New answers tagged authentication
CRAM-MD5 is a protocol to demonstrate knowledge of a password. In the context of email, it is sometime used by an email client to authenticate to a POP, IMAP, or/and SMTP server. Basically, the password is used as the key of HMAC-MD5 in a challenge-response protocol. Among positive things there are to say about CRAM-MD5: The password is not exchanged in ...
Cryptography aside, your server provider is incompetent and you should switch immediately. There is absolutely no reason why anybody should be storing passwords in plain text in 2013.
There are some efforts, particularly in distributed environments such as P2P networks, to come up with solutions that allow identity verification with a certain degree of certainty. One such effort is the one presented on S/Kademlia (a DHT) which includes a puzzle in the generation of the node id for each peer https://doc.tm.uka.de/SKademlia_2007.pdf
Without an out-of-band channel, no. If all Alice has only a public key , she can't tell the difference between Bob's key and Mallory's. Hence Mallory can mount a man in the middle attack. To prevent this you either need a certificate or a a trusted out of band channel though which you conform the key. The channel could be something that is harder to man ...
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