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Virus and Security Information

Changes in University password policy

February, 2005

To increase security, a number of changes have been made University-wide regarding the password requirements for University Internet (aka X.500) accounts. These are the accounts students, faculty and staff use to access email, register for classes, authenticate in the labs, access Samba services, update their web sites, and more.

Internet passwords are strength tested

Many who've changed their Internet password recently learned that new passwords are being strength tested when their first attempt to select a password resulted in an error (because they used a dictionary word followed by a number or another unacceptable choice). Pick a safe password. See Tips for Choosing a Password.

Internet passwords can be longer

Internet passwords can now be from 6 to 125 characters long; they still must include numbers and letters and are case sensitive. Sometimes longer passwords will not work when you use them. OIT has been testing and documenting acceptable password lengths for some servers and client software. See their results so far at: Server/Clients and Their Supported Password Lengths.

Temporary passwords are now automatically generated

Secure, secret passwords are vital to computing safety. To help keep passwords secret, the Help Desk and ITSS staff can no longer set Internet passwords for customers. Instead, when someone calls the Help Desk they will received an automatically generated password that is good only for 24 hours. They must use that temporary password to set up a different password within that time frame.

Rev: 09.04

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