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

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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
550 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 ...
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4answers
465 views

How to evaluate the strength of a hashing algorithm?

At work the hashing algorithm we use for passwords appears to be bespoke. Obviously that's a pretty bad idea, but the management don't seem bothered. The algorithm always produces 20 character long ...
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3answers
1k views

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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6answers
989 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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4answers
639 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
714 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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4answers
5k views

Regulations that specify password length?

I have read: PCI DSS 1.2 SOX 404 AR 25-2 ISO 27001 But only PCI DSS specifies a minimum password length. Are there any other regulations that dictate password lengths for any industry? NIST ...
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4answers
768 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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2answers
613 views

Should user be allowed to save password in browser?

The auditing company found a bug "The Auto-complete form attribute is set in password field". They suggested to disable autocomplete for this field to prevent disclosure of it "when working on shared ...
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4answers
2k views

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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3answers
6k views

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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4answers
4k views

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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4answers
3k views

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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6answers
815 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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5answers
490 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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3answers
969 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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3answers
4k views

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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6answers
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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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2answers
486 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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2answers
445 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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741 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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2answers
634 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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3answers
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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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3answers
695 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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4answers
681 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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3answers
516 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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5answers
178 views

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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4answers
614 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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2answers
809 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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4answers
542 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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1answer
359 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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3answers
1k views

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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2answers
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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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2answers
393 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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3answers
336 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
830 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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6answers
2k views

Is denying login after incorrect attempts ineffective?

Generally denying login attempts after X amounts of incorrect attempts for Y amount of tries is a very basic way to prevent bruteforce attempts or malicious login attempts. Yet, surely doing this is ...
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4answers
999 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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4answers
567 views

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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4answers
1k views

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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6answers
813 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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8answers
773 views

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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3answers
617 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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1answer
868 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 ...