devise_security_extension undefined method authenticate for nil:NilClass on Rspec Tests for Controller That Skips Authentication

After installing the Devise Security Extension to add password expiration to my Devise models, I started getting the following error on an RSpec test for a controller that does not perform authentication of the user:

     Failure/Error: get :index
       undefined method `authenticate?' for nil:NilClass

After a bit of digging, I found that the helpers.rb in the gem includes an additional before_filter that needs to be skipped:

module DeviseSecurityExtension
  module Controllers
    module Helpers
      extend ActiveSupport::Concern
      included do
        before_filter :handle_password_change

So while I'm skipping authenticate_user! in my controller, I still needed an additional:

  skip_before_filter :handle_password_change

Interestingly enough, the controller itself doesn't break, just the tests. The downside is that I'm referencing two different Devise filters/actions just to not use them.

How safe is an MD5 hash of a plain password?

First of all, I hope that you've moved beyond MD5 hashes and hashing passwords by themselves, adding salts, etc., but I do recall systems in which an MD5 hash of a password by itself was "good enough".

You can look up some md5 hashes on this md5 cracker page. I found many two word combinations that were crackable.

You can play with generating md5 hashes of questionable passwords (such as your name and p@ssw0rd) with this md5 Hash Generator