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User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
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Peter Fretty
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Peter Fretty,
User Rank: Moderator
11/5/2013 | 9:18:28 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
The need to improve passwords is one of the core components of security-based best practices. This Sophos blog post does a great job of digging deeper into exactly how big of a mess this password blunder is for Adobe user base.

Peter Fretty
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
10/18/2013 | 5:36:25 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
I think we are dealing with a fundamental law: anything which can be used with legitmate access can be used without legitimate access.
One of my favorite Dilbert's has Mordac installing a new security system which tells user to complete logon procedure by staring directly into the sun.
MarciaNWC
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MarciaNWC,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2013 | 5:07:50 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
Important point about attackers using social engineering to gain access to accounts; that seems like the bigger threat.
OzzyM119
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OzzyM119,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2013 | 4:51:02 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
Please see my response to David. It applies to your question as well.
OzzyM119
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OzzyM119,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2013 | 4:49:06 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
This is mostly for "offline attacks" where you have the hashed value of a password and are looking to get the value of the actual password. If a site was using SHA-1 as their hashing algorithm and you entered in the password "[email protected]_M0nk3y", the hash would be "f84d76b7b7b0b62e007689720e19feff1c0ee580". If someone only has the hash, there is no way to figure out what the password is unless they try all possible passwords until they find the password that generates that hash. There are also things called "rainbow tables" that are basically a table of pre-computed hashes so you can look up the password quickly, but that's a different topic.

Edit: I forgot to add that most people use the same password on multiple sites, so if you've figured out what password someone used at a site where the password database was stolen, there's a pretty good chance that that same password will work on another site they use. I may not care if I get your password to log into your favorite car talk forum that just got hacked, but if you use that same password for your banking site, then I've got something I want.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2013 | 2:17:41 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
Is it not effective to limit the number of login attempts any client can try before being locked out? Trying a bizillion combinations only works if the automated password cracker is allowed to keep trying new combinations. Maybe there is some simple subterfuge attackers use to prevent that kind of defense from being effective, but I don't understand what it is.
dkerber028
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dkerber028,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/18/2013 | 1:30:27 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
Can someone please explain why supercomputer password cracking is relevant to the real world? It's doesn't seem relevant how fast random passwords can be cracked by supercomputers, because it doesn't help the cracker know when he has the correct one so he can actually use the password for something. There's no way he can test a million tries per second against the site he's trying to break into, and any site that allows unlimited login attempts on a user ID deserves whatever bad things happen to it as a result.
OtherJimDonahue
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OtherJimDonahue,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/17/2013 | 7:37:41 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
>>"Just seems to me that we need to find a better way of doing this."

Yes, please. Obviously, passwords are dead. (Or should be.)
InfoSec_Candy
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InfoSec_Candy,
User Rank: Strategist
10/17/2013 | 6:01:23 PM
re: User-Selected Passwords Still Getting Cracked
I'd just like to ask; WHY are we still struggling with old solutions and safeguards that a) always were a problem b)continue to be a problem c)will always be a problem.

Just seems to me that we need to find a better way of doing this. Are we not able to meet this challenge? I know lots of really smart people that probably can meet the challenge from a technical stand point - but we all know that security has to be easy if we want people to use it/apply it. Somewhere out there - there is the perfect combination of increase security (removing username/passwords) and simple to use.

I think there may be a couple of companies to keep an eye out for in this area.... WWPass to name one.


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