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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
3answers
1k views

Cryptographic Security of Dynamically Generated, Non-Random Salts

So when it comes to security, when I have an idea that seems good, but no one else seems to be doing, I try to assume that I'm overlooking something obvious or otherwise significant. This is one such ...
10
votes
2answers
327 views

How much security is compromised if we accept other characters as login (other than the original password)?

I've just realised that facebook accepts 3 forms of a password: Source: Facebook actually accepts three forms of your password: Your original password. Your original password with the ...
10
votes
2answers
357 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
566 views

Password generation - too primitive?

A while ago (12 years old), I recognized my passwords weren't safe at all. Because I used the very same password everywhere, some grumpy admin could easily take over all my accounts (he got mail and ...
10
votes
5answers
656 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
304 views

If multi factor authentication is enabled, how should that affect self-service password reset?

Given that security is only as secure as its weakest link, suppose I have website with additional authentication enabled in any of these ways: (example, multiple conditions may be required) ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Password auditing

Most password policies require the password to be at least 8 characters long and contain symbols from at least 3 classes (lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, other). Problem is, that a ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How secure is the SRP that Blizzard uses to protect passwords?

Blizzard very recently announced that their network was compromised, but they assure users in their statement that the password information that the attackers had access to was saved in a secure way: ...
10
votes
3answers
552 views

How can I promote good password practices in an organization that doesn't currently care about that?

I work with an organization that uses some very poor practices such as using default user accounts, default passwords (or passwords the same as user accounts), sharing password information between ...
10
votes
3answers
300 views

How to test if a browser add-on is safe

I came across this plug-in that started some alarm bells ringing. The add-on would help submit a website to web directories. The first 100 submissions are free, then you need to pay $20 via pay-pal ...
10
votes
1answer
382 views

Is the Litecoin Scrypt hashing technique a threat to hashed passwords?

The Bitcoin alternative, Litecoin uses a different algorithm to protect the block chain, namely Scrypt (not Sha256). Given that GPU accelerators exists, and ASICS are due to be released, does the ...
10
votes
3answers
917 views

What is the risk and mitigation of accidentally typing a YubiKey password in an open forum?

I have a YubiKey in my laptop (for testing) and accidentally broadcast my YubiKey password out to the Internet. Since this is only a test key, and has no access to anything of value, here are some ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I make sure password hashing is secure on computers while not being prohibitively slow on mobile devices?

I'm new to cryptography and its implementations. I'm designing an Android app where an user enters a password to retrieve some encrypted data. After some research on possible solutions I ended up with ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Bypassing the BIOS password

Are there any reliable methods that allow an attacker to bypass a BIOS password, or alter BIOS settings without entering the password? A few ideas come to mind: The old battery trick (remove ...
10
votes
2answers
876 views

Can a Firefox add-on or plug-in access the user's websites' saved passwords in decrypted mode?

Going deeper into the previous question on Firefox plugins and add-ons malware risks: Could a Firefox add-on potentially decode and capture the encrypted websites' passwords saved in the browser?
9
votes
3answers
4k views

How often do two users use the same password

If no two users use the same password, then in theory salting the password hash is not needed. How often, in practice, do two users have the same password?
9
votes
4answers
975 views

Is 2FA really necessary with long, high entropy passwords?

I was wondering if two factor authentication is really necessary if you are using high entropy, long, unique passwords for each site. From my experience 2fa just beefs up security a little more, by ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Should I hash a password if it is randomly generated

The best practice is we should hash a user password using algorithms such as bcrpyt to protect the user, however, given the following conditions, is hashing in the backend still matters? the ...
9
votes
6answers
381 views

How can I ensure that default passwords are no longer in use?

There are two situations in which 'default' passwords get used on a network: A new user is registered. In her registration pack, along with her new username, e-mail address and so on is her initial ...
9
votes
2answers
619 views

Does it make sense to choose a longer password than the output of a hash?

Let's take MD5 for example: It outputs a 128-bit hash. Does it make sense (in theory) to choose an input (password) which is itself longer than 128-bit? Does it increase the probability of a ...
9
votes
6answers
684 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it safe to store the password hash in a cookie and use it for “remember-me” login?

I want to store an encrypted string of the password hash in a cookie and use the hash to lookup the user and log them in (if they want to be remembered). Is this safe? The password is one-way hashed ...
9
votes
5answers
666 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
3answers
472 views

Should I reject obviously poor passwords?

UPDATE: My questions and concerns below boil down to: "Should I reject obviously poor passwords like 'hellomydarling' or 'password'? My guess is yes and I want to know to what extent. I'm using a ...
9
votes
2answers
994 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, ...
9
votes
4answers
472 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
309 views

When changing a password using a WebPage, must the old password be entered on the same screen?

