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Re: Epithet
From: SMiller () unimin com
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2003 12:30:51 -0500


I too have been doing this for a long time.  A few years ago I would not
have hesitated to suggest that the userid match the user's name as closely
as the system would allow.  However, I see far too many applications today
that automatically cache this value, even when the user has elected not to
cache the password (a practice BTW that I believe should barred by any sane
security policy)  So I guess my best advice is to evaluate the
administrative benefits of easy user identification by that string (also
consider how easy or difficult it might be to create and maintain a
separate table that would correlate a "random" id with user identity) with
the incremental risk from id-caching applications.  In no case would I
advise use of a unique and loaded value such as employee number as a user

"Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart, this nullity
imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before
achieved" - J. W. von Goethe

                      Steve.Kirby () seale                                                                              
                      dair.com                 To:       security-basics () securityfocus com                           
                      12/02/2003 12:36         Fax to:                                                                  
                      AM                       Subject:  Epithet                                                        

To the list:

We are currently developing a meta-directory project. One data element that
we may now be able to re-define, is that of a User's Identification (UID).

There are many 'schools of thought' about what should, or should not make
up a UID. Do you include all or part of a person's name, do you use
initials, what about an employee number (and what if they're a contractor
without one)? The permutations are endless.

Having worked for many years in administration of systems,  I tend to think
you should be able to derive who the user is - so you can ring them....
just as you log them off!  But is it necessary to identify the user easily?
Could a seemingly nonsensical code be used to preserve anonymity? Is a
jumbled UID a better deterrent against someone trying to forge an identity
into our systems because they wouldn't know how it was made up or verified?

The questions are almost endless, but I would be very interested to hear
from others about their experiences or thoughts. No names, no packdrills,
but examples of how UIDs are made up or UIDs you've come across would be
gratefully accepted.



or should that be GX78F2792?



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