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

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4answers
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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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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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4answers
7k views

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 ...
19
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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 ...
19
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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 ...
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
10k 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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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 ...
18
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7answers
858 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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3answers
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
888 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
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 ...
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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5answers
14k 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 ...
18
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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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1answer
891 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 ...
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
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
14k 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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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
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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
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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
861 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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4answers
8k 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
573 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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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 ...
16
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2answers
628 views

Can client-side hashing reduce the denial-of-service risk with slow hashes?

When storing user's passwords that you need to verify against (but not use as plaintext) the current state of the art is: Hash the password Use a salt Use a slow hash function - bcrypt, scrypt, etc. ...
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
741 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
537 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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3answers
3k views

Is it a bad idea to add random characters to user ID and password?

I've heard people say again and again that you shouldn't implement your own security algorithm, and I'd like to ask you if I'm breaking this rule. I'm creating a traditional client-server application ...
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
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4answers
862 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 ...
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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
309 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 ...