Bug 961539 - RFC: password pam modules for user login based juels_rivest ( or bojinov ) 'pam_honeyword'/'pam_honeychecker' password
RFC: password pam modules for user login based juels_rivest ( or bojinov ) 'p...
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: pam (Show other bugs)
All Linux
unspecified Severity medium
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Assigned To: Tomas Mraz
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
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Reported: 2013-05-09 17:13 EDT by collura
Modified: 2015-06-29 07:56 EDT (History)
3 users (show)

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Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2015-06-29 07:56:43 EDT
Type: Bug
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description collura 2013-05-09 17:13:26 EDT
Description of problem:

To increase account login security and to warn of use of stolen password file.

Evaluate and implement a Juels_Rivest honeyword password capability 
(or possibly the Bojinov kamouflage honeyword capability) 
in the pam authentication process of user login.

The purpose of the honeyword use as part of the login procedure would be:

  a) to attach more effort to an attempted breakin and to alert the system to a compromised password file 


  b) to give the system under attack a signal to tighten its security during a current attack (allowing trigger for system lockdown or increased logging or attempt traceback).  

The paper:


  "290.	[JR13] Honeywords: Making Password-Cracking Detectable. 
        Ari Juels and Ronald L. Rivest. 
        (2013-05-02) Unpublished draft." 

 ( or possibly related paper listed as jeuls_rivest reference  #6:
    "[6] H. Bojinov, E. Bursztein, X. Boyen, and D. Boneh.
         Kamouflage: loss-resistant password management.
         In ESORICS, pages 286–302, 2010."

discusses an approach for system alert of a breach of the password file hashes.

An enterprise version of this would put the honeychecker on a seperate hardened system (specificly called for in paper).  

Though a test version of this system (no seperate honeychecker system(?), not advised by paper) might instead put honeychecker on the same system (?)

As an alternative might implement part of the scheme as Bojinov kamouflage (?)
which might still provide some increased security (?) to the login procedure. 

I disclaim knowing a correct way to implement this as part of the login process but expect something like the following.

2 components would be required by the paper (?):

     (generate, mamage honeywords 
      as part of password creation/change)

     (check validity of password 
      as part of login process 
      and generate alarm if user trying 
      to login with a honeyword 
      instead of with the password)

During the password checking duty of a user login 
the pam_unix module would call (?)
the proposed "pam_honeychecker" module as a helper 
in place of calling unix_chkpwd to do the actual password checking (?).

If the login attempt used a honeyword
instead of the password
then an alarm is set and login is denied
and other logins locked down pending password changes. 
Instead of just disallowing the attacker from
logging in to the compromised account 
the alarm status could be used to 
log the attacker into a honeypot account for monitoring.

(Jeuls_Rivest section 6.2 Failover in the paper
suggests that if the honeychecker system is unreacheable 
that honeywords would be promoted to useable passwords
so that users could still login.  The idea being that 
the system would be no less secure that it was 
without the the honeyword implementation.  This seems like
an obvious attack vector and it might be nice to have the option
of just denying login if honeychecker isnt available 
if the admin sees fit but that might depend on 
how long the outage might last?)

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):


How reproducible:


Steps to Reproduce:
1. mouse steals password hashes
2. use of hash to log in allows warningless login
3. mouse takes your profits
Actual results:

 little awareness of compromised password file use exists

Expected results:

 increased awareness of use of compromised password file

Additional info:

  neet paper :')
Comment 1 Fedora End Of Life 2013-09-16 09:51:04 EDT
This bug appears to have been reported against 'rawhide' during the Fedora 20 development cycle.
Changing version to '20'.

More information and reason for this action is here:
Comment 2 Fedora End Of Life 2015-05-29 05:02:55 EDT
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Comment 3 Fedora End Of Life 2015-06-29 07:56:43 EDT
Fedora 20 changed to end-of-life (EOL) status on 2015-06-23. Fedora 20 is
no longer maintained, which means that it will not receive any further
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