Unauthorized access attempts

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Maybe get a normal phrase and use a "1337 sp33k" generator or the like? That seems like a good way to do a seemingly random string.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:29 pm UTC

It's only as random as l33t sp33k, though. Which is to say, it isn't.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby apeman5291 » Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:35 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Meh, certain random strings are easy enough to remember by their rhythm, even if it's not really a word you could ever pronounce normally.

The don't have to be that long, either. For less imoprtant sites, a 6-digit random string containing at least one lower case letter, capital letter, number, and special character suffices. Even if someone knows that it has 6 digits, knows exactly how many of each type of character are in your password, and has a computer/connection capable of trying 1000 passwords per second, it would take them over a month on average to brute force their way in.

EDIT: But *don't* take my word for it.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby headprogrammingczar » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:52 pm UTC

Just out of curiosity, are the attacks still happening?
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Voco » Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:58 pm UTC

Another neat trick for easily memorable passwords is to intersperse two different words/sequences. So, for example, if I chose "Raptor" and e I'd get: r2A7p1T8o2R8. (note that the capitalization pattern in this one was chosen to ensure that "o" was lower-case to avoid confusion with 0. It's easy to remember and easy to cycle every often without forgetting.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:24 am UTC

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:I recommend KeePassX (I think the Windows version is just KeePass). Brute-force a 25-character random string, I dare you. :mrgreen:
Alternatively, just use passsentences instead of passwords. hey, triple s!


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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby ysth » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:13 am UTC

Are these truly brute-force attacks? I'm wondering if somebody is looking for perlmonks users who've reused.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby SOSkanesumi ARK » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

well, the whole situation is shitty...is it just for FaiD users, or the whole community?
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Wednesday » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

It's the whole community. The bulletin is posted in the announcements section, so applies to everyone.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Yakk » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

Voco wrote:Another neat trick for easily memorable passwords is to intersperse two different words/sequences. So, for example, if I chose "Raptor" and e I'd get: r2A7p1T8o2R8. (note that the capitalization pattern in this one was chosen to ensure that "o" was lower-case to avoid confusion with 0. It's easy to remember and easy to cycle every often without forgetting.

Noted, and added to the brute force attack library.
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Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Freiberg » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:27 am UTC

I'm not a big name account, but thanks for the warning.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:49 pm UTC

I pick a word or name, and change certain letters for numbers/symbols. It would be easier to guess than random symbols, but it adds a random nature, and us easier to remember. I try to keep the symbols a substitution, but may not substitute on occasion. Is this any more secure than just using words? Or about the same?

[edit] I would guess they just wish to spam adverts. It would be quite low if they wanted to impersonate or steal information.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:Is this any more secure than just using words? Or about the same?

Well obviously it's a *little* more secure, simply because it increases the number of options someone would have to go through when brute-forcing your password. Not all that secure compared to a random string, though.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Bobthemonkey » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

My account has been complaining too, even though I have not logged in for several months.

Just though I'd let you know,

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Ell » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:33 am UTC

I received the "You exceeded the maximum allowed number of login attempts" message today - while logging into my account for the first time in over a week, so I definitely didn't trigger it. If there's any other information I can provide to help, please let me know; I can be contacted via PM or IRC.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Babam » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:15 am UTC

I thought I'd just post a little guide on how to generate a very strong password that is easy to remember.

Start with a 6 or 7 word phrase such as " Mary and I didn't like the cake"
Take the first letter of each word as such

MaIdltc

insert special characters and numbers as best as you can, mostly by replacing
M@Id'7tc

Congratulations, you now have a password that you can remember in two ways, and is very secure.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Yakk » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:21 pm UTC

You could just take the original phrase instead, and then insert/substitute numbers/special characters.

It will be strictly harder to crack, as the shortening process you described (first letter) is entropy decreasing, not increasing.

