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

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27
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4answers
5k views

How secure are my passwords in the hands of Firefox using a Master Password?

I'm relying on Firefox to remember my passwords, using a Master Password of more than 25 characters. How secure is this set-up?
26
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8answers
2k views

Why is password hashing considered so important?

After reading this article, I can see the benefits of password hashing as a second layer of defence, in the event of an intruder gaining access to a password database. What I still don't understand is ...
26
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5answers
3k views

How valuable is secrecy of an algorithm?

On the surface, the inadvisability of security through obscurity is directly at odds with the concept of shared secrets (i.e. "passwords"). Which is to say: if secrecy around passwords is valuable, ...
26
votes
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 ...
26
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11answers
3k views

Is it safe to use a weak password as long as I have two-factor authentication?

I'm careful to use strong passwords (according to How Big is Your Haystack, my passwords would take a massive cracking array 1.5 million centuries to crack), I don't reuse passwords across sites, and ...
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 ...
26
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4answers
9k 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 ...
26
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6answers
3k views

Are there secure alternatives to single-use password reset links?

We currently have what I believe to be a pretty standard scheme for dealing with password resets. Our reset links are single-use links: They expire immediately after they've been visited, even if the ...
25
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6answers
7k views

Are passwords that are manually typed in really unrecoverable from memory or disk?

As part of an increase in the security measures for our company, we're moving to making sure all password logins (databases, servers, etc), are done through a password prompt and never using stored ...
25
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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 ...
25
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6answers
25k 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 ...
25
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4answers
4k 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 ...
25
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3answers
2k views

Does password-protecting a server's BIOS help in securing sensitive data?

I'm running a server of which I protected the BIOS with a password. One doesn't have to enter this password before booting, but before entering the BIOS setup. I just did this from routine. However, ...
24
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5answers
3k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
3k views

Do non-keyboard characters make my password less susceptible to brute forcing?

I can put characters in my password for which there are no keys on a keyboard. On Windows, Alt+#### (with the numpad) inserts the character for whatever code you type in. When I put this in a ...
24
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
4k views

One liner to create passwords in linux?

How do you create a readable password using bash with one line? What if i'm looking for 128 bits of entropy? EDIT By readable I mean the 94 printable ascii characters (without space). It can use ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the purpose of the “Password minimum age” setting?

What additional security can a "password minimum age" provide? For example: the user can change their password only after 24 hours have elapsed since the last password change.
23
votes
3answers
3k views

For an HTTPS web application, is it worthwhile to encrypt the password before POSTing it, to keep a MITM attacker from harversting it?

Our application has recently gone through penetration testing. The test found one critical security breach, which is essentially: The problem: Attacker sets up a WiFi spot. User enters our site ...
23
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10answers
6k views

Intel How Strong is Your Password page, good advice?

I came across this Intel How Strong is Your Password? page which estimates how strong your password is. It has some advice on choosing better passwords including that you should use multiple ...
23
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5answers
2k views

Do spaces in a passphrase really add any more security/entropy?

I often see passphrase suggestions written as a sentence, with spaces. In that format are they more susceptible to a dictionary attack because each word is on it's own as opposed to a large unbroken ...
23
votes
6answers
4k views

Source code as password

Passwords with a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters are sometimes hard to remember. Is it secure to instead use a small amount of memorable source code as a 'passphrase'? As an ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Security impact of using a public password for free WiFi

We have a WiFi network that we want to be public and free. Does having a password that is known to everyone provide any additional security advantage to the people using this network as opposed to ...
23
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5answers
2k views

Should passwords be revealed in error message?

I am having pet-peeve with PHP's PDO class. As you can see on the Warning note: it reveals database password by default if an exception was not caught (when display errors is on which is a probable ...
23
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 ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Passwords in plaintext?

