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How Strong is Your Password?

Are your passwords secure? Are you sure? If you use passwords like ‘password’ or ‘qwaszx,’ this may not be the case.

Passwords that are this common can be cracked in the time that it takes for a hummingbird to beat its wing in 2019. Programs such as John the Ripper, which is free and preinstalled with the Kali Linux operating system, are designed to crack simple passwords like this in no time at all.

Most password crackers work by using dictionary attacks and brute force attacks. For a dictionary attack, password cracking programs try to unravel a password using a list of existing passwords. These passwords are usually obtained from data breaches and then pasted to websites like pastebin.com or randompassword.com. You can tell if your email address and passwords have ever been leaked by using haveibeenpwned.com.

Brute force attacks are used whenever the password that is being cracked does not show up in a dictionary attack. This attack relies on utilizing the graphical processing components of the computer to generate random passwords until there is a match. This works best for short passwords around 6-7 characters.

The following graphic depicts the time it would take to crack common passwords as well as the time it would take to crack complex passwords.

https://create.piktochart.com/output/41607199-password-strength

In conclusion, the most secure passwords are those that are longer than 10 characters and contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You can test the strength of your passwords on betterbuys.com/estimating-password-cracking-times/.

Stay safe out there!