Re: passwords

From: simsjs (sims@interex.org)
Date: 02/18/03

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    Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 14:04:35 -0800
    From: "simsjs" <sims@interex.org>
    To: "ullmic6" <ullmic6@web.de>, "security-basics" <security-basics@securityfocus.com>
    
    

    Hey ullmic,

    This makes sense in the fact that I can see why you do that. But, you need to keep in mind if the user is forced to change their password every 90 days the probability of picking what we would call a "good" password are probably slim. They will usually pick something that is easy to remember and therefore usually easy to guess, making it a "bad" password. The best way I have found to do it is to choose their passwords for them, and not allow them to change it. You then change passwords every ____(blank) number of days/weeks/months whatever, and give them to the users. But you can't allow them to write them down, and you have to tell them the password face-to-face since email would be unacceptable. This will only work if you work for a very small company. The other option is to periodically run a password cracker on the user names and see how many have weak passwords. My guess is that more than 50% will have weak passwords. Then you force those users to change their passwords immediately until they meet your criteria. With this being said, you have to make sure that you will not get in trouble for running this crack on your users, check the security policy and make sure it is clearly stated there whether or not you have this right. If you do not have a security policy, you should create one (these are great for covering your rear). Also notify your manager what you are going to do and show him where the security policy says you have the right to do it. After a few times doing this, you will find that users would rather pick something to get you off their backs than to have to listen to your lecture every few months.

    Hope this helps. And this is just my idea of how it should be done. I am sure you will hear hundreds. Each place has it's own budget and ways of doing things. So read them all and see what works in your environment.

    Jeff

    *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

    On 2/17/2003 at 8:01 PM ullmic6 wrote:

    >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?
    >
    >--
    >ullmic