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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

19
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
16k views

Modern high quality password dictionary

Has anyone come across any good password dictionary lately? Some of the lists I found dated back to 90's! Some are simply too big that I doubt their quality. There appears to be some work by someone ...
24
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
12answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
936 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
13
votes
1answer
920 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
341 views

Is it inconsistent to tell users to “not click on password links in email”, and requiring clicks on “forgot password” links?

On one hand, IT Security shops have been telling users to not click on links in email because they can do damage to your computer, or phish your personal information. Many of those issues are ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

What chars should I not allow in passwords?

I am planning to develop a website that require that the users register a username and a password. When I let the user choose a password, what chars should I allow the users to have in the password? ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I mitigate the threat that DPAPick poses to my DPAPI protected data?

The Windows Data Protection API (DPAPI) is the suggested method for storing secrets on Windows systems (such as database passwords required by ASP.Net applications). DPAPick was presented at BlackHat ...
5
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
1k views

Who is responsible for the strength of user's passwords?

Who is responsible for a user's password's strength? Is it us (developers, architects, etc.) or the user? As a web developer, I've frequently wondered whether I should enforce the minimal password ...
23
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
489 views

Is it OK to tell your password to an admin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: From a security point : Is it OK to tell your password to an admin? I am working in a small company (20 employees) as a senior SW engineer. After having some email ...
14
votes
4answers
7k views

Is it possible to securely store passwords using reversible encryption?

Everyone says that you need to use a non-reversible hash when you store passwords so that even if your database is leaked, the passwords themselves are still safe. I'm wondering if there is anyway to ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
792 views

Is this code snippet good enough for password hash and salt

After a few days reading up about salting and hashing passwords, I found an actual bit of code that tells how to do it. This is what I found: $blowfish_salt = ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

time to crack file-encryption password - more than just iteration

I have often seen that takes x amount of time to crack a certain length password. But this just seems to be the amount of time it takes to iterate through all the possibilities. What about the time it ...
8
votes
2answers
756 views

Stretching a hash, many iterations versus longer input string

I have been reading up on various password hashing schemes, for example the SHA-based Crypt proposed by Ulrich Drepper and used in some Linux versions. A recurring theme here is to 'strengthen' or ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How do online accounts get hacked?

How does your typical users run-of-the-mill Facebook/twitter/gmail/AIM/etc account get hacked? Is it simply a matter of a weak password? Are they typically the victim of phishing or other social ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Password entropy in layman's terms

Entropy is a term used often in relation to password security and brute-force attacks, but it is a topic that can get complicated quickly. What is the best way to describe password entropy (what it is ...
5
votes
1answer
836 views

Practices for storing username/password in Web applications

I have read the following question: Storing password in Java application but I don't find the answers useful for my case. So here is my question somehow related to that. I have a Java Web application ...
5
votes
3answers
13k views

Four-way Handshake in WPA-Personal (WPA-PSK)

Can someone explain to me in what consists the Four-way Handshake in WPA-Personal (WPA with Pre-Shared Key), which informations are being sent between AP and client, how is it possible to find the AP ...
46
votes
8answers
3k views

I'm an IT consultant. Should I discourage a client from telling me his password?

I'm an IT consultant. One client has known me for a few years. He wants me to do some work on his kids' laptop again. I'll need to log into his kids' Windows user account. (I'm guessing that multiple ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do we ask for a user's existing password when changing their password?

In a web applications context, when a user wants to change their current password, generally they would have to enter their current password first. However at this point, the user has already been ...
14
votes
6answers
641 views

Is there additional security value in using passwords with words or phrases in non-English languages?

I was thinking about correct horse battery staple. I am not a native English speaker. In my language, the above could be written as: vqrno kon bateriq telbod OR вярно кон батерия телбод. Keep in ...
13
votes
2answers
335 views

Concrete figures on password cracking in the wild

While password guessing is a science, not every attacker out there is up-to-date with the latest advances or cares to invest in GPUs or FPGAs. It's easy enough to test online password guessing ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
7answers
886 views

Does adding dictionary words to passwords weaken them?

