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

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Should I be worried if I accidentally entered my password in a username field?

Occasionally I will fail to hit Tab properly when entering a username/password combination. This results in me submitting username "myUsername$ecretPa$$word" along with a blank password. I always ...
23
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4answers
4k views

How secure is Snowden's MargaretThatcheris110%SEXY password?

In an extra from Edward Snowden's interview with John Oliver, Snowdon advises that a good password to use is one such as MargaretThatcheris110%SEXY.. Also, on the Errata Security blog, Robert Graham ...
22
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13answers
4k views

Why do we even use passwords / passphrases next to biometrics?

In the last couple of days there were a lot of talking about passwords and passphrases, not only here, but on several blogs and forums I follow (especially after XKCD #936 saw the light of this world)....
22
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4answers
9k views

Should I change all my passwords due to heartbleed [duplicate]

Should I change all of my online passwords due to the heartbleed bug? Edit: I found a list of vulnerable sites on GitHub and checked all my critical sites. Everything I was really concerned with ...
22
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5answers
4k views

Does too long a salt reduce the security of a stored password hash?

Suppose we have passwords that are statistically 7-8 characters long. Is appending a 200 character long salt less secure than a 5 character salt, because of the similar hash function inputs? I was ...
22
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3answers
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Does overlaying the mouse on a virtual numeric keyboard really protect against keyloggers?

I just saw for the first time a new way to enter a password, at the Banque Postale (French Bank). You are given a virtual numeric keyboard and to type you can just leave the mouse cursor over a number ...
22
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5answers
7k views

Password strength and banks 4 pin code?

Why is it that some security advisers recommend using an 8 character password with upper, lower, digits, and symbols while banks only use a 4 digit number pin for debit and 3 digit pin for credit card?...
22
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4answers
9k 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 ...
22
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5answers
6k views

What's the practical limit for rainbow-table based bruteforce?

Say we have a hash of a password. The password can be considered to be made of of totally random characters and has a fixed length of N. The hash is SHA1(password+salt), where the salt is of length M. ...
22
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4answers
5k views

How would you store a 4 digit pin code securely in the database?

I'm familiar with password hashing, using salts, bcrypt etc. But it doesn't seem like this would work to store a 4 digit pin code since the attacker could try all 10,000 combinations quite quickly. ...
22
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2answers
5k 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 ...
22
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1answer
1k views

How does Firefox encrypt passwords without selecting Master Password?

I know that the file logins.json contains all my encrypted passwords in Firefox browser. How does Firefox encrypt these passwords if I don't use the 'Master Password' option? Does this mean key3.db ...
22
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3answers
2k views

How can we accurately measure a password entropy range?

I've given myself the task of writing code that determines the strength of a password, and really want to break out of a lot of already established ways we do that, as they're often lacking, not ...
22
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4answers
8k views

How secure is Windows 8's Picture Password login?

The final Windows 8 build has been released to manufacturing. One of the new features of Windows 8 is "Picture Password", where the end user logs on to Windows by clicking a specific pattern on the ...
21
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3answers
4k views

Doesn't plaintextoffenders.com just provide attackers with a good list of sites to attack for passwords?

On the face of it, PTO seems like a good idea in educating people about password security. On the other hand, if I were an attacker, PTO would be the first place I would start if I wanted to start ...
21
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4answers
2k views

What are spambots doing with unintelligible login attempts?

After constantly being under attack in phpBB, I created a new forum by hand, which successfully prevents spam bots from registering, and I get a report for every failed login attempt, telling me the ...
21
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4answers
15k 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 ...
21
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5answers
2k views

Why do some websites and programs restrict password characteristics?

There are some websites and even programs that I use that have rediculous password restrictions. Lots of forums for instance restrict passwords to ~32 characters. Others enforce a restricted charset. ...
21
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6answers
2k 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 ...
21
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6answers
2k views

Is there a use-case that renders the password manager obsolete?

