Under the Microscope: Passwords

posted in: Software | 1

A year ago I took a look at what password manager options there were out there for RISC OS, that article covered Passman from Kevin Wells as well as Qupzilla’s built-in password manager. I didn’t however cover !Passwords by John Peachey, who’s recently updated it to work on newer hardware such as the Raspberry Pi and Titanium – so without further ado, let’s take a look…

Passwords can be downloaded from John’s website, it requires the WBModule to run, which can also be downloaded from the same page.

Installation is as easy as you might expect for a small application like this, you unpack !Passwords from its zip file and drop it to where you want on your system.

When run, it opens up an icon on the icon bar, where you can click into the main password database or open up a configuration menu that allows you to hide the main window on display or to enable/disable the application’s ability to open up the password prompt to view your passwords when the application runs (by default you need to click on the icon bar menu to get a prompt to login to the password database and view/amend your passwords).

Adding, removing and amending passwords in the database once you’ve entered your password to login is as straightforward as you’d expect. There’s an option to name your password (i.e. Facebook login) and an option to add the username for that particular site/system, an optional comment and of course the password itself.

You’re given a default password to login to Passwords to begin with. You can change that password by clicking into the main passwords screen, middle-clicking and selecting ‘Change’. The password isn’t stored in plain-text within !Passwords or anywhere else on the system which is good.

The passwords themselves are stored in an encrypted format, although I can’t for the life of me identify what form of encryption has been used, they don’t appear to be hashed (MD5, SHA1 etc.) so I’m going to hazard a guess that they’re being compressed in some form or another. I wouldn’t bank on it being uncrackable but it gets the job done.

That’s all there is to tell really. Passwords is a nice, small little password manager that does exactly what it says on the tin, it stores your passwords safely.

  1. Aaron

    It would be interesting to find out how these passwords are stored. At a minimum passwords should be stored in SHA2 these days. SHA1 & especially MD5 are almost as bad as storing in plain text.

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