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65 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 147205 12-Jun-2014 12:28
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I see that Orcon has recently changed the way customers can change their account passwords. We can no longer just change it ourselves on the My Orcon page, but have to request a password reset email. While this is all fine and good, it does open the possibility of phishing and fake wesbite scams. Common sense safe practice suggests not clicking on links within emails.

Furthermore, the changes made to Orcon's change password policy don't go far enough. Customers are still limited to less than 12 characters, and passwords cannot contain punctuation or high ANSI characters.





These limited password policies go against Orcon's own recommendations! Their support page recommends that passwords should be at least 8 characters long (no maximum!) and contain a mix of uppercase letters such as A, B, C, lowercase letters such as a, b,c, numerals such as 1, 2, 3, special characters such as $, ?, &, alt characters such as µ, £, Æ.



Why the double standard? Is it possible that Orcon is storing customers' passwords on their side in plaintext? That might explain why they limit the length of our passwords. Hashing a password should reduce and standardise their size on Orcon's end. Come on Orcon, please don't limit the length and complexity of our passwords. According to the Password Strength Calculator, a password limited to less than 12 characters and containing only letters and numbers would provide only 56.9 bits of entropy, which a standard PC could crack within 7 hours!

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  Reply # 1064031 12-Jun-2014 13:06
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I know that we also protect email by geo restrictions and fail2ban type systems.  This does not obviate the need for strong passwords however.  I'll have a word with the team responsible and see if there's any good reason why we can't get the length increased and restrictions removed.

Edit: Quick chat with someone, and funnily enough there is a project on right now to review the password strength for accounts/email access, to improve the minimum complexity requirements.

I am just awaiting some feedback on whether that will also improve the maximum complexity.



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  Reply # 1064043 12-Jun-2014 13:25
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Thanks for the quick reply, ubergeeknz. I look forward to hearing how this will be resolved.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1064049 12-Jun-2014 13:29
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The email is only part of the "forgotten password" process and fairly standard in such a process and obviously then doesn't fall foul of being confused with a phishing email.

You can certainly change your password via My Orcon, not sure what leads you to believe you can't??

Passwords are stored encrypted and not viewable by staff, policies and password mechanisms are under continuous change and review, it would be inappropriate to comment further on that aspect.




Regards FireEngine




<==== Look no Orcon badge...



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  Reply # 1064056 12-Jun-2014 13:40
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Email account passwords used to be able to be reset directly on the My Orcon website, but a change a couple of days ago has stopped that, according to one of your staff when I called 0800 13 14 15 about it today. The change password box looked like this three days ago...



...but today it has changed, the new password field entry boxes have been removed, and it now looks like this...



Please note that this is for changing the password of a child account (email only), not the main Orcon customer account, which still has the old interface. The new "Generate new Password" link creates a new random password that is still limited to 11 chars, no specials, as mentioned above. Interestingly, the change password box still retains the instruction "Please type the password twice to ensure correct entry."

Also, @ubergeeknz, why the need for a "maximum complexity" policy anyway? If I want to have a 256 character long password, or more, I should be able to, surely?

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  Reply # 1064166 12-Jun-2014 15:29
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Yes that is new behaviour to change the password when you are not logged into it. You will find the behaviour if you log into the child account directly is unchanged.

I will pass on your comment regarding the two boxes reference.




Regards FireEngine




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  Reply # 1064170 12-Jun-2014 15:31
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Frittmann: Also, @ubergeeknz, why the need for a "maximum complexity" policy anyway? If I want to have a 256 character long password, or more, I should be able to, surely?


I didn't make the policy, and also don't agree with it, hence why I've asked the question internally.



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  Reply # 1064174 12-Jun-2014 15:36
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@FireEngine, you're right. I've never tried logging in to My Orcon using my child account. I always have logged in with my main Orcon customer account, the one I use for my router's ADSL connection. I'll start using my child account instead now, where appropriate. Thanks.

I do hope you can get those password entropy limitations removed too.

@ubergeeknz, thanks for that.



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Master Geek
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Reply # 1251510 5-Mar-2015 08:57
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Is there any update on this issue yet? When is Orcon going to be removing the maximum complexity limitation?

