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Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:35:28 -0400
From: Justin Cappos <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] New password hashing entry: PolyPassHash

> I'm not saying it happens in every single attack, or even in most, what
> I'm saying is in the event of memory being compromised you have two
> potential scenarios.
> What I'm really querying is whether your algorithm provides any
> significant advantages over using a simple secret key in memory.
Key management / usability for admins, which I think is important.   I know
our school does not do what you propose for most (possibly all) of the
servers they administer.

And similarly with most schemes that use a secret master key: the attacker
> still must brute-force the password hashes.  The only difference is they
> cannot even attempt to without the secret master key.

Well, they could attempt to crack the key.   However, that's not a good
argument for me to make because the search space is so large.   Similarly,
assuming reasonable keys are used, the search space for PolyPassHash is
also infeasibly large...

> Yeah, no worries - I like your idea, I'm just not sure how widely
> applicable it is.

Maybe you can help me understand more about where you would think it
doesn't apply.   To me, if you have a password hash database, you would
essentially always want to use it.

Make no mistake, I don't think what I propose is a panacea, but it seems to
me to be pretty much be strictly better than not using it...


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