A Large Scale Study of Web Password Habits

Posted in Internet Security Whitepapers, Web Based Password Cracking

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Passwords play a large part of the typical web user's experience. The are the near universal means for gaining access to accounts of all kinds. Email, banks, portals, dating and social networking sites all require passwords. So important are they that HTML has a special form field to allow for the special treatment they require, and an important role of SSL is protecting the secrecy of passwords from observers of the connection. Alternative to passwords certainly exist. Hardware authentication, e.g. [1], is sometimes used for access to corporate networks. However, this requires an issuing authority and seems to be limited to environments that justify the cost, such as in the employer-employee relationship. Challenge response authentication has the advantage that observing a single successful sign in does not allow an attacker to gain the secret.
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A Large Scale Study of Web Password Habits

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