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

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How can I choose a strong password that is easy use on a smartphone?

Typing on a smartphone is tedious. Special characters are the hardest; lowercase letters are generally the easiest. But even a long all-letter passphrase like "correct horse battery staple" is ...
21
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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 ...
20
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5answers
4k views

Does too long a salt reduce the security of a stored password hash?

Suppose we have passwords that are statistically 7-8 characters long. Is appending a 200 character long salt less secure than a 5 character salt, because of the similar hash function inputs? I was ...
20
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5answers
2k views

When hashing passwords, is it ok to use the hashed password as the salt?

I don't like this idea. But I can not come up with a technical argument against it. Can somebody explain it to me? The basic idea is: $passwd = 'foo'; $salt = hash($passwd); $finalHash = hash($passwd ...
20
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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.
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5answers
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Why do some websites and programs restrict password characteristics?

There are some websites and even programs that I use that have rediculous password restrictions. Lots of forums for instance restrict passwords to ~32 characters. Others enforce a restricted charset. ...
20
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2answers
14k views

Why are GPUs so good at cracking passwords?

What is it about GPUs that lets them crack passwords so quickly? It seems like the driving force behind adopting good key-derivation functions for passwords (bcrpyt, PBKDF2, scrypt) instead of ...
20
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5answers
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What's the practical limit for rainbow-table based bruteforce?

Say we have a hash of a password. The password can be considered to be made of of totally random characters and has a fixed length of N. The hash is SHA1(password+salt), where the salt is of length M. ...
20
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4answers
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Google Account: implications of using application-specific passwords

In the wake of the recent Mat Honan story I decided to try out two-factor authentication on my Google account. But in order to keep using it with Exchange, the Android OS, Google Talk and Google ...
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
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4answers
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 ...
19
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8answers
16k views

Why do people still use/recommend MD5 if it is cracked since 1996?

It's still commonly recommended way of hashing passwords, even if it's insecurity had been proven in 1996 Therefore we suggest that in the future MD5 should no longer be implemented in ...
19
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4answers
948 views

Should I be concerned when a “Forgot Password?” tool sends my password in plaintext?

Some sites I have been a member of in the past don't go through the normal "Forgot Password?" process. Instead of e-mailing me a unique password reset link or something of the like, I have received ...
19
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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 ...
19
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4answers
2k views

What to transfer? Password or its hash?

Let's say in my database I store passwords hashed with salt with a fairly expensive hash (scrypt, 1000 rounds of SHA2, whatever). Upon login, what should I transfer over the network and why? Password ...
19
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5answers
1k views

Is it alright to tell everyone your encryption information?

I have an account in an online banking system and they have the FAQ with something like this: How secure is the <Online Banking System Name>? Each page you view and any information ...
19
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3answers
11k views

Is bcrypt better than scrypt [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do any security experts recommend bcrypt for password storage? I'm no security expert and do not pretend to be that's why I'm asking here. I write many PHP based ...
19
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4answers
1k views

Is it a bad idea for an information holder to e-mail a user their password?

A couple of websites with which I'm registered have, after a period of inactivity on my part, each sent me an e-mail to remind me that I'm still registered. In each case, that e-mail has included my ...
18
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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 ...
18
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3answers
11k views

Router password vs MAC filtering?

I just bought a Galaxy S4, and it didn't connect to the WIFI in my house (I have a 14$ router). After a bit of testing, I've decided to leave my connection open without a password, but added the ...
18
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7answers
872 views

Are common passwords at particular risk?

The question Should we disallow common passwords like “password” and “12345”? on User Experience immediately made me think that these common passwords were extremely dangerous not because they are ...
18
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4answers
6k views

Deleting a Java Object securely

I know that in order to delete a Java object I should use character array instead of String, since I can safely erase (rewrite the character array with other data) its content. This seems not to be ...
18
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6answers
2k views

How to avoid scripts with hardcoded password? [duplicate]

I have some scripts on Ubuntu Linux machine that logs in to a database server to run some maintenance daily. To login to the database, I need a password and right now it is hardcoded in the script. ...
18
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5answers
905 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 ...
18
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4answers
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Password resets - what practices should web services follow?

Many of you may have seen How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking, where a Wired reporter's Amazon, Apple, Gmail, and Twitter accounts were successfully hacked. The hacker followed ...
18
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3answers
4k views

MySQL OLD_PASSWORD cryptanalysis?

