Password Strength{7}


by Robert D
Password1. Thr article says this is most likely your password. 5% of all passwords are something similar; maybe a little different, but not different enough. This password is so common because it fits the requirements for a strong password: see the capital and the number? Clearly, that’s not enough.

Brute force hacks happen frequently. This is when someone uses a program that generates every possible password. This is usually an effective way of hacking into someone’s system. But if your password is some variation on “Password”, they won’t need it. Worse? The 8 characters in the standard password don’t make it that strong. A brute force attack will break one of these within days of running. Actual stronger passwords contain many characters: think 15 and up. While 8 characters takes a few days, having a short sentence as a password will take decades to crack. The use of symbols has become standard in passwords, but it only guards against dictionary attacks, which use programs that insert every word in the dictionary as a password. They can be hard to remember; if you were going to go with symbols or length, only length would beat both the dictionary and brute attacks.

Cowley, S. “If You’re Using ‘Password1’, Change It. Now.” CNN Tech. 5 March 2012. http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/01/technology/password_security/index.htm