Passwords

A 22-post collection

Data breaches, vBulletin and weak password hashing

This weekend, I loaded five additional data breaches into Have I been pwned (HIBP) that had come from various forums running on vBulletin. These came via supporters that had collected them from data breach traders over the years and some of them dated back quite some time. I always go to great lengths to validate that a breach is indeed legitimate and one of the ways I do that is to take a real good look at the passwords stored in the system and ensure that they do indeed adhere to the sorts of password patterns we’re used to seeing (i.e. poorly chosen and often including the name of the site). Fortunately for my purposes here –...

LogMeIn now owns LastPass – here’s how to migrate to 1Password

This is somewhat of a perplexing acquisition, but apparently LastPass is now owned by LogMeIn. I get it in the-big-publicly-traded-company-gobbling-up-the-smaller-one kinda way, but it’s an odd marriage for a company that builds remote desktop software to buy one that builds a password manager. People aren’t real happy either when you look at the comments they’ve left on that post. Why aren’t they happy? I touched on it here: Very interesting to see how many people say they will now leave @LastPass as a result of the @LogMeIn acquisition. Reputation is critical.— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) October 10, 2015 You see, entrusting all your passwords to one organisation is a big thing. Companies...

It’s not about “supporting password managers”, it’s about not consciously breaking security

So this has been getting quite a bit of airtime today: @Sacro Hi Ben, I understand but as a business we've chosen not to have the compatibility with password managers. Thanks, Joe— British Gas Help (@BritishGasHelp) July 14, 2015 Yes, it’s ridiculous and British Gas are getting the lambasting they so deserve, but egregious security faux pas is hardly a new thing for them: @passy We'd lose our security certificate if we allowed pasting. It could leave us open to a "brute force" attack. Thanks ^Steve— British Gas Help (@BritishGasHelp) May 6, 2014 But here’s what really gets me and this tweet sums it up perfectly: @troyhunt I...

What the f*** were they thinking?! Crazy website biases exposed by naughty words lists (the NSFW version)

I’ve long held the view that passwords should consist of as many crazy things as the owner deems fit. If I want to create a password that looks like a dog just ate the keyboard and threw up all the keys, then good for me. (Chances are that Fido is going to cough up a pretty unique password too but before PETA gets on my case, try using a password manager like 1Password instead.) Now I’m used to seeing all sorts of ridiculous limits on passwords – no “special” character, limit of 12 chars, no spaces, can’t use letters “q” or “z”, can’t use letters at...

The “Cobra Effect” that is disabling paste on password fields

Back in the day when the British had a penchant for conquering the world, they ran into a little problem on the subcontinent; cobras. Turns out there were a hell of a lot of the buggers wandering around India and it also turned out that they were rather venomous which didn’t sit well with the colonials. Ingenious as the British were, they decided to offer the citizens a bounty – you hand in dead cobras that would otherwise have bitten some poor imperialist and you get some cash. Problem solved. Unfortunately, the enterprising locals saw things differently and interpreted the “cash for cobras” scheme as a damn good reason to start breeding serpents and raking in...