How to Set Up An SSH Key Agent

Last week I showed you how to set up cryptographic authentication for SSH. We got as far as the more secure part. In an analysis of a multi-year collection of several million SSH break-in attempts I didn’t see one that tried guessing cryptographic keys. Willie Sutton supposedly said that he robbed banks because that’s where […]
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Asimov Created Three Laws of Robotics, So How About Cyber Security?

Someone asked me why cyber security seems so vaguely defined. Surely there must be some standard set of laws like in Asimov’s fiction. No, not that I know of, but maybe I could help. In “I, Robot”, a 1950 collection of nine short stories, Isaac Asimov introduced his Three Laws of Robotics: 1: A robot may […]
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Making the High Security of Repeated Hashing Practical

  Last week I explained how repeated hashing works. Our user Alice can prove that she knows her secret without exposing that secret, and the server can verify this without knowing what her secret is. The follow-up question is – how to make it practical? My explanation last week told you how repeated hashing works, but […]
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How To Manage Your Passwords With KeePassX

Last week I suggested a do-it-yourself approach to generating pass phrases. Using an available list of 80,489 4-to-6-character strings of words and word fragments, and randomly selecting five such strings, plus 5 digits, plus one of the 30 or so punctuation marks, that scheme could generate this many possible pass phrase strings: 804895 × 105 […]
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How Can We Create Secure Passwords?

What makes a password secure? We have to keep the bad guys out while letting the legitimate user in. We need to protect authentication and prevent user identity masquerading or spoofing, so it must be impractical for the attacker to guess it. I didn’t say “impossible” because any string could be guessed eventually. But impractical, […]
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