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Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2015 21:28:16 +0100
From: Peter Maxwell <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Why protect against side channel attacks

On 25 June 2015 at 19:52, Bill Cox <> wrote:

> It is in fact the case that no password hashing algorithm can well protect
> these median-entropy passwords against an off-line attack.  With even a few
> KiB of memory, we can improve over PBKDF2 (with Bcrypt for example), but
> 1ms of _any_ algorithm is not enough to slow down attackers much once they
> have the password hash/salt database.  Your user passwords will be revealed
> no matter what 1ms password hash you apply.  Therefore, addtional security
> measures are required.  That's all I'm saying.

​On that count, we seem to be fairly much in agreement.​

And if the PHC winner can improve over existing well-used PDFs in
constrained resource setups, even by a small amount, it's worth using: over
large password databases as it arguably brings a benefit.

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