It will be, however, longer, which can cause problems with locations that limit your password length (!)
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:43 pm UTC

But I always thought that "random" characters and numbers were much more secure than phrases. If I were to design a password-cracking program, I would have it insert dictionary phrases first, and then go on like this after running out of random strings of words:
Spoiler:
A
B
C
D
21 more letters
z
Same thing, lowercase.
!
@
#
Common Symbols go here
Numbers up to 100 go here
AA
AB
AC
AD
...
AZ
Aa
Ab
Ac
...
Az
A~
...
A?
A1
...
A100
Aa
...
Az
BA
BB

And so on and so on. In theory, you could create every possible phrase like this, although it would take a long time, and lockouts would hurt it also.
If it was a simple password program where you could try as many times as you like and it displayed instantly, this would be a great algorithm.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby headprogrammingczar » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

Was this most recent bout of downtime somehow related to the account hacker?
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My password is A101, which is not caught by your silly algorithm.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:38 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:Was this most recent bout of downtime somehow related to the account hacker?
Spoiler:
My password is A101, which is not caught by your silly algorithm.


Actually:
Spoiler:
Actually, it should recurse eventually and have numbers with numbers. You have me there!
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Yakk » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:15 am UTC

And so on and so on. In theory, you could create every possible phrase like this, although it would take a long time, and lockouts would hurt it also.
If it was a simple password program where you could try as many times as you like and it displayed instantly, this would be a great algorithm.

You don't understand how long a time it would take.

Assume you have upper, lower, numbers, and 8 other symbols in your table. That is 70 symbols per character.

To iterate through an 8 character password this takes 70^8 attempts. Now, 70^8 is a hard number to think about. So let's examine it as a power of 2.

It works out to about 2^49.

Imagine you can attempt 1 million (2^20) attempts per second. Then this requires 2^29 seconds to iteratively the password. Or 17 years.

A simple 1 second lockout between password attempts boosts this to 17 million years.
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Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:22 am UTC

Then how the heck do you brute-force a password if a random-string generator doesn't do anything?
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:23 am UTC

You rely on the fact that the vast majority of people don't have random strings as their passwords.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Moo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:06 am UTC

Perhaps this thread can be split out between "unauthorized access attempts" and "secure password tips"?
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:48 pm UTC

Moo wrote:Perhaps this thread can be split out between "unauthorized access attempts" and "secure password tips"?

Good point. This thread has gotten so far off of topic.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Sarda » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:36 am UTC

Is the fact that I almost always have to log in, even though it's set to keep me logged in, a problem? It's not cookies.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Yakk » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:44 pm UTC

Sarda wrote:Is the fact that I almost always have to log in, even though it's set to keep me logged in, a problem? It's not cookies.

It is probably cookies. Why do you not think it is cookies?
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Poochy » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:03 am UTC

Sarda wrote:Is the fact that I almost always have to log in, even though it's set to keep me logged in, a problem? It's not cookies.

Are you on a rotating IP address? If I remember correctly, phpBB's session/cookie data includes the first 24 bits of your IP address, which has to match or you'll get logged out.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:20 pm UTC

Just wondering: Have any of the attacks happened recently?
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

netcrusher88 wrote:There is a method of generating pronounceable password, basically by limiting the letters that can be used in a random string. I don't really understand how it works but Google knows a lot of pronounceable password generators. They're easier to remember if you can say them.
Do it Japanese-style; consonant-vowel pairs. You may not end up pronouncing them as they actually would be in Japanese, but the point is they're pronounceable. (You may also end up with such obscenities as fukumihada or yuabichi, but they're passwords, who cares?)
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby suffer-cait » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:07 am UTC

Poochy wrote:
Sarda wrote:Is the fact that I almost always have to log in, even though it's set to keep me logged in, a problem? It's not cookies.

Are you on a rotating IP address? If I remember correctly, phpBB's session/cookie data includes the first 24 bits of your IP address, which has to match or you'll get logged out.
could this also explain why sometimes i have to log in ever few pages? i have times where i have to log in every page, i can't even make it past the "you are logged in" page
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Subliminity » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:49 pm UTC

So something like (this is not my password) lfw^p01nt3rz would be pretty secure?

