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RE: suggesting passwds to users
From: Sohl, Greg (Greg.SohlFiserv.com)
Date: Wed Apr 20 2005 - 14:55:52 CDT
This came from http://www.nipc.gov/publications/nipcpub/password.htm, which
no longer seems to be available:
Remembering long passwords can be difficult, but there are some basic
techniques users can employ to lessen the pain. First, choose a phrase that
you will remember. As an example, we will use the phrase "The pearl in the
river." You can then take a number that you are familiar with, such as a
birthday. For this example we will use 7/4/01. Next, you can take the first
letter of your phrase and interlace it with the chosen date to make
something similar to t7p4i0t1r. This method creates a password that won't be
found in any dictionary and is unique to the person who created it.
It is important to remember though, that any password can be guessed if
given enough time. Therefore, it is important to change your password within
the amount of time it would take an attacker to guess it. For example, with
the previous password it may take an attacker 60 days on a very fast
computer to guess what it is. In order to ensure your systems safety then, a
user must change their password before those 60 days come to an end.
From: Kelly John Rose [mailto:mllistsptbcanadian.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:45 AM
To: James Barkley
Subject: Re: suggesting passwds to users
The problem I see with this is that if the users are not going to use
cryptographically strong passwords in the first place, what would make
you believe that they will use one of the randomly generated passwords.
The big problem that exists with those passwords is that end users (in
my experience) do not like those type of passwords, and will just come
up with their own favourites.
As well, if you provide suggested passwords, there is more potential for
abuse if someone gains access to that code, or is able to watch the
But, I think most importantly, if users are not going to use secure
passwords in the first place, they are not going to use these suggested
.....Kelly John Rose.....
James Barkley wrote:
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> A user authenticates with a username/passwd and you not only give the
> user the option to change his/her password any time they want but also
> make it mandatory that they change their password at least once every
> so often (e.g. 6 months). You know that users are not good at
> choosing good passwords, but you happen to have a good application
> module for generating random strong passwords. So, when the user is
> at the change password page and about to type in "Mets4Ever" as their
> new password, why not give them a list of 10 or so cryptographically
> strong, randomly generated passwords as suggestions for them.
> Assuming you are using https, then this seems like reasonable
> security... or am I missing something?
> - -Jim Barkley
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