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Re: Whitespace in passwords
From: Anurag Joshi <mastermindanu () gmail com>
Date: Fri, 09 Sep 2005 08:16:03 +0530

List,
With due respect i dont think whitespaces would make any difference. It just depends on the encrypting algo. In all cases whitespace amounts to a ASCII code and hence a binary representation, thus encrypting or decrypting would make no difference. If the algo has no no rule for whitespaces then it is not allowed. But when it comes to symbols whitespaces, underscores, dash are probably the first ones anyone will look for.
Anurag Joshi

Bruce K. Marshall wrote:

Bryan,

I don't believe there is any reason that people are discouraged from using the space character other than application programming restrictions. If the space character was a field delimeter or otherwise broke the coded password processing function the programmers wouldn't allow it in a password.

I don't see this restriction very often these days. But we do have Microsoft treating the space character differently than any other. They don't classify it as lowercase, uppercase, number, or symbol when checking the password against complexity requirements. I consider it a symbol, and it falls within the top 10 most popular symbols when analyzing password choices. But even then it is not a popular character.

Making complete use of all available characters is important for increasing the difficulty of password cracking. It isn't enough to just make the space character available and then only encourage people to use letters and numbers.

----
Bruce K. Marshall - bkmarshall () passwordresearch com
Password Research Institute - http://www.passwordresearch.com


----- Original Message ----- From: "bryan allott" <homegrown () bryanallott net>
To: <pen-test () securityfocus com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2005 4:19 AM
Subject: Whitespace in passwords


generally, and i dont know if this is social conditioning due to the misnomer "passWORD" rather than passPHRASE but it seems that [most?] people choose passes that dont contain whitespaces, and in fact, there are some system implementations that wont allow whitespaces in the password. my main question, re security, is wether the whitespace made the password too vulnerable? [historically] and why this constraint is introduced in many systems.. [but then, if myth- why propogate it?] i'm thinking that whitespaces [if yr system can handle them, and why not?] would add another measure of complexity in cracking pwds?



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