This might sound like a stupid question, but hear me out. If I'm encrypting my financial information and sensitive data via a program like TrueCrypt, the strength of the password is going to matter a ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Additional security of keyfile on top of a master password for KeePass

I use KeePass + Dropbox to manage and synchronize my passwords across my devices. This system works really great and I trust KeePass' security model. However my biggest remaining concern is the ...
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
3answers
273 views

If multi factor authentication is enabled, how should that affect self-service password reset?

Given that security is only as secure as its weakest link, suppose I have website with additional authentication enabled in any of these ways: (example, multiple conditions may be required) ...
8
votes
5answers
462 views

Utility company does not hash passwords in the database

I had to use my utility company's online account information application and forgot the password. Going through the steps of resetting the password I was emailed the password in the open. I found this ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Choosing a session ID algorithm for a client-server relationship

I am developing an application which has a client-server relationship, and I am having trouble deciding on the algorithm by which the session identifier is determined. My goal is to restrict ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How to implement a “Remember me” on a mobile app?

I would like to implement a "Remember Me" time-limited auto-login type feature on a mobile application (on Android). To start the app, the user must type in a username and password. For convenience, ...
6
votes
4answers
531 views

Why using random salts?

I read this blogpost on how to store passwords in a database, the secure way. Elbert tells us to do this: Generate a random salt and include something random and the username in it. Hash this. Hash ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

user authentication by decrypting a random blob

Normal user authentication is done by comparing "hash"-values. A simple example of this: The user password is hashed with PBKDF2 on the client using a salt (the salt is the hash of the user password ...
4
votes
1answer
352 views

Should password hashes be encrypted or HMACed?

Assume I am hashing user passwords with PBKDF2, bcrypt, scrypt, or some other secure key derivation function. Are there: tangible security benefits, precedents, and respected research for ...
4
votes
4answers
503 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
506 views

Encrypting passwords?

I am planning on creating a text file to store my passwords, so I only need to remember 1 password (at the moment, I have about 20 long/complex passwords in my mind, and am worried that I might forget ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How secure is WD MyPassport lock

I have a WD My Passport hard drive. There is an option that allows you to lock your hard drive with a password. How secure is this lock? They don't give details about the encryption algorith or the ...
3
votes
3answers
842 views

Best password storage scheme for high entropy, unique passwords which is failure resistant [closed]

What is the best, most secure, easiest way to: store unique, strong passwords for every service which requires authentication make the system resistant (total loss of security is avoided, breaches ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

How weak is MD5 as a password hashing function ?

A professor told us today, that MD5 is weak. I understand his chain of thought but pointed out, that IMHO MD5 is a good way to go if you would use a long (even really long) dynamic salts and static ...
1
vote
3answers
267 views

Logic for generating Strong Password?

I try to encrypt password using MD5 but there are decoders for MD5. So I'm worried about encryption of password for big website. Is there any logical suggestion or step function to generate strong ...
24
votes
2answers
1k views

Does versioning an encrypted file make it less secure?

Suppose I use KeePassX as a password manager, and I store the kdb file in Sparkleshare folder as a way for backing up and syncing with multiple devices. The kdb file in itself would be encrypted, but ...
14
votes
2answers
940 views

Salting password with the first 8 bit of the password itself

Do you guys think salting password with the first 8 bit of the password itself will have same result as using stored salt to hash password? [Clarification] I am not storing salt but creating from the ...
14
votes
6answers
540 views

Primary Key as Salt?

Is it okay to use the primary key as the salt in a Users table? The only disadvantage that I can see is if the PK changes (unlikely), then the passwords break. What are your thoughts?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Password in file .php

My connection.php file stores the credentials to connect to the database. <?php $objConnect = mysql_connect("localhost","username","password"); mysql_select_db("selectDB", $objConnect); ...