About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Study Reveals Grammatical Structure Severely Undermines Password Strength

By Vigilize | Monday, January 28, 2013 - Leave a Comment

A new research study on the effectiveness of passwords may make you reevaluate the strength of your passwords.

A study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Institute for Software Research shows that what we once thought of as strong passwords may not be so strong any more. The key, they have found, is grammar.

Results from the study found that passwords that incorporated grammatical structure, no matter how long, were easier to crack than comparatively shorter passwords with no apparent structure. To conduct their tests, the researchers developed what they describe as a grammar-aware password-cracking algorithm which uses separate dictionaries for each element of a sentence (i.e. one dictionary for verbs, one for nouns, etc.) to identify any structure within the password. With this cracking tool, they found that passwords with grammatical structure significantly reduced the time needed to crack a password due to the narrowing of possible word combinations and sequences.

A password such as “Th3r3 can b3 only #1!” was cracked in 22 minutes even though it used special symbols and letter substitutions. Compare to the password “Hammered asinine requirements” which took over three and a half hours for the researchers’ algorithm to crack, simply because it lacked a grammatical structure.

It’s studies like these that make us reconsider whether our supposed “strong” passwords are truly as strong as we think they are.

Original article by Jaikumar Vijayan.
Read the full story here.

Latest News
    Ransomware payments sent to countries under sanctions could result in fines… An article review. Whether or not to pay the organization behind a ransomware attack has been a hotly debated subject for many years, but a new advisory issued by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) warns those who do pay up […]
    Welcome Webinar Attendees! You can download the deliverables by clicking on the link below. Boilerplates/Handouts Click here to download files.        
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Data by Rob Sobers, writing […]
    Thanks for being interested in our Technology Planning Webinars! This year‘s annual webinar on the subject will include a review of the previous years’ movies that are already available, and a discussion about alternative tactics that have arisen from recent virtual conferences and regulator panels. It’s not too late to register for the 2020 Technology […]
    Check out the Sponsor Video! We will be updating the video on YouTube in the coming days, but will include the credits so everyone is recognized for all their hard work. Like our Facebook, Twitter, and Subscribe on YouTube for further updates! Credits Producer: Bryan Bonnell “K0s$” Director: Sara Fultz Editor: Sofia Tafoya Wardrobe: Our […]