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Passwords

A WestGrid account gives you an ID (username) which is valid for use with all of the WestGrid facilities (some systems require special permission before you can access them; this is noted on the Computing Facilities page).

When you apply for an account, you are asked to choose a password. When you are given an account, an ID is set up for you at each of the sites, and a GridCanada certificate is issued for you. All of these use the password you selected.

For security reasons, no one at WestGrid knows your password. Keep your password secure, do not give it to anyone else.

If you have any reason to feel that your password is no longer secure, please follow the directions below to reset it.

Changing Passwords

If you remember your password and would like to change it, you can log into the WestGrid accounts portal and select "Change Password" from the main menu.

Forgotten Passwords

If you have forgotten your password and do not have security questions on file, you will have to reset your password by receiving a temporary password from a site lead via telephone. To do so, please contact the Accounts team.

If you have forgotten your password and you have the security questions on file, you can click the Forgotten Password page link on the portal sign in page. You will immediately receive an email with a URL. Please note that the URL will only be valid for one hour.

Upon successfully resetting your password, the process will also renew your WestGrid account and certificate, so you will not have to renew your WestGrid account again for approximately a year.

The password reset does not affect any renewals you may have pending with Compute Canada.

Security Questions

Three security questions will be collected during account creation, renewal, or by logging into the WestGrid portal and adding them.

When prompted to answer questions in the future for password resets, users who get two questions wrong will be blocked from resetting their password and will have to have it reset by phone by contacting the Accounts team. Users who only get one question wrong can still reset their password but they will have to replace the incorrectly answered question.

The Importance of Security

There is usually a tradeoff between security and convenience. This problem is even more difficult when your convenience is not just a risk to yourself, but is a large risk to us, and potentially very inconvenient to us.  If your password is hacked, the hacker gains access to our systems and can possibly hack them.  We very much want to protect ourselves from them, so we have made a few simple policy rules.

  • we do not allow the use of passwordless ssh keys on our systems

In general, all private/public keypairs should be protected with a strong passphrase. If you believe you have a legitimate need for unencrypted keys please discuss your requirements with WestGrid support before installing any such keys on WestGrid systems. Your cooperation in this area is greatly appreciated.