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Password - definitions

Password - A code used to gain access to a locked system. Good passwords contain letters and non-letters and are not simple combinations such as "virtue 7".

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Source: Postcom, 26 March 2010 08:06:32, External

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Password - In computer systems this is a series of characters that are entered secretly (they are not displayed) in order to prove the identity of a specific user.   Passwords are important because they are often used in cryptographic systems as a key that gives access to private keys.   As a result, a password should never be shown or given to anyone else, even if they seem to have a reason to need the password. 

Passwords are normally chosen by the user, and there may be rules about how passwords are chosen. These may include specification about the use of letters, numbers, 'special' characters such as ()+= and so on. They may also forbid re-use within a particular timeframe.   Generally passwords are recommended to be longer than six characters, should not be common words or readily identifiable to their user, should contain special characters and should not contain repeating or consecutive characters.   ArticSoft suggest users select passwords by taking two common words say 'rain' and 'gravel' and joining them using a special character, e.g. Rain*#gravel or rain[]Gravel.   Passwords formed in this way are not readily subject to 'dictionary attack', where the attacker uses a dictionary of common passwords, or a simple attach of all upper (or lower) case letters.   More complex schemes do exist, but they tend to create passwords that are difficult to remember, which may not be that helpful.   See also Passphrase and Personal Identity Number (PIN).

[Category=Data Security ]

Source: Arctic Soft,07 August 2011 09:12:43, External

password, passcode, pass code - A password or its numerical form, sometimes called a passcode or PIN, is one of the simplest authentication methods. It is usually used with an identifier, as a shared secret between the person who wants access and the system that's protected.

If it's not encrypted, or if the encryption is easy to break, passwords and passcodes are vulnerable to eavesdropping and replay. And if it is encrypted, there are other attacks that are used. A brute force, or dictionary attack consists of an attack that just tries possibility after possibility until the right one is found. Utilities to help an attacker with this kind of attempt are easily found on the Internet. Short passwords, made of one simple word are the easiest to find with this kind of attack. So many administrators require pass phrases, complex combinations of word. Controls will also often require that numbers or special characters are used with the password or pass phrase, this makes it more random in nature and harder to guess.

In some environments, users must remember many complex passwords and pass phrases and end up writing them down near the computer. This becomes the vulnerability. 

[Category=Geospatial ]

Source: RSA, 20 August 2011 09:18:35, External

password - [computing]  A string of characters that a user must enter to access a computer, program, database, or Web site. Passwords are a means of protecting and restricting access to information contained on networks, systems, or files.

[Category=Geospatial ]

Source: esri, 05 July 2012 09:14:09, External

Data Quality Glossary.  A free resource from GRC Data Intelligence. For comments, questions or feedback: