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

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Hacking computers, scifi or reality

I was watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and this female hacker was really good at hacking. My question is, how is it possible for her to crack passwords besides the brute force approach? I ...
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976 views

Cracking long Windows XP passwords

Completing an assignment for my Ethical Hacking unit at University at the moment and the first task I have is to crack some passwords. Decided to use backtrack to crack some passwords from a Windows ...
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632 views

Is using a flash drive as a base for security a safe thing to do?

I'm developing some software for schools. I've found severe flaws with the current popular school LAN protection that I feel needs fixing so I plan on releasing my own software. One the those ...
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2answers
706 views

My bank makes me enter my password using the mouse. What's up with that?

Internet banking login process for Westpac requires user to enter the password using the mouse. It's annoying, what's up with that? Is it just to try and stop keyloggers on public computers or is ...
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737 views

How dangerous is it to store password in plain text on sites like GitHub?

I have a few private repositories set up on GitHub for some of the projects I am working on for my company. These applications connect to databases and I have database authentication credentials ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Choosing a session ID algorithm for a client-server relationship

I am developing an application which has a client-server relationship, and I am having trouble deciding on the algorithm by which the session identifier is determined. My goal is to restrict ...
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HTTP Basic auth password storage more secure than Digest auth

If you are using SSL already, it appears Basic auth is the way to go since you can perform bcrypt with the password when you store it in the database, where as Digest auth only allows md5. As we know, ...
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808 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 ...
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485 views

Utility company does not hash passwords in the database

I had to use my utility company's online account information application and forgot the password. Going through the steps of resetting the password I was emailed the password in the open. I found this ...
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914 views

Is this code snippet good enough for password hash and salt

After a few days reading up about salting and hashing passwords, I found an actual bit of code that tells how to do it. This is what I found: $blowfish_salt = ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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One Time Passwords. Using OTP at Windows, Ubuntu and internet sites

my question is this: Is there a way (software,hardware/token or web-ware) to use One Time Passwords in the following scenarios: Logon to my pc/laptop (windows or ubuntu) Logon to sites with OTP ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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466 views

Plain Text Password Reset Vulnerability

If I receive an email with a plain text generated password (in response to a password reset request), is this a vulnerability? The password expires after one use, in other words the user has to change ...
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438 views

Banning specific passwords?

There have been a couple of questions about enforcing good passwords, so I thought I'd add my own: In addition to enforcing a minimum Shannon entropy, would it generally be a good practice to ...
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731 views

Calculating how secure my password is

I generally use gnuPG for encrypting my files. And as far as I know it's strength ultimately depends on the passphrase I use. So, I would like to know: how can I mathematically calculate how secure my ...
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Is a HMAC-ed password is more secure than a bcrypt-ed or scrypt-ed password?

Given an option , which one should I choose , a HMAC for storing a password securely or a bcrypt or scrypt library?
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Is LastPass' locally stored One-Time-Password recovery a security problem?

If you forget your LastPass master password then LastPass provides the possibility to recover access to your vault using a One-Time-Password (OTP) which is stored locally but is initially disabled. ...
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2answers
607 views

Is there more to password hashing?

You have a plain text password and salt. The plain text password is assumed to be securely random and only known by the user and the salt is no secret and not necessarily unique but stored alongside ...
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532 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 ...
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623 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 ...
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675 views

Hash(master + hostname) password scheme for a server pool

I manage about 20+ Linux servers and I am considering using an md5 scheme similar to following to generate the admin passwords: echo 'masterpassword' 'serverhostname' | md5sum Which returns ...
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501 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) ...
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Citations for inadvisability of globally unique password

I am looking for an authoritative source to back up my position in a disagreement over password policy. I am having a disagreement with a client about the user identification/authentication process ...
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606 views

Do honeywords add any real security?

This paper proposes the concept of honeywords for detecting if a password database has been compromised. As far as I understand it works like this: You save n password hashes for each user, one that ...
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792 views

Stretching a hash, many iterations versus longer input string

I have been reading up on various password hashing schemes, for example the SHA-based Crypt proposed by Ulrich Drepper and used in some Linux versions. A recurring theme here is to 'strengthen' or ...
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530 views

How can we factor Moore's law into password cracking estimates?

