Specific to the security of passwords: hashing, entropy, cracking, resets, lockouts, etc.

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10
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5answers
7k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
650 views

Doesn't imposing a minimum password length make the password weaker by reducing the number of possible combinations?

I thought the strength of a password depended on the total number of possible combinations. Therefore, allowing longer passwords should be safer because you then have more possibilities. But why do ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How can one secure a password/key in source code [duplicate]

If there is a need for source code to have a password in it, how should this be secured? This is purely an example, but say there is an app that is using an API, and you don't want to expose ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Does bcrypt compare the hashes in “length-constant” time?

I saw this function slowEquals() while reading Salted Password Hashing - Doing it Right, which uses a byte-level xor comparison to avoid timing attacks. I was wondering whether this is what Bcrypt ...
5
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
4
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6answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

How often should passwords change?

I'm asking two very related questions As an admin what policies should be enforced regarding the frequency of password changing? I have an idea that users should be forced to change their ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Security of bcrypt/sha256 key used with AES to encrypt a file

I'm looking to encrypt files using secure hashing and encryption algorithms in Python. Having used bcrypt in the past, I decided to use it for my passphrase calculator, then pass the output through ...
4
votes
4answers
564 views

Can't brute force password cracking somehow be throttled?

Online articles mention the importance of a strong password and suggest that hacking tools allows bad guys to attempt millions of passwords per second. I am wondering why OSes and websites and such ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Is it a good idea to store Email addresses as hash only?

I am currently building a web service at http://write-math.com similar to http://detexify.kirelabs.org/ that should help users to get LaTeX code from drawn formulae. It is part of my bachelors thesis ...
2
votes
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
9answers
2k views

Why do we authenticate by prompting a user to enter both username and password? Does prompting the password only suffice?

I don't know why do we authenticate by prompting the user to enter both username and password. In my mental model, prompting password only suffices. The reason is as follows: Assume there are x ...
4
votes
2answers
344 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
413 views

Is it secure to use similar password over different accounts?

I have a strong password which is a long, unfamiliar word phrase. I would like make other account use a password with similar level of complexity but I don't like to remember so many password over ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it possible to detect password length from hash? Does doubling your password add more security?

Assuming a service doesn't store a plain text password, am I right in saying that the answer to this question depends on the service? On a bad service, the hash length is related to the password ...
131
votes
9answers
24k views

Is “the oft-cited XKCD scheme […] no longer good advice”?

I was stumbling around and happened onto this essay by Bruce Schneier claiming that the XKCD password scheme was effectively dead. Modern password crackers combine different words from their ...
176
votes
7answers
37k views

Why would you not permit Q or Z in passwords?

Jetblue's password requirements specify that, among other stringent requirements: Cannot contain a Q or Z I can't fathom a logical reason for this, unless it were say, extremely common for the ...
39
votes
3answers
3k views

Security Review - password_hash implementation for PHP

I'm currently working on a "helper function" for PHP's core to make password hashing more secure and easier for the majority of developers. Basically, the goal is to make it so easy, that it's harder ...
48
votes
3answers
52k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

Length of passwords that are rainbow table safe

With large computing power (like what you can get in the Amazon cloud for example) you can generate huge rainbow tables for passwords. There also seems to be some large rainbow tables reachable that ...
42
votes
9answers
4k views

Isn't OAuth, OpenID, Facebook Connect, and others crazy from a security standpoint?

I work with APIs all the time and I work with web developers who insist that OAuth, OpenID, etc are far superior than a home-brew method. Every site seems to be using these as well now for ease of use ...
26
votes
4answers
14k views

Demystifying Web Authentication (Stateless Session Cookies)

I'm currently researching user authentication protocols for a website I'm developing. I would like to create an authentication cookie so users can stay logged in between pages. Here is my first ...
22
votes
10answers
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 ...
71
votes
8answers
9k views

Convincing my manager to use salts

My manager says we don't need to salt our passwords because people are not likely to use the same password because they all have different native languages, in addition to the websites they are active ...
38
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" ...
34
votes
11answers
24k views

Are password-protected ZIP files secure?

Following my answer. If I can list contents of password-protected ZIP file, check the file types of each stored file and even replace it with another one, without actually knowing the password, then ...
25
votes
4answers
7k views

Is using SHA-512 for storing passwords tolerable?

