A wise choice of passwords

Tags: openid, password fatigue, passwords, phpbb

Is your email id password  123456, abc123 or your first name? A large number of users prefer these types of words to protect their accounts. But this usually becomes easy for the hackers to trespass in to such accounts.

A week ago an open source forum phpBB.com was attacked by the hackers. Nearly 20,000 passwords from the users of the site were made available in Internet.  Even though that’s not a wiser thing it helped researchers to learn about the various methods that the real users adopt, to create passwords. Some of the findings about the patters used, n the hacked passwords were published by Robert Graham, of Dark Reading. The list was not at all encouraging as a large share of users had ‘123456’ as their password. The second one in the list was ‘password’. . The third was ‘phpbb’. Nearly all the 20 passwords were the simple variations of these. 65-94% of the passwords were familiar dictionary words and mostly simple words like “apple” or “orange”. 16% of the passwords matched the person’s name 14% were random patterns on the keyboard, 4% of the list were the variations of the word ‘password’. 5% denoted pop-culture, and 4% included passwords such as “samsung,” “viewsonic,” or “compaq”, casual words from day today life.

The passwords used in the hacked phpBB accounts seem to show a pattern similar to those found in MySpace, 2 years ago, in which nearly 34,000 user names and passwords were made public. The top twenty included password1, abc123, myspace1, password, qwerty1, 123abc, 123456, jordan23, and iloveyou1.

These pivotal points reveal that breaking into such user accounts can be a lot easier than people think, if they’re using such insecure passwords.

The reason for such insecure passwords or the use of the same password over and over again is simple: its password fatigue. Nowadays people have so many account credentials to remember, that they often forget the details. To keep track of the many different accounts, most people reuse the same passwords and often choose the ones that are easy to remember, often insecure phrases. This potentially puts the accounts at risk and paves the way for getting hacked.

When you set an account next time, make sure that your give a password that cannot be easily guessed and hacked .Well, no one can completely rule out the chances of a cyber attack. But we can be on the safer side by trying the best of our efforts.  

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