Why you should use longer passwords

Posted Tuesday Tuesday, November 16, 2010 by Ian Pettman

Not very long ago, Amazon launched hosted computers in the cloud. There are some things that the cloud is good for and there are some things that it's not. It would appear that cracking short (six letters) passwords can now be done with a little know how at a cost of around a couple of Pounds / Euros/ Dollars per password.
This relies on just three things:

  • The password is short, six letters.
  • The computing power that is now available to everyone (including the bad guys) at a couple of bucks an hour.
  • Freely available code to perform the (cracking) task.

The time (and cost) taken for this approach increases exponentially as the length of the password increases. In laymans terms if cracking a five letter password takes 10 minutes, a six letter password may take 100 minutes, in round terms a couple of hours, and an seven letter password might take 1000 minutes or best part of a day and an eight letter password would take a week or more.

Here is how...so please use longer passwords, with numbers and punctuation.

(This webpage only exists as a standard insecure webpage however you may navigate to it by pasting the following url in your address bar: http://stacksmashing.net/2010/11/15/cracking-in-the-cloud-amazons-new-ec2-gpu-instances/)

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