I know that the best options to use for storing passwords are bcrypt/PBKDF2/scrypt. However, suppose you have to audit a system and it uses SHA-512 with salt. Is that "fine"? Or it is a vulnerability ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

What is a good way to authenticate a user to a smart phone?

What would be a good way to authenticate a user to a smart phone? By good, I mean that it is both secure, and user-friendly. Passwords don't seem to be the best fit because a password needs to be ...
16
votes
2answers
676 views

Can client-side hashing reduce the denial-of-service risk with slow hashes?

When storing user's passwords that you need to verify against (but not use as plaintext) the current state of the art is: Hash the password Use a salt Use a slow hash function - bcrypt, scrypt, etc. ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

MD5 collision attacks: are they relevant in password hashing?

DISCLAIMER: This is not an endorsement of MD5 as a password hashing function. I know about parallelization, GPUs, and dedicated password hashing functions like bcrypt and scrypt. With that out of ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it safe to store a password hash history for preventing user to keep same password repeatedly in some cases?

I am developing an application in PHP and it uses bcrypt encryption to store passwords. I want to keep the history of hashes whenever the user changes the password. By doing this I want to stop the ...
21
votes
6answers
8k views

Is AES encrypting a password with itself more secure than SHA1?

This isn't really a practical question, but more a question of curiosity. I heard a CS professor recommend stepping up from md5ing passwords not to SHA1, but to AES encrypting the password using ...
21
votes
12answers
3k views

Why do we even use passwords / passphrases next to biometrics?

In the last couple of days there were a lot of talking about passwords and passphrases, not only here, but on several blogs and forums I follow (especially after XKCD #936 saw the light of this ...
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 ...
33
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
7k views

How secure is Windows 8's Picture Password login?

The final Windows 8 build has been released to manufacturing. One of the new features of Windows 8 is "Picture Password", where the end user logs on to Windows by clicking a specific pattern on the ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What's wrong with storing private keys in the cloud?

I know this sounds like a dumb question, but whats wrong with it? Assuming that all private data is encrypted (by the client) using PBE AES256, then is this scheme more vulerable than storing keys on ...
15
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5answers
2k views

The aescrypt implementation hashes a password 8192 times to generate the key. Is this necessary?

I'm considering encrypting some small files (hundreds of kb apiece) using the aescrypt reference implementation. Looking at the source, it seems that the encryption key is derived from the IV and the ...
15
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How are browser saved passwords vulnerable?

Most browsers offer to save the password after entering it on many logon pages. What types of vulnerabilities are there for such saved passwords. I'm interested in what ways malware on web pages ...
13
votes
3answers
684 views

How to manage team passwords?

How do most teams handle the storage of passwords, in particular the required changes when team members leave ? Right now, we use a centrally stored encrypted file but the thought of changing 100's ...
26
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12answers
5k views

How secure are passwords made of whole english sentences

I often read as an advice to build strong passwords, just to think about a sentence and then take the initial letters. For example take a nonsense sentence like "I watch Grey's Anatomy at 9.40" gives ...
20
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1answer
2k views

Why does Facebook bother comparing old and new passwords?

An answer to this question says Facebook generates a bunch of password guesses to see if they hash the same as a previous version of the password. Why bother? If a service forces every password to ...
20
votes
9answers
1k views

Is a simple, but very long password a good password?

Is a password like wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww9 (25x 'w' and a number) secure? It would be easy to remember.
18
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

How big salt should be?

I will be using scrypt to store passwords in my application. As such, I'll be using SHA-256 and Salsa20 crypto primitives (with PBKDF2). Having that in mind, how big salt should I use? Should it be ...
14
votes
2answers
895 views

Password and Generated number - How does it work?

In my company, they don't allow accessing the company email or servers from outside the company network. To access the email from outside the network, you have to use: Username, password and a number ...
14
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2answers
3k views

What are the most common password salting methods?

I learned that the Sun guys used the login name as salt for password hashing. Is this a common approach? What are the most common salt values?
8
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
360 views

Perfectly Robust Hashing Scheme, or Completely Over-Engineered?

This is going to get long, so prepare. Basis of the question is, Do all these steps improve security, or am I completely overthinking the problem? Are my assumptions/thought process valid? We all ...