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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

14
votes
2answers
2k views

How many passwords does the average user know?

Looking for research on the count and complexity of passwords that an average user is actively using. Note: Also, just to be clear, by research, this is not a request for you to respond with an ...
14
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?
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
694 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
1k 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
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
972 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
6answers
3k views

Managing website passwords for small team

I'm part of a small group of people who manage a website and the server it runs on. We have many accounts with third-party websites or services that multiple people on the team need to access. What is ...
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Tamper-proof BIOS password & settings storage with Trusted Platform Module?

In the olden days, one could trivially bypass BIOS passwords on most PCs by removing the BIOS battery and clearing the CMOS. My question is: On modern PCs equipped with a Trusted Platform Module ...
13
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Known characters in passwords?

I generate passwords for everything that requires security using the following method: ksoviero@ksoviero-Latitude-E7440:~$ head -c 16 /dev/urandom | base64 gorv/cp+lSiwiEfKck2dVg== 256^16 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Can sites which check your password as you type pose a security risk?

Some sites that I use check my password as I type it into the login (not registration) form. So, for example, to begin with I might have: Username: sapi ✓ Password: passw × and by the time I've ...
13
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
635 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
362 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
7k 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
4answers
3k views

Is an 80 bit password good enough for all practical purposes?

I know that asking how many bits of entropy comprise a strong password is rather like asking the length of a piece of string. But assuming the NSA is not on to you, and that it is hardly worthwhile ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

What is a good practical (and sane) way to manage all your passwords for online sites?

I am just a mere mortal that wants to have a somewhat secure way of managing all my passwords. This is something that I have been putting off, but since LinkedIn decided to give away one of my ...
12
votes
2answers
563 views

How Does A Random Salt Work? [duplicate]

I don't understand how using a random salt for hashing passwords can work. Perhaps random salt refers to something other than hashing passwords? Here is my thought process: The salt is used to add ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Do salts have to be random, or just unique and unknown?

First of all, my motive is to avoid storing the salt in the database as plain text. As far as this question is concerned, the salt is not stored in the database. After discussion in comments and in ...
12
votes
3answers
3k 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it “standard” to SMS passwords?

When I get credentials for a new machine, my company will often send the login id in email, then SMS (or sometimes Skype msg) the password. This is obviously in order to separate the login and ...
12
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

Possible to use both private key and password authentication for ssh login?

It seems that they are mutually exclusive, as disabling one gives me the other, and vice versa. Two-factor auth for my ssh servers sounds really nice, so is there any way to accomplish this?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the simplest safe way to convey a password to another person? [duplicate]

What is the easiest way for two people – neither of whom are computer specialists and cannot meet in person – to send a password for an encrypted file that is attached to an email? The two simplest ...
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
6k 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
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

With PBKDF2, what is an optimal Hash size in bytes? What about the size of the salt?

When creating a hash with PBKDF2, it allows the developer to choose the size of the hash. Is longer always better? Also, what about the size of the random salt? Should that be the same size as the ...
12
votes
2answers
570 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
3answers
425 views

Is it inconsistent to tell users to “not click on password links in email”, and requiring clicks on “forgot password” links?

On one hand, IT Security shops have been telling users to not click on links in email because they can do damage to your computer, or phish your personal information. Many of those issues are ...
11
votes
6answers
25k views

Is howsecureismypassword.net safe to use?

Is it safe to enter my real passwords to test them? I mean, are the entered passwords being recorded/transmitted to someone else?
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
3answers
734 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
733 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
1k 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
2answers
1k views

How secure is asking for specific characters of passwords instead of the entire thing?

In some password-authenticated sites, you are asked to enter a random selection of specific characters from your password rather than the whole word/phrase. For example, it might say 'Enter the 1st, ...
11
votes
7answers
7k 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
5answers
2k views

Is it worth the effort to store FTP passwords encrypted?

I have a project to build a system that needs to push files to multiple third-party FTP servers. I have asked these third parties to provide a more secure interface; all have declined. So now I have ...
11
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
718 views

Is there any good reason not to salt/hash passwords you store?

Two organisations I frequently deal with (including my bank) ask me my password to authenticate myself with them... well... they ask for "random" characters from my password. As I understand it, this ...
11
votes
6answers
583 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
1answer
532 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
3answers
785 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
10k 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?