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The problem is that, if you do proper hash stretching on the server, the server must do a fairly expensive operation before rejecting an incorrect password. This means that brute force password guessing is a denial-of-service attack and the best that you can do is throttle login attempts somehow.

A simple CAPTCHA is a good option for this; asking the solution to simple math problem will confound most bot herders and allow to prioritize actual users' requests ahead of a bot horde. This has to be site-wide, not per-user, however and is probably best accompanied by an explanation that the server is under high load due to password-guessing attacks and solving the CAPTCHA will get your request priority. Tarpit requests that lack a CAPTCHA solution until they timeout, if you can.

A large botnet can produce a very diffuse attack, somewhat reducing the effectiveness of filtering by IP address, and storing IP addresses raises privacy concerns, but if your users' accounts are linked to real-world identities anyway (for example, you are running a paid service) the privacy concerns are less severe and you may want to store commonly-used IP addresses per-user and give priority to logins originating from IP addresses or IP address blocks that a user has previously used. Associating processing priority with how many logins have been seen from the same IP address could result in login attempts from password-guessing bots being demoted to "idle" priority and taking perhaps minutes while actual users see quick logins in less than a second.

In reply to Re^2: RFC / Audit: Mojo Login Example by jcb
in thread RFC / Audit: Mojo Login Example by haukex

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