he recent release of nude celebrity photos makes us more keenly aware of how vulnerable we are regarding our passwords. Politico reports that the stolen images were likely obtained through a “brute force” attack, where computers test possible passwords until they find one that works. At the time of the attack, Apple did not have a limit to the number of times a user could attempt a login to their iCloud account. That weakness since been changed.
A 2013 article from Ars Technica shows how incredibly easy it is to hack passwords. The author reports that he couldn’t “hack his way out of a paper bag” when he started one Monday morning to learn to hack passwords. By day’s end he had hacked 8000 of them. If you read the article and put in a bit of work, you can probably hack passwords yourself. It is that easy.
A while back I wrote a post on Passwords where I advised you to use a Password manager (like LastPass) and to use two-factor authentication. A lot of people say that is too much trouble. If you are not going to do that, this article from 2009 may provide a simpler solution. At least it gives you some kind of plan, one that you might actually use. I checked the method using a password tester and was impressed with the results. Be sure to test the passwords you come up with to make sure they are strong enough. Read the article carefully and see if the techniques provided will work for you. Remember to use your strongest and best passwords for your bank, credit card, and other such sites, don’t use the same password on more than one site, and to change it now and again for best results.
For Further Reading
Let’s Clear Up Apple’s Cloudy Photo Stream
We will likely have to find a way around using passwords soon.
Barclays Introduces a Finger Vein Scanner to Access Your Online Banking
Security image courtesy of Purple Slog on Flikr Creative Commons
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