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MQHASH

MQHASH

Section: MaraDNS reference (1) Updated: August 2006
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NAME

mqhash - Simple secure password generator  

SYNOPSIS

mqhash [-n #] [-s] [-u] {data to hash}  

DESCRIPTION

mqhash is a simple secure password generator.

The program uses MaraDNS' secure random number generator as the compression function for a secure hash; the output of this secure hash can be used as passwords for various locations on the internet.

This program solves the problem of either using the same password on multiple web sites, or having so many passwords that it is not practical to remember them all.  

USAGE

The first step in using mqhash as a secure password generator is to set up a master secret from which all other passwords are generated. It is important to keep this master secret secure; such as on a Linux or BSD machine that is always behind a firewall and is current with security updates.

This secure secret is put in the file ~/.mhash_prefix. It is important that this secret is hard to guess; the security of all generated passwords is only as secure as the master secret.

Once the ~/.mhash_prefix file is set up, mqhash is run thusly:

mqhash -s {location}

Where {location} is a web site, email address, or any other text string that describes where a given password is located. It is recommended that one uses a consistent style for {location} so that one can remember passwords for web sites that one has not visited for a while. Mqhash does not impose a style for remembering passwords; it is up to the user to create one.

mqhash will output four potential passwords that have 32 bits of entropy. If more entropy is desired in a password, two 32-bit passwords can be joined together to generate a 64-bit password. A 32-bit password will protect against casual attacks but can be broken by a determined attacker with extensive resources attacking a website that does not lock out a user after too many failed attempts. A 64-bit password is immune to even a very determined attacker.

OPTIONS

-n
It is wise to periodically change ones password on sites that one uses frequently. This allows one to continue to have passwords after the four initial passwords have already been used; this can have a value between 2 and 9.
-s
The normal mode for mqhash: To create a secure password based on both the contents of ~/.mhash_prefix and the final argument to mqhash.
-u
This will generate a cryptographic hash out of the final argument sent to mqhash. This is useful when one does not need a secure password, but just wants to hash a short string.

 

LEGAL DISCLAIMER

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE AUTHORS ''AS IS'' AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.  

AUTHORS

Sam Trenholme (http://www.samiam.org) is responsible for this man page.


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
USAGE
LEGAL DISCLAIMER
AUTHORS

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Time: 21:24:05 GMT, April 16, 2011