All entries for August 2006

August 30, 2006

Improv Everywhere

Writing about web page http://improveverywhere.com/home.php

Improv Everywhere are a group of New Yorkers who basically do street pranks/performances. Exactly what they do is hard to describe so it's best to watch:

Go and visit their site as you'll spend hours (as I did last night) watching some of the stuff they've been up to…it's genius.

I particularly like Slo-Mo Home Depot and Mobius, but they've got 50 so there are probably better ones :)

PS. I love our new [media] tags


August 18, 2006

Protecting your online identity!

Writing about web page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-Lf_v4e0Vg

This is a subject close to my heart seeing as I am involved in single sign on and password security and that like. Stephen Colbert makes a lot of sense :)

I particularly like his advice on strong passwords:

Ideally you should pick a password not even you can remember. Just close your eyes and slap the keyboard at random.


August 14, 2006

New web sign–on change password screen

Writing about web page https://websignon.warwick.ac.uk/origin/changepassword.htm

I've recently been working on a new system to allow easy, secure and informative passwords changes on the web.

At the moment if you are a main Warwick user, you can change your main ITS account password (from our NDS directory) via the managed desktop or on the web via the my.insite portal. In an effort to improve the usability and availability of password management, we decided to create a new single page that sits within the web sign–on project that would allow any user, not just central Warwick users to change their passwords.

We have a model whereby users that login to web sign–on can come from a variety of sources:

  • Central NDS directory
  • Warwick Alumni service ran externally
  • WBS Alumni service
  • WBS NDS directory
  • External user database for Warwick related users

A user does not have to worry about which of these types of user they are, they just login and the system works out where they are from and authenticates them securely at that source. Each of these sources can now optionally incorporate a password change interface that we are plugging into.

In the first instance the page will only allow central NDS users to change their passwords, but over the coming weeks we will add in as many of the other sources as we can.

Changing a password is actually a pretty boring thing really, however, we've made it a bit more interesting by giving some nice visual feedback about the strength of your password so that you can judge how strong your password is and understand why we are not letting you have a password of "letmein".

Change password screenshot

This is done through a fair bit of javascript and a bunch of AJAX calls back to the server to work out if your password is strong enough. Once all of the criteria are met, the "Change password" button is activated and it allows you to change your password.

The required password strength is probably going to be something people are going to take a little while to get used to as it is fairly strict. From the University approved new password policy:

4.1 Choice of passwords
Passwords should:

  • Be at least 8 characters long.
  • Contain at least three of the following four types of character: letters in
    lower, letters in upper case, numbers, and symbols (e.g. £$%^&*).
  • Be changed every six months for a new password (more often for
    systems requiring greater security).

In the long run we hope that this will mean that the average password strength is going to go up and this will raise people's awareness of what makes a stronger password and why it is important.


August 2006

Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
Jul |  Today  | Sep
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         

Tags

Search this blog

Most recent comments

  • One thing that was glossed over is that if you use Spring, there is a filter you can put in your XML… by Mathew Mannion on this entry
  • You are my hero. by Mathew Mannion on this entry
  • And may all your chickens come home to roost – in a nice fluffy organic, non–supermarket farmed kind… by Julie Moreton on this entry
  • Good luck I hope that you enjoy the new job! by on this entry
  • Good luck Kieran. :) by on this entry

Galleries

Not signed in
Sign in

Powered by BlogBuilder
© MMXIX