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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6answers
398 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 ...
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2answers
673 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 ...
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4answers
7k views

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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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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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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5answers
707 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 ...
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3answers
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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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3answers
9k views

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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5answers
2k views

Gold Standard for password hashing

I've developing a web application that will be dealing with highly sensitive information and I want to ensure the hashing of passwords is gold standard. Ideally I'd go for per-user salted SHA512 ...
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4answers
1k 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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4answers
668 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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2answers
885 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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7answers
28k views

Recommend Length for Wi-FI PSK?

I currently have a network set up with WPA2 and AES encryption, the password is 8 characters long but was randomly generated and contains no dictionary words. However I'm concerned about the ...
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6answers
1k 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
776 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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3answers
420 views

Security of pronounceable passwords

Some random password generators support the generation of pronounceable words of any given length n. Assuming that words are derived using 26 lowercase letters, the number of possible words of length ...
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4answers
658 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 ...
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4answers
405 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 ...
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4answers
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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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4answers
6k 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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6answers
984 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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4answers
590 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 ...
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4answers
552 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 / ...
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4answers
674 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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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
713 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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4answers
553 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 ...
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1answer
935 views

Would it make sense to use Bcrypt and PBKDF2 together?

I've read various opinions about whether Bcrypt or PDBKF2 is a better key derivation hashing method. The answer seems to depend on a lot of complicated factors that are not easy to analyze. Would ...
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2answers
895 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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2answers
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Are the SS64.com password generators a good approach?

There are two password generators on ss64.com: The standard one The strong one How they work I made standalone versions of them, plus copy of the original HTML/Javascript versions, if you want to ...
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2answers
4k views

Why limit passwords to ascii printable characters? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do non-keyboard characters make my password less susceptible to brute forcing? Every article on password security that I read tells people to make the password more ...
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1answer
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Reversible password storage obfuscation method for third-party login credentials

I have an internal business application, that as part of its functionality connects to a third-party app using login credentials specific to the user of my own app. These passwords are stored in a ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
573 views

How to stop password recovery attempts on accounts?

I am using social networking services such as My Banking GMail PayPal Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn All of these services text messages me a six digit code to login from anywhere, even a ...
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1answer
386 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 ...
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1answer
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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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3answers
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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?
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420 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 ...
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4answers
679 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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8answers
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Sequential password updates

Let's say I have a reasonable KDF, and that I make users change their passwords periodically and keep some old password hashes to prevent password reuse. What's to stop the user from changing the ...
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3answers
866 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 ...
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4answers
902 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?
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7answers
842 views

How can I prevent users from using bad passwords in my web application?

There is a long discussion on whether it's the responsibility of the user or the system administrator to deal with the strength of the password. Obviously, the password is a very private thing, but ...
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4answers
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what are good requirements for a password

I'm making a website and I'm deciding on the password policy. What does make a good password? I really have no idea. I guess passwords should be at least 6 characters long. EDIT: are there any ...
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4answers
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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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4answers
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Why using random salts?

I read this blogpost on how to store passwords in a database, the secure way. Elbert tells us to do this: Generate a random salt and include something random and the username in it. Hash this. Hash ...
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4answers
627 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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2answers
10k views

openssl: recover key and IV by passphrase

A large amount of files were encrypted by openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -pass pass:MYPASSWORD Openssl should derive key+IV from passphrase. I'd like to know key+IV equivalent of that MYPASSWORD. Is ...
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How to easily remember lots of different passwords?

I know that you shouldn’t use the same password on every site. But, when you log into several dozen sites, keeping track of all the passwords can be pretty hard. What system do you recommend that ...