Computer Crime Research Center


Stealing password? What could be easier?

Date: August 17, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Timofey Saytarly

Almost all internet and online banking users leave themselves open to fraudsters by using predictable passwords and ingnoring elementary requirements of computer security.

The research claims that 21% of people used their own or their partner's nicknames for their passwords, 15% used their birthdays or anniversaries and 15% used names of their pets. About 14% had a family members' name as their password, 7% relied on a memorable date, and 2% even unimaginatively used the word password. Just under a third of people admitted they had shared their password with their partner, while 16% had told a member of their family, and just half of those questioned were confident no-one else knew their log-in details.

It is not surprising that malefactors don't even use their hackers skills attempting to break into someone else's computer network. Knowing details of private lives of their victims helps much more. The most reliable way to sort out a password is so-called "brute force" - simple figuring out the key among all possible words in the ductionary.

Hugo Bottelier, vice president of Visa Europe, said,"Of course, it is important that our passwords are personal and meaningful to us, but also that they are difficult to decipher and not easily guessed."

Survey Shop questioned 1,005 internet users by telephone during March.

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