Friday, October 07, 2011

Password Rules Offender: Charles Schwab

Seriously?

Dear Charles Schwab,

It is 2011. Why do you have a maximum length of 8 characters on an account password? And why is the only requirement that there be a number between letters?

It does not inspire confidence when I am about to ask you to hold my money.

Update: It also doesn't allow symbols. That's right, folks; maximum of 8 characters, and only letters/numbers. I can't believe this crap.

Update: Two-Factor Authentication Available!
Thanks to Richard Smiley who wrote in the comments to alert us to the fact that Schwab is now offering a two-factor authentication token upon request.

For more details, head to the SchwabSafe Page. As of the time of this update (2/21/2013), to request a token, call Schwab at 800-435-4000.

6 comments:

  1. That is screaming for some SQL injection of some sort. Tsk tsk.

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  2. I was wondering if maybe they disallowed symbols in order to help prevent a SQL injection attack. Most enterprise systems will put parameter filters on those sorts of symbols, but I think the password fields would be one place you'd want to make an exception in that case.

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  3. SQL has simple methods to prevent injection attacks so it seems unlikely that would be the case. In mysql it is as simple as mysql_real_escape_string to prevent them on input.

    :-)

    I've been complaining for years.

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  4. Good work!

    My daughter pointed out to me (on February 20, 2013) that they'll send out a token which you can use in the login process. (See http://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/legal_compliance/schwabsafe/we_guard_your_account) No charge.

    I ordered one. Should arrive in 5-7 days. (business days?)

    The person I talked to also said they're working on checking longer passwords – but he didn't have a date for when that would be available.

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    Replies
    1. Richard, thanks for this tip! I'm going to update the post to include the information. Thanks to your daughter for sleuthing it out as well.

      I understand the cost to these companies, but I wish they'd advertise something like this a little better. For a weak password system, two-factor authentication is a necessity.

      Delete
    2. Also, is there a web site of yours that you'd like me to reference/plug? I'd be happy to in thanks for the good tip.

      Delete

Keep it classy, folks.