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

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10
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5answers
476 views

Security of using passwords or even passphrases to encrypt files

Is it ever appropriate to use real-world passwords to encrypt files to be sent via unsecure means. By real world, I mean a password that is memorable and memorisable by a mere person? I am implying ...
10
votes
2answers
350 views

What problems does this “recover account” procedure have?

On a website I run I have implemented this procedure for account recovery (forgotten password procedure). I would like to know whether there are any issues with it that I have not spotted, that make ...
9
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4answers
438 views

Password security

I was requested at the login page of a website to first change my password. After typing in a new password, the web page told me the new password did not differ enough from the previous one. Does this ...
8
votes
4answers
409 views

How to evaluate the strength of a hashing algorithm?

At work the hashing algorithm we use for passwords appears to be bespoke. Obviously that's a pretty bad idea, but the management don't seem bothered. The algorithm always produces 20 character long ...
8
votes
3answers
456 views

Is it safe to generate passwords online?

I usually generate strong passwords using various online tools. Some time ago I mentioned it to friend of mine and he looked at me as if my life was one big fail. Is it really so unsafe to generate ...
6
votes
3answers
313 views

Increase the security of an already stored password hash

Right now we're using 1024 byte PBKDF2 with 256 byte user-specific salt and variable iterations. However, I would much prefer to be able to, perhaps once every year or two, to be able to flat out ...
6
votes
1answer
515 views

Reversible password storage obfuscation method for third-party login credentials

I have an internal business application, that as part of its functionality connects to a third-party app using login credentials specific to the user of my own app. These passwords are stored in a ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it okay for API secret to be stored in plain text or decrypt-able?

Aren't API keys considered usernames and API secrets considered passwords? Why is it that API servers like Amazon Web Services allow you to view your API secret in plain text? It makes me think they ...
6
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3answers
770 views

Attack vectors for brute-forcing website passwords

When talking about password security, a lot of discussion centers on the risk of a password being guessed in a brute-force attack. For websites where a user has registered an account, what are the ...
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2answers
275 views

Can a HSM be used to make password hashing stronger?

Say a database server has a HSM which is in use for encrypting (reversibly of course) credit card numbers. Is there any way a HSM could be used to add strength to a password hashing scheme? (Or are ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What algorithms are best be cracked by GPU?

What algorithms are best being attacked by a GPU powered password cracker? For example, I heard that md5crypt that is being used in unix shadow file, is not the best choice for GPU cracking because it ...
5
votes
2answers
711 views

How should I make diceware passphrases more memorable?

I find that truly random diceware passphrase, more often than not, either contain a word that is easily misspelled or has an order that is illogical. I think there are three ways to make a diceware ...
4
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2answers
412 views

How often should passwords change?

I'm asking two very related questions As an admin what policies should be enforced regarding the frequency of password changing? I have an idea that users should be forced to change their ...
4
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3answers
503 views

password complexity policy for non “English” passwords

In an internationalized application, what is the best practice for a policy on complexity of passwords? I am not having luck searching for the answer. Wikipedia lists these items for password ...
4
votes
1answer
709 views

Bcrypt as a key derivation function?

I read a lot of entries at stack exchange about bcrypt and why it is supposed to be better than PBKDF2 in terms of password storage. I'm asking now if bcrypt is better than PBKDF2 in terms of key ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there lists of most common words or ngrams used in passwords and passphrases?

I've been thinking about ways to focus brute forcing dictionary attacks on passwords and passphrases based on the assumption that certain words, combinations of letters, and combinations of words are ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Brute force vs other methods of recovering passwords from shadow file

Do you know any good approach for de-hashing/actually bruteforcing hashed passwords in the shadow file? On various operating systems, any good solutions/methods/programs. Or is it better to upload ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Email hacking myth

I never believed that some one can actually hack an email that easy. If someone hacks an email it means he actually hacked the server and he will gain access to many emails not to mine only. Anyway ...
3
votes
8answers
390 views

Generate user a password instead of asking for one?

I'm trying to weigh the benefits of not allowing users to create their own passwords, but must pick out of a generated selection. Are there any examples of sites that use this approach? Workflow ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Please explain Time-step in Time-Based One-Time Password Algorithm

I am studying about OTPs (One Time Passwords). I have gone through all the methods: HOTP (HMAC-based One Time Password), TOTP (Time-based One Time Password) I have no issues with HOTP. But according ...
3
votes
1answer
371 views

Non English password dictionaries

What is a good resource for wordlists used in auditing passwords in non english languages. I have extensive wordlists in English ranging to several GB's, but can't find similar resources for other ...
3
votes
4answers
498 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
1answer
19k views

How long to brute-force WPA password?

Bob has a password (for his WPA encrypted wifi) which is 8 characters, all lowercase, and not a dictionary word. Eve lives next door to Bob and wants to illegally hack his WPA. The number of ...
2
votes
3answers
571 views

What is the recomended algorithm to create a key from a password?

