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Digibase Security Advisory - RCN Stores Passwords Plaintext
Keywords: plaintext password, disclosure
DBSA ID: 2018-092201
Regarding: RCN Stores Passwords Plaintext
Date: 2018 09 22
Last Modified: 20180922221921 by Kradorex Xeron
Who should take note: RCN Customers
Rationale: RCN Customers should maintain continuous monitoring of the situation.
Rationale: Plaintext password storage is a violation of fundamental security standards and plaintext password storage is treated with the same regard as password compromise.
Spread of Issue: SINGLE-PLATFORM HIGH
Rationale: All RCN Customers are subject.
RCN is an Internet Services Provider (ISP) in the United States.
RCN has been identified to store passwords plaintext, without hashing in violation of security standards. The company has gone as far as to say that plaintext password storage is a matter of company policy, making the issue that much worse.
Under a correctly implemented system at a given company, passwords provided are run through a "hashing" computation where the user's password on their account is run through a mathematical computation similar to encryption. For a basic example the password "Fa9034dASc" via the "sha1" computation becomes "fe0b486852959dc2eb3af5c5c04c478d0f018817" which cannot be reversed easily. For login, the login password is run through the same mathematical computation and compared and at no time is the plaintext password stored. Attempts to use the hash itself to login is run through the computation again, providing a different result and fails.
RCN does not have this standard security implementation, meaning those with access to the password database can access any account.
RCN customers are advised that they should treat the passwords supplied to the company as compromised at this time. Further, RCN customers may wish to contact the company and insist the company transition to a one-way "hashing" password storage system.