Building blocks to security: Passwords

    Date10 Jun 2001
    3258
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Passwords -- the first line of defense and the oldest form of security on Unix systems -- might seem a very tired topic. You might even think there would be nothing left to say about passwords but, even today, people are . . . Passwords -- the first line of defense and the oldest form of security on Unix systems -- might seem a very tired topic. You might even think there would be nothing left to say about passwords but, even today, people are making the same basic mistakes -- choosing obvious passwords, writing passwords down, or sharing passwords -- that they were making 10 years or more ago. When even a systems administrator is likely to set a user's password to "password" whether by intention or because the user has requested it, one has to wonder how much of our new awareness of the importance of system security has impacted day-to-day operations.

    Even if user password choices are much the same as they were 10 years ago, however, two dramatic changes have taken place. For one, the number of passwords and other secret codes that each of us has to remember has increased dramatically. Given online banking, online bill paying, access codes for voicemail and unlocking cell phones, secret codes for ATMs, passwords for logging in to Websites, and security codes for offices and maybe even homes, the fact is that we are reaching the point at which we simply have too many secret codes to remember without some kind of crutch, whether it be paper or something else altogether. We run the risk of being locked out of our various accounts and maybe even our homes and offices by an excess of secret codes. If we set all of our passwords the same or write them down to compensate, we introduce risks of another kind.

    You are not authorised to post comments.

    LinuxSecurity Poll

    In your opinion, what is the biggest advantage associated with choosing open-source software/technology?

    No answer selected. Please try again.
    Please select either existing option or enter your own, however not both.
    Please select minimum 0 answer(s) and maximum 4 answer(s).
    /component/communitypolls/?task=poll.vote
    16
    radio
    [{"id":"61","title":"High levels of security","votes":"1","type":"x","order":"1","pct":16.67,"resources":[]},{"id":"62","title":"High levels of quality ","votes":"0","type":"x","order":"2","pct":0,"resources":[]},{"id":"63","title":"Cost-effectiveness ","votes":"0","type":"x","order":"3","pct":0,"resources":[]},{"id":"64","title":"Freedom and flexibility ","votes":"5","type":"x","order":"4","pct":83.33,"resources":[]}]["#ff5b00","#4ac0f2","#b80028","#eef66c","#60bb22","#b96a9a","#62c2cc"]["rgba(255,91,0,0.7)","rgba(74,192,242,0.7)","rgba(184,0,40,0.7)","rgba(238,246,108,0.7)","rgba(96,187,34,0.7)","rgba(185,106,154,0.7)","rgba(98,194,204,0.7)"]350
    bottom200

    We use cookies to provide and improve our services. By using our site, you consent to our Cookie Policy.