Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

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With an active FHI user account you have access to our windows workstation cluster, email services, and many other PP&B services.

- Account expire: We will disable every expired account immediately. We send a "account expiration warning mail" one month before expire date. Please don't ignore it!

Why do you have to create a secure password?

In addition to your user name you need a password in order to use IT resources at the Fritz-Haber-Institute. While your user name is probably known to several people your password needs to stay secret to prevent a third party to access resources in your name. Your password together with your user name enables computer systems to positively identify you. If an authorized party gets to know your password it has access to your files and can conduct illegal activities over the network in your name.

This is possible due to the decentralized nature of IT services accessible over the Internet. Additionally your user name and password may be the target of an attack. Therefore your password must be as secure as possible against attacks like systematically testing all character combinations (“brute force”). Often an attacker is not even required to try all combinations. A dictionary attack is used instead to reduce search time in case the password only consists of typical character combinations (“1234”, “qwerty” or “4711”). For this attackers may use personal information about you, gathered for example from public Internet sites, like your date of birth, name of pets etc.

Please keep in mind that attackers may also acquire these information by deception (“social engineering”). Therefore you should never provide information about your password to a third party (including people claiming to be IT staff or administrators).

How does one select a secure password that can be easily remembered?

The required complexity leads to complex passwords that are hard to remember compared to an easy one like “max” or “max2007”. Through several methods it is possible to generate passwords that are not based on single words and have a great variety and security.

Passwords are thus often created based “memory sentences”, for example: “my user account in Berlin I use since 2014.”.

By abbreviating words to their first character and last digits of the year the resulting password looks like this:

muaiBius14

A variation with special characters for “-in Berlin-” would result in the password:

mua-iB-us07.

Another variation could be to include the“ i” from “Berlin” but replace it by “1”:

mua-iB1-us14.

Additionally some characters may be replaced by similarly looking numbers, e.g.:

mua-1B1-us14.

It is good to use different characters like small and big letters numbers and special signs. Please use only this characters to create your password: a-z A-Z 0-9 . _ - + = # @

Should passwords be saved or noted down?

Storing passwords at an easily accessible place should be avoided (at your desk or a post-it on the screen). Storing passwords within an application can be problematic (web browser or mail client). One should be aware that such passwords can be accessed by a third party from the computer memory. Despite that you can not generate a different password for each application or generate passwords systematically

The compromise should that password characteristics should be matched to their likelihood of being compromised, e.g. you could use the same password for all web shops where you order books, a different one for you email etc. The remaining passwords should be generated complex according to the rules mentioned earlier. In order to maintain secure passwords one can use especial programs that store passwords encrypted.

Taken from our colleagues ( quelle : https://idm.gwdg.de/Home/PasswordStyle )

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Address: Fritz-Haber-Institut, Faradayweg 4-6, 14195 Berlin, Germany