While it’s pretty awful that a million Sony users’ passwords and 0.25 million Gawker passwords were published online, it has made for an interesting comparative analysis of the weaknesses in password protection, a subject near and dear to many security researchers’ hearts.
Troy Hunt has published one such analysis, and it’s a fascinating read, full of real, verifiable stats about the problems users have managing their passwords (for example, 67% of users with accounts on both Sony and Gawker used the same password for both).
In short, half of the passwords had only one character type and nine out of ten of those where all lowercase. But the really startling bit is the use of non-alphanumeric or characters:Yep, less than 1% of passwords contained a non-alphanumeric character. Interestingly, this also reconciles with the analysis done on the Gawker database a little while back.
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