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SubjectRe: 2.4.22-pre7: are security issues solved?
Herbert Xu  wrote:
>On Wed, Jul 23, 2003 at 03:35:05AM -0700, David S. Miller wrote:
>> If I know your password is 7 characters I have a smaller
>> space of passwords to search to just brute-force it.
>It's much smaller if you didn't know that it was at most 7 characters

Yes, if I know I want to attack David Miller's password,
and I'm going to keep trying until I succeed, then knowing
the length of his password doesn't help much. However, if
I'm on a multi-user system and I just want to crack any
password for any one of the users on that system, then
knowing the lengths of passwords does help, because I can
focus my effort on those users with the shortest passwords.
Thus, revealing password lengths might heighten the risk of
password guessing (even if only by a small factor).
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