Posts Tagged ‘Password policy’

ElcomSoft Opens a Password Store to Sell Passwords Balancing Strength and Memorability

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Great news, ElcomSoft starts Elcomsoft Password Store, an online service to supply customers with guaranteed secure passwords. The new Password Store provides customers a variety of selections, and complies with all industrial and government requirements regarding the length and complexity of passwords being sold. As a value-added service, the company offers near-instant recovery of all passwords sold through its Password Store for a nominal fee.

The many different security policies and government regulations make standard practices of choosing passwords inadequate (passwords are too easy to break) or unfeasible (passwords are impossible to memorize, get written on yellow stickers, and get easily hijacked).  To facilitate the needs of its customers, ElcomSoft Co. Ltd. employed its extensive expertise in the areas of information security and password recovery, and offers a service to provide the perfect balance between password strength and memorability. After breaking millions of passwords, the company has inside information on what’s strong, what’s weak, and what’s adequate for every task.

Offering three strength levels and several additional options, ElcomSoft offers an economical way to create passwords perfect for the type of information they protect. Customers can choose passwords that are short and strong, long and extremely strong, or very long and guaranteed unbreakable. For a small extra fee, Password Store customers can choose passwords that are easy to pronounce or quick to memorize, without sacrificing a single bit of security. In addition, ElcomSoft offer a “gift-wrap” option that accompanies every password with a digital authenticity certificate.

As a value-added service, ElcomSoft offers exclusive password recovery service to all customers of its Password Store. For a nominal fee, forgotten passwords can be recovered in an instant. Under no circumstances will the company sell passwords to any third-parties or upload the lists to the three-letter agencies, government or law enforcement officials unless they become our clients and buy their own passwords.

More info at http://www.elcomsoft.com/password_store.html

Why you should crack your passwords

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Computer security audit

Your organization probably has a written password policy. Accordingly you also have different technical implementations of that policy across your various systems. Most of the implementations does not match the exact requirements or guidelines given in the written policy, because they cannot be technically implemented.

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Officers of Indian Customs To Be Punished For Password Breach

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

The Central Board of Excise and Customs of India claimed that compromised passwords are the biggest threat to system security. Despite elaborate instructions on passwords, which all employees are supposed to follow, “instances of password compromise continue to recur with unfailing regularity”, an unnamed official says.

Sharing of passwords was identified as one of the main reasons of unauthorized access and information leakage. According to CBEC representative, officers who share their passwords with others should “be regarded as being in collusion in the fraud that results”. To prevent insecure use of passwords CBEC plans to introduce a set of measures, including disciplinary action and even dismissal from the Government service.   

Penalty threat may not be the most effective solution. In case of password breach, complex countermeasures are required, and regular password audit is a significant part of it. If it is required that users change their passwords every 30 days, then system administrators have to perform password audits with the same regularity. There is a lot of both free and commercial auditing tools that allow to check password security.

Source: Business Line

NIST drafts new enterprise password management (open to publication, distribution and adaptation!)

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Probably you’ve already heard about this vicious circle thousand times:

Requiring that passwords be long and complex makes it less likely that attackers will guess or crack them, but it also makes the passwords harder for users to remember, and thus more likely to be stored insecurely. This increases the likelihood that users will store their passwords insecurely and expose them to attackers.

So, how to work out an appropriate password policy? Need help? Find some tips in NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) study, GUIDE TO ENTERPRISE PASSWORD MANAGEMENT (DRAFT), which “has been prepared for use by Federal agencies”, but also “may be used by nongovernmental organizations on a voluntary basis”.

Here are some nuggets from the paper: 

• Organizations should review their password policies periodically, particularly as major technology changes occur (e.g., new operating system) that may affect password management.

Users should be made aware of threats against their knowledge and behavior, such as phishing attacks, keystroke loggers, and shoulder surfing, and how they should respond when they suspect an attack may be occurring.

• Organizations should consider having different policies for password expiration for different types of systems, operating systems, and applications, to reflect their varying security needs and usability requirements.

Do you have something to add? So, review and revise it freely – the paper is not subject to copyright. ;) 

 

Green password policy? No re-use!

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Do you still reuse passwords? The recent study from University of California shows again that such a bad habit continues to exist. The worst thing about reusing passwords is that it doesn’t require being a technically skilled hacker to guess your password for this or that document.