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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Have Your Users' Passwords Already Been Hacked?

If employees use their same password at work and in their personal lives, another company's breach may weaken your security. Five steps to mitigate the risk.

Following the hack of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, hackers published the stolen password file containing the usernames and hashes for more than 860,000 accounts. An effort to use typical password breaking techniques on the file yielded quick results: About 1 in every 10 accounts had a trivial password.

While it's unknown how many account holders reused their passwords, many subscribers used e-mail addresses of their employer, suggesting the possibility that they reused their passwords as well. While real-world research is scarce, what little there is suggests that reuse is rampant. Following the breach of Sony's online sites last year, for example, an analysis connected a small subset of users to those whose passwords were leaked in another breach. Two-thirds reused their passwords.

For companies, password reuse weakens security and can cause a company to rely on the security of third-party firms whose security is questionable. While companies can attempt to cordon off their employees' work and personal lives, workers can inadvertently reconnect the two, said Sam Curry, chief technology officer for security giant RSA's identity and data protection business unit.

"The average person probably has one or two phones, and they probably have any number of consumer services they subscribe to and two or three machines they interact with," says Sam Curry, chief technology officer for RSA's identity and data protection business unit. "If the password is the same everywhere, then there are literally dozens or hundreds of places where their passwords might be cached or the hash of it might be cached."

While companies can set policy and educate their employees to use good passwords and not reuse the secret codes--especially between business and personal sites--information security specialists should seek other solutions, says Mark Joynes, director of product management for Entrust.

"Enterprises that are taking the matter of security seriously should not be relying on password mechanisms," says Joynes. "As a function of human nature, users will reuse passwords irrespective of the relative risk of the application."

Consider these five steps to mitigate the risk.

Read the rest of this article on Dark Reading.

It's no longer a matter of if you get hacked, but when. In this special retrospective of news coverage, Monitoring Tools And Logs Make All The Difference, Dark Reading takes a look at ways to measure your security posture and the challenges that lie ahead with the emerging threat landscape. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
tonys3kur3
50%
50%
tonys3kur3,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/16/2012 | 6:53:14 PM
re: Have Your Users' Passwords Already Been Hacked?
Recent data breach news like Symantec, VeriSign, Nortel, and others all seem to be related to attacks that actually occurred far in the past and are just being discovered now. It's a little crazy.

I read an article recently (http://www.pcworld.com/article... that I think more organizations should read and follow. Don't implement security controls to check off boxes for a compliance audit. Implement the best possible security controls, and the compliance will happen by default.
Bprince
50%
50%
Bprince,
User Rank: Ninja
2/8/2012 | 11:54:08 PM
re: Have Your Users' Passwords Already Been Hacked?
In related news, Anonymous reportedly hacked the Syrian President's email. His password - "1,2,3,4,5."
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
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-2021-39229
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
Apprise is an open source library which allows you to send a notification to almost all of the most popular notification services available. In affected versions users who use Apprise granting them access to the IFTTT plugin (which just comes out of the box) are subject to a denial of service attack...
CVE-2021-41083
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
Dada Mail is a web-based e-mail list management system. In affected versions a bad actor could give someone a carefully crafted web page via email, SMS, etc, that - when visited, allows them control of the list control panel as if the bad actor was logged in themselves. This includes changing any ma...
CVE-2021-34650
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
The eID Easy WordPress plugin is vulnerable to Reflected Cross-Site Scripting via the error parameter found in the ~/admin.php file which allows attackers to inject arbitrary web scripts, in versions up to and including 4.6.
CVE-2021-41082
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
Discourse is a platform for community discussion. In affected versions any private message that includes a group had its title and participating user exposed to users that do not have access to the private messages. However, access control for the private messages was not compromised as users were n...
CVE-2020-16630
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-20
TI’s BLE stack caches and reuses the LTK’s property for a bonded mobile. A LTK can be an unauthenticated-and-no-MITM-protection key created by Just Works or an authenticated-and-MITM-protection key created by Passkey Entry, Numeric Comparison or OOB. Assume that...