James

Yahoo! Password Encryption

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Yahoo! has revealed that it only used an MD5 hashing to protect the passwords of the 1 billion users accounts that were hacked in 2013. They have subsequently upgraded to using bcrypt encryption but it does little to restore public confidence knowing that MD5 was still in place as late as 2013 when weaknesses were found in MD5 over 20 years ago.

Jeffrey Goldberg at AgileBits told The Register ‘What mattered is that it was not salted’. Ty Miller at Threat Intelligence said it was ‘negligent of an organisation such as Yahoo! ... to be using such an outdated and ineffective control to protect the passwords.’

Alternatives to MD5 include PBKDF2, bcrypt and Argon2 - it is difficult to understand why MD5 wasn’t replaced sooner.

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