Tagged With passwords

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Whether your employer requires it or you're just a paranoid stonewall of personal security, two-step authentication simply does a better job at protecting your online life. But it adds a bit of hassle, too. Now, researchers are testing how to use ambient noises in your environment to confirm your identity, instead of codes texted to your phone.

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Is nothing sacred? LastPass, the service charged with keeping track of all our disparate online security measures with just one master password, was hacked last Friday — as detailed by the company's own blog post published today. That is not good news.

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Video: On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, a long conversation with Edward Snowden wound up turning into advice on coming up with good passwords. The upshot? Passwords of eight characters or less are basically crackable in seconds. And the best password that Snowden could come up with was MargaretThatcherIs100%SEXY.

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The primary purpose of a password is to serve as an unique verification identifier for a given user. Ideally, the password for a given website or service should be both random and unique; if the letters and/or numbers in the password follow any patterns, then they might be easier to guess by an intruder. For example, someone may put their birth year such as "1987" or "1988" in their password, which makes the passwords easier to remember, but consequently easier to break.

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If you've ever worked in an office with someone who types like a jackhammer, it's obvious we all type a little differently. Now scientists have created a prototype of a keyboard that can identify users by their unique typing patterns. It could point to a next generation of passwords that don't just take into account what you're typing, but how.

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Somebody just uploaded a password-hacking tool called iDict to GitHub that promises to use good old fashioned brute force techniques to crack iCloud passwords. The tool also claims to be able to evade Apple's rate-limiting and two-factor authentication security that's supposed to prevent brute force attacks. But it's not quite as bad as it sounds.

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The FIDO Alliance, whose members include everyone from Google to Samsung, just announced new password-free standards for regular and two-step authentication. In other words, the entire tech industry now has protocol for letting you sign into accounts without a password. Get ready for everything but typing out *****.