Passwords are not as difficult to crack as we might think.
New research has revealed that anything with six characters, regardless of whether numbers and symbols are included, can be cracked almost immediately.
The same goes for anything that is seven or eight characters but made up of just numbers or lower-case letters.
Passwords with 8 characters can all be guessed in around 39 minutes according to US cybersecurity company Hive Systems, which is based in Richmond, Virginia.
However, it is suggested that if you wish that your passwords not be cracked for about 438 trillion years is to use 18 characters made up of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and symbols.
A more manageable 11-character password comprising the same alternative features would be cracked in around 34 years, the research states.
Hive Systems have made the color-coded table for 2022, showing how safe users’ passwords really are.
The company said its data was ‘based on how long it would take a consumer-budget hacker to crack your password hash using a desktop computer with a top-tier graphics card’.
‘If you use the same password on multiple sites, you’re in for a bad time,’ Hive Systems wrote in a blog post.
The firm also discussed hashing, a technique that protects stolen passwords, and how hackers get around the one-way algorithm.
‘Hash’ is a scrambled version of a text that is reproducible if you know what hash software was used.
For example, if the word ‘password’ is hashed using MD5 software the output would be 5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99.
Passwords you use on websites are stored in servers as hashes instead of in plain text like ‘password’ so that if someone views them, in theory, they won’t know the actual password.
In the given example for ‘password’, the hacker would only see 5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99.