Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takes you for one.

No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.. (Wired Magazine: Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore)

In a shocking article written by a person who can only be called a computer superuser, he explains why Internet security has finally become a myth

First off, most of us commit fundamental mistakes with passwords. Some people even use "password" or "123456" as their password. This means the bad guys hardly even have to guess. They'll try those first and be correct often enough to make it worth their while.

We're told passwords need to be long and random and include upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and even punctuation to be safe, but with the processing power available using today's personal computers, cracking even elaborate passwords is possible. 

And even where a password is long and effective at thwarting even automated guessing, the bad guys can simply get on the phone and trick a customer service person into giving it up. All they need is one or two facts about you. Sometimes the bad guys bluff their way into an account with no information at all! They change the password and then rummage around for information they can use to bluff their way in more easily to some of your other accounts.

One mistake many of us make (and sometimes are forced to make) is to log into some site using our Facebook or Twitter login. This linking of accounts has made it much easier for the baddies to take over or modify to their benefit everything you value online, obtaining credit card numbers, your bank account login and pin, If they are pranksters, they could log into your Facebook account and leave offensive racist or sexist posts.

Back to passwords for a sec. The usual advice was not to reuse passwords on multiple sites and to make them long and hard to guess. They also told us not to write them down. I'm reminded of that poster you often see in print shops: "You want it good and cheap and fast? Pick two and call me back." Even one long and elaborate password would be hard to recall without writing it down, but most of us have at least a half dozen sites requiring passwords. It's become impossible to follow the best password advice.

But what about fingerprint or iris scanning? They have a big problem. There are ways to copy and use them. If a crook or prankster figures out how to duplicate your fingerprint or iris pattern, you're screwed. At least you can change a password.

Even if all that stuff worked, there are so many ways to go around the front end straight to back end of a computer system. A baddie can install software to record information over a period of time that could be short or long and then use that information to the detriment of one or hundreds of thousands of people. For example, it could collect credit card numbers given to an online merchant and then sell them to the highest bidder or, if he's a prankster, dump them on any of the sites where password trading goes on.

You can find out more about this topic by pursuing the link following the italicized paragraphs at the top.

Tags: internet, password, security

Views: 531

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I never appear naked in webpixs sorry.

Does a loincloth count as clothing then? I had no idea (smirks)

LOL

The Greeks seemed to be very civilised generally, with hardly more than a loin cloth. I am always naked under my cloths, and I can't do much about it. Surely most of us have, to some degree, a gift of imagination, should something more be needed. After being married three times, nudity seems hardly more than a question of props. Some of us should indulge in props, to save the rest us from ugliness, but others could be considered works of 'art', and be celebrated as classics. I am between these two extremes, but go native during the spring and summer months as a practical way to obtain my solar expossure for health reasons, and to spite the control-freak prudists.  

My password is 12345 I don't want the poor hackers to get Carpal tunnel syndrome. :D

I am new here. I have been hacked. I run a dual boot Linux-Windows system, but as I get older I understand less and less. I have a blog called "Collapse of Civilization." I have started an atheist organization on the island where I live. Most of my neighbors are Christians. They are optimists. I have good days and bad days. Just reading this article and discussion makes it not such a good day, and I think civilization will collapse when everybody knows everyone else's password and everybody steals everyone else's identty. But Keynes said, "In the long run everyone is dead." While I am in no hurry to die, I think to live forever would be Hell, so I am optimistic that after I die I will cease to be. My password is death. Do what you will with it.

I read your whole post and all I can remember is "...the island where I live..."

YOU LIVE ON AN ISLAND??? Cool. :)

yeah cool I want to live on an island

I am new here.

Welcome Stephen.

I have been hacked.

If you don't mind, please elaborate. What was the security breach?

I have several email accounts. I change passwords frequently. I am getting old, so I forget the details, but it became evident to me that someone had access to my main email account. I don't use it for vital information, so I did not lose money or have a religionist come to the door to attack me.

Incidentally, years ago, before we lived on an island (which is not that small -- population 80,000 people or so, I think), someone came to our house with a knife (at least), probably intending to attack us. When the sheriff's deputies (sort of) sorted it all out, the reason was that we had given refuge to a woman he wa beating. However, he was not (as far as I know) a religious fanatic; just a garden-variety sociopath. You never know. There was just a college campus shooting in Texas.

I once worked with a mentally ill religious fanatic who gave signs that he might engage in work place violence, but left when ordered to by supervisor and is now in Texas. However, I am sure there are lots of pleasant people in Texas and lots of atheists in Texas, and probably the two groups overlap.in a Venn diagram.

My bf is from Texas if he is a religious fanatic with mental illness he should fit right in

RSS

Blog Posts

Aftermath

Posted by Belle Rose on September 20, 2014 at 2:42am 1 Comment

PI = 4

Posted by _Robert_ on September 16, 2014 at 8:53pm 5 Comments

Ads

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service