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

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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
votes
5answers
874 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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3answers
3k 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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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 ...
18
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1answer
867 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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2answers
2k 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 ...
17
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5answers
1k 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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8answers
13k 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 ...
17
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3answers
3k views

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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4answers
667 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 ...
17
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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 ...
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
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6answers
1k 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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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
votes
4answers
5k views

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 ...
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
votes
4answers
951 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
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
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3answers
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 ...
17
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1answer
3k 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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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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5answers
766 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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3answers
9k 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 ...
16
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5answers
11k 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 ...
16
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4answers
7k 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 ...
16
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2answers
572 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 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How secure is Keychain on OS X?

Keychain is a built-in app on OS X that stores all of the user credentials, and allows for one to keep encrypted notes in an easily accessible way. Does anyone know how secure Keychain is? I know ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Essential things to think about before outsourcing authentication with OpenID, OAuth, or SAML

It's clear there there is no consistent set of features among any of the popular authentication providers. Below is an attempt to aggregate the similarities and differences I've noticed, but I ...
15
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7answers
714 views

To salt, or not to salt? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is using salt more secure? Why would salt not have prevented LinkedIn passwords from getting cracked? Recently I decided that I wanted to learn more about web ...
15
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3answers
4k views

Is it possible to get the salt if I have the hash and original password?

Is it possible to get the salt if I have the hash and original password? My gut feeling is no, but would it be impossible or will it just take very long?
15
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12answers
2k views

Should I know my users passwords so I can check they can logon? [duplicate]

I have an issue with support for a system and I don't know what approach to take. It boils down to the question: Should I know my users passwords so that I can check with certainty that a ...
15
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6answers
5k views

My IP address (with a NAS) is targeted by a hacker. What to do? Should I be worried?

I've noticed, based on the logging of my NAS, that my IP address is targeted by a hacker. I already took action by automaticly ban the IP address permanently after five unsuccesful login attemps. ...
15
votes
3answers
529 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 ...
15
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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 ...
15
votes
4answers
848 views

If a website allows another person to get a list of the site's users passwords, how likely is it that the passwords are stored in cleartext?

We had an incident where some of our managers were given passwords for the people they supervise using a particular company website. Ostensibly it was done so the managers could check in on the users ...
15
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4answers
1k views

My credit union is reducing its maximum password length to 10 characters

I just received an email from my credit union saying they are redesigning their online banking service and that I will need to change my password by October 22 to conform to the new limit of 10 ...
15
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8answers
1k 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 ...
15
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7answers
306 views

Is a “security measure” that doesn't provide a security benefit actually harmful?

If a security measure is implemented that doesn't provide any additional security benefit, can it be considered harmful? As an example, consider a login page where the user is asked to enter their ...
15
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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
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3answers
579 views

Storing passwords in reversible form - a genuine use-case

What's wrong with you, you crazy fool, you're not supposed to be able to retrieve a password in plain text! I know. Hear me out. Assume I've got a service that's similar to Mint.com. For those that ...
15
votes
2answers
843 views

How does varying character type increase strength of password?

When creating a new password, people often recommend you use both uppercase and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols. How does adding any of these increase the strength of a password? There ...
15
votes
4answers
614 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
822 views

Distance between two passwords

It is known that people reuse their passwords across different sites. The reuse can be done in two ways: using exactly same password for two different sites, slight modifying the password of one ...
15
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1answer
680 views

Linux /etc/shadow password change security

I wonder what happens what happens when I am changing my password on a Linux system. Basically all passwords are stored in a file called /etc/shadow or /etc/master.passwd in BSD-like systems as I do ...
15
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2answers
3k 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 ...
15
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4answers
263 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 ...
15
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2answers
3k 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 ...
15
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1answer
4k 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 ...