Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Password strength

Dropbox has a password strength estimator called zxcvbn that I like a lot.  It estimates entropy in your password by looking for dictionary or password list leak matches.  It's long bothered me when sites estimate password strength purely based on complexity.  These sites say a password like Password!1 is much more secure than one like zbuwcramudbpvreorkno (a score of 72% vs 21% respectively).  I discuss this in more detail in my How to be secure online post.

However, a while ago Dropbox changed their algorithm to favor length over resistance to dictionary attacks.  There is some logic in their decision, but I really feel like something is lost by not having the old algorithm.  So, I made a demo comparing the two so you can find passwords both algorithms agree are strong.  At the same time, I finally hooked up this domain I bought a while ago to my github pages site.

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