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HyderabadWeak passwords pose cyber threat

Weak passwords pose cyber threat

Published: 31st Oct 2021 1:07 am

Hyderabad: Character is a choice, and the same applies to passwords too. Wondering how? According to cyber security experts, a choice of some special characters while setting your passwords can keep you safe from cyber attacks by cyber crooks who try to hack them.

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A driver from Kukatpally, who tried to keep a four-digit PIN (personal identification number) of his ATM card and other e-wallets very simple by keeping his password as 1234, recently lost Rs 1.30 lakh to cyber fraudsters. This happened after his mobile phone was stolen by unidentified persons at a market. The phone had apps including PayTm and Google Pay and other e-wallets, all of which had the same password and were linked to his bank account.

It was just a random guess for the person who flicked the mobile phone to find out the password, using which he made purchases worth Rs1.30 lakh, including gold. Cybercrime police officials, citing the Kukatpally incident, point out that keeping easy passwords or using phone numbers as passwords can be risky as they can be easily guessed and hacked.

According to the police, it is a regular thing that many people use numerals from their mobile number or a string of numbers like 1234 or 0000 as their password. Hackers can find out phone numbers through social media accounts or use simple guessing to find the password.

“It becomes a simple task for hackers to access your e-Wallets or ATM using this simple technique which we observed is being used by a majority of citizens and social media users. Thus, they can easily access contact details or private photos or other content of people,” officials said, adding that over 60 per cent of users keep their contact numbers as usernames or passwords of their accounts.

With such techniques being opted by hackers to easily access personal details and then using the details to blackmail people, police are asking the people to use strong passwords, including special characters and a mix of letters, characters and numbers.

“Every user should keep a strong password with two-factor authentication, instead of a simple one which can easily be cracked by cybercriminals,” the official said.

The official also suggested that all devices should be protected cryptographically and the firmware should be upgraded timely, for new security features to be updated.

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