Thursday 21 January 2016 by Waylandsmithy

Change ‘password’ to ‘passw0rd’ advises security expert


change passwords

A simple trick could allow computer users to outwit hackers, by replacing the ‘o’ in ‘password’ with a zero.

That’s the advice from a government security advisor, who also suggested ‘l’ could be substituted for a one.

“Not that there’s any place for an l in a password,” admitted Simon Williams.

“It should be ‘passw0rd’, or the slightly more technical ‘123456’.”

Williams warned against complacency, insisting even the most secure password could be improved. “For instance, you can encrypt the latter using a cipher, so it becomes ‘654321’.

“So if Al Qaeda or whoever are trying to crack your Facebook account, that’ll tie up their resources for ages.”

Williams is responsible for allocating passwords to senior politicians, and he revealed the complex algorithm he uses to keep them safe.

“It’s devilishly simple, you take their first name and add the numbers ‘123’ afterwards. Good luck getting past THAT, if you’re in the KGB!

“You’re not in the KGB are you? Sorry, I should have asked first. That’s another good tip for keeping your data secure.”

Williams dismissed suggestions that a strong password should be randomly generated, and include a minimum of three symbols.

“There’s no point, because when you forget it, I won’t know what to call them when you phone my help desk,” he explained.

“And they’re hard to draw, on that Post-it note that you keep under your mouse mat.”

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