Have I Been Hacked?

Just this week, as I was sorting through my email, clearing out spam messages, a subject caught my eye. The subject was “I’m crack <[email protected]>”, and bad grammar aside, I wanted to see what the content of said message was. I’ve received similar messages before, but this one was a step up in sophistication. It read like an episode of Black Mirror, (Season 3, episode 3 to be exact). This was the content of the message (certain details have been removed). Continue reading “Have I Been Hacked?”

Is your password really secure?

Having worked in IT for many years, I thought I had a good handle on how to create a secure password. My passwords didn’t use dictionary words, I used mixed case, numbers and symbols. Of course, they were damn difficult to remember, so I ended up using words and substituting numbers and symbols into them.

Well, it turns out that doing that probably made my passwords easier to crack. How could that be? Well password cracking tools are pretty sophisticated these days, and they automatically try common letter/number substitutions (like replacing an “o” with a zero). A while back I found an xkcd comic that explained exactly how easy such passwords are for computers to crack. Continue reading “Is your password really secure?”