> -----Original Message-----
> From: John Meyer [mailto:john.l.meyer@stripped]
> Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 5:04 PM
> To: colin@stripped; mysql@stripped
> Subject: Re: Record old passwords ?
> Although, on an OT, forcing people to not use a password that they
> have recently used is a bad idea. What they eventually do is go with
> something like "hometown01" "hometown02", etc. Or worse, they start
> writing down their passwords which is a whole other security problem.
Amen to that. At my work, they require a password change every month, but
they store the last 6 passwords you used, so I do exactly what you say -- I
have a logbook and store the same 6 passwords in it and just cycle them.
Other "tricks" I do, is use a pattern on the keyboard and just shift it.
None of this is secure, and I totally know it (although I'm not picking
"secret" or something as my PW, it's random letters/numbers/symbols). But I
hate the policy and I'm kind of a rebel like that. ;-p
It's a tough balance between trying to be secure because you have "ID-10t"
users and not being obnoxious to the end result that you have caused more
insecurity. Personally, I would suggest to just enforce strong password
rules ( >8 characters, no dictionary words, no 'leet' speek, symbol
required, one upper required, one number requred, etc.) and leave it at
that. But you had better be enforcing this for something like a bank or
medical records. If you're trying to do this for a blog or social network
site or something equally trite, then you're doing your users a disservice
and only serving to frustrate them.
And of course, you NEVER store the actual password. You store a hash of it.
Then implement a simple system to generate a new password and mail it, or a
token to enable the user to change it if forgotten.
"Some people, when confronted with a problem, think 'I know, I'll use
Now they have two problems.