Friday, 15 December, 2017

Everything you've ever been told about creating strong passwords is wrong

Everything you’ve ever been told about creating strong passwords is wrong
		 0 Everything you’ve ever been told about creating strong passwords is wrong 0
Kayla Schwartz | 09 August, 2017, 15:39

In the years since, whenever a site has required you to add an uppercase letter or a special character (@#!%), that's based on what Burr had to say. In an 8-page guide, he decreed that passwords should be made from odd mixes of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, and that they should be changed regularly. "Much of what I did I now regret", he said.

To be clear, the 8-page password advice he created while working in middle management at the National Institute of Standards and Technology is one of the leading reasons many current passwords can be such a pain to remember.

Under the new guidance, admins responsible for verifying newly created password are advised to check them against passwords exposed in previous breaches, dictionary words, receptive and sequential characters, and words containing the name of the user or service.

But in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the now-retired Burr said most of his advice was incorrect.

His guidelines, which suggested that passwords should be changed every three months and should include different characters, are still followed by many services.

North Korea mulls plan to strike U.S. bases in Guam - KCNA
Among Republicans, 68% consider North Korea a very serious threat, that view is shared by a near identical 67% of Democrats. It comes after news that North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside missiles.

Frequent changes in passwords, known as "transformations", were not effective either as users would often make minor changes like replacing the number 1 with a number 2.

Mr Burr says the guidelines were "probably too complicated for a lot of folks to understand very well, and the truth is, it was barking up the wrong tree".

Now, easy to remember phrases are the preferred method and passwords should only be changed if there is a suspected hack. In theory the best passwords look like complete gibberish, but they're obviously more hard to commit to memory. Of course, many people these days rely on password managers to generate their various passwords, but the Verge notes that they still must create a tough-to-crack master password.

The gentleman who had us all changing passwords frequently and using odd character sequences now has regrets. They initially thought it would be a quick edit, but they ended up starting over from scratch. Taking the first letter of each word gives you the basis of a strong password like 'DyEfLaPb*DtTwWtSa?', which is easy to remember if you sing along to Katy Perry's Firework in your head as you login.

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