In my new secret document encryption utility, the key for symmetric encryption = the hash of a random salt and a user provided password. It is necessary to have a slow hash function in order to ...
16
votes
4answers
814 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
717 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 ...
14
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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. ...
11
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6answers
927 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
648 views

Using a weak password on a truecrypt volume

I have put together a portable apps USB stick for when I need to use random site computers, I also threw truecrypt on with an encrypted volume for some word documents. The password I am using is ...
9
votes
2answers
905 views

How does Google not care about “spaces” in Application-specific passwords?

I have recently setup "2-step verification" for my Google account. One of the features is the ability to create "Application-specific passwords " for devices that do not support the 2 step process. ...
9
votes
3answers
233 views

Is there any conceivable reason to prevent a password change in an authentication system?

I connect to the VPN of another company with a company-specific username and password (they aren't giving everyone the same password to every company to access it or anything ridiculous like that.) ...
9
votes
5answers
605 views

Should passwords be truly random?

When generating a password, should it be "truly random" or should I make it a little less random by enforcing some rules? If a password is generated at random, it could come out all-lowercase letters ...
9
votes
4answers
478 views

Are there state-of-the-art techniques or theory specifically for attacking passphrases over passwords?

With passphrases becoming more and more common based on length being more important than complexity, I'm assuming there must be some work going on involving techniques aimed specifically at cracking / ...
8
votes
3answers
772 views

Is a password in the clipboard vulnerable to attacks?

I see situations where you may have to input the same password more than once. You may type it in a text editor and copy it to clipboard, to paste it two or more times. In what scenarios this could ...
8
votes
6answers
747 views

Does repeating one word to form a password result in a similar pattern in its encrypted format?

If i use a single word to form a password by repeating it like the examples below: securesecuresecuresecuresecuresecure SeCuReSeCuReSeCuReSeCuReSeCuReSeCuReSeCuRe ...
8
votes
3answers
436 views

Which authentication at the end of the Secure Remote Password protocol?

For the the client and server to prove to each other that they have the same premaster shared key, the original author suggests this: M = H(A | B | K) --> <-- H(A | M | K) ...
7
votes
6answers
507 views

Cleartext password in HTML

Is there any problem with outputing a user's password to the HTML in an hidden field (see use case below before flaming xD)? The use case is a registration form with two steps. The user fills in the ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is forcing users to change passwords useful?

In many places, there's a policy that force the user changing it's password once a few months. The logic here is, that even if the password have leaked somehow, it'll be abused only for a relatively ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Does truncating the cryptographic hash make it impossible to crack?

I store password hashes in their full value for example, $h = sha256('foo') outputs 64 characters: 2c26b46b68ffc68ff99b453c1d30413413422d706483bfa0f98a5e886266e7ae I store that directly in the ...
6
votes
3answers
360 views

An alternative to traditional passwords: is there some merit to this idea?

If you've got a website aimed at people that are not neccessarily technically proficient, letting new users choose their own password isn't very secure because of the simple fact that a lot of people ...
6
votes
2answers
496 views

Implementing Secure Remote Password: Constructing the verifier

The SRP protocol as described in RFC 2945 generates the password verifier: x = SHA(<salt> | SHA(<username> | ":" | <raw password>))` v = g^x % N I have three questions: why use ...
5
votes
2answers
450 views

Requiring regular password change but storing previous paswords?

My bank requires me to change my password regularly but then they can detect if my password was used before. They probably store the old password (possibly hashed) in order to detect it. I think this ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Does having a minimum number of digits improve password security?

Some password systems will enforce at least X of a type of character - a common one I see is 'minimum 3 numeric characters'. As far as I understand, simply allowing certain character classes, like ...
5
votes
3answers
516 views

How should I choose a difficulty factor for my password hashing function?

Assuming that I'm doing password hashing properly and using bcrypt, scrypt or PBKDF2, how should I go about choosing an appropriate difficulty factor? i.e rounds for bcrypt, iterations for PBKDF2 and ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Retrieving OSx Keychain passwords

I have a computer forensics style osx login.keychain file that I am trying to find the passwords from. I have a very weak mac which I used crowbarkc on to try and brute force but the horsepower is ...
4
votes
2answers
386 views

What is the purpose of a Pepper?

I've been trying to find out exactly what a pepper is. The only things I could accurately determine are that a Pepper: Is theoretically unique from site to site and hard-coded in the site's source ...
4
votes
2answers
371 views

Would a massive blacklist of guessable passwords be useful? [duplicate]

Suggestions to make a good password all focus on creating a string that a computer (or more likely, a network of computers with multiple GPUs) can not guess. Putting a password meter for when users ...
4
votes
2answers
535 views

What are the security implications of using TOTP for single factor authentication?

(Note: I am not actually planning to do this. This question is strictly theoretical.) TOTP is commonly used as the second factor in Two Factor Authentication. It is an open standard with available ...
4
votes
4answers
226 views

Composition of passwords

Passwords (passphrases) that are taken from known texts (books etc.) are commonly considered to be weak, but what if they are employed in combination with random stuffs, i.e. in forms of AX, XA or ...
4
votes
2answers
277 views

Protecting Password Hashes with Store Procedures?

I was thinking about the recent (seemingly weekly) security breaches we've seen where millions of password hashes have been leaked and I was wondering how one might secure their site against a ...