I'm doing some research on the App of my telephone operator. I started Burp Suite on my Mac in proxy mode, I opened up the App on my iPhone and started to sniff some traffic. I pressed the "login" ...
23
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1answer
2k views

Facebook password lowercase and uppercase

Recently I logged into my Facebook account and then noticed that my caps lock was on. So I tried to log in again with and without capslock on. I got in both times. Then I tried to log in with the ...
23
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4answers
2k views

Why do some sites block pasting into username or password input fields?

I use a few websites that prevent me from copying & pasting into the username or password fields. It's quite frustrating when using a password manager, and if anything I'd think it discourages ...
22
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7answers
6k views

Why don't people hash and salt usernames before storing them

Everyone knows that if they have a system that requires a password to log in, they should be storing a hashed & salted copy of the required password, rather than the password in plaintext. What I ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Does overlaying the mouse on a virtual numeric keyboard really protect against keyloggers?

I just saw for the first time a new way to enter a password, at the Banque Postale (French Bank). You are given a virtual numeric keyboard and to type you can just leave the mouse cursor over a number ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

Online password managers

Can online password managers be used for storing and managing passwords? I mean from the security point of view. I understand that those systems can be different and some deserves more trust than the ...
22
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5answers
5k views

Password strength and banks 4 pin code?

Why is it that some security advisers recommend using an 8 character password with upper, lower, digits, and symbols while banks only use a 4 digit number pin for debit and 3 digit pin for credit ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

How would you store a 4 digit pin code securely in the database?

I'm familiar with password hashing, using salts, bcrypt etc. But it doesn't seem like this would work to store a 4 digit pin code since the attacker could try all 10,000 combinations quite quickly. ...
22
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2answers
5k views

Does bcrypt have a maximum password length?

I was messing around with bcrypt today and noticed something: hashpw('testtdsdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddsddddddddddddddddd', salt) Output: ...
22
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4answers
5k views

Security of passphrase-protected private key

If an attacker obtains a private key that was created with no passphrase, he obviously gains access to everything protected with that key. How secure are private keys set up with a passphrase? If an ...
22
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5answers
2k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
4k views

Best password strength checker

In XKCD #936: Short complex password, or long dictionary passphrase? Jeff claimed that password cracking with "dictionary words separated by spaces", or "a complete sentence with punctuation", or ...
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 ...
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 ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

Should I change all my passwords due to heartbleed [duplicate]

Should I change all of my online passwords due to the heartbleed bug? Edit: I found a list of vulnerable sites on GitHub and checked all my critical sites. Everything I was really concerned with ...
21
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3answers
4k views

Doesn't plaintextoffenders.com just provide attackers with a good list of sites to attack for passwords?

On the face of it, PTO seems like a good idea in educating people about password security. On the other hand, if I were an attacker, PTO would be the first place I would start if I wanted to start ...
21
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4answers
2k views

What are spambots doing with unintelligible login attempts?

After constantly being under attack in phpBB, I created a new forum by hand, which successfully prevents spam bots from registering, and I get a report for every failed login attempt, telling me 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
6answers
3k views

Why do some sites prevent users from reusing their old passwords?

I have always wondered why it is that bad to reuse old passwords; it should not be the end of the world if we happen to use an old password that we previously used. After all, I believe most of the ...
21
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6answers
2k views

Is there a use-case that renders the password manager obsolete?

Background Trevor posed a question about the nature and validity of using a password manager, given the current prevailing model of authentication on most web resources. Caveat: this is not the ...
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Security of LastPass + YubiKey

I'm looking at password manager solutions and came across LastPass. I see they also support two-factor authentication using YubiKeys. How secure is this combination for password management? What are ...
21
votes
3answers
5k 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
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5answers
1k views

Hashed password storage with random salt

Ever since I've been making sites that require a user to log in with a username and password I've always kept the passwords somewhat secure by storing them in my database hashed with a salt phrase. ...
21
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5answers
2k views

Is my bank storing my password in plain text? [duplicate]

My bank (and every bank I've come across) only ever asks for individual characters from my password when logging in. Is my bank storing my password in plain text?
21
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5answers
17k 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 ...