Seriously? Clear text passwords?

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ReggX
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Seriously? Clear text passwords?

Postby ReggX » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:40 pm

To the Forum admins,

I couldn't believe my eyes what I saw just now. The registration mail contained my password in clear text form.
Since even that basic practice of password security isn't fulfilled, how should I trust you to keep your database safe from attacks?
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Postby jelco » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:10 pm

Welcome.

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Postby VoiD88 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:28 pm

Why are you concerned? Do you use your credit card number as your password? Or are you using the same password everywhere? Which kind of sensitive data do you enter on this forum that you fear might fall into whose hands? :roll:
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:39 am

Jelco, you seem to miss a major point there: the plain text passwords are stored. How else could it be sent to you when you use the "forgot password" link. Try it yourself if you don't believe me.

Now I don't care much myself, but you'll have to agree it's extremely bad form. (In reality not much worse security than a simple hash, but way worse form all the same.)


(I realized it just now because I just typed my password for the first time in a while, and it's a password I thought up a very long time ago and had resent to me when I had forgotten it over the years.)
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Postby NeatNit » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:32 am

Great Magical Hat wrote:Jelco, you seem to miss a major point there: the plain text passwords are stored. How else could it be sent to you when you use the "forgot password" link. Try it yourself if you don't believe me.

Now I don't care much myself, but you'll have to agree it's extremely bad form. (In reality not much worse security than a simple hash, but way worse form all the same.)


(I realized it just now because I just typed my password for the first time in a while, and it's a password I thought up a very long time ago and had resent to me when I had forgotten it over the years.)
Encryption. The server can decrypt the password, send it in your email, and then remove all traces of the decrypted password from itself. We have no proof that it does this, but we also have no proof that it doesn't.
Still not great security though, either way. Most systems use one-way hashing, this way the server doesn't know the actual password, it only knows the result you would get when you input that password in a complex set of algorithms which cannot be reversed. If that hash is stolen by hackers, their only form of action would be to input every possible password into the algorithms until one is found with the correct result. With encrypted passwords (which this forum probably has), the algorithms can be reversed and if the hackers know this reversed algorithm, they can easily generate the passwords from the stored encrypted passwords.
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trickser
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Postby trickser » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:12 am

What a nonsense!

Specially this:
NeatNit wrote:We have no proof that it does this, but we also have no proof that it doesn't.


Can anybody tell me a case when this ever made sense?


Also,
The server can decrypt the password

what one computing engine can, another can also, therefore the word software. How is that different from plain passwords?
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Postby Great Magical Hat » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:01 am

NeatNit wrote:Encryption.


Fair enough, that's an option I didn't think about. I'll disagree with you on that it's likely it's used, though.

As for the rest you say, yes I know what we are talking about. To make a much needed improvement to the hashing system, you'll need personalized salts. However, even then your passwords aren't secure, really. The problem is that hashing algorithms are designed to be fast, whereas you need a slow algorithm to make brute forcing impractical. You're best off leaving the handling of passwords to a dedicated library.
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Postby xander » Sat Jun 15, 2013 3:34 am

NeatNit wrote:Encryption. The server can decrypt the password, send it in your email, and then remove all traces of the decrypted password from itself. We have no proof that it does this, but we also have no proof that it doesn't.
Still not great security though, either way. Most systems use one-way hashing, this way the server doesn't know the actual password, it only knows the result you would get when you input that password in a complex set of algorithms which cannot be reversed. If that hash is stolen by hackers, their only form of action would be to input every possible password into the algorithms until one is found with the correct result. With encrypted passwords (which this forum probably has), the algorithms can be reversed and if the hackers know this reversed algorithm, they can easily generate the passwords from the stored encrypted passwords.

Um... no. Just no. In a properly encrypted authentication system, the password is hashed immediately and the hash is stored, not the plaintext password. In such a system, the password is never ever decrypted. The server has no way of retrieving the original password. Instead, when a password is entered, the input is hashed and compared to the hash that has been stored on the server. If passwords are being sent out in plaintext via the "Forgotten Password" system, then the passwords are being stored in plaintext, which is a major no-no (though, as has been pointed out before, forum passwords should be considered insecure and low priority, anyway---worst case scenario, someone pretends to be you and posts BS on the forums under your name---could this be the new Ace Rimmer?).

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Postby jelco » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:54 am

Great Magical Hat wrote:Jelco, you seem to miss a major point there: the plain text passwords are stored.

