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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

10
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
10
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 ...
10
votes
5answers
534 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
4answers
1k views

Does the strength of password matter in bcrypt?

Even if I choose 1 character for my password or 32 characters with numbers, letters, uppercase symbols etc. the bcrypted password will still be 60 characters length password. So does the password ...
10
votes
5answers
719 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Skype secure enough to transmit passwords?

Is it considered "secure" to send a password in a skype message and delete the message after the recipient remembered the password?
10
votes
3answers
429 views

has scrypt withstood the test of time?

I've always heard that scrypt was better than bcrpyt... because of memory causing GPU a very difficult time to crack. However, the notion always was that scrypt hadn't been tested, it was kind of a ...
10
votes
2answers
911 views

Is there any advantage of bcrypt over multiple iterations of SHA-x/MD5?

I know that a good password hashing algorithm should be slow. MD5, SHA256, etc. are fast. So I've been adding multiple iterations of SHA-256 hashing to my web apps (around 50000). Getting the hash of ...
10
votes
5answers
788 views

If a bank says they do not have my login and password info, is that true? [closed]

After an investigation on their part, the bank simply states that if someone accessed my accounts via internet banking, (and a simswap) I was the one who didn't secure my login and password info. I ...
10
votes
4answers
818 views

Forgetting passwords typed in too frequently

It has happened to me several times that I've become so used to typing in a password I can't consciously remember it and it's purely muscle memory. This is particularly true with complex passwords ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Does adding dictionary words to passwords weaken them?

This might sound like a stupid question, but hear me out. If I'm encrypting my financial information and sensitive data via a program like TrueCrypt, the strength of the password is going to matter a ...
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
329 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
359 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
585 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
3answers
343 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
1answer
408 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
4answers
2k 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
558 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
303 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
3answers
975 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
2answers
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
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. ...
10
votes
2answers
900 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
982 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
383 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
621 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
751 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
4k 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
671 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
496 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
4answers
499 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
325 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
3answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
504 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
535 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
3k views

What are the risks of storing passwords in a GPG encrypted file?

I currently store my passwords in a text file encrypted using GPG -e (specifying my own public key). When I want to lookup a password I'll do something like gpg -d passwords.gpg | grep ...
9
votes
3answers
250 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
553 views

Should I obfuscate passwords before hashing? Should I pre-hash them on the client? What about salts?

For fun, and in my spare time I'm creating a simple CMS for my own purposes (with hopes to release for wider use... later), using PHP. I'm currently working on the login scheme now, and have a few ...
9
votes
4answers
436 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
953 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
542 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
3answers
740 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
332 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 ...