Background Trevor posed a question about the nature and validity of using a password manager, given the current prevailing model of authentication on most web resources. Caveat: this is not the ...
21
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7answers
2k 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 ...
21
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5answers
1k views

Hashed password storage with random salt

Ever since I've been making sites that require a user to log in with a username and password I've always kept the passwords somewhat secure by storing them in my database hashed with a salt phrase. ...
21
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5answers
3k views

Is my bank storing my password in plain text? [duplicate]

My bank (and every bank I've come across) only ever asks for individual characters from my password when logging in. Is my bank storing my password in plain text?
21
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2answers
4k 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 ...
20
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8answers
9k views

On two-step login forms, why is it the login name and not the password that's asked first?

There are several login forms (e.g. Google's) on the internet where you first enter your login name and then, once that's submitted, you get to enter your password. One of the advantages of this is, ...
20
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4answers
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Would allowing shorter passwords sometimes be more secure?

Does the act of requiring certain criteria for passwords make them easier to brute-force? It's always seemed to me that when websites limit the use of "insecure" passwords, it might make it easier ...
20
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3answers
4k views

Why do password creation/login screens hide the typed password?

I realize that the concept behind obscuring a password on a screen is to prevent someone "shoulder surfing" behind a user and seeing the typed in password. As a fairly good typist I have no problems ...
20
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4answers
2k views

When encrypting cloud-stored data, is it acceptable to use the user's account password?

I'm developing a web service that stores sensitive personal information (such as telephone numbers, addresses, full names, and email addresses) in a database, such that it can be accessed from ...
20
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7answers
1k 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 ...
20
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8answers
3k 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 ...
20
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9answers
2k views

Is a simple, but very long password a good password?

Is a password like wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww9 (25x 'w' and a number) secure? It would be easy to remember.
20
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4answers
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Is it safer to ssh as a privileged user than to ssh and sudo?

I came across this old paper, discussing the possibility of password length information being disclosed when usin SSH: Timing Analysis of Keystrokes and Timing Attacks on SSH. The paper has been ...
20
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4answers
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How is Gmail susceptible to brute-force attacks?

In the Atlantic article "Hacked!" it says: My wife’s password was judged as “strong” when she first chose it for use with Gmail. But it was a combination of two short English words followed by ...
20
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4answers
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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 ...
20
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6answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
20
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6answers
11k views

How can I avoid putting the database password in a perl script?

I have a cronned Perl script that connects to our database and does various kinds of lookups and integrity checks. The original script was written by someone long ago. My job is to make some changes ...
20
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3answers
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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 ...
20
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4answers
2k 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 ...
20
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1answer
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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 by ...
19
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7answers
12k views

Forgotten password or reset link, which is more secure to email?

I originally posted this as a reply here in this thread but didn't get much feedback on it, and now I'm curious as to what others think is the best approach, or if there is any difference between the ...
19
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5answers
2k 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 ...
19
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5answers
4k views

How to tell if a webapp transmits my password in cleartext?

I am trying to see if a webapp transmit password in some form of cleartext. The problem is that the web app is NOT using https! This is why I wondering is my passwords is sent in clear text. I've ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Why do some bank websites use passwords that are not case sensitive?

It was recently brought to my attention that a certain big bank website allows users to log in with passwords that are not case sensitive. After confirming this, I checked other websites I bank with ...
19
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7answers
2k views

Are password complexity rules counterproductive?

In creating a login for this site I chose a nondictionary password that would be extremely hard to guess, but easy to remember. I was told that it did not meet complexity rules. After several ...
19
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4answers
987 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 ...
19
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2answers
6k 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 ...
19
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7answers
2k 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 ...
19
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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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4answers
4k views

Should I implement incorrect password delay in a website or a webservice?

With arguments expressed in this answer, there is a few seconds delay between user enters an incorrect password and when he/she actually learns, that password was incorrect. This security solution is ...