They just aren't. You can set up your own phpBB install and look in the DB yourself. They aren't.

Great Magical Hat wrote:How else could it be sent to you when you use the "forgot password" link. Try it yourself if you don't believe me.

You do not get your original password when you click the Forgot Password link. It generates a new one. Same deal as with registration: it's only during that specific procedure that the plaintext version is available to the system. Create a new password, mail it to the user, then store a hashed version in the DB and discard the plaintext version from memory. Read the source code if you don't believe me.

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Postby NeatNit » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:37 pm

xander wrote:
NeatNit wrote:Encryption. The server can decrypt the password, send it in your email, and then remove all traces of the decrypted password from itself. We have no proof that it does this, but we also have no proof that it doesn't.
Still not great security though, either way. Most systems use one-way hashing, this way the server doesn't know the actual password, it only knows the result you would get when you input that password in a complex set of algorithms which cannot be reversed. If that hash is stolen by hackers, their only form of action would be to input every possible password into the algorithms until one is found with the correct result. With encrypted passwords (which this forum probably has), the algorithms can be reversed and if the hackers know this reversed algorithm, they can easily generate the passwords from the stored encrypted passwords.

Um... no. Just no. In a properly encrypted authentication system, the password is hashed immediately and the hash is stored, not the plaintext password. In such a system, the password is never ever decrypted. The server has no way of retrieving the original password. Instead, when a password is entered, the input is hashed and compared to the hash that has been stored on the server. If passwords are being sent out in plaintext via the "Forgotten Password" system, then the passwords are being stored in plaintext, which is a major no-no (though, as has been pointed out before, forum passwords should be considered insecure and low priority, anyway---worst case scenario, someone pretends to be you and posts BS on the forums under your name---could this be the new Ace Rimmer?).

xander
“We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list. One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form.”
http://onehitpixel.com/2011/05/03/passw ... sony/11876

I didn't make any of that up. There's encrypted passwords (which can be decrypted) and there's hashes (which cannot, this is what you were talking about).
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Postby xander » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:39 pm

NeatNit wrote:
xander wrote:
NeatNit wrote:Encryption. The server can decrypt the password, send it in your email, and then remove all traces of the decrypted password from itself. We have no proof that it does this, but we also have no proof that it doesn't.
Still not great security though, either way. Most systems use one-way hashing, this way the server doesn't know the actual password, it only knows the result you would get when you input that password in a complex set of algorithms which cannot be reversed. If that hash is stolen by hackers, their only form of action would be to input every possible password into the algorithms until one is found with the correct result. With encrypted passwords (which this forum probably has), the algorithms can be reversed and if the hackers know this reversed algorithm, they can easily generate the passwords from the stored encrypted passwords.

Um... no. Just no. In a properly encrypted authentication system, the password is hashed immediately and the hash is stored, not the plaintext password. In such a system, the password is never ever decrypted. The server has no way of retrieving the original password. Instead, when a password is entered, the input is hashed and compared to the hash that has been stored on the server. If passwords are being sent out in plaintext via the "Forgotten Password" system, then the passwords are being stored in plaintext, which is a major no-no (though, as has been pointed out before, forum passwords should be considered insecure and low priority, anyway---worst case scenario, someone pretends to be you and posts BS on the forums under your name---could this be the new Ace Rimmer?).

xander
“We want to state this again given the increase in speculation about credit card information being used fraudulently. One report indicated that a group tried to sell millions of credit card numbers back to Sony. To my knowledge there is no truth to this report of a list, or that Sony was offered an opportunity to purchase the list. One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form.”
http://onehitpixel.com/2011/05/03/passw ... sony/11876

I didn't make any of that up. There's encrypted passwords (which can be decrypted) and there's hashes (which cannot, this is what you were talking about).

That in no way contradicts what I posted above.

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Postby NeatNit » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:29 pm

In the same way what you said doesn't contradict what I said earlier..?
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Postby Mas Tnega » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:52 pm

Except for the part where nothing you said applied to the forum.
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Postby xander » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:15 pm

Mas Tnega wrote:Except for the part where nothing you said applied to the forum.

This.

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Postby RabidZombie » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:59 pm

Is there a good reason the password IS still sent in the email? Seems like a pretty easy target for improving user experience. We'd stop getting people complaining that their password is stored in plaintext!

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