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Wildcard » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:52 am UTC

cmd wrote:
sparkyb wrote:I have a pretty handy trick. I use nice and simple easy to remember passwords, but I move my hands up a row on the keyboard before I type them. That way they come out all random. I know how to type my password, but I couldn't actually even tell you what it is without looking at a keyboard. For instance, if I chose "landslide" (as just some random, easy to remember string) my password comes out to be "oqhewo8e3". If you throw in some capitalization then it gets even better (especially if you capitalize anything that is on the top row and becomes symbols instead of numbers). I guess it becomes slightly less secure as soon as anyone knows that's what you do. oops.


I do this same thing :\

This is a good trick. Combine it with a Dvorak keyboard setting and it's even better. (I can type on both, but if you want to turn an easily memorized password into a virtually random string, try it.)

"DuckEggz" typed on Dvorak (typing as though it were qwerty) with a one row up shift, becomes ">7ec3yya". Typing it on Dvorak, even without the keyboard shift, but pretending it's a qwerty keyboard, becomes "Egjt>ii;" And that's not even to mention the other possible keyboard layouts you can use--there are layouts with Dvorak for left hand, Dvorak for right hand (neither of which I know), which are all as good as cyphers and a hell of a lot easier to use.

And I second the motion for a thread split--my post, though definitely related to prior posts, is markedly less related to the actual topic supposedly under discussion.

On topic: A few weeks ago returning to xkcd after many months absence, I couldn't log in. I think I just forgot my password (changed it and forgot), but there's a remote possibility that someone else hacked the account and changed the password. There's an even more remote possibility that I am that person, and not Wildcard as I normally claim :P
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Yakk » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:10 pm UTC

Offset by 1 and Dvorak: cute idea.

Offseting your hands up 1, and using Dvorak, each increase the amount of time to crack your password by 1 unit.

Randomly adding shift, or not-shift, to the 5th character also increases the amount of time to crack your password by 1 unit.

Ie: it is security by obscurity. And it isn't obscure any more.

Adding another word to your password would increase your security by a ridiculously larger amount than this technique.

Remember, something looking like nonsense doesn't actually make it harder to crack.

Admittedly, if you did a half-dozen obscure things to make your password weird, standard dictionary crack attacks might not try all half-dozen of these. Look around for standard weird things to do to your password; avoid them. Do not tell anyone what weird things you are doing, so they don't become standard. Security by obscurity requires obscurity. Make sure that you cannot deduce the weird thing you are doing from cracking a given password.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Internetmeme » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:20 pm UTC

Use "UnlikeNormalFurries"

Shift up 1, dvorack, tack a few random characters on the end.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby Red Hal » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:38 am UTC

Just choose a simple password, aes encrypt it with itself and add a random string of four characters at the end. The leetkey extension for Firefox allows you to regenerate the string at any time with a couple of clicks as long as you can remember the original. Seemples!

Thus

Password

AES encrypted with "Password" becomes

h57HviQBITAhITAhLSExMCHU/yExMiEniurM!!1

Those of you with the leetkey extension can delete the last 3 characters and decrypt it to check.
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby makc » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:28 pm UTC

why do my topic reply notifications go through echochamber.me site where I am required to enter my login/password? I have "log in every time" set, and forums.xkcd.com still remembers me now. this almost look like phishing attempt; the only thing that doesn't fit in is how "they" know that I actually subscribed to some topic.

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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

Delete all of your board cookies from any of the xkcd domains. Notifications come from whatever domain someone was using when they made the post, and some silly people are still using echochamber.

Or you can just change the domain name in your address bar to be forums.xkcd.com
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby spudtheimpaler » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:56 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:...and some silly people are still using echochamber...


Why so serioussilly? If I type in "ech" into my address bar I get echochamber top of the list. If I type "for" I get a bunch of forum sites. Echo chamber is actually more convenient for me, and well it's up, so what harm is there? :)
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Re: Unauthorized access attempts

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:06 pm UTC

If you're using something other than Internet Explorer, you can have just the letter f be a keyword for a forums.xkcd.com bookmark, so how your browser autocompletes things is no excuse.
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