[sf-perl] OT: Secure password storage

Daniel Lo woof at danlo.com
Thu Jan 15 07:26:45 PST 2009


My old Palm Pilot: Tungeston-T died a week ago.

Now I have to find a new method of password storage.  The problem I am facing is
that I can't find any devices suitable for password storage.

What did I store on my PDA?

Financial passwords. (Liability rests on me to keep it secure and the company
disclaims all liability for stolen passwords: of course)

System passwords. (My job if these are stolen.)

However, now all PDA's have wifi, bluetooth, USB ports, and Irfd and I
evaluate these devices on what they are capable of, not what the software allows
for (Paris Hilton having all of her phone numbers stolen). So, when I saw that
the pocket PC came with Internet Explorer I overflowed my joy buffer.  Storing
my passwords on a device that is capable of silently sending out information
without any detection (and runs IE) isn't that great.

All of my passwords are garblygook that I have a hard time remembering for
example: C:j2Tc3K9#@ would be a sample password.  And I use the same method for
those questions: Where were you born? "I was born in (c1)32CSF}"

The only thing I can think of is to store my passwords in a pocket PC in
"PasswordSafe: http://www.schneier.com/passsafe.html" with an additional
mnemonic password encoding.

So that C:j2Tc3K9#@ would be stuck with the following rules:

Every 3rd character is incremented by its ordinal value by one.

C:j2Tc3K9#@ would be C:i2Td3K0#@

Now, if you have read this far, I'm sure most of you think I need to be sent to
the funny farm.  But what hacks have I seen/heard about in the last 3 months?

1. IE: all password can be stolen
2. Adobe: buffer overflow execute allows for arbitrary code run.
3. DNS: hack.
4. That neat trick on how to extract memory on a computer after it has been
turned off. (That was really cool).

And financial companies say push the liability for stolen passwords on to the

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