Questions tagged [passwords]

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

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901
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12answers
286k views

How to securely hash passwords?

If I hash passwords before storing them in my database, is that sufficient to prevent them being recovered by anyone? I should point out that this relates only to retrieval directly from the database,...
1245
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22answers
266k views

XKCD #936: Short complex password, or long dictionary passphrase?

How accurate is this XKCD comic from August 10, 2011? I've always been an advocate of long rather than complex passwords, but most security people (at least the ones that I've talked to) are against ...
645
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4answers
297k views

Do any security experts recommend bcrypt for password storage?

On the surface bcrypt, an 11 year old security algorithm designed for hashing passwords by Niels Provos and David Mazieres, which is based on the initialization function used in the NIST approved ...
573
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7answers
188k views

How to store salt?

If you expect to store user password securely, you need to do at least the following: $pwd=hash(hash($password) + salt) Then, you store $pwd in your system instead of the real password. I have seen ...
141
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10answers
80k views

https security - should password be hashed server-side or client-side?

I am building a web application which requires users to login. All communication goes through https. I am using bcrypt to hash passwords. I am facing a dilemma - I used to think it is safer to make a ...
255
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7answers
102k views

Password Hashing: add salt + pepper or is salt enough?

Please Note: I'm aware that the proper method for secure password storage hashing is either scrypt or bcrypt. This question isn't for implementation in actual software, it's for my own understanding. ...
604
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23answers
147k views

How does changing your password every 90 days increase security?

Where I work I'm forced to change my password every 90 days. This security measure has been in place in many organizations for as long as I can remember. Is there a specific security vulnerability ...
535
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11answers
88k views

Is my developer's home-brew password security right or wrong, and why?

A developer, let's call him 'Dave', insists on using home-brew scripts for password security. See Dave's proposal below. His team spent months adopting an industry standard protocol using Bcrypt. ...
847
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14answers
163k views

What technical reasons are there to have low maximum password lengths?

I have always wondered why so many websites have very firm restrictions on password length (exactly 8 characters, up to 8 characters, etc). These tend to be banks or other sites where I actually care ...
252
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8answers
75k views

Why are salted hashes more secure for password storage?

I know there are many discussions on salted hashes, and I understand that the purpose is to make it impossible to build a rainbow table of all possible hashes (generally up to 7 characters). My ...
67
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6answers
15k views

How do some sites (e.g. online banks) only ask for specific characters from a password without storing it as plaintext?

I thought How can a system enforce a minimum number of changed characters... would answer my question, but it seems this is a different case. When I sign on to my online banking account, I'm prompted ...
195
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10answers
123k views

How safe are password managers like LastPass?

I use LastPass to store and use my passwords, so I do not have duplicate passwords even if I have to register four to five different accounts a day, and the passwords are long. How safe are password ...
76
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10answers
43k views

Generic error message for wrong password or username - is this really helpful?

It is really common (and I would say it is some kind of security basic) to not show on the login page if the username or the password was wrong when a user tries to log in. One should show a generic ...
216
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7answers
82k views

Recommended # of iterations when using PBKDF2-SHA256?

I'm curious if anyone has any advice or points of reference when it comes to determining how many iterations is 'good enough' when using PBKDF2 (specifically with SHA-256). Certainly, 'good enough' is ...
52
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4answers
12k views

Password manager vs remembering passwords

I have always thought that you are not supposed to use a password manager but to keep your passwords in your head, but lately I have thought about the pros and cons of having a password manager. Some ...
189
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6answers
37k views

Does Facebook store plain-text passwords?

I was about to reset my Facebook password and got this error: Your new password is too similar to your current password. Please try another password. I assumed that Facebook stores only password ...
82
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10answers
10k views

Why improvising your own Hash function out of existing hash functions is so bad

I'm afraid I'll have tomatoes thrown at me for asking this old question, but here goes. After reading that cooking up your own password hash out of existing hashing functions is dangerous over and ...
51
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4answers
21k views

Why is using salt more secure?

Storing the hash of users' passwords, e.g. in a database, is insecure since human passwords are vulnerable to dictionary attacks. Everyone suggests that this is mitigated via the use of salts, but the ...
86
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11answers
23k views

What to do about websites that store plain text passwords

I recently received an email from a popular graduate job website (prospects.ac.uk) that I haven't used in a while suggesting I use a new feature. It contained both my username and password in plain ...
21
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5answers
6k views

Is including a secret GUID in an URL Security Through Obscurity?

I know that this question is a little bit on the side of Opinion/Discussion, but I think there's a provable answer to it. I think the common view of "Security Through Obscurity" is that the security ...
121
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10answers
17k views

How critical is it to keep your password length secret?

Is keeping your password length secret critical to security? Does someone knowing that you have a password length of say 17 make the password drastically easier to brute force?
50
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6answers
9k views

How valuable is secrecy of an algorithm?

On the surface, the inadvisability of security through obscurity is directly at odds with the concept of shared secrets (i.e. "passwords"). Which is to say: if secrecy around passwords is valuable, ...
52
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11answers
7k views

Is there a method of generating site-specific passwords which can be executed in my own head?

I was thinking recently about password security. My goal is to have mostly random passwords, that are different for each site. But you also should be able to remember them (or re-generate them) ...
25
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1answer
2k views

Password Managers: encrypted database vs hashing strategy

I'm considering moving to a password-management strategy based on supergenpass or something similar. This is an alternative to other password managers where instead of having a database of passwords ...
6
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4answers
2k views

What to do about email threats containing leaked passwords?

