Password Management Programs

With the hundreds of usernames and password every typical Internet user has to remember, it is very important we all use a Password Manager. A typical Password manager is a secure database that allows us to store and retrieve hundreds of Usernames and Passwords with one key “Password“. Most of these tools have high level of security measures ensured to protect the passwords stored, both from in-memory and from-disk attacks.

For last several months I am using the popular Password Manager “Passwords Safe”. This Windows tool is an open-source Sourceforge project, that is free for use. The tool is easy to use, has a decent secure database, nice features like “Browse to Site”, Comments Field and more. Many of my friends and colleagues have been using it for months and they will Swear by it. Unfortunately, last couple of weeks I am finding for some reasons in my laptop, Password Safe losing my latest update of stored passwords. Even the backup file doesn’t show my recently stored passwords. And all this happens randomly. This may be due to my configuration, but I am moving.

I decided to move to a native managed .NET tool called “Password Minder”. Password Minder was written by Keith Brown, an authority when it comes to Security in Windows/.NET world. You can read about how Password Minder works in this MSDN Magazine Article and the Internals of it here. The latest version has an extremely secure database and application architecture. But it lacked some of the “Tricks” of Password Safe. This included the ability on Right Click to have “Copy Username to Clipboard”, “Copy Password to Clipboard”, “Browse to site” and comments field. Though the source is available for the tool, I decided to write to Keith Brown for his permission to modify with these changes and release the new build. He readily agreed, so ladies and gentleman, please await shortly a build of “Password Minder” with these changes.

Also when I first ran “Password Minder” I realized it didn’t allow my Normal Windows user to run the program. On investigation it turns out for the path I have set for storing the Password XML, the permissions where wrongly set. So I turned off the option “Let Password Minder Control the DACL” in the dialog shown below and then manually set the permissions for the XML file. Everything is fine, the tool works perfectly even from a Normal Windows user. If you let Password Minder store the XML file in your profile, you may not face this problem in the first place.

Password Minder Options

(Path in the screenshot above is fictitious :-))

Inserted on 18th October: “Today we have released the Password Minder with the above enhancements as Password, Extensions 0.1. You can download either the Installable MSI file or Complete Visual Studio.NET project as a ZIP file from Freebies page“.