395 reputation
210
bio website
location Wellington, New Zealand
age
visits member for 2 years, 5 months
seen 23 mins ago

I am an undergraduate computer science and mathematics student in New Zealand. My fields of interest are computer graphics, in particular the physics of light transport, and to some extent cryptography, as well as programming and software development in general.


Nov
3
comment What does the email header-line “message opened by mailclient” mean?
I initially read the title as "opened by malicient", as in "malicious client". Interesting..
Sep
20
comment How can I measure (and increase) entropy on Mac OS X?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about software use of cryptography.
Sep
20
comment How can I measure (and increase) entropy on Mac OS X?
This is off-topic, and needs to be migrated to Security SE, but I'll answer quickly the first question: /dev/random will block until the system estimates it has the entropy you asked for, so all you have to do is read and wait (if you don't want to block, there are system calls to get the current estimated entropy).
Sep
11
comment Is there any point in using 'strong' passwords?
@Bakuriu Except that "possibility" is what you actually care about here. You are using probability outside its range of applicability to the problem at hand, and engaging in theoretical trivia which is meaningless in practice. Sorry but I have to disagree.
Sep
11
comment Is there any point in using 'strong' passwords?
@Bakuriu No, it's not a possibility. The probability is so low that the chance of you "getting lucky" and brute-forcing that 100+ bits of entropy password is zero. Period. At such small scales, probability ceases to be meaningful, and using the "mathematically the probability is not zero" argument is simply not reasonable (and that is without even considering that the "probability" of your brute forcing program failing due to a hardware error and reporting a false positive is unimaginably larger than the probability of it succeeding in a "feasible time").
Aug
23
comment 419 Nigerian scam problem
@OlivierDulac Let us hope no-one takes it too literally.
Aug
18
comment What are the security implications of storing password blacklist?
Removing 1000 passwords from the potential passwords to try will have a negligible impact on the attacker's workload. The point here is to prevent people picking 123456, password, guest, etc.. think of it as those pesky password rules, but more controlled and sane.
Jun
14
comment Is it legal to find bugs on a website and report them to the website's owner?
@StasM You should probably report it anonymously either way so you wouldn't get credit anyway (well, maybe they will add a "fixed by anon" somewhere in their changelog, but hey) :p
May
9
comment Is salting a hash really as secure as common knowledge implies?
@ThomasAndreèLian Not for some randomly generated salt, no.
Mar
5
comment Account lockout with human interaction required to unlock
The help desk is not 24/7. If this happens at night, you are screwed.
Mar
4
comment Account lockout with human interaction required to unlock
As for the accounts themselves, they are not particularly valuable in and of themselves, but since you need an account to access many of the online services, a compromise could cause major disruption.
Mar
4
comment Account lockout with human interaction required to unlock
No, it simply says "ERROR: The username and/or password you entered is not correct." in either case.
Mar
4
comment Account lockout with human interaction required to unlock
The username is a simple first name/surname mashup, and I believe I have access to enrolment lists for the courses I'm attending, so I think I could derive at least two hundred usernames without too much difficulty. And even then it would not be infeasible to hang around the library and snoop on people's username as they log on. Not sure about an external attacker, but if the system is as fragile as I fear it is, an attacker with inside information could certainly do a lot of damage.
Feb
28
comment What's the use of making users use digits, uppercase-lowercase combination password if the passwords are hashed?
Personally when looking for raw entropy, I find hexadecimal digits easiest to remember. Lower than that and the password gets too long, and beyond that there are too many symbols to remember. I use a 20-character hexadecimal passphrase as my master passphrase (80 bits of entropy). One can easily remember up to 128 bits, but not too many of them, which is why some form of password derivation is often desired.
Jan
12
comment Passing generated keys to another process
What is your threat model?
Jan
12
comment Passing generated keys to another process
Well, as far as absolute security goes, I'd say process communication would be safest, followed by the socket method (which is really a form of IPC). But for such considerations to be made, you'd have to assume the attacker has complete access to the system, and at that point he could just read your process's memory to get the key anyhow.
Dec
28
comment Why Do we Need CAPTCHA? In what case we should use it?
Or.. you know.. cheaply pay people in third world countries to solve captchas served by proxy.
Dec
28
comment Is possible to know if increased marketshare means more viruses?
In my humble opinion: 1, perpetuated by 2. But just my intuition.
Dec
22
comment Future proof encryption possible in theory?
Check out Tahoe-LAFS, they've apparently done some work on 100-year cryptography.
Dec
21
comment If someone asks to borrow your phone to make a call, what could they do?
Bullet point #1: I have found my true calling.