AD and enforced password policies
smb at cs.columbia.edu
Mon Jan 2 20:16:28 CST 2012
On Jan 2, 2012, at 9:10 PM, Lyndon Nerenberg wrote:
>> I just went through some calculations for a (government) site that has the
>> following rules:
>> Under the plausible assumption that very many people will start with a string
>> of digits, continue with a string of lower-case letters to reach seven characters,
>> and then add a period, there are only ~5,000,000,000 choices. That's not many at
>> all -- but the rules look just fine...
> 1234;lkj rolls off the fingers quite nicely, don't you think?
OK -- let's let the set of punctuation be .,; and allow seven choices for where
it goes. That increases the work factor by 21 -- still not that large a space
for someone with a good botnet.
The real question is what you're trying to protect. If the attacker's goal is
to get *some* password, then I think he or she will get succeed, because
I think that very many people will follow my assumed pattern -- enough that
the attacker has a good chance of winning. Sure, some people will pick stronger
ones -- but that isn't the point of the exercise. Passwords and password rules
are the *enemy* to most people.
--Steve Bellovin, https://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb
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