Reporter’s Notebook: Weak Passwords Invite People To Steal Your Work

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CNN website screamed at me tonight: 2 million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter passwords stolen in massive hack.

password hell

password hell (Photo credit: Ron Bennetts)

  • 318,000 Facebook accounts
  • 70,000 Gmail, Google+ and YouTube accounts
  • 60,000 Yahoo accounts
  • 22,000 Twitter accounts
  • 9,000 Odnoklassniki accounts (a Russian social network)
  • 8,000 ADP accounts (ADP says it counted 2,400)
  • 8,000 LinkedIn accounts

I am far from being a techie, but seems to me that most passwords for the general public are about as safe as the fairy tale straw house from the big bad wolf. It makes you think.

CNN reports: The massive data breach was a result of keylogging software maliciously installed on an untold number of computers around the world.

As writers we have an extra investment in blogs and posts; these are more than just public displays of our diaries. They are more than stream of conscious ramblings. We put in time and effort. We work through several drafts before we hit the publish button. And to think someone could go in and steal, mangle, or simply erase our efforts is disheartening.

CNN Reports: The hacking campaign started secretly collecting passwords on Oct. 21, and it might be ongoing: Although Trustwave discovered the Netherlands proxy server….. there are several other similar servers they haven’t yet tracked down.

So, what do you do?

According to the Trustwave website “In our analysis, passwords that use all four character types and are longer than 8 characters are considered ‘Excellent,’ whereas passwords with four or less characters of only one type are considered ‘Terrible.’ Unfortunately, there were more terrible passwords than excellent ones, more bad passwords than good, and the majority, as usual, is somewhere in between in the ‘Medium’ category.”

In other words, perhaps we should be directing our writing skills to write better passwords. What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “Reporter’s Notebook: Weak Passwords Invite People To Steal Your Work

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