People and Passwords

    Date18 Jul 2001
    3980
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The use of passwords and pin numbers is the most common security ?tool? in use today. Other new technologies are being developed, including a host of biometric solutions, smart cards etc., but for the immediate future the humble password will still be the key component in most systems.. . . The use of passwords and pin numbers is the most common security ?tool? in use today. Other new technologies are being developed, including a host of biometric solutions, smart cards etc., but for the immediate future the humble password will still be the key component in most systems.

    What is the issue here? Well, to put it bluntly, people choose awful passwords when looked at with ?security? in mind. This is a topic that has been highlighted for as long as the IT world can remember but, alas, things do not look to be improving. A recent survey on user selection of passwords by CentralNic, a UK based registry for eu.com and us.com domain names, produced worryingly familiar results.

    The findings indicated that some forty-seven percent of respondents used either their own name or a nickname with a further thirty-two percent picking the name of either a celebrity or their favourite football team. Whilst these options are marginally better than the equally traditional ?password? or ?nothing? alternatives, it is disturbing that nearly four people out of every five use such easily broken passwords. In many businesses it is clear that a hacker frequently has little need to use any of the specialist password breaking programs that are available.

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