That's according to a recent study from Hive Systems, a cybersecurity company based in Richmond, Virginia, which breaks down just how long it would likely take the average hacker to crack the passwords safeguarding your most important online accounts.
The company compiled a color-coded graph to illustrate how quickly different passwords could be hacked, depending on their length and use of varied characters, and how those times have accelerated since 2020 thanks to faster technology:
In a blog post, company researchers explain how the process of cracking your passwords can work. It starts with a process called "hashing," an algorithmically driven process websites use to disguise your stored passwords from hackers.
If you plug the word "password" into one commonly-used hashing software, called MD5, you'll get this string of characters: "5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99." The idea is that if hackers break into a website's server to find lists of stored passwords, they'll only see hashed jumbles of letters and numbers.
Hashed passwords are irreversible, because they're created with one-way algorithms. But hackers can make lists of every possible combination of characters on your keyboard, and then hash those combinations themselves using the most commonly-used software programs. At that point, hackers only have to search for matches of the hashed passwords on their list to determine your original passwords.
It's a complicated process, but one that can easily be pulled off by any knowledgeable hacker with consumer-grade equipment, Hive Systems notes. That's why your best defense is using the sort of long, complicated passwords that take the longest to crack.
The report also strongly recommends not recycling passwords for multiple websites. If you do that, and hackers are able to crack your password for one website, then "you're in for a bad time," the company writes.
The database was analyzed recently based on the properties of the encryption scheme. -group.com/files/adobe-top100.txt contains the results of the analysis: the top 100 frequently used encrypted passworts and the most probable guesses for the raw password.Press write-up is also available on the research: -how-bad-are-the-top-100-passwords-from-the-adobe-hack-hint-think-really-really-bad-7000022782/ 2b1af7f3a8