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RE: passwords
From: "Trevor Cushen" <Trevor.Cushen () sysnet ie>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 09:11:12 -0000

I had not added anything to this discussion because as you have said it
can be talked to death.  But yesterday I saw an article about passwords
and thought I would pass it on because it really is a daring stand the
author has taken.  But I saw the article in hard copy and when I went to
search for it I found several articles under the same heading


All these articles talk about biometrics and pki etc, but essentially
various forms of phasing out the user entered password.  I would be
interested in what this forums general concensis is on that line of

This is not my line of thinking nor do I have a project in the working
to provide more details on a possible implementation or environment,
number of users, costings etc.  It is the concept that I am interested
in getting feedback on just out of curiosity.

Many thanks

Trevor Cushen
Sysnet Ltd

Tel: +353 1 2983000
Fax: +353 1 2960499

-----Original Message-----
From: Robinson, Sonja [mailto:SRobinson () HIPUSA com] 
Sent: 19 February 2003 14:28
To: 'ullmic6'; 'security-basics () securityfocus com'
Subject: RE: passwords

That's it???   Arguments can be made for changing passwords from between
and 90 days.  Each argument has valid points which I will not elaborate
on again since it's been beaten to death.  30 to 90 is fine but you need
to make sure there is complexity involved.  The harder the complexity
the more valid the argument for 90 days so users won't be tempted to
write it down. I wouldn't exceed more than 90 ever but I prefer 30.  A
combination of Capital and lowercase letters, Numbers and Symbols.
Require 3 out of the 4 minimum.  Make a minimum length of 7.  If you are
using LANMan make it  7 not 8 since 7 is harder to crack for LANMan
other reasons that I also won't go into.  You should have a password
history as well.  I prefer 12 so that people can slightly change the
password to be Passw0rd1, Passw0rd2, .... Run enforcement onthese
policies and run password checkers to verify.  

IMHO, 30 days is best.  I've had 30 days with these rules and users are
fine.  At first people tend to kick and scream but if you reduce the
times in increments of say 15 days every 3 months people don't notice
the difference.

Good Password - N0t*N0w, Abs0lutely%, 
Bad Password - tuxedo, names, birthdates, License plates, names, pets,
anything in a dictionary (incl foreign languages, klingon, etc.),
anything identifiable or guessable about a person, phone #'s, etc.

-----Original Message-----
From: ullmic6 [mailto:ullmic6 () web de]
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 2:02 PM
To: security-basics () securityfocus com
Subject: passwords

Hello all,

one of the favorite subjects in my company seems to be the
strength of passwords. We force our users to change their 
mail password every 90 days. Does this make sense? Why?


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