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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

14
votes
2answers
639 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
votes
4answers
1k views

Looking for example of well-known app using unsalted hashes

Does anyone know of a well-known application that still uses unsalted hashes for password storage? I'm looking for an example for an upcoming lecture on Rainbow Tables, and I think it would add ...
14
votes
8answers
891 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
3answers
596 views

What can I do if my bank thinks my date of birth is “known only to me”?

My bank has recently replaced passwords with occasionally asking me information that is "known only to me". Such information includes my date of birth, postcode, and my mother’s maiden name. ...
14
votes
11answers
2k views

Best practice for password distribution

I am about to set up a new account on my Linux server for a user that lives in another state in the U.S. I can't think of a good way to get them this user their password. There must be a standard ...
14
votes
6answers
638 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
641 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
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?
14
votes
4answers
384 views

Does two-factor authentication reduce the need for a long password?

I've recently enabled 2-factor auth on a number of web apps, mostly using Google Authenticator. Does this mean that the importance of a strong password on each site is reduced? I would prefer to use ...
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 ...
14
votes
6answers
599 views

Is there any security risk in storing hashed variations of passwords?

For example, if hypothetically an application requirement was to tell users when their password might have failed because caps-lock was turned on, and hypothetically there was no way for the ...
14
votes
4answers
913 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
856 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
209 views

Are malicious relying parties able to abuse OpenID logins?

if I logon with OpenID into a website (crafted by attackers/hackers) I want to know how much damage can they do to me? Are they able to steal my contact info, name, etc (assuming I'm using Gmail ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Should security question answers be case-sensitive?

Question In the case of security questions being used to reset an account password, what is considered best practice for handling case-sensitivity on the security question answers? Scenario An ...
13
votes
7answers
990 views

Why should I hash passwords?

I've read that every good web application should hash passwords. I found many articles about hashing. So I started implementing hashing on my website and then I asked myself why should I do it? When a ...
13
votes
5answers
809 views

Is it legal to log passwords from failed logins?

Is it legal to store/log mistyped passwords? How many of you have seen this happen in a log file or DB?
13
votes
1answer
918 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Does bcrypt have a maximum password length?

I was messing around with bcrypt today and noticed something: hashpw('testtdsdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddsddddddddddddddddd', salt) Output: ...
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?
13
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
333 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

Is PBKDF2-based System.Cryptology.RFC2898DeriveBytes() “better” for Unicode Password hashing than traditional methods?

When is it appropriate to use RFC2898DeriveBytes versus a typical hash? Update I now understand that a KDF is typically used to create a symmetric key for possible use in encrypting a stream. I ...
12
votes
6answers
932 views

Does prepending a salt to the password instead of inserting it in the middle decrease security?

I read somewhere that adding a salt at the beginning of a password before hashing it is a bad idea. Instead, the article claimed it is much more secure to insert it somewhere in the middle of the ...
12
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
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); ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Cracking MS-CACHE v2 hashes using GPU

As most people here will know, Windows caches domain/AD credentials in a format known as MS-Cache v2. Obviously, these would be excellent passwords to gain during a penetration test when local access ...
12
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

MS-SQL Password Storage

What would be your recommendation for replacement of an MD5 hash approach to password storage within an MS-SQL database be?
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Facebook API : App Secret - possible misuse

I've recently find out that by simple quick look into compiled code of one of our applications, you can get both App ID (API Key) and App Secret for Facebook API I suppose that we should really keep ...
12
votes
3answers
610 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
172 views

Would suggesting a random passphrase during sign-up hurt overall security?

I've been looking for ways to improve security and security awareness for both internal and external clients and I happened upon the idea of generating a one-time, random "password suggestion" on the ...
12
votes
2answers
487 views

Zip file with two password

I used this command to password protect a zip file on Linux : zip -P 9000 hash.zip hash.py and it creates the zip file just fine, then I wrote a program to test every possible password on it from 1 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How to apply a pepper correctly to bcrypt?

For hashing passwords in a database, i would like to add a pepper to the hash function. Of course this pepper will be additionally to the unique salt. The reason why i want to add a pepper is, that ...
11
votes
5answers
600 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I prevent someone from accessing a Windows XP system via boot disk?

Apparently a computer system protected by a a login password, e.g. Windows XP, can be easily hacked by someone with physical access to it using methods like this one: ...
11
votes
4answers
994 views

Handling passwords in a web application

I am trying to learn how a secure web application is developed. Particularly, I am unsure of how passwords are sent from the client to the server. For a typical user/password login form. If the client ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Are password reset links that don't expire a security risk?

I am currently working on a password reset flow. We have decided to go with a password reset link being emailed to the user's registered email and allowing them to follow that and input a new ...
11
votes
3answers
635 views

Does the salt need to be unique or not predictable?

I always thought that salts is simply used to prevent rainbow tables to be used. Other have suggest they should be unique on a per account basis. Currently i have been using a config file to use as ...
11
votes
3answers
665 views

Do users of non-latin character languages suffer from spyware and trojans?

Do Chinese, Japanese, other languages that can't be represented in ASCII get their passwords stolen? I figure there can't be some sort of bruteforce attack software for them, right? Their characters ...
11
votes
3answers
959 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
6k views

Are services like “LastPass” less secure, as they have all my passwords protected by a single password?

If the LastPass service has all my passwords and someone gets access to my LastPass password, this person will have access to all my passwords. Isn't that bad for security?
11
votes
1answer
487 views

XKCD #936: under what assumptions is 1000 guesses/second over a network plausible?

In XKCD #936, a rate of 1000 password guesses/second is proposed as a "plausible attack on a weak remote web service". Under what assumptions is this rate plausible? It seems much too high to me. I ...
11
votes
5answers
472 views

Security of carrying passwords on person

While in college I decided to have a randomly generated 16 character password. I used parts of that password in various sites. However, one of the sites was compromised so I had to change my password. ...
11
votes
3answers
704 views

How much information about the reason for an unsuccessful login should a web application give?

After an unsuccessful login attempt, should I inform the user about its reason? Or more generally, how much information about the reason for an unsuccessful login attempt should a web application ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

Is a password protected PDF file safe for bank statement attachments?

My bank emails my monthly statement to me in a password protected PDF attachment. Is this a secure method of transmitting something as sensitive as bank statement?
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 ...