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Weak Password Can Result in Personal and Financial Catastrophe

In a survey conducted by security firm F-Secure, it was found that around 20% of netizens in Germany, UK and Sweden use identical passwords for everything ranging from online banking to credit cards to logging into a gaming site or their e-mail account.

Around 20% note their password on a paper and 8% have to frequently reset their passwords as they forget them, revealed the survey.

The security experts said that this behavior can easily give rise to spamming and phishing. Weak passwords can make organizations and individuals vulnerable to cyber attacks which can lead to the theft of confidential data or information.

Obtaining valid account details and/or accessing valid e-mail accounts are enough to solve the purpose of cyber criminals. It is important for them to target valid accounts from where they can distribute spam e-mails to real accounts. It can also help them in selling the lists of valid accounts to their fellow spammers.

If spammers are able to get valid account credentials, they can take over the account and misuse it in spamming.

The experts further said that fake e-mails asking recipients to verify their usernames and passwords have been used by criminals for long. This way, they trick people into providing their bank account details as well as other personal details.

Moreover, the rapidly surging popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook has made these sites one of the attractive targets for scams aimed at stealing passwords. Criminals can gain access to e-mail accounts of the people by hijacking their Facebook accounts, which in turn, is a source of other sensitive information.

Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor, F-Secure, said that as a huge number of logins are there to deal with at present, it is rather tempting to set only one or two passwords for everything, as per the news published by HELP NET SECURITY on June 16, 2010. Unfortunately, this tendency leads to a disaster as cybercriminals are continuously devising innovative ways to grab passwords and making maximum out of them, he added.

F-Secure suggested that the best way to protect passwords is to use a combination of numbers and letters, like including date of birth, name and age in the password.

ยป SPAMfighter News - 24-06-2010

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