People use weak password practices to secure critical information. Weak password practices include using the same password for multiple systems regardless of the value of the asset, dictionary words, short phases and keeping the same passwords for extended periods of time. For example, it’s common to find a password on a non-critical asset such as a PlayStation 3 be the same as a person’s bank account login.
The more information an attack knows about your password profile, the more likely they will crack your password. For example, a policy of “6-10 characters with one upper case letter and special character” actually helps an attacker reduce the target space meaning passwords are weaker with the policy. If an hacker captures a password for another system and notices a formula such as ‘<dictionary word>’ followed by ‘<3 numbers>’, it helps the attacker prepare a dictionary attack (utilities such as Crunch makes this easy). Any password shorter than 10 characters is an easy target to brute force attack based on today’s system process power. Continue reading