[standards-jig] Re: [Foundation] Last Minute JEP 78 Concerns

Dave Smith dizzyd at jabber.org
Tue May 27 17:33:38 UTC 2003


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On Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at 11:12 America/Denver, Casey Crabb wrote:

> I don't think this is any more secure than just sha1(StreamID +
> password). What happens is that sha1(password) is
> password-equivalent.
>
> At some point sha1(password) has to travel over the line; at this
> point it can be sniffed. Or, if you have access to the server's spool
> you can just read it out of there.

This technique doesn't solve a replay problem -- it's not intended to. 
It is designed to ensure that the password is not human readable. 
Consider the case where a corporate executive selects their Jabber 
password, and they reuse one that they already use elsewhere. If the 
password is stored in plaintext, a malicious sysadmin (yes, I know 
you're supposed to trust the admin) can use that plaintext password to 
login to other company systems. So the idea with this algorithm is to 
obscure/hide the password sufficiently that the admin may find the 
hash, but determining the actual text that was typed in will be 
sufficiently difficult. Most companies are very skittish about storing 
a plain-text password in their databases, this provides a nice 
alternative, without requiring a special "server key" to encrypt the 
password (or some such madness).

Does that make sense?

Diz
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