Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

People, Not Passwords, Are the Problem

UK government study says end users still don't know how to protect their passwords online

If you thought end users were getting smarter about passwords and computer security, a new survey from the British government may cause you to think again.

The U.K.'s Department of Trade and Industry Monday revealed the results of a survey it conducted with 1,800 adults who work and play online. The survey was part of the DTI's Network Security Innovation Program, under which the agency is spending more than $8 million to research ways to reduce the risk that human error plays in computer network security.

Among the survey's results:

  • Just over one third recorded their password or security information by either writing it down or storing it somewhere on their computer.

  • Nearly two thirds never changed their password.

  • One in five people used the same password for non-banking Websites as they used for their online bank.

"Unfortunately, the weakest link in network security is not usually with the technology, but with the staff and system users," said Malcolm Wicks, Minister for Science and Innovation. "A DTI survey found that a shocking number of people were careless with passwords, unwittingly exposing themselves and their companies to fraud and theft."

The U.K. lost nearly $900 million to credit card fraud last year alone, with 62 percent of companies experiencing a network security incident, Wicks said. "The stakes are high -- this is a problem we need to fix."

The Network Security Innovation Platform was created to bring government and business together to develop new ideas to improve network security. The four projects will, for the first time, use behavioral science in a bid to tackle the human risk element in network security, the DTI said.

"It is estimated that development of this research could represent an estimated extra [$250 million] market for businesses," the DTI said. "In addition, it will represent significant savings for those companies who adopt the findings."

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-24376
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
The Autoptimize WordPress plugin before 2.7.8 attempts to delete malicious files (such as .php) form the uploaded archive via the "Import Settings" feature, after its extraction. However, the extracted folders are not checked and it is possible to upload a zip which contained a directory w...
CVE-2021-24377
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
The Autoptimize WordPress plugin before 2.7.8 attempts to remove potential malicious files from the extracted archive uploaded via the 'Import Settings' feature, however this is not sufficient to protect against RCE as a race condition can be achieved in between the moment the file is extracted on t...
CVE-2021-24378
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
The Autoptimize WordPress plugin before 2.7.8 does not check for malicious files such as .html in the archive uploaded via the 'Import Settings' feature. As a result, it is possible for a high privilege user to upload a malicious file containing JavaScript code inside an archive which will execute w...
CVE-2021-24379
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
The Comments Like Dislike WordPress plugin before 1.1.4 allows users to like/dislike posted comments, however does not prevent them from replaying the AJAX request to add a like. This allows any user (even unauthenticated) to add unlimited like/dislike to any comment. The plugin appears to have some...
CVE-2021-24383
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
The WP Google Maps WordPress plugin before 8.1.12 did not sanitise, validate of escape the Map Name when output in the Map List of the admin dashboard, leading to an authenticated Stored Cross-Site Scripting issue