Bob Dubner
(Super Imperial Member)
08/04/16 08:45 AM
Password Security....should you change it often?

Ward,

I haven't checked lately. But a year or so ago, I saw a figure that stated
that if you bring up a computer on the internet, that is, where it gets
assigned an IP address directly, rather than an unroutable IP address on the
safe side of a firewall (a firewall is typically provided by a DSL or cable
"modem", which is almost certainly what you have at home) that brand new
computer with its brand new IP address starts getting hit by automated
attacks coming from all over the world within seconds.

If you use e-mail or do web searchs, you are vulnerable to attack. The bad
guys spend significant effort attacking legitimate web sites, which, by their
nature, have to live on the public side of firewalls. If they can break
through, they can install scripts into the attacked server's web pages that
do bad things on your computer when you access the site.

Me? I use LastPass. Yes, vulnerabilities have popped up there, but they
obviously work hard at preventing vulnerabilities and closing them when they
are found. I also keep passwords in an encrypted Microsoft Word document on
my computer; the password for that file has eleven characters and would take,
using current technology, a very long time to be cracked using brute force.

For an interesting exercise in paranoia:

https://www.wired.com/2016/06/clever-attack-uses-sound-computers-fan-steal-dat
a/

That all said: You are possibly right. I do have a couple of passwords I
reuse for convenience, like my "accounts" at nytimes.com and latimes.com,
because who the hell cares if they get hacked? My Paypal account, however,
gets treated differently; that password is a unique string of sixteen
gobbledegook characters generated by LastPass; I have never typed it and I
don't know what it is. And I am mulling over using two-factor authentication
there.



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