How quickly can passwords be hacked?

We have already outlined how important a strong password is - and which insecure counterexamples should be avoided urgently - here on //next. Now we follow up and show how quickly simple passwords can be hacked.

The following graphic by the IT security service provider Hive Systems, based in Richmont, VA, shows it impressively: Anyone who relies on a simple password consisting exclusively of numbers is hardly protected at all against hacker attacks - at least not as long as that password contains only ten digits or even fewer. 

Only with 16 numbers or more would an attacker be kept busy for an acceptably long time - with 18 even three quarters of a year. It only becomes really secure with a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters - and even then, at least nine characters from all these categories should be mixed. But see for yourself how you can achieve an orange, yellow or even green security level:

Graphic Passwort Security

By the way, the accompanying blog post from Hive Systems can be found here:

Text: Ingo Schenk