There is a convention to always prompt for the old password on the same page as the one where the old password is being changed as shown below. Is it acceptable from a security perspective to allow a ...
9
votes
4answers
496 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 / ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I mitigate the threat that DPAPick poses to my DPAPI protected data?

The Windows Data Protection API (DPAPI) is the suggested method for storing secrets on Windows systems (such as database passwords required by ASP.Net applications). DPAPick was presented at BlackHat ...
9
votes
4answers
521 views

How can I be secure with a global salt?

If I understood the basic of password hashing and storing, what we need are: a "strong" salt a "real" random salt a unique salt per password a password hashing function with a high CPU cost We ...
9
votes
3answers
243 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
4answers
430 views

How should I tell an organisation that they are vulnerable when I wasn't given permission to check?

I was recently at a village hall (in the UK), some distance from where I live, for a party. I noticed that they had unsecured wi-fi with an SSID of NETGEAR. I assumed it was free wi-fi for users of ...
9
votes
3answers
903 views

HMAC Based Request Signing - Storing the Salt

I'm working on a (non high security) project that currently isn't live but might go live at some point. We have a REST API (implemented using Restlet and Neo4j) running on a server and an Android ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Security of passwords remembered by Windows

Does Windows XP or Windows 7 encrypt saved passwords? I'm assuming that the user uses local password to logon. The user then uses his own computer to connect to server in work and sets the "remember ...
9
votes
2answers
520 views

How insecure is PowerShell Web Access?

Windows Server 2012 comes with a new feature that allows you to administrate the server via a PowerShell command line in any modern browser including Smartphones. This sounds cool and scary at the ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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
717 views

If I am obliged to store a password/certificate on a client side, how can i make sure that it is protected?

In certain cases we need to establish a key/password/certificate as a first timer and then as a client we need to use this key/password/certificate to get authenticated. Therefore the ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Estimating the size of a rainbow table

What are rainbow tables and how are they used? Gives a very precise answer about what rainbow tables are and how they are used. I had always confused hash-tables and rainbow tables. My question is ...
9
votes
1answer
328 views

Optimal variable sizes in the Secure Remote Password protocol

I am implementing the Secure Remote Password protocol: U = <username> --> <-- s = <salt from passwd file> a = random() A = g^a ...
8
votes
5answers
388 views

Oldest security feature still in active use

Beyond commonsense and physical access controls, is the system password the oldest still in active use security feature? By physical access, I mean for example leaving the system within a secure ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Is putting every username and password for our organization in a giant Google spreadsheet a spectacularly bad idea?

Our startup has something like 100 usernames and passwords to keep track of, and we can't keep track of all of them. Would putting all of them in a Google spreadsheet shared amongst ourselves be a ...
8
votes
3answers
753 views

Generating random passwords by clicking randomly on the keyboard?

How secure is it to generate random strings/passwords manually for different purposes by just clicking randomly on the keyboard ? I usually need random strings for salts and for passwords, and I ...
8
votes
4answers
585 views

Is storing answers to security questions in plain text bad form?

If the input for the security question is completely digital, should the answer to a security question be hashed (or at least encrypted) on the authentication server?
8
votes
5answers
2k views

How to catch a gmail hacker/money-scammer? (in conversation with one right now!)

My friend's GMail account was recently hacked and the perpetrator sent out one of those classic "help I was mugged, I need money" style e-mails. (Edit: I know it's legit; my friend called me to tell ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Passwords - any statistics on user behavior?

I'm looking for analyses of how users choose and use passwords. I'm sure there are many resources out there that analyze user passwords. For instance, I've seen many people analyze dumps of password ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How to protect ftp account information in the source code of a program

I wrote a game which stores high score information on an ftp server. In the the source code I need to write out the ftp link with the account name and password in it. For example: url = new ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

time to crack file-encryption password - more than just iteration

I have often seen that takes x amount of time to crack a certain length password. But this just seems to be the amount of time it takes to iterate through all the possibilities. What about the time it ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Are efforts being made to bring about password standards?

Rather than adopting a universal standard, many websites develop their own guidelines for how passwords should be constructed. When you consider the number of passwords the average person today has ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Logging “password with counter” use

When prompted to update their passwords after they've become stale (whether that's after 30, 60, 90 days — whatever is implemented by policy), many users simply increment the number that they may have ...
8
votes
4answers
534 views

Why does password strength matter?

I understand from a cryptographic standpoint that you want a password to be as random as possible to resist brute force or dictionary attacks. That is fine- but in what circumstances can those ...