Password audits, if you ask some security pros you will hear a million reasons why you would be insane to do them… ask me however and the answer is more nuanced. They are activities that must be handled with the upmost care, however…. they (in my experience) have been incredibly useful to help improve security postures and to enable organisations to understand risk! You are of course free to ignore what I think and live like an ostrich (or it really might not be suitable for your environment). I’m not going to talk about how to do a password audit today, I’m also not going to advise in this post on sourcing strategy (you may want to do in house or you might want to outsource, after all, you normally put all your hashes in someone else’s computer when you use cloud right!?), anyway enough rambling, year ago the NCSC UK did some password auditing research (it was good work – Spray you, spray me: defending against password spraying… – NCSC.GOV.UK) and now the DOI have also done similar, check out the report In the link below:Read more “Living with your password strength head in the sand”
When an organisation suffers a data breach it’s usually bad. When an organisation that stores 25 million people’s passwords that’s really bad.
There are multiple risks here at play.
Firstly, when we give people our data, it’s our risk and our choice. I’m ok with that, I chose to give lastPass my data.
My vault data might be gone, but I have a strong master password, how we interpreted the theft of the basically cryptographic materials is a bit like when we full disk encrypt a drive.
If you lose a laptop that’s got FDE do you report this as a data loss to the ICO? Or do you say, it’s encrypted so actually I haven’t lost the data per say, I’ve just lost a random (ish) bunch of 0s an 1s so I don’t count that as an incident? I’m not here to be judge or jury.Read more “LastPass Breach – The danger of metadata”
How do we crack OS X password hashes?
I haven’t had tea but I was thinking about the MAC i was remoting into and I suddenly thought.. I wonder how to crack the hashes from a MAC. Surely it’s just cat /etc/passwd and cat /etc/shadow and then unshadow and run hashcat right?
The hashes for local users are stored here:Read more “Hash Cracking for Modern OS X (10.8+)”
Back in 2019 I started to make some materials to help people with some basic offensive security techniques. I made three eppisodes of training materials. Well I’ve decided to re-release these, they haven’t really been changed but I’ve updated a few graphics on episode 3 and removed a link to Cain and Abel because it’s no longer maintained. I will probably go through these at some point and re-factor them.
I’ve got more documents on active directory security, I’ve actually written hundreds of pages on the subject but the challenge I’ve had is there is just so much to write, so I’ve decided I’m going to chunk it up into small blogs on a specific technique or area.Read more “Hacking 101”
The authentication dilemma
I’ve worked with a lot of organisations over the years and seen lots of ways of doing certain things. Policy implementation is one of those! I’m in a fortunate position where I get to see different people’s policy documents, their systemic implementations and even interview staff to see how these work on the ground. So, I thought I’d write about password policies!
Humans like to be efficient and people also struggle to deal with the huge volume of identify management and authentication solutions they are presented with. Just think, how many passwords are required in everyday life?
- Multiple 4-digit PIN codes for debit and credit cards etc.
- Online banking sign in credentials (more PINS)
- Gym padlock PIN combo (usually 4 characters)
- Passwords for home computer
- PIN code or password for mobile phone access
- Passwords of phrases for telephone services e.g. to access your mobile phone account services
- Social media credentials
The list goes on and on! Then let’s add in corporate IT services….
Anyone who’s worked in an office will have seen familiar sites of the following:
- Password on post it notes
- Password shared with colleagues
- Password sellotaped to keyboard (either on top or underneath)
- Passwords shouted across the office
- Passwords written down on white boards