Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"That's amazing. I've got the same combination on my luggage"

Passwords. We all have them now days. Lots of people despise them, most tolerate them, and idiots write them down on post-it notes stuck to their monitors. It seems like all the time we're hearing about security breaches when accounts for some major company are hacked. Ever wonder why it is that accounts are hacked so easily?
Well, as this article points out, the Rockyou.com breach allowed an opportunity for that FAQ to be answered. Imperva studied the 32 million passwords that were hacked, and some interesting findings came up. Passwords haven't evolved much since 1990.
Think about that.
Think, if your hairstyle had not evolved since 1990, how much ridicule you'd be subjected to. You shudder at the thought, don't you? Yet our unevolved passwords make us vulnerable to much more than ridicule. Many people use the same password for their email, work, bank information, online bill payments, twitter, etc. By one being hacked, the rest are compromised. Are you able to access any sensitive data at work? The hackers can access it too. Money in your bank account? Its not secure any more.
This isn't just a pesky matter of having to re-set your passwords and set your facebook status to "hey everyone, i got hacked, that last post wasn't me, dude." No, this is a mindset. The article states that the top 10 most common passwords (of the Rockyou.com scandal) were:

1. 123456
2. 12345
3. 123456789
4. Password
5. iloveyou
6. princess
7. rockyou
8. 1234567
9. 12345678
10. abc123

We've all been told by our IT people that the most secure passwords are those that have upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. It's a pain, I know. But if your little fingers aren't getting a workout while typing your password, it's not a good one.

*wipes brow and steps off of soapbox* Now back to your regularly blogged snark :-)

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