Feeds

Weak passwords stored in browsers make hackers happy

Insecurity complex still rife shock

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Nearly a quarter of people (23 per cent) polled in a survey by Symantec use their browser to keep tabs on their passwords.

A survey of 400 surfers by Symantec also found that 60 per cent fail to change their passwords regularly. Further violating the 'passwords should be treated like toothbrushes' maxim (changed frequently and not shared), the pollsters also found that a quarter of people have given their passwords to their spouse, while one in 10 people have given their password to a ‘friend’.

Password choices were also lamentably bad. Twelve of the respondents admitted they used the phrase 'password' as their, err, password while one in ten used a pet's name. The name of a pet might easily be obtained by browsing on an intended target's social networking profile.

Eight per cent of the 400 respondents said they used the same password on all their online sites, a shortcoming that means a compromise of one low-sensitivity account hands over access to a victim's more sensitive webmail and online banking accounts. The survey respondents came from readers of Symantec's Security Response blog, who might be expected to be more security savvy than the general net population, though the survey shows many of them making the same basic errors that crop up time and again in password security surveys.

Symantec has put together its findings together with a list of suggestions for picking better passwords, a basic but woefully overlooked security precaution, in a blog post here.

The net security firm advised computer users to pick a mix of numbers, letters, punctuation, and symbols when picking passwords. This may be derived from taking a memorable phrase and altering it by replacing characters with symbols, for example. Surfers should avoid personal information, repetition and sequences in passwords, Symantec further recommends. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.