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  Reply # 1251546 5-Mar-2015 09:58
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when I used that password calc link in OP's post I get this 

 

Password Strength (Entropy):78.3 bits

 

 

The Supercomputer Defeats The Password Within:43 Days (requires access to the worlds fastest super computer likelihood of a hacker having this would be near nil) 

and

The PC & GPU Defeats The Password Within:2,332 Years (This is a little more reassuring but should a hacker have access to an botnet of GPU equipped PC's then this number will start to fall exponentially with each PC added to the solving of the problem ie: 10 GPU equipped PC's cuts the time down to 233.2 years at 10K PC's it's 0.2332 years)

so pretty happy with the password I use 12 characters is a mix of Upper Case, Numbers, Special and lower case but even just limiting the the length of a password to 32 characters would make it highly impractical for a hacker to to defeat a password pretty much our sun will expand into a red giant before defeat would happen even with 100K PC botnet  

 


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  Reply # 1251554 5-Mar-2015 10:42
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Athlonite: when I used that password calc link in OP's post I get this 

Password Strength (Entropy):78.3 bits The Supercomputer Defeats The Password Within:43 Days (requires access to the worlds fastest super computer likelihood of a hacker having this would be near nil) 

and

The PC & GPU Defeats The Password Within:2,332 Years (This is a little more reassuring but should a hacker have access to an botnet of GPU equipped PC's then this number will start to fall exponentially with each PC added to the solving of the problem ie: 10 GPU equipped PC's cuts the time down to 233.2 years at 10K PC's it's 0.2332 years)

so pretty happy with the password I use 12 characters is a mix of Upper Case, Numbers, Special and lower case but even just limiting the the length of a password to 32 characters would make it highly impractical for a hacker to to defeat a password pretty much our sun will expand into a red giant before defeat would happen even with 100K PC botnet  


Presumably all this assumes a staggering number of guesses per second and absolutely no account lockout policy....

I think you're fine.

Cheers - N

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  Reply # 1251557 5-Mar-2015 10:44
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Talkiet:
Athlonite: when I used that password calc link in OP's post I get this 

Password Strength (Entropy):78.3 bits The Supercomputer Defeats The Password Within:43 Days (requires access to the worlds fastest super computer likelihood of a hacker having this would be near nil) 

and

The PC & GPU Defeats The Password Within:2,332 Years (This is a little more reassuring but should a hacker have access to an botnet of GPU equipped PC's then this number will start to fall exponentially with each PC added to the solving of the problem ie: 10 GPU equipped PC's cuts the time down to 233.2 years at 10K PC's it's 0.2332 years)

so pretty happy with the password I use 12 characters is a mix of Upper Case, Numbers, Special and lower case but even just limiting the the length of a password to 32 characters would make it highly impractical for a hacker to to defeat a password pretty much our sun will expand into a red giant before defeat would happen even with 100K PC botnet  


Presumably all this assumes a staggering number of guesses per second and absolutely no account lockout policy....

I think you're fine.

Cheers - N


Furthermore the allowed complexity has been increased so:

Password Strength (Entropy): 91.8 bits
The Supercomputer Defeats The Password Within: 1,333 Years
The PC & GPU Defeats The Password Within: 26,669,406 Years

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  Reply # 1251903 5-Mar-2015 19:27
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so it's increased to 14 characters max then 



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  Reply # 1252357 6-Mar-2015 16:25
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I still don't understand why there needs to be a maximum complexity rule. I'm quite happy with there being a minimum, so that people can't use stupid passwords like "abcd" or similar, but why have a maximum? Especially when hashing algorithms will store the hash of the password as a fixed length, regardless of the length of the clear text password. I suggest removing the maximum limitation altogether. Anything less indicates the likelihood that passwords are NOT being hashed properly before being stored on the server.

I'd like to point to other relevant research on this issue, including the findings of Steve Gibson (Gibson Research) who shows that password length is even more important than password complexity.

Also relevant are the following posts by Troy Hunt, a Microsoft MVP for Developer Security, based in Sydney:
* The 3 reasons you’re forced into creating weak passwords
* The “Cobra Effect” that is disabling paste on password fields
* Who’s who of bad password practices – banks, airlines and more

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