A new study on security found that consumers continue to use easy-to-guess passwords despite this knowledge. A common example of a password used is 123456. It is found that most of the credentials harvested for their report come from databases that have been breached previously and password hashes are cracked. They noted that this is often the result of phishing attacks and sometimes includes specialist phishing kits.
Hackers can easily buy tools that allow them to break weak passwords, even if they do not have specific technical expertise. Add a special character (e.g., @ or #) to a 10-character password, and it is harder for predators to figure out your password, making it less likely that you will be the victim of an attack. Sales of hacked credentials are a core component of cybercrime. Cybercriminals and state-sponsored groups are constantly searching for credentials left vulnerable to access sensitive information.
The dark web is public and open to everyone, with inviting runways for hackers and drug traders. It doesn’t appear in search engines and requires very specific addresses to find. The dark web is a space where journalists and whistleblowers can communicate freely. Citizens of countries with strict internet restrictions can also use dark sites to talk about forbidden topics.
The Internet’s structure can be broken down into two key parts: the surface web and the deep web. The internet’s third layer, known as the dark web, is a series of private networks that are often utilized for illicit or controversial purposes.
If technology is trying to access the dark web for you, it most likely means that anonymity and encryption are used at high levels. The dark web is similar to the web but cannot be reached without special software. Online forums are the most prevalent place for cybercriminals to sell or advertise passwords and passwords. In general, it’s sophisticated and varied malware they have at their disposal.
According to Chris Morgan, Senior Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst at Digital Shadows, we will eventually phase out passwords, but in the meantime the use of compromised credentials and stolen passwords is rampant. Digital Shadows has reported that they alerted users to six million passwords and passwords that could have been mitigated.
Dark Web ID develops a program to detect stolen credentials and other personal information, 24/7 365 days a year and has found more than 80,000 compromised emails daily. Criminals have many credentials that have already been compromised and are available for them to use. In some cases, weaker passwords can be guessed with automated tools in seconds.
Just 18 months ago, sources alerted their clients of over 6.7 million credential exposures, which include usernames and passwords for their customers and servers. The experts found that many of the cases could have been mitigated by the user changing their password and not sharing account credentials.
- To protect your accounts, use a password manager on your device that stores passwords more securely and encourages you to make them more complex.
- Make sure you have your identity confirmed using MFA where providers offer it. It can replace passwords with PINs, facial recognition, fingerprints, or a USB key.
- Generate codes that allow a user to only access the website once.
Once someone compromises your credentials, they will use it to access other places such as data breaches of sensitive corporate information and/or identity theft. The longer you wait for compromising credentials, the more damage that can occur. There are 24 billion usernames and passwords circulating in the infosec marketplaces.
Many people use very simple passwords which are easy to guess. For example, ‘password’ is one of the most common passwords chosen and is made even easier to guess by adding several well-remembered keyboard combinations. The most common passwords can be easily cracked in under a second using tools available on criminal forums which are often free of charge or at a minimal cost.
Adding special characters such as symbols and numbers makes it harder for an offline hacker to breach your account.