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HTTP is a stateless protocol, but it allows state via cookies and CGI parameters if both sides cooperate. The server already wants to cooperate, so you just have to provide an incentive to the client.

One way to do this would be to have a cookie that a person using the interface normally would receive, which tracks how many times they've tried to log in and makes them wait progressively longer or whatever else you want to do. The cookie would have to be secured in some way that would make it impossible for the client to just make one up, or to re-use an existing one. You could randomly generate cookie IDs and store them in a database, deleting them when they're used, or use cryptography to make this work (though no crytographic scheme comes immediately to mind).

Once you have a way of generating secure cookies, you can simply check if their cookie is valid, and if they don't present a valid cookie, you penalize them in a way that makes it very difficult to brute-force a password. sleep(30) would be a good penalty.

Something like this is what I'm thinking of (this is perl-like pseudocode):

if (!$login) { &print_login_page; exit(0); } my($numtries)=check_cookie($cookie); if ($numtries) { $waittime = 5*($numtries-1); } else { $waittime = 30; } sleep($waittime); if (check_pass($login,$password)) { welcome(); exit(0); } else { set_cookie(numtries => $numtries+1); bad_password(); exit(0); }
You would enfoce the cookie's security in check_cookie and set_cookie.

In reply to Re: •Re: Password hacker killer by sgifford
in thread Password hacker killer by belize

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