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Log Bad Passwords Plugin

Capture the bad passwords your users type. Learn and track what bad passwords your valid users are entering into login screens.

One day, while trying to remember which password I used to log into my Google account, it occurred to me that Google could easily track bad passwords and associate them to a particular user. With this information, along with the rest of what Google knows about us, they could easily gain access to other accounts and services.

So, I wrote this pair of plugins to provide this capability to Joomla administrators. Because this plugin only stores bad passwords, storing clear text passwords isn't exactly a security risk because they're known bad. When a user changes his or her password to one that is already in the stored list, that password is cleared from the list.

The list appears on the user edit screen in administrator and nowhere else. Administrators also have the option of clearing the list for individual users. Additionally, the plugin can be configured to store bad passwords for the frontend, the backend and to exclude specific groups from bad password storage.

Use is easy.

1. Install the package.
2. Enable both plugins.
3. Configure the User - Log Bad Passwords plugin to set where it should run, and what group restrictions should be enabled.

This package was an experiment, to determine if it could be safely built. I wouldn't suggest running it on public sites because it may expose the passwords your users use on other sites.

Is this extension unethical? It depends on what you use it for. For a support representative on a private intranet site - this can be a very useful tool. Using this on a public site may be more questionable. I released it so everyone would know it's possible, as a warning - not so accounts can be compromised. Either way - please keep your opinions on ethics out of your review.

If you're concerned that a site might be using it, you can browse the site for /plugins/system/logbadpasswords/index.html . If the page is blank, the site uses the extension. If you receive an error - the site does not use it.

Something happened to stop the plugin operation between Joomla 2.5.3 and 2.5.4. Users experiencing issues should update to the latest version.

Version 1.2 - update to fix error introduced in J3.0.2

Update coming soon to clear up display style in J3.x

All of my extensions are free and none of my extensions display advertisements or links to my sites or services. If you feel that I have blessed you, then you can bless me by making a contribution to fund future development. Visit the "Website" link to make a contribution.

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2013-12-23
Reviews: 3
I tried this plugin, and it works as described. The problem I have with it, is it also records bad passwords that are one character off. Even ones with a typo. For example, if my password was 'superman', but I typed it in as 'spuerman'. that would be recorded, and very simple for administrators to obtain actaul passwords. Just as explained in the description, "easily gain access to other accounts and services." I would be leary about any website using this plugin. Sadly, there is no way to know which ones are using it.
Owner's reply

1. Unethical is a matter of opinion. Would you rather I didn't release it, and you didn't know that such a thing was possible? I released it so everyone would know that it is possible.
2. There are valid, ethical uses for this extension. Intranet site support comes to mind.
3. I suggest in the description that this shouldn't be run on public sites.
4. You CAN determine if it's installed on a site (you cannot, however, know if it's enabled and running). Re-read the description.

Thank you for at least acknowledging that it works as described. I suppose the rest of your comment is just you lashing out at me for having opened your eyes. Would you rather have remained naive?

2012-04-07
Reviews: 2
This is a very nice plugin with great philosophy. Great support also by the author. I trust whatever is done by Michael Richey. Thank you for this work.