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Date: Wed, 16 May 2018 08:00:32 -0400
From: "Denny O'Breham" <>
Subject: Keeping old passwords

I  came about a Google methodology that I find strange.  The fact that
it is Google worries me a little bit more.  I was wondering what
people here thought about that.

So I was playing around and accessing my Google account with different
browsers (including Tor) and once I returned to my 'usual' browser,
Google forced me to change my password because of unusual activities
on my account.  Informing me is one thing, but forcing me to change my
password really made me mad.  But that is not the problem.

So I wanted to go back to my original password but, of course, it
didn't allow me to use my previous password.  I tried changing it 5 or
6 times (of course, with 5 or 6 different passwords) hoping it would
forget the original password, but no luck; It probably keeps the
passwords for some time duration (forever?).

Now when I log in - due to old habits - I often use the original
password which is no longer valid.  Google then inform the user that
'You changed your password 10 days ago'.  I tried with a random
password and it tells me the usual ' Wrong password or username'.

Two problems:

1- Is it a good idea to keep old passwords (even encrypted) in a
database?  If the database is compromised, not only my actual password
is at risk, but a bunch of my old passwords that I may or may not use
somewhere else are at risk too.

2- Telling a user a different messages when he successfully enters an
old password is insane.  All you need to do is some trial and error
and you can guess not only the actual password, but any of the old
passwords.  The fact that Google can force a user to change it, guess
what? It is more than probable that the user is still using this old
password on other websites.

What do you think about this password management policy?

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