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A Wikipedia sign in form requesting a and password A password is a or of used for user to prove identity or to gain access to a resource (example: an is a type of password), which is to be kept from those not allowed access. The use of passwords is known to be ancient. Sentries would challenge those wishing to enter an area or approaching it to supply a password or watchword, and would only allow a person or group to pass if they knew the password. In modern times, and passwords are commonly used by people during a process that to protected computer,, decoders, (ATMs), etc. A typical has passwords for many purposes: logging into accounts, retrieving, accessing applications, databases, networks, web sites, and even reading the morning newspaper online. Despite the name, there is no need for passwords to be actual words; indeed passwords which are not actual words may be harder to guess, a desirable property.
Some passwords are formed from multiple words and may more accurately be called a. The terms passcode and passkey are sometimes used when the secret information is purely numeric, such as the (PIN) commonly used for access. Passwords are generally short enough to be easily and typed. Most organizations specify a that sets requirements for the composition and usage of passwords, typically dictating minimum length, required categories (e.g. Upper and lower case, numbers, and special characters), prohibited elements (e.g. Own name, date of birth, address, telephone number).
Some governments have national authentication frameworks that define requirements for user authentication to government services, including requirements for passwords. Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • History Passwords or watchwords have been used since ancient times. Further information: Many websites put certain conditions on the passwords their users may choose. These nearly always include standard rules such as minimum and maximum length, but also frequently include composition rules such as featuring at least one capital letter and at least one number/symbol. These latter, more specific rules were largely based on a 2003 report by the (NIST), authored by Bill Burr. It originally proposed the practice of using numbers, obscure characters and capital letters and updating regularly.
In a 2017 article, Burr reported he regrets these proposals and made a mistake when he recommended them. According to a 2017 rewrite of this NIST report, many websites have rules that actually have the opposite effect on the security of their users. This includes complex composition rules as well as forced password changes after certain periods of time. While these rules have long been widespread, they have also long been seen as annoying and ineffective by both users and cyber-security experts. The NIST recommends people use longer phrases as passwords (and advises websites to raise the maximum password length) instead of hard-to-remember passwords with 'illusory complexity' such as 'pA55w+rd'. A user prevented from using the password 'password' may simply choose 'Password1' if required to include a number and uppercase letter.
Combined with forced periodic password changes, this can lead to passwords that are difficult to remember but easy to crack. Paul Grassi, one of the 2017 NIST report's authors, further elaborated: 'Everyone knows that an exclamation point is a 1, or an I, or the last character of a password.
$ is an S or a 5. If we use these well-known tricks, we aren’t fooling any adversary.
We are simply fooling the database that stores passwords into thinking the user did something good.' Password cracking. Main article: Attempting to crack passwords by trying as many possibilities as time and money permit is a. A related method, rather more efficient in most cases, is a.
In a dictionary attack, all words in one or more dictionaries are tested. Lists of common passwords are also typically tested.
Is the likelihood that a password cannot be guessed or discovered, and varies with the attack algorithm used. Cryptologists and computer scientists often refer to the strength or 'hardness' in terms of. Passwords easily discovered are termed weak or vulnerable; passwords very difficult or impossible to discover are considered strong. There are several programs available for password attack (or even auditing and recovery by systems personnel) such as,, and; some of which use password design vulnerabilities (as found in the Microsoft LANManager system) to increase efficiency. These programs are sometimes used by system administrators to detect weak passwords proposed by users. Studies of production computer systems have consistently shown that a large fraction of all user-chosen passwords are readily guessed automatically.
For example, Columbia University found 22% of user passwords could be recovered with little effort. According to, examining data from a 2006 attack, 55% of passwords would be crackable in 8 hours using a commercially available Password Recovery Toolkit capable of testing 200,000 passwords per second in 2006. He also reported that the single most common password was password1, confirming yet again the general lack of informed care in choosing passwords among users. (He nevertheless maintained, based on these data, that the general quality of passwords has improved over the years—for example, average length was up to eight characters from under seven in previous surveys, and less than 4% were dictionary words. ) Incidents • On July 16, 1998, reported an incident where an attacker had found 186,126 encrypted passwords.
At the time the attacker was discovered, 47,642 passwords had already been cracked. • In September, 2001, after the deaths of 960 New York employees in the, financial services firm through broke the passwords of deceased employees to gain access to files needed for servicing client accounts.
Technicians used brute-force attacks, and interviewers contacted families to gather personalized information that might reduce the search time for weaker passwords. • In December 2009, a major password breach of the website occurred that led to the release of 32 million passwords. The hacker then leaked the full list of the 32 million passwords (with no other identifiable information) to the Internet. Passwords were stored in cleartext in the database and were extracted through a SQL injection vulnerability. The Application Defense Center (ADC) did an analysis on the strength of the passwords. • In June, 2011, (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) experienced a security breach that led to the public release of first and last names, usernames, and passwords for more than 11,000 registered users of their e-bookshop. The data was leaked as part of, a movement that includes,, as well as other hacking groups and individuals.
The aim of AntiSec is to expose personal, sensitive, and restricted information to the world, using any means necessary. Quickbooks Tools here. • On July 11, 2011,, a consulting firm that does work for, had their servers hacked by and leaked the same day. 'The leak, dubbed 'Military Meltdown Monday,' includes 90,000 logins of military personnel—including personnel from,, the, various facilities,, staff, and what looks like private sector contractors.'
These leaked passwords wound up being hashed in SHA1, and were later decrypted and analyzed by the ADC team at, revealing that even military personnel look for shortcuts and ways around the password requirements. Alternatives to passwords for authentication The numerous ways in which permanent or semi-permanent passwords can be compromised has prompted the development of other techniques. Unfortunately, some are inadequate in practice, and in any case few have become universally available for users seeking a more secure alternative. [ ] A 2012 paper examines why passwords have proved so hard to supplant (despite numerous predictions that they would soon be a thing of the past ); in examining thirty representative proposed replacements with respect to security, usability and deployability they conclude 'none even retains the full set of benefits that legacy passwords already provide.'
Having passwords which are only valid once makes many potential attacks ineffective. Most users find single use passwords extremely inconvenient. They have, however, been widely implemented in personal, where they are known as (TANs). As most home users only perform a small number of transactions each week, the single use issue has not led to intolerable customer dissatisfaction in this case. • are similar in some ways to single-use passwords, but the value to be entered is displayed on a small (generally pocketable) item and changes every minute or so. • one-time passwords are used as single-use passwords, but the dynamic characters to be entered are visible only when a user superimposes a unique printed visual key over a server generated challenge image shown on the user's screen. • Access controls based on e.g..