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INTRODUCTION The nature of today’s web threats is changing, current attacks are much more covert than they were in the past. Despite the growing array of threats, many organizations are not taking appropriate steps to safeguard their corporate networks, applications or data. As the number of online services are increasing day by day, their usage is also increasing in the same ratio. Users of online services have to register separately to each application and the overhead of remembering many ID/Password pairs has led to the problem of memorability.
INTRODUCTION Authentication is a direct need of each and every organization and so it is becoming paramount for an organization not because it copes with security threats only but for the reason it deals with and develops policies, procedures and mechanisms that provide administrative, physical and logical security. Whenever an individual requests an access to a pool of resources, to use them or update them as desired, then to authenticate such an individual is referred to as authentication.
INTRODUCTION In networked environment, users are granted access to the network only when they provide their access information (e.g. user name & password) securely to check and validate their identity. If a person can prove that who he is, also knows something that only he could knows, it is reasonable to think that a person is he who claims to be.
AUTHENTICATION TECHNOLOGIES Computer industry has created an array of identification and authentication technologies: userID/Passwords One Time Password Kerberos Secure Socket Layer Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Security Assertion Markup Language(SAML) OpenID. * The technologies are detailed on blog articles!
BRUTE FORCE ATTACK It is an automated process of trial and error used to guess a person’s user name, password, credit card number or cryptographic key. Examples: Usernames: John, Admin; Passwords: 12345, password, letmein, admin, (pet names);
INSUFFICIENT AUTHENTICATION This type of attack occurs when a website permits an attacker to access sensitive content or functionality without having to properly authenticate. Web based administration tools are a good example of web site providing access to sensitive functionality.
WEAK PASSWORD RECOVERYVALIDATION A website is considered to have Password Recovery Validation when an attacker is able to foil the recovery mechanism being used. Password recovery systems may be compromised through the use of brute force attacks, inherent system weaknesses or easily guessed secret questions.
WEAK PASSWORD RECOVERYVALIDATION Weak methods of Password Recovery: Password Hints: Password hint aids Brute Force attacks. An attacker can glean about user’s password from the hint provided. Secret Question and Answer: A secret question like “Where were you born?” helps an attacker to limit a secret answer Brute Force Attack to city names.
PLUGGABLE AUTHENTICATION MODULES(PAM) Instead of having applications handle authentication on their own, they can use the PAM API and libraries to take care of the details. Consistency is achieved when many applications perform the same authentication by referencing the same PAM module. Additionally, applications needn’t be recompiled to change their authentication behavior: just edit a PAM configuration file(transparent to the application) and you’re done.
SECURE SOCKETS LAYER (SSL) It provides cryptographically assured privacy (encryption), integrity, optional client authentication, and mandatory server authentication. Linux includes a popular implementation of SSL, called OpenSSL.
SINGLE SIGN-ON Single sign-on allows a user to enter a username and password only once and have access to multiple applications and environments within a session. Single sign-on uses centralized authentication servers which all applications and systems use for authentication.
OAUTH Open Authentication (OAuth ) aims at creating an environment where information is shared securely across networks. Each thread, which includes devices, applications and users, is constantly authenticated and is all- pervasive. OAuth is a service that is complementary to, but distinct from, OpenID.
OPENID OpenID is a standard that simplifies signing in. With OpenID you only use one username and one password to log in to all websites where you have an account. It offers a secure way of identifying yourself on the Internet. Used by: Google, Flickr, Yahoo, MySpace,WordPress