if you leave it signed in?

Justin Schuh defended Google's reasoning in the wake of this post detailing the "discovery" (sic) that passwords saved in the Chrome password manager can be viewed in plaintext. Let me just directly ...
14
votes
11answers
3k views

Best practice for password distribution

I am about to set up a new account on my Linux server for a user that lives in another state in the U.S. I can't think of a good way to get them this user their password. There must be a standard ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Free/Libre software to handle TCG OPAL 2.0-compliant Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs)?

I'm in search of a free/libre software that is able to handle OPAL (2.0)-compliant SEDs (i.e. manage the setting of Pre-Boot Authentification (PBA) environment, encryption keys...). It could be a ...
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 ...
23
votes
6answers
9k views

Sharing wifi at a business - Bad Policy?

Is it safe for a small business to let customers use their wifi while waiting? My friend is starting up a small dentistry practice (1 dentist), and I'm setting up his computers/wifi as a favor. ...
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 ...