For a recent project Stefan Caunter and I collaborated to build a simple platform for running a web application (Laconica) as efficiently as possible. We have Dubbed this setup 'FNMP'. Instead of the traditional LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), this system uses FreeBSD, FastCGI, nginx, MySQL and PHP. Read our How To and setup your own Laconica instance, and federate it to ours.
Hashing is a mathematical function that takes any string, and turns it into a relatively small number of a fixed size. This number is often displayed as a hexadecimal string to make it easier to display. In effect, a hash divides an infinite number of strings of infinite length, into a finite domain of a fixed length. Hashing is a secure way to store passwords for authentication without the possibility of disclosure.
Everyone knows they need to select a secure password, and not write it down, but many things that people know, or are told about password security are simply not true, many times they were true at some point in the past, but they no longer apply, and are perpetuated by stale security policies, and a rigidness that can do more harm than good.
The most obvious example of this is password expiration policies. Periodic password changes were initially implemented to combat cracking, it was observed that it would take a sufficent amount of time to crack an encrypted or hashed password, and that if you changed the password every 30 or 90 days, that the cracker would be tring to hit a moving target, and this would most likely prevent the cracker from being able to find your password. Such is no longer true, with newer hashing algorithms like SHA1 and a strong password, it would take 90 computers 1000s of years to crack your password. This causes us to look at what security a password actually provides and what we can do to keep unauthorized people out of our systems.
The new technological age combined with the internationalization of trade has resulting in a new form of Slavery, condemning an entire generation of 2nd world citizens to be our slaves.
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