The password hash used for MySQL passwords prior to version 4.1 (now called OLD_PASSWORD()) seems like a very simple ad-hoc hash, without salts or iteration counts. See e.g an implementation in ...
18
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1answer
929 views

Does a maximum length of password mean non-hashed storage?

When a system requires a password between say 6 and 20 characters in length, does it mean the password is stored without using a hashing function, and that the mysql-field (or similar) is 20 ...
18
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4answers
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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 ...
18
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1answer
5k views

Can a dictionary attack crack a Diceware passphrase?

Everyone knows the words used in Diceware passwords (all 6^5 = 7776 words are published) -- they're all common words. Everyone seems to know that we're not supposed to use dictionary words for ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Sending temp password when users first registered - is that good for anything?

One of our clients has sent us a list of security requirements. One of them was that registration does not including setting a password - once complete, a temp password is sent to the user, and the ...
18
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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 ...
17
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5answers
2k views

From a security standpoint should users be asked to confirm their password when registering?

Is it advisable to have users re-type their password to confirm it's correct? On User Experience the general consensus seems to be no but I'm wondering if this has security ramifications? EDIT: my ...
17
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3answers
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Should I have a maximum password length?

I'm creating a webapp, and part of my authentication method is password length. Should I put one in place? (say, 50 characters?) Or should I just put a minimum length (Currently at 6). Are there ...
17
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2answers
4k views

Why is it always `HASH( salt + password )` that we recommend?

Browsing over this site, many forums, online articles, there's always one specific way we're suggesting to store a password hash: function (salt, pass) { return ( StrongHash(salt + pass) ) } But ...
17
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7answers
1k views

My company policy states I must put all passwords in a password safe shared with management. Is this secure?

As the title says, my company has a policy that all passwords to e.g. our workstations and server logins must be stored in an online safe. I won't say which one but there are some out there you can ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Hash function change

I have user account passwords stored in a database using an unsafe (old) cryptographic hash function. What is the best/usual approach to changing password hash function? Only two ideas come to my ...
17
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3answers
5k 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); ...
17
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4answers
1k views

How to treat non-optional bad security questions?

Every once in a while I have to set up an account on a site that, while apparently at least not storing my password in plaintext, still force me to choose from a limited set of security questions that ...
17
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6answers
2k views

What does “random” mean in the context of password creation?

Disclaimer: as you will see from my question I'm a total outsider in this subject, just very curious. I was wondering how easy it would be to crack a password-protected RAR5 file, and I found many ...
17
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4answers
4k views

How secure is NOPASSWD in passwordless sudo mode?

On all our boxes we have ssh access via keys. All keys are password protected. At this moment the sudo mode is not passwordless. Because the number of VMs are growing in our setup, we investigate the ...
17
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7answers
1k views

How different should my passwords be? [duplicate]

Suppose I use remember one long high entropy master password, and use variations of it for each of my passwords. Eg if I remember tSaF4nWeACVkUU4 as a master password and use tSaF4nWeACVkUU4t (with a ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Is sending plaintext passwords to a SQL Server database a security risk?

I have a database which has stored procedures which take plaintext passwords. It hashes them and inserts them into the DB. If an attacker has access to the DB connection, it is possible to intercept ...
17
votes
2answers
578 views

Bank accepts different password to the one that I set

I'm not particularly well versed in IT security so please bear with me. I recently discovered that my bank's online system will accept passwords that consist of the correct password, and a string of ...
17
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1answer
4k views

How to apply a pepper correctly to bcrypt?

Update: There is a better way to add a server side key, than using it as a pepper. With a pepper an attacker must gain additional privileges on the server to get the key. The same advantage we get ...
16
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6answers
4k views

Is my custom password hashing algorithm insecure?

For all of my hobby web projects, I have coded a login system that these projects share. There is no critical data in these projects, the only critical data could be reused passwords. So I try to hash ...
16
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3answers
2k views

Why do some bank websites use passwords that are not case sensitive?

It was recently brought to my attention that a certain big bank website allows users to log in with passwords that are not case sensitive. After confirming this, I checked other websites I bank with ...
16
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7answers
1k views

Taking password letters not whole one, is this secure? [duplicate]

I found a site which is taking password letters from their users not the whole password. Is this secure? Or do they have saved password as salted hash (MD5)?
16
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6answers
1k 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 ...
16
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5answers
929 views

At what length does a password stop making sense?

I'm going to recommend that our users start using a password manager and start creating strong random passwords. Though I don't know what size of a password to recommend. Is it possible for a ...
16
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2answers
4k views

How big should salt 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 ...