How would we go about factoring Moore's law into exceedingly long password cracking estimates? Let's say we've got a 12 character password containing mixed-case alpha characters and numbers, i.e. ...
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352 views

Protecting emails in your database

It's common to encrypt passwords in the database, but I'm wondering what solutions are out there to protect emails in your database. Not just from hacking, but from disgruntled employees or engineers ...
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Encrypting user data using password and forgot my password

I am planning to do a web application which stores a lot of personal stuff (info, photos...). And to give users a sense of protection, I want to encrypt the data before storing it to the database. ...
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Benefits and drawbacks of giving an Administrator two accounts for elevated rights and another for daily use, such as email

Microsoft has long promoted the need to separate administrative accounts from regular use accounts, as shown with this guidance MSFT even went to far as create ADMINSDUser rights to put ...
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370 views

Ideal way to store unhashed passwords

I'm dealing with a 3rd party vendor that clearly does not understand security - to access their API from my back-end I have to supply the end user's ID/user/password for the 3rd party service with ...
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332 views

Does setting a user password on Windows XP help protect against remote exploits compared to no password?

In a typical home user situation with a PC connected to the internet via a router, suppose we are not concerned with protecting the machine from people with physical access. Does setting a password on ...
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1answer
807 views

How to know the windows security dialog asking for username password is genuine?

I recently faced one issue. It appeared my outlook launched a dialog saying it needed password. It looked like this I noticed the "->" character in the domain name which usually it auto fills. Also ...
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988 views

Why does getting a password wrong takes more time than not

I type my password to login to Win or Linux. Case 1: I get it right. Almost instant reaction. Case 2: I misspelled it. It takes a while, and then rebounds. Why does it takes longer to identify a ...
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Is denying login after incorrect attempts ineffective?

Generally denying logon attempts after X amounts of incorrect attempts for Y amount of tries is a very basic way to prevent bruteforce attempts or malicous logon attempts. Yet, surely doing this is ...
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790 views

Is it useful to protect hashed password with encryption?

Imagine that I am hashing the users' passwords with a random, long enough, salt, using key stretching, and a secure hash. Would it be more secure to finally encrypt the hash with a symmetric key?
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Doesn't imposing a minimum password length make the password weaker by reducing the number of possible combinations?

I thought the strength of a password depended on the total number of possible combinations. Therefore, allowing longer passwords should be safer because you then have more possibilities. But why do ...
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Is the following authentication scheme secure?

I was trying to design an authentication system that would make it much harder to guess a password via brute force, and reduce the risk to a user if the hashed password was stolen through a snooping ...
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Should the password of a password protected channel be hashed?

Let's take a chat system, where any user can create a channel with a password protection. Thus, other users may only join using the channel password. This password is therefore known to every person ...
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612 views

It is possible that brute force attempts are successful before the worst case, correct?

When I read about a password being secure and stating that it would take X amount of week, years, etc. isn't that referring to the worst case? What happens if the brute force method is successul in ...
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847 views

Working out how to decrypt encrypted string when knowing the plain text

I have access to a system which I have been asked to create a data export routine for. However, the address details are encrypted and the original sourcecode/password are lost. However, I am able to ...
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How do online accounts get hacked?

How does your typical users run-of-the-mill Facebook/twitter/gmail/AIM/etc account get hacked? Is it simply a matter of a weak password? Are they typically the victim of phishing or other social ...
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575 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 ...
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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 ...
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690 views

Reasonable way to store encrypted passwords in a webapp's database, Linux

This question is generally similar to past questions asked here, but I haven't seen one the relates to Linux. Case at hand: a PHP web app has a MySQL backend. As part of its functionality it accesses ...
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Can password-protected zip files be broken without brute force?

You have a zip file that you created with 7z to password-protect it with AES 128. Can a smart adversary extract the data only through brute force, or is the file vulnerable to other attacks - such as, ...
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Facebook account keeps getting hacked, can't seem to figure out why or how?

One of my mate, she has a lot of friends on Facebook, uses it for marketing. Her account keeps getting broken into. Her password gets reset and/or gets locked for changing resetting password too many ...