- Paperback: 182 pages
- Publisher: Syngress; 1 edition (December 25, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1597490415
- ISBN-13: 978-1597490412
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,985,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Perfect Passwords: Selection, Protection, Authentication 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is unique because the author bases many of his recommendations on research, not theory. He says that over the course of his consulting career he has collected somewhere between 3 and 4 million passwords. (This seems somewhat suspicious, but I suppose dropping the usernames would make that practice acceptable.) By performing statistical analysis on those millions of real passwords, the author knows exactly what makes a bad password.
Perfect Passwords does a good job dispelling common password policy myths. I was glad to hear him report that changing passwords once a month is a stupid idea. A weak password is not "protected" by a monthly change, since it can be broken in a matter of hours. Instead, use 15 or more characters in passwords, and change them less frequently (perhaps every 6 or 12 months, depending on sensitivity).
The author also rightfully criticizes "secret questions" and stand-alone biometrics. Both systems suffer an important flaw: "the answer to the question is usually a fact that will never change," like the make of your first car or your fingerprint. If secret questions must be used, add a three-digit code to the answer. With biometrics, always accompany them with a password.
I had no major problems with Perfect Passwords. I did think that 21 pages of words in Appendix B and 16 pages of numbers in Appendix C didn't serve any real purpose.Read more ›
Contents: Passwords - The Basics and Beyond; Meet Your Opponent; Is Random Really Random?; Character Diversity - Beyond the Alphabet; Password Length - Making It Count; Time - The Enemy of All Secrets; Living with Passwords; Ten Password Pointers - Building Strong Passwords; The 500 Worst Passwords of All Time; Another Ten Password Pointers Plus a Bonus Pointer; The Three Rules for Strong Passwords; Celebrate Password Day; The Three Elements of Authentication; Test Your Password; Random Seed Words; Complete Randomness; Index
If you've been around computer systems for any time, you've heard the conventional wisdom on creating secure passwords. And regardless of how many times it's said, you still get users picking the word "password" for access to the payroll system. Burnett has created an easy-to-read, easily-understood guide on how passwords work, how passwords are usually chosen, and why most of those methods are really bad. But rather than just be gloom and doom, he also presents a number of techniques for generating long passwords that are easy to remember but that will resist virtually all efforts at password cracking. For instance, passwords of 15 to 20 characters with a mix of upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters are resistant to every known form of cracking attempt (even rainbow lists). But how do you pick a word or words that meet that criteria? Maybe you use rhyming (poor-white-dog-bite) or repetition (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visualization is pretty good, too (Frozen banana in my shoe.Read more ›
There are LOTS and LOTS of tips and tricks in this book for forming long, memorable, and hard-to-crack passwords. But if all you're interested in is the Meat and Potatoes, I can shortcut the matter and give it to you here: "The Perfect Password" has eight (8) elements to it:
1. It has UPPERCASE letters (ABC...).
2. It has lowercase letters (def...).
3. It has numbers (123...).
4. It has spaces (" ").
5. It has punctuation (.,:;-!? and the like, usually used in sentences).
6. It has symbols (@&+=>$#*^~ and the like, usually NOT used in sentences).
7. It has respelling (i.e., no words that can be found in a
dictionary -- for example, using "kwean", and not "queen").
8. It has more than 15 characters, and the more the better.
That's it, Jack! If you can easily come up, on the spur of the moment, with a passphrase or password which meets ALL of these criteria, AND which is easy to remember... then YOU DON'T NEED TO BUY THIS BOOK, you've already got it made!
Otherwise, the aforementioned Tips & Tricks will come in very very handy. And not only that, it's (surprisingly!) entertaining, too -- like the annectdote about the author's 5-year-old son, whose password was:
(Shux, his son liked the letter "o", and he could count to the minimum password length of 15, so that's what the lil' kidlet tyke used, LOL!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must read for everyone that has passwords. The first couple of chapters are a bit dry dealing with the importance of having unique passwords, but then it gets into great... Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Amazon Customer
You will learn in this book how to construct a strong and easy to remember password. Since passwords are used on a daily basis, you should have good knowledge on how to make them... Read morePublished on January 17, 2011 by Erik Vincent
When I saw this book, I thought the same thing you are probably thinking ... how could you have a whole book on this subject? Read morePublished on September 26, 2009 by WJCarpenter
Mark Burnett's book appears to be the work of someone who has been in the security business for 10 years, been to a few lectures, seen lots of password policies, maybe even taken a... Read morePublished on August 9, 2006 by S. Barbour