Scammers can guess 45pc passwords in less than a minute: study

Our Correspondent
Saturday, Jun 22, 2024

LAHORE: Scammers can crack almost half of the passwords in less than a minute, according to a study conducted by cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky.

In a study conducted this month (June 2024), researchers analyzed 193 million English passwords to check their strength and found that 45 per cent of the passwords, which is almost 87 million, could be guessed by scammers within a minute. Only 23 per cent or 44 million turned out to be resistant enough, and cracking them would take more than a year.

The cybersecurity firm recommends that to strengthen passwords, “users should use a different password for each service. That way, even if one of your accounts is stolen, the rest won’t go with it.”

Kaspersky says that it is better not to use passwords that “can be easily guessed from your personal information, such as birthdays, names of family members, pets, or your own name. These are often the first guesses an attacker will try. It is nearly impossible to memorize long and unique passwords for all the services you use, but with a special solution, one can memorize just one master password.”

Kaspersky telemetry indicates more than 32 million attempts to attack users with password stealers in 2023. These numbers, per the firm, show the importance of digital hygiene and timely password policies. The results of the Kaspersky study demonstrate that a majority of the reviewed passwords were not strong enough and could be easily compromised by using smart guessing algorithms.

Besides, most of the examined passwords 57 per cent contain a word from the dictionary, which significantly reduces the passwords’ strength, Kaspersky notes.