# # chage
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2005/03/15 chage

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© March 2005 Tony Lawrence

The chage command lets root set password aging - how long a user can use a password without changing it. With "-l" and a user name, it lists the settings. My bet is that most systems produce listings like this:


Minimum:        0
Maximum:        99999
Warning:        7
Inactive:       -1
Last Change:            Oct 25, 2004
Password Expires:       Never
Password Inactive:      Never
Account Expires:        Never
 

In other words, they aren't using password aging.

I'm of divided mind on this issue. On the one hand, the value of changing passwords seems obvious: passwords do leak out over time, so it seems prudent to change them. Also, if someone is trying brute-force password guessing, the longer a password remains in use, the more chance of guessing it. On the other hand, when passwords remain the same, users may actually be able to remember them, while constant change just leads to yellow sticky notes plastered on monitors; a practice obviously far less secure than an unchanged password in someone's memory.

Obviously the real answer is that passwords have to go. Identity cards, iris scans, voice recoginition: who knows what the final answer will be, but it can't be passwords.


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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Digital Sharing Crash Course

El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Preview

Take control of Apple TV, Second Edition

iOS 10: A Take Control Crash Course





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