How hackers exploit password patterns

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According to Specops research, hackers have begun to exploit how human minds instinctively spot patterns, even in password creation. They are circumventing password rules by making informed guesses.

Using common base terms is one of the most prevalent password flaws that hackers exploit. A base term is a common word or phrase used in passwords.

The 2023 Specops Weak Password Report examined 4.6 million passwords gathered over many weeks, as well as those used in live assaults to attack RDP ports. ‘Password’ was claimed to be the most popular base term.

Hackers are aware of this, thus they frequently attempt to guess passwords that begin with or include popular base terms.

Another is the usage of short passwords which are easier to guess than long passwords. According to Specops data, 88% of passwords used to target RDP ports in live attacks are 12 characters or fewer.

Many businesses simply enforce a password length of eight characters via Active Directory settings. It adds that if a user is offered the choice of creating a shorter password, they will choose it.

The hackers also employ keyboard walk patterns, which are character sequences that are simple to write. “QWERTY” is a keyboard walk pattern, for example. Hackers are aware of this, thus they frequently attempt to guess passwords that match keyboard walk patterns. Reusing passwords is the fourth password error that hackers exploit. This allows the hacker to get access to other accounts that use the same password.

To reduce these dangers, Spacecops advises customers to utilize a password manager to establish and maintain strong, unique passwords for all of their accounts. In addition, they should avoid utilizing popular basic keywords in their passwords.

The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.

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