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From Robert Newson <>
Subject Re: Improving password hashing.
Date Wed, 06 Jul 2011 13:10:15 GMT
Making it pluggable is probably not much more work but I have to point
at that "use sha256" is an inadequate description of a secure password
hashing protocol.


On 6 July 2011 14:05, Benoit Chesneau <> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 2:43 PM, Robert Newson <> wrote:
>> All,
>> Our current password hashing scheme is weak. In fact, it's regarded as
>> weak as plaintext. I'd like to change that.
>> Some time ago I wrote some code to implement the PBKDF2 protocol. This
>> is a cryptographically sound means of deriving a key from a password.
>> The output is also usable as a password hash. An important part of the
>> protocol is that the work factor can be increased by increasing the
>> loop count. Additionally, it is not tied to a specific digest
>> algorithm. All these points are not true of the sometimes proposed
>> alternative called 'bcrypt' which I do not recommend.
>> I would like this to go into CouchDB 1.2. New passwords, and updated
>> passwords, from 1.2 onwards would use the new scheme, but 1.2 will,
>> obviously, be able to verify the current style. This work will take
>> place within couch_server where hash_admin_passwords currently lives.
>> The PKBDF2 code is here:
>> It passes all the test
>> vectors.
>> The ticket for this work is
>> B.
> That sounds good. I would prefer however a customizable hashing method
> for passwords so we can change it easily depending the target. Some
> administrations for example require that you use some methods (like
> sha256 in europe) and it would be very useful.
> - benoît

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