Attacks/Breaches
12/22/2010
09:40 AM
50%
50%

Schwartz On Security: Don't Get Hacked For the Holidays

The Gawker data breach highlights how few companies employ passwords for security, and how many Web site users treat them as little more than a nuisance.

Changed your password for Gawker, or on any of the other 20 Web sites for which you employ the same password? Make it a pre-2011 resolution.

Earlier this month, more than 1.3 million Gawker Media accounts -- including ones at Gawker, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, and Fleshbot -- were exposed by attackers, together with 540,000 related e-mail addresses, plus choice internal Gawker communications.

Not all Gawker passwords, which were encrypted, got cracked and released by attackers -- just the weak ones, of which there were plenty to go around. According to an analysis published by the Wall Street Journal, many Gawker users share an unhealthy affinity for mind-numbingly simple passwords.

Indeed, as gleaned from the 188,279 Gawker Media passwords that were exposed, here were the most popular choices: 123456, password, 12345678, lifehack, qwerty, abc123, 111111, monkey, consumer, and 12345. While all Gawker passwords had been encrypted, many were easily cracked by attackers. On the flipside, however, the data is not a true, representative sample of all passwords selected, since longer and less easy-to-guess passwords apparently weren't cracked by attackers.

Interestingly, many people's password choices are quite consistent with the results of a study released by Imperva in January 2010. Imperva analyzed the 32 million passwords exposed during the Rockyou.com breach, and found that the most popular were: 123456, 12345, 123456789, Password, iloveyou, princess, and rockyou.

According to Imperva, "nearly 50% of users used names, slang words, dictionary words or trivial passwords -- consecutive digits, adjacent keyboard keys, and so on."

In addition, many people were recycling their passwords ad infinitum. As a result, according to a statement made at the time by Imperva CTO Amichai Shulman, "employees using the same passwords on Facebook that they use in the workplace bring the possibility of compromising enterprise systems with insecure passwords, especially if they are using easy to crack passwords."

Previous
1 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-4692
Published: 2015-07-27
The kvm_apic_has_events function in arch/x86/kvm/lapic.h in the Linux kernel through 4.1.3 allows local users to cause a denial of service (NULL pointer dereference and system crash) or possibly have unspecified other impact by leveraging /dev/kvm access for an ioctl call.

CVE-2015-1840
Published: 2015-07-26
jquery_ujs.js in jquery-rails before 3.1.3 and 4.x before 4.0.4 and rails.js in jquery-ujs before 1.0.4, as used with Ruby on Rails 3.x and 4.x, allow remote attackers to bypass the Same Origin Policy, and trigger transmission of a CSRF token to a different-domain web server, via a leading space cha...

CVE-2015-1872
Published: 2015-07-26
The ff_mjpeg_decode_sof function in libavcodec/mjpegdec.c in FFmpeg before 2.5.4 does not validate the number of components in a JPEG-LS Start Of Frame segment, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (out-of-bounds array access) or possibly have unspecified other impact via craft...

CVE-2015-2847
Published: 2015-07-26
Honeywell Tuxedo Touch before 5.2.19.0_VA relies on client-side authentication involving JavaScript, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions by removing USERACCT requests from the client-server data stream.

CVE-2015-2848
Published: 2015-07-26
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Honeywell Tuxedo Touch before 5.2.19.0_VA allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests associated with home-automation commands, as demonstrated by a door-unlock command.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!