In our ever-expanding digital world, passwords are inevitable: email, apps, subscriptions and loyalty programs; almost everything is designed to be secure behind a self-defined code that allows entry. According to tech site TechCo, the average person has around 100 passwords, so it’s no surprise that when signing up for a new account, people can sometimes get a bit sloppy with their choice of words. However, there is a new risk to password vulnerabilities: artificial intelligence.
A new report from Home Security Heroes found that 51% of common passwords can be cracked in less than a minute with an AI password cracker, and 81% can be cracked in less than a month.
Home Security Heroes used the PassGAN AI password cracker to run a list of 15,680,000 passwords. The odds of cracking one’s own password increase when a password has a minimal amount of characters and lacks variety (only using lowercase letters, only using numbers, etc.). Still, PassGAN was found to take less than six minutes to crack a seven-character password, even when it contained symbols.
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How to set an AI-safe password:
According to the findings of Home Security Heroes, artificial intelligence takes much longer to crack a password with more characters and variety. In essence: the longer the password and the more letters, numbers and symbols you use, the safer it is from the AI.
A 14-character password made up of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers takes AI an average of 187 million years to crack, as opposed to a seven character password made up of only upper and lower case letters; 22 seconds to break.
Although it may be more time consuming, if you want to ensure password security as AI technology advances, it’s best to keep passwords to at least 10 characters, with some combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers .
Related: How AI is shaping the cybersecurity landscape: Exploring the benefits and limitations