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Enhancing Password Security: A Vital Step in Online Protection

By Ruchi Awasthi

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Hackers and malware continue to be persistent issues for web users and ISPs. As recently as last week, the general public experienced disruptions in accessing major websites like Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon for several hours. This downtime was a result of a massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack targeting DYN.com, a popular provider of commercially managed DNS (Domain Name System) services. This attack led to the unavailability of these popular websites. A domain name server has the capability to translate a user-friendly name, such as webhostingpeople.net, into a series of numerical values known as an IP address, similar to searching for a random phone number in a phone book.

These attackers were able to successfully execute a significant DDoS attack due to human errors, such as someone forgetting to change default passwords on their Internet-connected devices. These devices, often referred to as the “Internet of Things,” are everyday objects connected to the Internet. When setting up many of these devices, users are provided with default passwords. If the owners of these “Internet of Things” devices fail to change these default passwords, hackers can search the web for default passwords associated with these devices. This negligence allows hackers to take control of these devices and use them for their own purposes. Consequently, these devices can become part of a larger botnet, contributing to a major DDoS attack.

The purpose of this article is to emphasize the importance of password security. We strongly recommend changing default passwords to something more complex in order to deter hackers. There have been numerous instances where individuals’ online security was compromised due to the use of passwords like “Password123” or their birthdate. We understand that it can be challenging to remember long and intricate passwords, so we suggest using password managers. By utilizing a password manager, you can keep all your passwords in one secure place. If everyone takes the necessary steps to enhance password security, it can help mitigate the impact and damage caused by major DDoS attacks.

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