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IDM  June 2006

IDM June 2006

Subject:

Re: Help Desk & Passwords: the results

From:

Andrea Beesing <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 8 Jun 2006 11:59:56 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (164 lines)

Barry,

Thanks. I had been stranded at La Guardia airport for hours when I sent 
this so I probably wasn't being very clear. We wouldn't ask for only the 
emplid or any other known/accessible information by itself, but together 
with answers to questions only the customer should know. So let's say we 
ask for the latter only. Someone who really knows me well might actually 
be able to answer all those questions, regardless of how carefully we 
construct the questions. But people who know me that well may not have 
ready access to my emplid either via the physical card or access to the 
database which is fairly restricted. On the other hand, a person who has 
access to the emplid for large portions of the population probably 
doesn't know me well enough to answer my questions. I was just curious 
as to whether other institutions had stepped through such a scenario.

--Andrea
Barry R. Ribbeck wrote:
> Andrea
>    We do ask for shared information for first encounter that is 
> distributed by snail mail.  The initial information that we use is the 
> ID number that will appear on their ID card once it is issued.  But 
> once the person uses that information to set their initial password, 
> they can not use it again for that purpose.  Other shared information 
> would be the answer to questions that only the client should know.  
> The problem with using things like key fields in databases is the 
> possibility of abuse just like with ssn.  Too many people may have 
> access to this information and it is too widely distributed in systems 
> that may not be as secure as we would like or there may be shadow 
> records on laptops etc.  All of these reasons make it a not so viable 
> authentication credential.  Of course this all depends on how strongly 
> you want to be able to rely on the identity of the individual using 
> the credential.  We are using this method for our Single Sign On, so 
> we would like for the LOA to be at least eAuthentication level 1.
>
> I hope this helps
> Barry
>
> Andrea Beesing wrote:
>> We are working on the design for such a utility so this discussion is 
>> very timely. Does anyone ask for shared information together with the 
>> answers the user has provided in advance? For example, we have the 
>> PeopleSoft-generated "emplid" which is printed on each ID card so 
>> we're thinking of requiring this. For our activation process we ask 
>> for DOB as well as the one-time activation code. We verify DOB 
>> against our data of record.
>>
>> --Andrea
>>
>>
>> Barry R. Ribbeck wrote:
>>> We are looking at self service password resets.  We are doing the 
>>> initial password setup by sending a pin in the mail to the address 
>>> of record.
>>>
>>> Password resets or initial engagements can be done using a web 
>>> application and there are many examples.  Care must be taken to 
>>> ensure that the questions are sufficiently numerous and specific.  I 
>>> like the idea of what Dartmouth did with fractal images that may 
>>> work well here too, but you limit access to those with good vision.  
>>> This is similar for facial recognition and other visual based 
>>> methods applicable via the web.  Self service systems have a 
>>> dramatic positive effect on the help desk by reducing password 
>>> change calls.  Have you considered any of these?
>>>
>>> Barry
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Matthew J. Smith wrote:
>>>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>>>> Hash: SHA1
>>>>
>>>> Keith-
>>>>   We have not yet implemented this, but here is how I see us playing
>>>> this out.  We have a photo of every University ID card holder sitting
>>>> out in a database.  That is associated with the NetID and home mailing
>>>> address.  We will compare the supplied photo ID and requested NetID to
>>>> the University ID photo.  This verifies that the request for a 
>>>> password
>>>> reset of a NetID matches the supplied photo ID, which matches the 
>>>> local
>>>> University ID photo, and goes to the right address.  Essentially, 
>>>> we are
>>>> not using the supplied photo ID as a "credential" for the NetID of
>>>> requester, but rather as an "already authenticated secondary
>>>> identifier", hopefully properly vetted by the government issuer.  
>>>> Heh --
>>>> I guess we are kind of "federating" our Password Reset service (SP) 
>>>> with
>>>> the government's Photo ID provider (IdP).
>>>>
>>>>   In the case where a supplied photo ID is falsified and faxed, the 
>>>> new
>>>> password will still go to the home address of the NetID owner.  No 
>>>> harm
>>>> to the account, and the NetID owner can now notify us that this was 
>>>> not
>>>> solicited by them, and we can investigate.
>>>>
>>>>   The photo ID requirement for remote users really does very little
>>>> (since we cannot validate against the bearer), but it makes it more
>>>> difficult to make the request for a password reset.  This extra
>>>> difficulty should reduce the number of malicious attempts, with little
>>>> added difficulty to valid ID holders.  And, I'm guessing there are 
>>>> some
>>>> legal ramifications to falsifying photo ID information, even if 
>>>> there is
>>>> no counterfeited "physical" ID (as in the fax scenario), but I'll 
>>>> leave
>>>> that to the legal folks.
>>>>
>>>>   And given all of the above, we can then consider the ability of
>>>> bearer-matching for the in-person case a *bonus*, instead of a 
>>>> primary need.
>>>>
>>>>   Hopefully, someone with some experience doing this can tell me 
>>>> why my
>>>> thoughts above are wildly off-base.  :)
>>>>
>>>> HTH,
>>>> - -Matt
>>>>
>>>> Hunt,Keith A wrote:
>>>>  
>>>>> Thank you very much for this summary, Matt. I have a further question
>>>>> for those who require remote users to furnish a faxed or photocopied
>>>>> image of a photo ID. Mailing the new password to a permanent address
>>>>> already on file seems to make some sense. Does anybody provide it 
>>>>> in a
>>>>> different way? After all, the purpose of a *photo* ID would seem 
>>>>> to be
>>>>> to provide a way to match that ID to the bearer of it by a visual
>>>>> comparison.
>>>>>
>>>>>     
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> - --
>>>> Matthew J. Smith
>>>> [log in to unmask]
>>>> University of Connecticut ITS
>>>> PGP Key: http://dotmatt.uconn.edu/matt.asc
>>>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
>>>> Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (GNU/Linux)
>>>>
>>>> iD8DBQFEhYyhUtSvppOnag8RAn7LAJ42pZ574DQYMUznz6iO92oHkgvmWACfSKtW
>>>> PXeBvoX4XUVllvN5o0B4kNY=
>>>> =9dsP
>>>> -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
>>>>   
>>>
>

-- 


Andrea Beesing
Asst Dir, IT Security
Cornell Information Technologies
120 Maple Ave.
Ithaca, NY   14853
607 254-7441

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