Showing posts from October, 2010

CCS Paper Part #2: Password Entropy

This is part #2 in a (mumble, cough, mumble) part serious of posts discussing the results published in the paper I co-authored on the effectiveness of passwords security metrics. Part #1 can be found here . I received a lot of insightful comments on the paper since my last post, (one of the benefits of having a slow update schedule), and one thing that stands out is people really like the idea of password entropy. Here’s a good example: “As to entropy, I think it would actually be a good measure of password complexity, but unfortunately there's no way to compute it directly. We would need a password database comparable in size (or preferably much larger than) the entire password space in order to be able to do that. Since we can't possibly have that (there are not that many passwords in the world), we can't compute the entropy - we can only try to estimate it in various ways (likely poor)” First of all I want to thank everyone for their input and support as I really apprec

New Paper on Password Security Metrics

I'm in Chicago at the ACM CCS conference , and the paper I presented there: "Testing Metrics for Password Creation Policies by Attacking Large Sets of Revealed Passwords", is now available online. Direct Download of PDF View Online Since I had the paper and presentation approved through my company's public release office I was given permission to blog about this subject while the larger issue of my blog is still going through the proper channels. Because of that I'm going to limit my next couple of posts to this subject rather than talking about the CCS conference as a whole, but let me quickly point you to the amazing paper " The Security of Modern Password Expiration: An Algorithmic Framework and Empirical Analysis ", written by Yinqian Zhang, Fabian Monrose and Michael Reiter. In short, they managed to obtain a great dataset, their techniques were innovative and sound, and there's some really good analysis on how effective password expiration poli