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

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70
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
31
votes
11answers
14k 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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
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
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
978 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
721 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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
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
6answers
2k views

Is denying login after incorrect attempts ineffective?

Generally denying login attempts after X amounts of incorrect attempts for Y amount of tries is a very basic way to prevent bruteforce attempts or malicious login attempts. Yet, surely doing this is ...
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
473 views

Is piping a `ssh-agent` signed message as a password secure?

There's an encrypted filesystem on a server I ssh into using public key authentication. Since a forwarded ssh-agent can deterministically sign a message (see also the ssh-agent protocol section ...
35
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the risk if I accidently type my password into a username field (Windows logon)?

I'm used to logging into my personal Mac which is a password-only field (like waking from sleep mode). Sometimes I have to use a Windows network on which I have an account, but of course I have to ...
15
votes
6answers
959 views

Appropriate password requirements for a login (OpenID) service/provider/delegate/thing

This is with regards* to Stack Exchange's upcoming OpenID provider (and in particular, discussion about password requirements). Currently, password requirements are: Must contain 3 of: lower case ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
925 views

Are there some good papers (or discussions) on using Markov chains or Hidden Markov Models for password auditing/cracking?

As a programmer and language enthusiast I've been very interested in Markov chains for some time. Considering the influence of natural language on password and passphrase selection (by humans of ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Encrypting user data using password and forgot my password

I am planning to do a web application which stores a lot of personal stuff (info, photos...). And to give users a sense of protection, I want to encrypt the data before storing it to the database. ...
8
votes
2answers
445 views

Banning specific passwords?

There have been a couple of questions about enforcing good passwords, so I thought I'd add my own: In addition to enforcing a minimum Shannon entropy, would it generally be a good practice to ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it possible to speed up WPA/WPA2-PSK cracking using a rogue AP?

We know that WPA/WPA2-PSK uses a PTK (Pairwise Transient Key) for each client to encrypt the communication. This PTK is generated through the process known as 4-way handshake. As told in the related ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
625 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
616 views

Store a password to avoid user interaction

I am creating a windows service that sends email to a user. It uses a Gmail account to send the email, so it needs a password to access the account. It also needs to do this automatically, without ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

What is a good enough salt for a SaltedHash?

Since I'm hashing all passwords with each their own salt, is there a benefit to the salt being really random, or would an incremental counter or a guid be good enough? Also, is there a benefit of ...
8
votes
3answers
694 views

Is it safe to generate passwords online?

I usually generate strong passwords using various online tools. Some time ago I mentioned it to friend of mine and he looked at me as if my life was one big fail. Is it really so unsafe to generate ...
8
votes
1answer
359 views

Protecting emails in your database

It's common to encrypt passwords in the database, but I'm wondering what solutions are out there to protect emails in your database. Not just from hacking, but from disgruntled employees or engineers ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Considering that SRP is better than SSH and Basic Auth, how can it be implemented in a website?

SRP is short for Secure Remote Password protocol, and provides a better way for passwords to be sent over the internet. I've read the information at it's Stanford University home page, the Wiki ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Are the iPhone “connect the dots” passwords secure?

A popular way to login to iPhones and other phones is to use a "connect the dots" password. For those unfamiliar, it looks something like this: Is this kind of passwords secure from brute force ...
5
votes
2answers
906 views

Web & insecure HTTP - Using RSA for encrypting passwords on the client side

I used client side password hashing in my register and login project. Its purpose is to prevent passive adversaries/eavesdroppers from discovering users' plaintext passwords when HTTP requests are in ...
17
votes
5answers
813 views

Is there any legal reason to save a cleartext password?

I called customer service of a well known company and discovered that the operator had the ability to view my website password in clear text on her screen. I asked her about this and she defended the ...
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
4answers
1k views

How to protect ftp account information in the source code of a program

I wrote a game which stores high score information on an ftp server. In the the source code I need to write out the ftp link with the account name and password in it. For example: url = new ...
7
votes
5answers
350 views

Is there any added security benefit to username complexity requirements?

I've come across several sites lately that have complexity requirements for usernames like "must be 8 characters long and contain at least 2 numbers". Is there any real added benefit to this from a ...
6
votes
3answers
453 views

An alternative to traditional passwords: is there some merit to this idea?

If you've got a website aimed at people that are not neccessarily technically proficient, letting new users choose their own password isn't very secure because of the simple fact that a lot of people ...
5
votes
2answers
669 views

Storing third-party auth info securely

Suppose there's a multi-user web application that requires access to user's mailbox (on third-party service, like gmail, etc.). This access needs to be persistent. Which means we'd have to store user ...
4
votes
5answers
578 views

Use the hash of the password to encrypted password

I have a app which transmit the password in clear text. I was planning to use the hash of the password (SHA-512) as the key for encrypting the plain text password. Then send the encrypted text to the ...
4
votes
2answers
150 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: ...
4
votes
2answers
248 views

What steps can you take to make offline cracking of SRP harder?

In the aftermath of the Blizzard hack, what steps can I take to make offline cracking of SRP more difficult? My question assumes that your database is already gone and that you implemented SRP more ...
3
votes
2answers
231 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Password reset links: random value or authenticated message?

Which is better? Create tamper-proof encrypted password reset token which contains the user id and the expiration time within the encrypted token. Generate a random token and store it in the ...
3
votes
7answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Recompute Rainbow table with salt?

So, as I understand it, you prepend a password with salt before you hash it so that the resulting hash can't be used with a rainbow table to find the original password, as you could if the password ...
2
votes
4answers
532 views

passphrases - lowercase and dictionary words

Amid all the discussion about password length vs. complexity (summarized by the famous xkcd strip and the followup dicussion) I am trying to make up my mind about passphrases made up with dictionnary ...