Mistakes that can let hackers crack your passwords in seconds
May 1, 2023 04:05 PM
Dropping numbers, symbols and letters into your passwords may convince you that your online accounts are secure.
Yet cybersecurity experts have warned that a six-character password containing all these attributes can instantly be cracked by hackers, MailOnline reported.
New research by Hive Systems shows that hackers can crack your password within seconds - even if it's more than 10 characters long.
This is up to eight time faster than last year, which the researchers attribute to advances in technology.
'The time has finally come where passwords are just no longer secure by themselves,' said Alex Nette, CEO and Co-founder of Hive Systems.
'With the easily accessible use of artificial intelligence tools and hardware, hackers have never been in an easier position to gain access to our personal data. Without additional protections, I don't think we can consider our data to be safe.'
Research found that number-based passwords were most vulnerable and could be cracked instantly by hackers when four to 11 characters long.
A 12-digit password would only take hackers one second to crack too, while an 18-digit pass would take just under a week to solve.
Lowercase letter passwords were slightly more secure but not entirely, with four to eight-character passwords also cracked instantly.
And while an 11-letter password took just 30 minutes to crack, adding seven more lowercase letters would make it over 480,000 years.
The most secure passwords were those containing a mix of numbers, symbols and different case letters.
These could be cracked instantly if they were four to seven characters long, but 12-character passwords would take 226 years to crack.
Global Cybersecurity Advisor at ESET, Jake Moore added that using different passwords for every site is another way to protect yourself from cybercriminals.
He said: 'Cybercriminals roam the dark web in search of these lists of hacked usernames and passwords in the hope they can hack into other accounts belonging to the same username with the same corresponding password.
'This is why it is really important to never use the same password twice.
'Furthermore, when people use the same password for many years for everything or with a simple change like the number on the end, they are effectively handing over the keys to their precious data and even financial accounts to hackers.'
Hackers crack passwords through brute force attacks, which are trial and error approaches to test out potential usernames and passwords.
While this may sound like a tireless process, graphics cards can speed this up thanks to popular applications like Hashcat.
Hive Systems advocates that formal identity confirmation should be more widely used online to protect accounts and personal data.
They also recommend the use of password managers, but even these are allegedly becoming less secure as technology advances.