Posts Tagged ‘Security’

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. 😉 

 

Adobe Reader [in]security

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

From F-Secure advises against using Adobe Reader article:

Of the targeted attacks on managers, politicians and other high-ranking individuals registered this year, almost 50 per cent have exploited six security vulnerabilities in Adobe’s PDF products. In 2008 it was Microsoft Word which proved the most popular target – with 35 per cent – for such attacks, although the number of vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader (19) was already exceeding the number in Word (15) by four. Hypponen notes that while the number of infected PDF files observed between January and April 2008 was just 128, over the same period this year it rose to more than 2300.

So, you have been warned ;). And just to remind you (though you’re probably aware of that):

Windows Passwords

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Need more information on passwords in Active Directory environment — password policies, default settings, fine-graining? Then read Windows Passwords: Making them Secure article at WindowsSecurity.com. But we can also recommend using Proactive Password Auditor on a regular basis, to see how secure your passwords really are.

Surveillance Self-Defense Project fills the gaps in your security policy

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Michael Kassner placed an article about Surveillance Self-Defense in the TechRepublic, where he gives brief outline of the SSD website. Though some can endlessly brood over the grounds for the project foundation, for me one is clear that this site can be very much helpful to put all principal computer security guidelines together and close the gaps in your own security.
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Lotus Notes ID files password cracking

Friday, April 10th, 2009

You’re probably aware that our Distributed Password Recovery works with Lotus Notes ID files (as well as with two dozen other file formats, of course). Some sad news: in latest versions of Notes (8.5), encryption has been improved. In older versions, only 64-bit and 128-bit RC2 options were available, but now you can also use AES (128-bit or 256-bit). Well, encryption itself does not actually matter, but the problem is that password verification routine is not much better (worse?) as well: 5,000/10,000 SHA-1 cycles have been added. EDPR will be updated accordingly to support new format (you can subscribe to our mailing list to be notified), of course, but don’t expect the high recovery speed: we can get several hundred passwords per second only. For older versions of Notes, the speed was ~100,000 passwords per second or higher.

Teach Yourself Secure Passwords

Monday, March 30th, 2009

lifehacker has started a series of posts on choosing and using secure passwords. Few days ago they published a list of handy tips from their readers on how to create passwords you can rely on. One of the readers admitted that in a company he works for IT administrators require password change every 30 days and

it just results in workers picking the easiest password that meets the requirements – as in a MM/YYYY-style password.

Sounds like it’s time to rethink password policies. What are your ideas?