A few days ago I got an email from a hacker supposedly using an email of mine (he was using the same email address TO and FROM) from my own email domain, and had a part of a password I use to purchase ...
104
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5answers
65k views

Is sending password to user email secure?

How secure is sending passwords through email to a user, since email isn't secured by HTTPS. What is the best way to secure it? Should i use encryption?
58
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2answers
7k views

What should end-users do about Heartbleed?

What should a website operator do about the Heartbleed OpenSSL exploit? mainly talks about what people running websites should do about Heartbleed. What should end-users of websites be doing? Do ...
45
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2answers
9k views

Are there more modern password hashing methods than bcrypt and scrypt?

This question made me start thinking about password hashing again. I currently use bcrypt (specifically py-bcrypt). I've heard a lot about PBKDF2, and scrypt. What I'm wondering is if there are any "...
55
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38answers
13k views

What is your way to create good passwords that can actually be remembered?

What are the methodologies which can be used to generate "human" good quality password? They have to ensure a good strength and also easy to remember for a human being.
47
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4answers
12k views

What to transfer? Password or its hash?

Let's say in my database I store passwords hashed with salt with a fairly expensive hash (scrypt, 1000 rounds of SHA2, whatever). Upon login, what should I transfer over the network and why? Password ...
32
votes
3answers
7k views

For an HTTPS web application, is it worthwhile to encrypt the password before POSTing it, to keep a MITM attacker from harversting it?

Our application has recently gone through penetration testing. The test found one critical security breach, which is essentially: The problem: Attacker sets up a WiFi spot. User enters our site (...
36
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8answers
6k 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 ...
23
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5answers
6k views

Is this idea for a password manager secure? If so, why doesn't anybody use it? [closed]

I've been thinking of a problem with usual password managers: although they do provide better security than manually using passwords, there's a central database that can get lost, get compromised, etc....
47
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5answers
60k 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 ...
100
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12answers
66k views

Why is client-side hashing of a password so uncommon?

There are very few websites that hash the users password before submitting it to the server. Javascript doesn't even have support for SHA or other algorithms. But I can think of quite a few ...
74
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13answers
16k views

How reliable is a password strength checker?

I've tested the tool from Microsoft available here which tests password strength and rates them. For a password such as "i am going to have lunch tonight", the tool rates it's strength as "BEST" and ...
56
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2answers
35k views

I just send username and password over https. Is this ok?

When a user's logging in to my site, they send their username and password to me over https. Besides the ssl, there's no special obfuscation of the password - it lives in memory in the browser in the ...
30
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5answers
5k views

Recommended policy on password complexity

Is there any research on how how a password complexity policy can increase or decrease the quality of passwords? If you don't have any requirements on the password then probably 90% of users will use ...
34
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it safe to store a password hash history for preventing user to keep same password repeatedly in some cases?

I am developing an application in PHP and it uses bcrypt encryption to store passwords. I want to keep the history of hashes whenever the user changes the password. By doing this I want to stop the ...
30
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3answers
11k views

How secure is asking for specific characters of passwords instead of the entire thing?

In some password-authenticated sites, you are asked to enter a random selection of specific characters from your password rather than the whole word/phrase. For example, it might say 'Enter the 1st, ...
79
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9answers
23k views

Is it OK to tell your password to your company's sysadmin?

I'm working in a small company (20 employees) as a senior software engineer. After having problems with my email, our newly employed IT administrator asked me to write my user password to someone in ...
30
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3answers
4k views

Does overlaying the mouse on a virtual numeric keyboard really protect against keyloggers?

I just saw for the first time a new way to enter a password, at the Banque Postale (French Bank). You are given a virtual numeric keyboard and to type you can just leave the mouse cursor over a number ...
25
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3answers
13k views

Calculating password entropy?

Whenever I look at password entropy, the only equation I ever see is E = log2(RL) = log2(R) * L, where E is password entropy, R is the range of available characters, and L is the password length. I ...
15
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8answers
4k views

Why do we authenticate by prompting a user to enter both username and password? Does prompting the password only suffice?

I don't know why do we authenticate by prompting the user to enter both username and password. In my mental model, prompting password only suffices. The reason is as follows: Assume there are x ...
460
votes
13answers
101k views

Are passwords stored in memory safe?

I just realized that, in any language, when you save a password in a variable, it is stored as plain text in the memory. I think the OS does its job and forbids processes from accessing each other's ...
234
votes
10answers
86k views

Is "the oft-cited XKCD scheme [...] no longer good advice"?

I was stumbling around and happened onto this essay by Bruce Schneier claiming that the XKCD password scheme was effectively dead. Modern password crackers combine different words from their ...
118
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11answers
24k views

Password rules: Should I disallow "leetspeak" dictionary passwords like XKCD's Tr0ub4dor&3

TLDR: We already require two-factor authentication for some users. I'm hashing, salting, and doing things to encourage long passphrases. I'm not interested in the merits of password complexity rules ...
117
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11answers
152k views

Are password-protected ZIP files secure?

Following my answer. If I can list contents of a password-protected ZIP file, check the file types of each stored file and even replace it with another one, without actually knowing the password, then ...
52
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9answers
54k views

Feeding /dev/random entropy pool?

Which way of additionally feeding /dev/random entropy pool would you suggest for producing random passwords? Or, is there maybe a better way to locally create fully random passwords?
22
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3answers
89k views

Four-way Handshake in WPA-Personal (WPA-PSK)

Can someone explain to me in what consists the Four-way Handshake in WPA-Personal (WPA with Pre-Shared Key), which informations are being sent between AP and client, how is it possible to find the AP ...

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