If your passwords are less than 8 characters long, change them
It takes seconds to crack short and easy passwords. Are long and complex passwords possible? Trillions upon trillions of years.
According to a recent studyHive Systems, an online cybersecurity company located in Richmond, Virginia breaks down the time it takes to crack your passwords that protect your most sensitive accounts.
The findings suggest that even an eight-character password — with a healthy mix of numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters and symbols — can be cracked within eight hours by the average hacker. Hackers can easily crack anything shorter or simpler, even with very basic equipment.
Meanwhile, a password that’s 18 characters in length – and which uses a mix of numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and symbols – could take up to 438 trillion years for the average hacker to crack, according to Hive Systems.
A color-coded graph was created by the company to show how fast different passwords are possible to hack, depending on how long they were and what characters were used. It also shows how faster tech has made it easier to do so since 2020.
Hive Systems used Security.org data to determine the time it would take for your passwords to be cracked. HowSecureIsMyPassword tool to determine how quickly the average hacker – meaning someone using consumer-grade equipment, including a desktop computer with “a top-tier graphics card” – can crack passwords of different lengths and complexities.
If you plug the word “password” into one commonly-used hashing software, called MD5, you’ll get this string of characters: “5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99.” This is because hackers will only be able to see hashed fragments of numbers and letters if they break into the server of a website.
It’s not a good idea to use password as your password. Actually, this is one of the best password options. most common passwords that end up leakedOn the dark internet.
Hashed passwordsBecause they are created using one-way algorithms, they cannot be reversed. Hackers can create lists that include every combination of characters you type, then haveh these combinations using most popular software programs. Hackers can then search the list for matches to your original passwords.
Although it’s difficult, any hacker can accomplish this task with professional equipment. Your best defense against hackers is to choose long, complex passwords that are difficult to crack.
Reusing passwords on multiple websites is also strongly discouraged, according to the report. The company warns that if you do this, hackers will be able to hack your password for only one website.
You might not wish to have 18 characters passwords every time you sign in to an online account. A password that is difficult to crack takes trillions upon years, but it’s not very practical if you have to remember it only a few hundred million years later.
But even a password with 11 characters – again, using a mix of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and symbols – could still take hackers 34 years to crack, Hive Systems estimates. That’s certainly a better time than 8 hours.