Saturday, July 2, 2011

Password Security Tips

Word this week spread across the country as the Arizona Department of Public Safety was hacked by the groups LultSec and Anonymous.  And the thing that saddens me most is that one of the officers actually had the password "12345."

Passwords are setup for a reason.  With certain jobs there are security risks of which you need to be aware.  I'm sure the department will be undergoing much needed password training over the next few weeks.

When using a typical password length of 8 characters, the times listed below are how long it would take for your password to be hacked by anything from a typical Pentium to a Supercomputer.
  • Using Only Numerals = Instant
  • Using UPPER and lower case letters = 3-1/2 minutes
  • Using UPPER, lower, and numerals = 60-1/2 hours
  • Using UPPER, lower, numerals, and special characters = 83-1/2 days

The above examples are cracked when using Supercomputers.  When using a typical fast PC, the numbers are as follows:
  • Using Only Numerals = Instant
  • Using UPPER and lower case letters = 35 minutes
  • Using UPPER, lower, and numerals = 253 days
  • Using UPPER, lower, numerals, and special characters = 23 years

You can easily see that the more complicated the password, using a mix of upper, lower, numerals, and special characters, the harder it is to hack.

I know it seems difficult and I know everyone wants to yell at the IT personnel telling you to do this.  However, there really is a reason!

Please read and share my article about password safety.  It may save you one day!

Click here
to read the article and ensure you are using a strong password.